Best 1911 Pistols For the Money [2019]

The most recognizable handgun in the world is the M1911.

Old Colt 1911
Old Colt 1911

John Moses Browning’s tried and true design hasn’t changed much over the years, but now there are some new features and more calibers…opening this pistol up to even more shooters.

But, where do you start?

Rock Island Midsize 1911 vs Fullsize
Rock Island Midsize 1911 vs Fullsize

There are so many different types of 1911s on the market that almost no one knows where to start.  The good news is that there’s a perfect 1911 for you at your preferred budget.

Whether you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to put enough cash together so you can join the club, or you’re looking to spend your tax refund on a high end 1911…we’ve got you covered!

Table of Contents

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Quick Background

History of M1911

But first…a little history of the 100+-year-old design.  I promise this will shine some light on how to choose the best 1911 for yourself.

Genius firearms inventor John Moses Browning (so famous on forums that he is just JMB) sought out to give the military a more potent handgun round.

JMB
JMB

He was in direct competition with other gun makers like Smith & Wesson and Savage…and in March 1911 his auto-loading pistol was officially adopted by the US Military as their sidearm of choice.

The 1911 stood up to a 6,000 round torture test, being submerged in mud, acid, shooting deformed cartridges, and other tests.

Not only did Browning’s design (to be produced by Colt) pass with flying colors, it was the only gun to pass all stages of this grueling test.

.45 ACP

The military needed a deadlier handgun round than the .38 Long Colt being used at the turn of the century and wanted it to utilize a .45 caliber bullet.  The Army had a long history with forty-five caliber cartridges, with the Single Action Army revolver (SAA) being used for many years.

Colt Single Action Army
Colt Single Action Army

The ultimate replacement would be John Browning’s 1911 chambered in .45 Automatic (AKA .45 ACP, .45 Auto, .45 Automatic Colt Pistol).  

.45 ACP Ball vs Hollowpoint
.45 ACP Ball vs Hollowpoint

This .45 Auto contained a 230-grain projectile capable of reaching speeds of about 850 feet per second and was much more capable as a self-defense round than the .38 Long Colt was.

Learn more about calibers in our Basic Bullet Guide.

Popular Pistol Calibers
Popular Pistol Calibers

Other 1911 Manufacturers

Many purists decry other brands of 1911s (or calibers) as fakes…unworthy to bear the name.

One thing that many people don’t realize, however, is that the demand for them was so high during the war, that Colt contracted out to other companies to help keep production numbers up.

Some very well-known companies helped, to include Remington Rand, Ithaca, Springfield Armory, many foreign companies, and even the Singer sewing machine company.

Singer 1911
Singer 1911

In fact, the pistols from these other companies can command a very high price when sold.  Some of the Singer pistols can be worth up to $30,000 to the right buyer because so few were made.

Modern Uses

The 1911 style is still in service in a few select military units, some police, and is a widely accepted pistol for self-defense, regardless of the maker or size of the cartridge.

Marines with 1911's
Marines with 1911’s

If you glance in the gun cabinet of many gun enthusiasts, you’ll likely see at least one 1911 pistol.  Many people own more than one because as far as pistols go, they are accurate, reliable, and pleasant on the eyes.

Many of the major shooting sports also allow a class for shooting 1911 style pistols, because, even though the original design is well over 100 years old, it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.

1911 Diagram
1911 Diagram

In fact, if you were to look at one of Colt’s current offerings, the Model 70 ($900), it’s as close to the original M1911A1 as you can possibly get.  It’s as if it came out of the factory in 1924 when the 1911 was first reworked into the A1.

Colt 1911 Series 70
Colt 1911 Series 70

Best 1911 Pistols

First, let me start by saying that this is not an easy list to narrow down because there are so many excellent pistols being made by many different companies. 

Next, this list of firearms is chosen by me.  You obviously have your own opinion, which I want to hear too.

Finally, this list is meant to feature a wide variety of guns currently on the market and not just those made by Colt.

And not just .45 ACP…

9mm vs .45 ACP
9mm vs .45 ACP

$500-$600 Range:

The guns at this level are NOT exceptional guns, but ones that will do the job and get better with a minimal amount of work.  These are for people who want a 1911 but cannot afford to go out and buy an expensive, ready to roll out of the box, uber expensive 1911.

1. Rock Island Armory 1911

I shot my first Rock Island Armory pistol during SHOT 2017.  I’ve always known them but never had a chance to try any out.

Most Affordable 1911
520
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And try out a lot I did.  My favorite was their longslide 1911 but their standard 1911 ($520) was great too.

Sure, it needs some loving if you’re a little spoiled by other makers…but it went bang every time and when I did my part…hit all the plates.  They are designed by Armscor and manufactured in the Philippines.  A full review of the GI model here.

Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Midsize
Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Midsize

They have plenty of other models too with the same good price points if you’re looking with something more…tactical.

$700-$900 Range

This is the most popular section of guns.  These are the ones that people can save up for over the course of time to get a gun that doesn’t need any work, but can still be customized into a beauty.

2. Springfield Armory Mil-Spec

Springfield Armory makes great guns, even though many people believe they could do less stamping on them (think “Grip Zone” on the XD Mod 2).

699
at Cabelas

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Mil-Spec ($729) doesn’t have any extra words on it and is a gorgeous firearm with a 5” barrel that’s available in stainless steel or with a parkerized finish.

The fit is excellent and the finish is well done without any extra slag or burs on the slide or frame causing hangups.

What’s your take on going with mil-spec for the 1911?

Readers' Ratings

4.87/5 (629)

Your Rating?

3. Remington R1

Remington was one of the first companies to make the 1911 when Colt first asked them to help ramp up production during war periods.

849
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The R1 Enhanced ($849) is a great deal considering and can be upgraded to whatever you want it to be.

The capacity is 7+1 and the caliber is .45 auto traveling at 850 fps through a 5” sized barrel.

$1,000-$1,400 Range

At this point, the guns are as close to flawless as you can get before spending a fortune on a handcrafted 1911.  

The guns run fantastic and need nothing to make them perform better.  People still opt to do trigger work at this price, but it isn’t because the stock trigger is bad.

4. Springfield Armory EMP 3″ in 9mm

Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm
Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm

I own one of these 9mm 1911’s and have shot a lot through it for one year.

As far as reliability goes, there is almost none better.  Since I’ve had it in my possession, I’ve not had a single malfunction with it…which is more than I can say for many other guns.

And, accuracy out of the 3” officer sized barrel groups well at distances out to 15 yards, even when rapidly fired.

Check out our full review here…and now with a full YouTube video too:

5. Colt Delta Elite (10mm)

If you live in an area where 4-legged creatures are a threat, enjoy hunting with a handgun, or just like the 10mm cartridge for self-defense…

1100
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Colt’s freshly revised Delta Elite ($1100) may be what you’re looking for.

The venerable 10mm outperforms most other self-defense cartridges for semi-automatic weapons, and, while it is a bit more expensive to shoot, it is quite versatile if you reload your own ammo.

10mm Round
10mm Round

Please keep in mind that if the .45 ACP or .40 S&W recoil bothers you, you’ll need to stay away from 10mm, because it’s even snappier.

The Colt Delta Elite’s MSRP is just $1099 for the standard model, or you can spend $200 more and get the rail gun, to mount a light or laser below the 5” barrel.

Want more 1911s in 10mm?  Check out our separate article.

6. Springfield Loaded Operator

My first pistol ever was a Stainless Springfield Loaded ($849).

It probably wasn’t the smartest move for a first handgun…but it was just so pretty (and ran well too).

But if I had to make my choice again with a ~$1000 1911 budget…I would choose the Springfield Loaded Operator ($1089).

1911 Editor's Choice
1089
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And that’s because it has everything I would want now that I’ve shot some more stuff.

The Operator has the stuff that you can’t easily upgrade on a more standard 1911:

  • Accessory Rail
  • Awesome two-tone styling
  • Night Sights

7. Colt Gold Cup

Old school competition shooting at its finest.

1400
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Colt Gold Cup ($1400) series has tons of aggressive checkering on both the front and back strap, adjustable rear sights, and a fiber optic front sight.  Couple that with a match barrel and you’ve got something that will out shoot you any day.

8. Sig Sauer STX

If you need a great 1911 for something like duty carry, you can’t go wrong with a Sig. Sig has a few models of 1911 that they offer, but the one to make this list is the STX.

1080
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Wide mag well, Nitron Stainless Steel slide, and custom Burled Maple grips complete the package.

$1,500+

There are many 1911s that fall into this price range, with some costing several thousands of dollars.  This is the price point where custom makers begin to enter the market with absolutely gorgeous firearms with bells and whistles.

9. STI Trojan (9mm)

There’s a reason why a lot of competitive pistoleros shoot STI…they are simply awesome 1911’s.

Best 9mm 1911
1500
at STI

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

I went with the Trojan ($1500) since I wanted to shoot 9mm in competitions and because I went to USC for grad school.  There’s also a Spartan (now discontinued) that had slightly fewer features in 9mm.

STI Trojan and Spartan
STI Trojan and Spartan

Nothing else I’ve shot has beaten it yet.

10. Wilson Combat CQB with Rail

If I had much more coin and wanted one of the best 1911s in my mind…I’d go with the Wilson CQB Tactical LE ($3100).

Dream 1911
3100
at Wilson Combat

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

I’ve built a couple 1911’s and always fall back to Wilson parts.  Every time I didn’t…I ended up junking that part and bought Wilson.

Wilson Combat CQB with Rail and TLR-1 HL
Wilson Combat CQB with Rail and TLR-1 HL

To me, the CQB has it all…the Wilson quality, rails, aggressive grips, and fiber optic sights.

And now…I finally have one!  Full review coming soon…

11. Kimber Amethyst Ultra II

Many of Kimber’s firearms are based on the 1911 platform.  They tend to be eye-catching and come in various sizes and calibers.  

1400
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

It’s hard to just pull one of their guns and focus on it, but one such gun of theirs is this Amethyst Ultra II ($1500).

It is a sub-compact pistol with a 3” barrel chambered in 9mm or .45 ACP that is primarily geared to women who want a girly-looking gun…whatever their reason for that may be.

If you’re looking for something more real-world for women, check out our Best Handguns for Women article.

12. Dan Wesson Bruin (10mm)

Dan Wesson has long been a major name in the 1911 world with a host of great offerings – but the Bruin is our favorite. Maybe it’s the burnt bronze, maybe it’s the long slide, maybe it’s the 10mm of awesome…Ya, we love the Bruin.

A duty carry finish and fiber optic sights round off this as not only an 1911 worthy of being a piece of art, but also ready for real use.

Dan Wesson Bruin
Dan Wesson Bruin

You might have heard that CZ bought Dan Wesson a few years ago and while many were worried that quality would suffer now that DW wasn’t a small shop anymore, we’re happy to report that people’s fears did not come true.

CZ did not go the route of Freedom Group and Dan Wesson is still producing some of the finest 1911s you can get your hands on.

The Wildcards

Then, of course, there are guns that we’d all love to have, but would never take to the range to shoot simply because they cost as much as the things sitting in our driveway to get us from place to place.

One such gun manufacturer is Cabot.  Cabot’s guns start with an MSRP in the $3,200 range, and travel up to 4.5 million dollars for a pair of meteorite-made 1911s, with every imaginable price in between.

Cabot Meteorite 1911s, $4.5M
Cabot Meteorite 1911s, $4.5M

If you can afford to shoot one of Cabot’s guns, I’m sure they work flawlessly (or maybe not).  I mean, for that price, they better work fantastically.

Honorable Mentions

Of course, I can’t hit all the 1911’s out there…but here are some honorable mentions for the higher end.  I hope one day to own some of these so I can chime in…but these have impeccable reputations!

The Best In Any Price Range:

This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t talk further about modern-day Colt 1911s.

While some enthusiasts will tell you that the R1 isn’t that great or that Kimbers are overrated, you rarely ever hear that about the original 1911 maker.

In fact, the only complaint you do hear is that Colt’s 1911s are expensive.

Colt Competition
Colt Gold Cup

While that may be true, they also tend to hold their value better than any of the other production 1911 builders.  Furthermore, there are plenty of Colt 1911s available in the $800-900 range.  And you don’t have to go too far to look for them.

Colt XSE Government
Colt XSE Government

Colt is one of the few firearms makers in existence who is still capable of selling you a firearm with the ability to resell it down the road and make money off it.  All in all, you get the best bang for your buck when you purchase a Colt 1911.

They’re reliable, accurate, and have an excellent customer service base.  As a bonus the pistols are sexy.

Conclusion

The 1911 pistol is a beautiful handgun with a rich history that expands over 100 years.

There is no sign of sales declining, and it seems that every year at SHOT Show, there is another 1911 maker entering the scene.

If you are late to this game, I’m sure you’ll own one, one day…how could you not?

Any we HAVE to put on the list?  Otherwise check out Best 9mm 1911s and Best 10mm 1911s…or even Best .45 ACP Ammo to feed your guns.

170 Leave a Reply

  • Andrew Covell

    My first 1911 was a Smith and Wesson SW1911 in 2004, nice crisp trigger, satin Chrome finish, three dot sites. Very comfortable, and performed well in one IPSC comp, and won a shoot at my club '06. Practiced with it often until 2012. My second 1911 was a Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911, very good close to orig. fit and function. Then I bought a used Super 38 on a 1911 frame, super accurate, easy recoil. Still I was looking for a true carry 1911. I found another deal with an orig. slide from 1942, GI sites. My newest 1911 is a Colt Competition 1911.

    2 weeks ago
  • bruce

    The Glock 17 is without question the most recognizable pistol in the world. While I have long enjoyed the 1911 and would not want to be w/o one or more, reality is that beyond America the 1911 is simply not dominate. The Glock 17 in one form or another is dominate. Understandable. As designed by Browning, the 1911 was faultless. As designed by Glock, the 17 is "Perfection!"

    2 weeks ago
  • Dan Darlow

    I recently shot a Desert Eagle stainless at the NRA Personal Protection Expo. It shot very well, and was priced at around $900. My only complaint was they only let me fire a single 5 round magazine.

    1 month ago
  • Bert Powers

    Springfield Loaded with a trigger job. Excellent and dependable shooter.

    1 month ago
  • Jimmy

    My first 1911 was a used Colt. It was jam-happy. I got rid of it after a week. My second 1911 was a used Springfield. It was jam-happy, too. My third 1911 is a Kimber Eclipse Pro II. I bought it new. I've had it for 6 years, now, and I always feed it 230g round-nose ammo. I've shot the hell out of it and it has never jammed at all. Three years ago I put a set of Crimson Trace laser grips on it. Then I took it to a smith and told him to make it drill holes in a baseball at 20 yards. Damned thing only bats 700. . . .

    1 month ago
  • Gizmo

    I use a stainless steel Colt Combat Commander (circa 2002) I bought used for everyday carry. Excellent machine. Had only one jam which was due to a worn magazine and not the gun itself. I also have an Auto Ordnance full size M1911A1 built to WWII GI specs. Inexpensive and reliable. It doesn't eat JHP very well, but 230gr ball works flawlessly. Great range toy, but not for self defense. Ball ammunition penetrates too far. That Colt is a winner however.

    1 month ago
  • Andy

    The SR1911's by Ruger are nice. They have a little jiggle, which I've heard is good. I have the Commander .45 and for $700, not sure you can get a nicer looking and nicer shooting pistol. Plus it's lightweight and has the thinner grips for CC. The 10mm and full sizes they have are also gorgeous.

    1 month ago
  • Randy Waters

    Colt......used it for 24 years in the military. My choice. And Johnny, I'm glad "Gluck" DOESN'T make a 1911.

    1 month ago
  • Johnny

    Only Glock does NOT make a 1911!!!

    1 month ago
  • Michael Joseph Venia

    What about the Auto Ordnance BKO as a very true 1911 WWII replica.? Nothing but good reviews about it. Under $550 most places online.

    1 month ago
  • Mountainhobo

    Interesting, no Ruger in this article, and no Ruger in the 2018 "Affordable 1911" article. So what's wrong with the Ruger?

    1 month ago
  • Jon

    and to fill in the gap between 3200 and 4.5 million, Chambers, Harrison, Bunker, Rogers, Rodgers, Businesss End, etc etc etc

    1 month ago
  • Dennis Segerson

    Do not forget the Colt Commander. I have a satin nickel comm. series 70 in 45acp. Great 45 to own. I have owned this gun for about 40 yrs. Action job did wonders.

    2 months ago
  • Michael Arebalo

    I just bought an ATI FX1911 Military for $359. It's obviously cheaper than the above stated Rock Island (and from another Filipino factory), but many online reviews say it runs comparable to the O.G. WWII Colt 1911's. I'll probably buy a Colt Classic series (I haven't decided the 1991 series 80 or $100 more series 70) as my next 1911. Until then, I'll have fun shooting my ATI and mod'ing it to my liking.

    2 months ago
  • Joe Gauthier

    Springfield Mil Spec, the best there is without going custom.

    2 months ago
  • Edward Golaszewski

    I own a Taurus PT 1911 full size .45 caliber, is the gun has everything I want. Slide lock, picatinny rail, ambidextrous safety, Taurus security system, front and rear racking grips. And reasonably cost $470 not sure why you left it out of your review, but must have slide lock when clip is empty, picatinny rail for accessories, again very reasonable price.

    2 months ago
    • Havoc Man

      The M1911 has a magazine - not a clip. The M1 Garand uses a clip. All 1911's - all - lock the slide back on empty.

      2 months ago
  • Bill Tieleman

    Love my STI Trojan .45 ACP. All the benefits listed above but in a bigger, bolder caliber!

    2 months ago
  • Bruce Berrett

    I agree with Dan. I have 6 ruger 1911 in 45 acp and 10mm. Wouldn't trade any of them for all the high dollar ones out there. You need to include Ruger in your list

    3 months ago
  • Dan Halstrom

    Just curious... why was the Ruger SR1911 overlooked? Mine is deadly accurate and functions perfectly. What else could you ask for?

    3 months ago
    • joseph shawler

      I agree ive put every kind of ammo i could get my hands on through my CMD over 1000 rounds, still tight and with no issues . It is by far one of the best 1911's i have ever owned . Hands down just a great firearm

      2 months ago
  • Andrew J Magaldino

    I read your comments about 1911s and I almost all agree. I have a Sig Sauer STX and it belongs on your list but you left out the Les Baer 1911. I have a Wilson Combat 1911 and it is a good 1911 but it can't compare to the Les Baer.

    3 months ago
  • Denny Crane.....Denny Crane....

    I just picked up a pair of Remington R1 SS pistols.....$75 rebate now going on.......Price $569 before rebate..... with a little polishing up with spyderco ceramic file set, they became very smooth operating pistols ....They are excellent pistols for the money.......made in US and still has the " old Remington quality " (pre-Freedom Group ). These are pistols .... gladly to say .....that Remington did not fudge with their design ......

    3 months ago
  • Stephen Krane

    I’m planning on getting a rock island in 22 tcm

    3 months ago
  • Caleb Christensen

    I LOVED the artical! I just turned 21 and am currently looking to get a medium priced 1911. I have been shooting for a good part of my life but that has mostly been rifles. My main concern (and I didn't see any mention of it) im 6'6" and my hands reflect that so will something like the Springfield Loaded Operator still be my best bet?

    4 months ago
    • Marcus Christiansen

      I’m 5’8 with hands that match my stature. I run a STI Trojan with a short trigger and slim grips. If I was you I’d look at the 2011. The STI Edge shoots flatter than my Trojan and has the double capacity. Too bad my hands are too small.

      3 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      Hard to say, sorry. You'll want to go down to the local gun store and handle them yourself for sure - with well above average sized hands you'll have to just test things and find what works best for you. I think the Springfield Operator is a great place to start!

      4 months ago
  • Gale

    Josh, What is your out look on the newer hammerless 45CAL out there ? For shooters coming in on the lower priced 1911 are there any standouts?

    4 months ago
  • youcanrunnaked

    I have to question your assertion that today’s Colt 1911 models will have the best resale value, and therefore disagree with your premise that the Colt is the best choice overall. Whenever I go to a gun show, the used Colts from 20 or more years ago are priced higher than the brand-new ones, and the explanation I always get is that nobody wants the newer ones because they are not as well-made. That makes me doubt that the Colts being made today will have the same kind of resale value as the Colts from years past. Also, why rate a pistol based on what you can get if you sell it? If it’s a great pistol, the premise should be that resale value is irrelevant because you’ll never sell it.

    4 months ago
  • Dave Gerba

    NO ONE ever includes the S&W e-Series in their best "bang-for-your-buck" 1911...but in my opinion, it IS!! A series-70 design with out-of-the-box reliability and accuracy. It has a forged stainless steel frame and slide, hand-fit Seth Joubert trigger and front strap checkering...all for well under a grand. Yes, it has a external extractor (that always seems to offend the 1911 "purist"), but its a heavy duty model that has workd flawlessly for me so far after 8000+ rounds. Eats every kind of ammo I've put throught it with narry a whimper (my Les Baer, costing twice as much, cannot claim that). Just my 2-cents, spend it how you will.

    4 months ago
  • Daniel Lewis

    Check out fusion firearms 1911. Made by the guy that sold dan wesson. Best trigger for the price. Almost as good as my ed browns but one third the cost unless you go full custom then they are the same cost around 3700$

    4 months ago
  • Bob

    I have over 22000 rounds through my Kimber Polymer Target that is a double stack and holds 14 +1 in 45 acp. I had it freshened up with new springs etc at 20K rounds. it is a shame they quit making them. Also have a Colt Series 70 mark IV. Love em both, but I carry the Kimber as it has 15 rounds in it and it weighs 2 oz less then the steel colt "gov't model".

    5 months ago
  • Andrei

    Are there any reviews for 1911 magazines? New to the site and I don't seem to find any reviews for 1911 magazines or magazines in general.

    5 months ago
    • Dave Gerba

      If youre looking for the best 1911 magazines, there are 3 companies that seem to dominate the "favorites list" of 1911 shooters. Wilson Combat, Chip McCormack and Tripp Research. I have a Les Baer Monolith 1911 that HATES its factory mags. Ive tried all three of the mags listed above, and my Mono seems to work best with the Cobra Mags from Tripp.

      4 months ago
  • Shooter McGavin

    Each their own. No matter what's included in the list, you simply cannot satisfy everyone. People will ALWAYS feel that their pistol is the best bang for their buck. And rightfully so.... We all have different hands, different preferences, and very different opinions. What I consider #1 you may not even consider looking at twice. Vise versa. I own plenty of Baer, Dan, Sig, and Springfield. Although I have my personal favorite like everyone else I feel they each serve their purpose well and they're all solid pistols across the board. Again, it's personal preference. I can honestly say I once owned a Kimber Rap. 2 ($1400 pistol) that would malfunction 40 times out of 50 rounds fired. Front sights came loose within the first 70 rounds. The plunger tube eventually worked itself loose within the first 250. Magazine release would stick in the depress position from time to time. To say the least, it was a complete piece of s**t! So based on my experience alone I would say Kimbers are the WORST 1911's to ever hit the market. But I promise the next guy reading this article would literally challenge me to a death match, in attempt to defend his Kimber which he'll claim has 500,000 flawless rounds through without ever switching a single spring. LOL

    5 months ago
  • aged armorer

    Good article. But, any 1911 that is "milspec" will require a minimum of $500. in upgrades to make it reliable, and accurate. On the other end of the spectrum are the "over engineered" guns. I once put on a qual course for 25 guys with new Springfield Opetator .45's before they deployed. The course of fire was 4500+ rounds. The Springfields started hiccuping within the first 25 rounds. During the 4500 round course, each Operator had between 50 and 500 failures. By the end of the course, the guns were broken in, loostened up, and were down to failure rates of 1 per 50, to 1 per 100 rounds. Once the guns hit about the 8000 round mark, and had new springs installed, they were pretty much cured. Several of the Opetators are now well past the 100,000 round marks and continue to operate reliably with routine maintenance. I ran the course with a Taurus PT 1911 because It was handy. In 4500 rounds, the Taurus had 3 failues. By 2500 rounds, the failures went away. The Taurus accuracy stayed within 2-3 inches at 25 yards for the duration of the course. So be aware that for every 1911 you listed, there are 20 more that could go on your list. And lastly, I have a number of Colts. Several Gold Cup National Match versions included. 7 years ago, while in Hartford attending a refresher armorers course, I asked the custom shop to build me a duplicate commemorative national match for my son. It was to match my 1985 department commemorative model. Colt told me that they no longer make the 1911's, that they contract out the 1911's, and then bring them back in to the custom shop for final customization. But todays Colt 1911, out of their custom shop will probably require $500 in upgrades to make them as reliable as their standard pre 1986 models.

    6 months ago
  • Jason Yates

    How could you leave Rugar off the list?

    6 months ago
  • Andrew Fenton

    Uh? Hello??? Dan Wesson hangs with the $2500 and up big dog custom shop 1911's in craftsmanship,fitment, and accuracy at around Kimber pricing. I own Kimber pro carry (1st series ) and a Grand Raptor 2 tone and I've got a Dan Wesson PM Major (pre-CZ) and a DW Commander C-Bob and the DW's are in my opinion on a whole different level that all my other 1911's I've picked up over the years and i dont think I can be swayed into the Wilson's,Baer's,Brown's, Nighthawks, ect... as I've shot about all of the big ticket 1911's and didn't see the $1000 and above difference against a DW. JUST MHO though.

    7 months ago
  • Joe TX

    Second pistol I bought was a Springfield mil spec. Boy does it kick. My first was a surplus south American 1911. The Springfield kick harder than the surplus. I think that was because it weighed a ton. Both work flawlessly, great guns!

    7 months ago
  • Monty Eliassen

    You left out Dan Wesson and Les Baer 1911's

    7 months ago
  • venancio sanchez

    How on earth none mentioned the one and only SVI production of 1911s, vast and priceless, real and accurate beauties, that eyes will never see for the nex hundred years??? Thank you Mr Brandon Strayer, for making an awful lot of people, worldwide, enyhusiasts of Infinity pistols, happy day and night, time after time!!!

    7 months ago
  • Shane L. Rogers

    Para x ltc 9mm 1911

    7 months ago
  • Bill Tindeldo

    This article isn't updated for 2019 at all, how lazy. Yet you're the number one search result.

    7 months ago
  • victor tortorici

    Where does the Para-Ordnance P-14 fit in with the rest of the 1911's?

    8 months ago
  • Eric M Lautz

    Wow what a bullshit list of 1911s, you went with the loaded operater, for 1400, when for what a bill more you can pick up a trp operator which is so much more pistol. Plus your dream gun is a wilson combat, which are good guns but come on if your going to buy a rail gun for cqb the springfield professional hrt pistol is the one to buy, wilsons are for old men, and buying a wilson with a rail is a joke, plus nighhawk only gets a honorable mention?? And dan wesson is not even mentioned at all?? On a list that is suppose to be the BEST 1911'S in a top ten there should not even be one gun on it under 1000, but almost your whole list was under that. And the ones that werent, were not the "Best" not even close. Sometimes i wonder if these lists of yours, are the best out of the ones, you have personally shot, or the actual best on the market, there is a huge difference. Oh and there is no"Best" 1911 in 9mm, that does not exist. There are 9mm look alike 1911's but that as close as it gets, and none of them are the best, at anything, because the 9mm is a goldylocks round, jack of all trades, it does not do anything the best it does everything well.

    8 months ago
  • James Orth

    I think you should evaluate a Ruger sr1911. It deserved to be on your list. I love mine!

    8 months ago
  • Antonio

    Still the best colt combat comnander better than 9mm.

    8 months ago
  • B Starr

    Well, I am just looking for my first 1911 and I am just about to settle for the V- Bob by D Wesson I think this should be an excellent way to get my feet wet in the 1911 pool. Hope they are as good as most reviews I've read to this point. Oh, yeah and it has to be the stainless flavor as I have grown accustomed to these types with a 629 Classic 44 S&W and my Beretta 92 FS made in Italy. Both of these guns still look like new and fire flawlessly.

    9 months ago
    • Richard Burton

      Yes!! Go for it I have Dan Wesson Valor V-Bob and love it, it’s my CCW for the last 6 months

      9 months ago
  • GaShooter

    I have a particular hankering for 1911s. Currently own 6 but was up to 7 at one point. Mine cover all price ranges and a couple are what I call “project guns” - I tinker and do some home-smithing just to try stuff out. My current EDC is a Sig Ultra Compact 1911 in .45 ACP with a pair of Rosewood Crimson Trace LaserGrips carried in a DeSantis Top Cop 2.0 OWB. My current backup (primary carry, not BUG) is a Ruger LW Commander with Rosewood CTC grips, too, carried in El Paso Saddlery’s Austin holster with a basket weave pattern. Yeah, I’ve got many other models I carry occasionally and at 6’5” 250 lbs I can make just about anything disappear/conceal with an OWB style holster (I don’t bother with IWB holsters anymore) but nothing beats a 1911 for style and shootability.

    9 months ago
    • almoudhi el-akhlid mourihamad

      too much time on your hands........................

      9 months ago
  • Mike

    Well on the history of the 1911 is wrong colts name was on it but john browning designed the very first 1911

    9 months ago
  • Frederik

    Everybody known the best 1911 for your money with constant value is the Sig Sauer 1911 in 45acp.

    9 months ago
  • Natanya

    The smith and wesson e series is better than most of these for around the same price point or less. The S&W 1911 performance center is a little more but an even better deal for the features you get.

    10 months ago
  • FletchLives

    Based on the price points included here, which was an outstanding article, by the way, I’d like to see Guncrafter Industries (Frag or No-Name) and Roberts Defense (Recon Desert) added to the firms and pistols for consideration. Only time will tell, but they’re both making phenomenal 1911s in various sizes and chamberings and I’d feel 100% confident in either for home defense and EDC. I also agree with you adding Nighthawk Custom as well.

    10 months ago
  • Akagi

    "For the money" to me means you get quality commensurate to cost. Your connotation was leaning more budget or inexpensive and quality that follows suit. Decent article, but could've and should've been better. For instance, the Springfield TRP Operator half rail is a lot of quality for how inexpensive she is. But the Nighthawk Chris Costa 1911, is a far more superb firearm and craftsmanship than the TRP Operator. The Nighthawk however is $4k. "You get what you pay for."

    10 months ago
  • JttK

    As far as value goes, hard to beat a nicely used Les Baer for a 1911. Can be picked up for around $1000-1500. Excellent accuracy and extremely reliable even while running them hard and dirty from my experience. Just a pleasure to shoot. I also like my dad's TRP Operator, great gun, incredible price...so many dang good 1911 options these days. Every American should at least own one.

    10 months ago
  • Tom

    I have owned a Springfield Ultra Compact V-10, A Para-Ordinance Match Limited, and how own a Colt Combat Elite, which is just drop-dead gorgeous. I don't use it for carry since I prefer the Sig 365 for size, accuracy and capacity, and have gravitated to Glock for CQB purposes. I am a house divided, with 1911's, Glocks, Sigs and Springfield sharing space. Can't wait for my Springfield XDM 10mm to get here!!

    11 months ago
    • JttK

      My household is very inclusive, diverse and tolerant as well. Austrians, Czechs, Hungarians, Germans, Belgiums, Israelis, Arizonans, Iowans, Massholes, Georgians, and a couple hailing from Hartford Connecticut. All living perfectly happy together and in rather small confines.

      10 months ago
      • Yanni

        And your experience with the 1911 is what?

        9 months ago
  • John

    I have owned many 1911"s and have been shooting them for 35 years. However my Springfield Armory 1911 TRP is the best shooting best looking 1911 I have owned. It is a semi-custom for $1,400 to $1,600. If you ever get the change to fire one at your gun club you surely will sell what ever you have to sell for it is the best 1911 I have ever shot,do yourself a favor and read up on how these 1911's are built. They are simply the best. The FBI has a group of of warriors called HRT they have been using them for many years as their sidearm and now Springfield Armory has made some changes to the HRT and so far they are very happy with the new SA HRT 1911. Go to Gun Group, Com they have the best price on the market!

    1 year ago
    • TLScott

      Looks like the gungroup.com is for sale.

      10 months ago
  • Jim

    Every good American should have at least one.

    1 year ago
  • George Hetson

    I have a kimber and a sig sauer 1911 satin stainless in 5 inch 45 auto...there is no comparison between the kimber and the sig.....the sig is so far superior in every way....shoots better, smoother straighter , and is overall a better gun and !!! costs less, anyone want to buy my kimber?

    1 year ago
    • Mark Walker

      My first Sig was / is a P226 (9mm) purchased in 1985. Bought a Sig 1911 Emperor Scorpion (45ACP) in 2017. I couldn’t be happier with either. Form, fit and function have been 100%.

      9 months ago
  • Sean Moodie

    I've had a Para, I've had a Kimber both in 5" and don't get me wrong both were sexy good performing 45's. Carrying them co, concealed not so comfortable. I was a decent shot with them but by no means would I call myself great. I happened apon a used Sig Sauer ultra compact 1911 two tone with rosewood grips. Being a beautiful looking 45 that sells at a Grand new 750.00 was a very good price point. When I picked it up and felt it in my hand I was in love. Not sure why but my accuracy actually increased with this ultra compact. As far as running different ammo from cheap to defensive sometimes rapidly staggered randomly through the same magazine I've never had a malfunction. Nobody ever mentions the Sig's in any discussions about 1911's. Why?

    1 year ago
  • Max Anderson

    i have a Les Baer did not see it on here :( best 1911 ive ever owened better than my colts or springfields

    1 year ago
  • Riceinwa

    I’m not surprised that the Wilsons, Nighthawks, Kimbers, and Sweet Mother of Pearl, don’t forget the Colts made the list...how can we have a discussion of any firearm produced since the Chinese invented gun powder without someone standing in the back of the room and screaming, “Don’t forget Samuel Colt!”. Oh well, Colt lovers are like bird crap, they’re everywhere. I was surprised that RIA had the slot for cheap guns...I’d have thought the Taurus PT1911 series would have beat out RIA if for no other reason than Taurus routinely supplies two 8 round magazines to RIAs 7 round mags. In the next level, I really expected to see the SR1911s from Ruger dominate that slot...from quality, and innovation...SR1911 Light Commander using titanium feed ramp welded into aluminum frame to allow any hollow point to be easily chambered...fully hardened slides...high quality inside and out...but what do I know? Every 1911 I’ve ever pressed the trigger on has been a joy to shoot...including the Colts I’ve had...just poking at the Colt fans.

    1 year ago
  • Opsman

    I have a "thing" for 1911's currently I own 7 of them, the Remington R1 is a great starter 1911 at roughly $500 for a plain R1 it's hard to beat, really an underrated 1911. The Ruger SR1911 line gets high marks in my book for a really good 1911, as all Ruger's are it is built to take it and take it, it does, mine eats everything I put into it and puts rounds on target every time as long as I do my part. Any Springfield gets a place in my line up, from the GI to the TRP buy one and you will not regret it. Kimber has a following and rightfully so, they make some fantastic guns. Sig Sauer is in the 1911 business but most people don't know it because the line up of their P 22_ line gets all the attention, I own a Sig 1911 and it is just a joy to shoot as are all of my 1911's. Someday I will manage to save up enough cash to own a Wilson, or Nighthawk or Carolina Arms, Custom 1911's do not come cheap. There are many more makers that deserve to be listed but I think ranking all the 1911's out there from top to bottom would be a daunting task, but if the manufactures want to trust me, I would be willing to take up the challenge.

    1 year ago
    • Riceinwa

      It’s a nasty job, but someone has to do it...

      1 year ago
  • Mike

    I Love the extra capacity of my Para P-1445

    1 year ago
  • Mark

    Here in Canada we have access to Norinco from China. These sell here for around $350-400 Canadian; about $250-300 USD. They are tight, fully forged, a little rough out of the box, but mine is the best shooting CF pistol I have ever had. A never sell.

    1 year ago
  • Bob

    How in the world did a Kimber end up higher rated than a Wilson Combat!

    1 year ago
  • Donn Crouse

    No Dan Wessons? WTH

    1 year ago
    • Charlie

      I was thinking that when I read Honorable Mention for a Nighthawk and Dan Wesson’s? Really? Now I have a Rock Island, it was my first 1911. I paid $422 out the door! Only time I’ve ever experienced a fail was due to my own lack of knowledge with the gun. I accidentally turned the sear disconnect around the wrong way!!! Oh my that was a good lesson to learn! I just rather of not to had to take the stupid route to learn it! Lol! Now I’ve taken an Armorers Course on most everything made & now I can work on them with total confidence. I’ve got a Sig 1911 that is probably the best one I own, but I’ve got some small models in .380 & 9mm, 45acp will always be my favorite. Also I didn’t read anything about the Springfield TPR? That 1911 is amazing! I love those.

      1 year ago
    • Bob

      I agree. For the money, I think the Dan Wesson 1911s are on top of the stack. A Wilson Combat is a better 1911, but the cost is far more than it is better.

      1 year ago
  • Joe

    no mention of a Springfield TRP? I think it's the best out of the box gun you can get without customizing it

    1 year ago
    • Johnny

      No.... lol the best production gun is Dan Wesson Valor

      6 months ago
  • Michael Robertson

    I have been shooting a 70 Series Colt Gold Cup for many years and have never shot another 1911 style pistol that is its equal.

    1 year ago
  • Robert T

    Desert Eagle 1911, replaced a Rock Island 1911(never buy one) after it failed during a CCW qual. when my wife was shooting it;

    1 year ago
  • MrFIREby2023

    Last week i purchased a Coonan 1911 chambered in 357 Magnum. It’s the smoothest, most accurate and Loudest 1911 I’ve ever fired.

    1 year ago
    • guest

      A rental range near me has a Coonan in .357. It has a very nice trigger and is tremendous fun to shoot--when it cycles. The frequency with which it fails to go into battery, even shooting the hottest .357 loads, is off-putting for me. Your mileage may vary, but I'm not impressed with its reliability, and for a grand and a half, I'd expect more. The fact that it shoots very consistently 5" below point of aim at seven yards is also rather off-putting.

      1 year ago
    • Gungirl

      I have both the Coonan Classic and Compact chambered in .357. Other than they are a little finicky about ammo initially (I am still breaking in both) they are a riot. Easy to hang onto for the power they have and the sound catches attention on the range. I just picked up a Coonan chambered in 45....I am dying to get that out and shoot it. I am an avid (or maybe rabid is a better word) 1911 collector I have something from just about every major manufacturer and a few customs so I know my 1911s. I am hoping that the Coonan 45 doesn't disappoint

      1 year ago
  • HM2Doc

    What about Sig Sauer? I have two and would put them up against any of these 1911's for accuracy or reliability.

    1 year ago
    • Joe

      i was thinking the same thing. no love for the tacops?

      1 year ago
  • Tom

    Rock Island Armory 10mm with a 5 inch barrel. It seems to shoot very accurately, and is reliable also. Can't beat the price at $600

    1 year ago
  • John C

    Colt! No other words are needed! They just work, and are built to outlast human lifespans. I can't say enough good about my basic 1991A1. Bang every time.

    1 year ago
  • Frogger

    My favorite is a Kimber LTE II. Bought it as a used daily carry gun. Shoots lights out.

    1 year ago
  • dana mcdonald

    I have an Armscor 45 with Karl Lippard hi pressure barrel/link ...shoots +p nicely.....very accurate......my "Rock" govt. model is getting ready for the 460 upgrade........

    1 year ago
  • Bill Mattocks

    ATI for me.

    1 year ago
  • Ralph

    What about the smith and Weston performance center 1911, is that a good 1911 or should I go with the colt?

    1 year ago
    • Jameslw3d

      I was wondering the same thing about the S&W though I was considering a Sig1911 not colt

      10 months ago
    • John

      Colt!

      1 year ago
    • David

      Smith & Wesson PC 1911s are good to go, they aren't on the list because of their price. Generally, you're looking at $1,100-$1,500 for one of their 1911s - for that price range you can get Dan Wesson, STI, decked out Springfield, etc. Nothing wrong with S&W PC, they are great guns. But they are a touch overpriced. If you can get one for $900 or less, I would jump on it. But more than that and I'd start looking at someone else, like DW/STI/Springfield. If you're looking to spend good money (1-2,000) on a 1911, Dan Wesson or Springfield are my top two picks. If you're looking at spending more than that, Wilson Combat and Ed Brown are my two.

      1 year ago
      • James Kirk

        Ed Brown customer service treats you like they are doing you a favor. After they refused to help me and told me i would have to pay for them to look at the f'd up 3600 dollar paper weight they sold me, i sold that one and the other 3 i had and have been telling people my story ever sense. The people there are snotty and arrogant and honestly their pistols arent as nice as Les or Wilson. They used to be, but they arent as nice these days and the last one would jam everyshot. I took ir apart to see if i saw anything obvious and when i called them they said any gunsmith fees i would have to cover because they couldnt be sire if the error was because i did anything to the gun. I told them to send it back which i had to pay for both ways, and told them id spend the rest of my life trying to make sure they went bankrupt. If you want to hear the whole story ill post it, but the key notes are: If want cheap but works Armscore Midlevel and nice Ruger SR1911 some will say R1 or R1 Enhanced but i really think thw Ruger is hands down the better gun. Their target model is a sweet shooter Nice Dan Wesson STI Super F'n nice Wilson Les or Nighthawk Crazy expensive and not at all worth the price... Full custom 10k 1911s.

        1 year ago
  • Matt

    I bought the Remington and was reading up on it. Thanks

    1 year ago
  • Nimblebee

    In a new category Poor Man's bang for the buck... For 1911 A1 look alikes... I would look at Spain's star pistols... If you can stomach the fact that they are in 9 mm and not 45acp... They are mil-spec weapon and they go bang reliably every time... And they looked like the 1911 A1... Myself in the day of high capacity magazines I wouldn't consider a 45 without a double stack high capacity magazine thinking something along the lines of Para-Ordnance :-)

    1 year ago
    • James Kirk

      I had a Para Warthog and it never ran right traded it for a loss and was relieved to have gotten rid of it.

      1 year ago
  • A Johnson

    I’ve had a Kimber covert 2 that I was not all that happy with. But recently acquired a Dan Wesson Guardian that I can’t imagine not having the rest of my life. It’s definitely a keeper.

    1 year ago
  • Hoyden

    Budget: Metro Arms American Classic II. $500 starter pistol. No slide rattle. Mid: SA Range Officer. Everything you need.for $800. Premium:9x19: SA EMP Conceal Carry Contour. Best grip on any pistol of any type. However, my Metro outshot my RO, and with eyes closed, you can’t tell the difference between the two. For me, a bob tail rear grip is a must. More comfortable, better grip, easier to get from recoil to sights on target.

    1 year ago
  • Doug

    I am disappointed you left out the Century Arms SAM 1911. Mine has the best trigger pull on any 1911 I have handled, including custom guns, and worked right out of the box. Also had a list that everyone who worked on it signed off on so they would know who fell down on the job if it didn't. Excellent price, excellent workmanship (OK, it it's price range), reliable and accurate.

    1 year ago
  • Bill

    Idea. How about after rating the pistols, the manufacturers' websites? NONE of them allow you to sort / compare by caliber, barrel length, stainless / blued, handle type, etc. If you want to spend the time and click on every model each has, make your own spreadsheet, then compare across manufacturers, you have a nice little side job. The web interface is NOT that hard to design. I will NOT spend the time at each site, compare allllll their models, then alllll manufacturers. I would buy from a top 10 rated manufacturer based upon ease of doing business - they all lose. I have to go to Gunbroker or other sites to make comparisons. Why?

    1 year ago
  • prudiikal

    sad to see no auto ordnance on this list. i like mine more then rock island.

    1 year ago
  • Bob Petersen

    Great platform that has lasted thru the years. For "factory" though, non-custom, I just don't think anyone can beat the Dan Wesson. With just a bit of work though, the Ruger SR1911 is a very fine 1911 at a very reasonable price. To each his own, of course.

    1 year ago
  • mARK KRAM

    I had never purchased a "used" pistol before. HOWEVER....That changed one day when my local dealer encouraged me to try a S&W 1911 made the first year in 2003. The Nickel Finish Pistol fired flawlessly! FOR $500, I took it home and then spent 3 days cleaning it! The prior owner must have forgot what that means! While attempting to insert a new sear spring I broke a second one! Because I knew nothing about a 1911, I called S&W. They told me to send it to them which I did. For $60 S&W refinished the Rose wood handles, installed all new springs and pins! Installed a new sear spring..and then cleaned it! I've owned this 1911 since 2011 and LOVE the action, Hogue Grips, and the Galco "canted" holster. Though maybe not the best, it sure holds it's own!

    1 year ago
  • Eric John

    Desert Eagle 1911 c - my first foray into 1911's and I could not be happier. Plus it's a stunning looking pistol! And not often seen around town, which makes it that much more special in my eyes!

    1 year ago
  • Will

    Why wasn't Dan Wesson mentioned? They're some of the most popular 1911's on the 1911 forums. They easily compete with any Ed Brown, Les Baer or Wilson Combat pistol at half the cost.

    1 year ago
  • James Kirk

    Remington R1 over the Ruger??? Your choices are crazy. River's QC is leaps and bounds better than Remington. I had a standard R1 and SR1911s. The R1 I have to my pops. I kept the Ruger.

    1 year ago
  • Baidy Lo

    I recommend checking out the SIG Sauer 1911 TACOPS (45 or 9).

    1 year ago
    • Dan S

      You don't need to no anything about the extent of my collection of 1911's, nor does my wife as when I finally get the big sleep her new younger husband does not get my gear. Suffice to say it runs from Para to Cabot and numbers respectfully. Love each for what it can do and some more for the pure quality and workmanship in a beautiful design. That said, if I'm in a hole that needs gettin out from, it's my Sig 1911 TAC OP's I want with me.

      8 months ago
    • Frederik

      Yes the tacops in 1911 is a super pistol. But than the p226 is even better, i mean the ldc2 of corse

      9 months ago
  • Kevin H.

    You left out Citadel Firearms line of 1911's. I purchased a government model which came Cerokoted black/od green from Legacy Sports. It's very well made, accurate, looks great, and in the almost two years I've owned it, have never experienced a malfunction. Paid $489 for it. It also came with two sets of checkered wood grip panels, one set in black, one in natural wood.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      I'll have to check them out...I know Citadel and RIA are all under the Armscor umbrella.

      1 year ago
  • Dan

    Have you never shot a Dan Wesson? I have Colts, Sigs, Kimbers and STI 1911’s, but my go to gun has always been my Dan Wesson Guardian or CCO.

    1 year ago
  • Jdljlr sdkf;W

    I personally would like comments of the accuracy (or guarantee) particularly of the higher end models. Read your site regularly.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Some of the higher end guns will have an accuracy guarantee with match grade ammo. Personally...almost all handguns out there are more accurate than I ever could be.

      1 year ago
  • Brandon K

    I think you should take springfield off this list after what they pulled in IL. Sad really.

    1 year ago
  • John L

    No Smith & Wesson? Really?

    1 year ago
  • Nam Marine

    It's a Colt........or it's a copy. I own two Colts. A Government in stainless steel and a Combat Commander, blued. Both in the $800 to $900 range !

    1 year ago
  • Patrick

    Remington R1 Carry is an excellent gun and should be listed under the Remington listing. Forged frame and slide, 25 lpi front strap checkering, metal MSH, full carry melt and night sight. Probably the best option under $1K IMO. Another option I'd add to the list are the line of Sig Sauer 1911's.

    1 year ago
  • M J

    I got the pleasure of being Introduced to a Kimber Custom Raptor 2. Quite nice. I addressed a couple minor issues and it freed the cycling up to perfection. The barrel machining as the bushing slid over it sounded like a zipper (machine marks) a few minutes with a scotchbrite pad polishing along the axis and it slicked up and locked up beautifully. I guess that's what the 500 round break in is supposed to accomplish. Took .0165 off of the firing pin retainer (it hung down bumping the hammer when closing the slide) and boom. I don't think either of these should be customer functions but rather custom shop finish work but that's neither here nor there) all in all One super slick weapon. Flawless function.

    1 year ago
  • Jeff Thalin

    How do you feel about the Para “Elite” model? I am mot that familiar with 45’s but was always intrigued by the price and recommended quality. Basically an affordable 45. Also, where would the Springfield “Range Officer” fit in? Thanks Jeff Thalin

    1 year ago
  • Stacy Nodge

    I read a lot on 1911, both love and hate... I fell in love with a Sig Emperor Scorpion when I saw it. Took a while but one finally became mine. Fit and finish is fantastic and not a single failure in 1500 rounds. Fantastic $1000 1911

    1 year ago
    • AZSixGuns

      Great 1911's for the money. The Scorpion Carry is hard to beat. Sig's only weakness - bad factory triggers usually lots of creep and 6 lbs.

      1 year ago
  • Val

    Hard to believe the Rock Island gets a mention but nothing on the Roger SR 1911, I own a SR 1911 commander, I would trust my life with this gun over 1000 rounds ball and HP downrange and not one glitch, plus i prefer my 1911's American made but that's just me.

    1 year ago
  • MICHAEL

    You want the best 1911 period! The VELTRO is the best of the best. Manufactured by VELTRO in Italy, than shipped to John Jardine in California, they are reworked to his standards. The gun was than put in a hard case with all parts to rebuild the gun if needed. The complete package was than shipped to a NSWU in Little Creek VA. If you are thinking about buying one, forget it, unless you have very deep pockets, IE five figures. My own VELTRO is serial numbered 058.

    1 year ago
    • Brandon

      You’re a huge dink

      1 year ago
  • Les Lanier

    I had trouble with my Kimber Custom II jamming - I'm getting rid of it - but I'm completely satisfied with my Kimber Pro Carry II. It's reliable (no malfunctions), and accurate - even with these old eyes, it's grouped 2" off hand at 10 yards.

    1 year ago
    • MIKE

      Second the magazine comment. I find that the ten round magazines (for 9mm) when fully loaded with no round chambered sometimes jam the Custom II. Problem goes away with 9 in the magazine.

      1 year ago
    • Tom

      Change magazines. Kimber usually gives out cheap mag's with their product. Aftermarket mag's are the way to a Kimber's heart

      1 year ago
  • Kurt

    I am new to the game at 65 I bought a colt competition that thing is amazing for the $$$ Sold on model 1911

    1 year ago
  • Kevin Brady

    I just bought a colt competition model that comes with a match barrel and novak sights. It shoots like a dream for under a thousand bucks.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Jealous!

      1 year ago
  • shepardude

    I own Kimbers (old and new), Kimber Polymers (which I love), Colts 70 series (old and new), Springfields, even a RI Armory in 9mm/22 TCM. My 30+ years of handgun experience, I strongly believe that the CZ version of Dan Wesson are among the finest 1911's produced today and for the money they are probably the best and most spectacular choice! I do believe that the best gun for the money is the Dan Wesson Valor, or VBOB. which can be found new in SS for $1300-$1400. How could this writer miss this reality? One could certainly argue that an Ed Brown or Wilson is better than the DW, and if an Ed Brown Kobra Carry was in the $1400 range I would give the highest of honors to Ed Brown. Brown and Wilson guns are certainly better than the DW, but is an Ed Brown Kobra's 50-100+% higher cost really that much better than a DW Valor, or VBob? I don't believe so since it mostly cosmetic improvements. The DW Valor handles as well, shoots as reliably and is as accurately as the Ed Brown, or Wilson.

    2 years ago
  • Ben Davis

    Well I would love to have a 1911 but unfortunately my wife won't let me because I've bought a 22lr/mag. recently one I can fix up for the grandkids. Does anyone have one they would like to give me ??

    2 years ago
  • Stp

    I have a colt competition in stainless I really love this 1911 one of the best I have ever shot

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Jealous!

      2 years ago
  • kw

    Colt has poor customer service in my experiences. Very slow on top of that. Other than those issues they are good.

    2 years ago
  • Daniel

    I'm surprised you didn't discuss Dan Wesson 1911s. I love mine, and in my (not so) humble opinion they shoot as well as the EBs I've owned for half the dinero.

    2 years ago
    • Curt

      Came here to say the same thing. Not sure there is a better production quality 1911 on the market. Dan Wesson Specialist is probably the best 1911 under $2k!

      1 year ago
  • Leo

    Sorry I said nighthawks with 15000 but did not say rounds

    2 years ago
  • Leo

    While every 1s opinion is fine and dandy I currently have a rock island ,a kimber,a colt and just bought a knighthawk grp. The rock island is worth what you pay for no more no less..The kimber has been a great gun although finicky when it comes to ammobut fun no less.The colt on the other hand has been extremely disappointing first of all the trigger sucks it's been wobbly from out of the box and just got worst tried to get colt to fix it and was told nothing wrong with it and have heard from many people that it's common.on colts so now I got to spend out of pocket to fix it some measuring stick. Now my new nighthawk I would put up against any custom 1911 out There no matter what name you mention ed brown owned 1 nice gun price to hi for what you get Sig Sauer not even close or any other fancy gun custom 1911 just can't beat nighthawk this are real guns that are used hard and work great I know people that have nighthawks with 15000 you read that right and have all the original parts. I am a firm believer that if you buy a gun then it should not need to be modified. If you need to change components on a gun then just buy a dam frame and put together 1 from scratch and I have 1 that I call Frankenstein because it's made up of 10 different brand parts but it's fun to shoot. All I say is buy what feels good and take every 1s opinion with a grain of salt.

    2 years ago
  • Christopher Yllescas

    Yes, you really should have included Ed Brown. Not having him on the top $3k list really does a disservice to your readers. You can not shoot an Ed Brown next to any other gun because the others will fell like garbage after holding and shooting the EB. If you miss using an EB, it's always your fault :-)

    2 years ago
  • Tom Considine

    Great article! I leaned a lot and after buying the Springfield Armory's Saint a few months back I started looking for my own 1911. I will be picking up the mil-spec tomorrow and I feel so much better about my purchase after reading your article. Thank you

    2 years ago
  • Bryan Young

    All I can say about current production 1911 s, I've owned everything on your list. My. 45 is an old 1923 colt, and with aging eyes and wrist surgery, I picked up theabsolutely exquisitely sweet shooting as well as incredibly accurate Dan Wesson Specialist last week. 655 rounds later not a hiccup ... rested well, 15 yds, covering with a nickel ... 25 yds no rest, covering with a half dollar

    2 years ago
  • Bobo

    I'm a huge 1911 fan, will disagree with some comments about RIA not being reliable enough to carry, while not the most refined pistol on the market, they typically work well (and any issues I've ever heard of have been taken care of quickly but their cs) and as for the weight of them, Rock, like other makers, does make alloy frame versions as well as various size and feature versions. I'm also going to disagree with the choice of Colt being the best in any price range (sacrilege I know), Colt certainly doesn't make a bad pistol but they are overrated, and other then their history don't really offer anything more then the other makers do (beyond a pretty dancing pony) Overall though, I enjoyed the article and for those planning on bidding on the Cabot Meteor Pistols, don't bother, I'll just outbid ya!.....ROFLMAO

    2 years ago
  • Bill D

    I have a few 1911s all 45 except one and it's a 38 super which is a really nice round. But the 45 is still my favorite. I would like to see an article on the 38 super vs other calibers.

    2 years ago
    • Bobo

      1911 in .38 super is on the list for future purchase for me, as is a long slide variant. As for comparing the different calibers it would be an interesting article, though given you can get a 1911 in pretty much every pistol caliber there is, it could be a looooooong read!

      2 years ago
  • Jimmy B

    I'll agree on a few but I'm blown away that you've included both the RIA, Rem R1 and Zenith but left out the Ruger lightweight Commander. It beats all 3 hands down at $700 . RIA is reliable but heavy as a brick, Rem/Para has rotten CS and Zenith is too unknown for me. Love your other picks and have several mentioned. Well done ! TY

    2 years ago
  • Steve

    When he passed, my dad left me his Colt LW Commander (technically, as the executor of his estate, I claimed it for myself, because Colt). At the time I knew nothing of guns, and wasn't that interested. A couple years later my wife and I took a handgun training/safety course where I shot Dad's gun for the first time. Since then I've been a 1911 fan. While I can't bring myself to daily-carry my dad's 1911 (sentimental reasons), I did buy a Colt of my own - a Defender in .45ACP. That 3 inch barrel isn't quite as accurate as the Commander, but at close range for personal defense, it's plenty accurate enough. Now I'm fighting the urge to buy a full-size version for myself. It's a battle I'm destined to lose, I think.

    2 years ago
  • Edward H.

    First of All...... Fight On!!! From 1 Trojan Grad Student to the another, I always enjoy the articles. Secondly, Wilson Combats are amazing. I've only shot them a couple times at a range near me and each time they are far and away the best experience I've ever had. I'm actually seriously considering saving up for a nice custom one right now. Also, I would have loved to have heard your opinion on the Smith & Wesson E-Series 1911's. For a production 1911, I heard they are pretty good as well and not too expensive.

    2 years ago
  • Sean F.Alexander

    1911s in my opinion are the best guns of all time. Looking to replace my Springfield mil spec that was stolen in Nov 2016 during a Burglary/Robbery. My goodness do I miss that pistol

    2 years ago
    • Joshua Gillem

      Wow, that sucks about your pistol being stolen. Good luck on the replacement. And, I agree there are none better. I carry a 1911 from this list, whenever I can. Thanks for the comment.

      2 years ago
  • n8

    Another that should have been included in the $700-$900 1911s on your list is Ruger's SR1911. I have the Ruger Commander and think it's a great 1911. It's really tough to beat quality/price it offers. And, 100% Made in USA.

    2 years ago
  • Dave Rockwell

    In the bargain to mid-range category, the glaring omission is the Ruger 1911's. Most all the mod's you could want, many models to choose, lifetime warranty, Made in America by a historical American marque. Hard to resist the rampaging stallion or the crossed cannons though.

    2 years ago
    • n8

      LOL! Great minds must think alike...as I typed you had already added same thoughts on Ruger's SR1911.

      2 years ago
      • Joshua Gillem

        There were a lot of guns I would have loved to fit on this list. Sadly, I only have so much space. Thanks for the comments, my friends.

        2 years ago
  • Robert

    I have owned several Rock Island and Taurus 1911s over the years and for the most part they were reliable enough to be fun for range guns, but not trustworthy enough for carrying as a regular EDC. I purchased a Colt model 1991A a few years ago and was immediately impressed with the obvious difference between it and the less expensive models I had previously owned. My only upgrade thus far was a Wilson Combat extended slide release which dropped right in. I have not experienced any failures to fire or feed that were not related to my reloads being slightly out of spec as to the OAL. I carry this gun on a regular basis (wearing it in a Dale Fricke Archangel Holster even now as I type this) and consider this gun good enough to be a heirloom that I will leave for my children when I pass. Good article on the 1911. Thank you for sharing.

    2 years ago
    • Joshua Gillem

      My pleasure, thanks for sharing your own experiences.

      2 years ago
  • MeetJoeAsian

    I can see your reasoning for not including the custom 1911 options because those are generally not your run of the mill 1911s. However, you should have mentioned why those companies (eq: Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, Les Baer, etc) are different and what you are paying for. Custom fitted 1911 parts are hand-fitted. They can start as simple as only the slide getting fitted to the frame, up to where every single part of the gun is filed to fit by one gunsmith, thus you cannot just grab a parts from 2 separate but same model to make 1 gun. I love the Wilson Combat and the Ed Brown, but I do think that one of the best 1911s money can buy is the Springfield TRP. Unlike some of the $2/$3k+ 1911s, the standard TRP comes out of the custom shop with only the slide hand fitted (of course, you can spend the money and have the entire gun fitted, but I'm not talking about those TRPs). Just holding the TRP and wiggling it vs the Colt, you can instantly feel the difference in the tolerance. I'm not downplaying the Colt by any mean, but the prices of some Colt productions come very close to what you can get a TRP for. The TRP is the official sidearm of the FBI, and you can actually get yourself the actual FBI-spec'd TRP, called the Professional. Of course the cost more than doubles for the Pro, but you don't have to spend that much to get a very high quality gun. It took me awhile to find the full railed version with bull barrel, but upon christening it, I put 3 bull eyes right out of the box from 7 yards away. it's a heavy, very heavy gun, but a very well balanced gun, and very little recoil. If you want to get your a very high quality semi-custom fitted 1911, you just can't beat the TRP for the money or for the quality. I think Springfield Armory is one of the very best manufacturer of mass produced 1911s. Every one of their 1911 model is a solid piece, and the TRP is just a notch above their best. One word of advice though, don't get too deep into the custom 1911 world, it will cost you. From the TRP, it lead me to the Ed Brown, and so on up. Now, when I pick up an off the shelf 1911, I find so many flaws in them. I don't know where I'm trying to go with the rest of this "comment" so I will end here and go to bed. G'nite.

    2 years ago
  • Ronn DePiro

    It is always entertaining to read anything related to the 1911, fact, fiction, truth, opinion and personal experiences. ( I am being sincere ) We learn more about the side arm and the people who have made/make and have used/use the categorically best fire arm ever. It would take vast amounts of paper and ink to cover all encounters past, present and those to come so thank you for this share. My brother passed five months ago and I came across his Remington Rand 1911 and ammo, he was MP in WWII. The RR was born in late 43, early 44 and as far as I can tell was not a rebuild, how I would love to hear it's story. Thanks Again

    2 years ago
    • Joshua Gillem

      Ronn, Sorry to hear about your brother. Take great care of that RR 1911. I hope it brings a smile to your face with memories of him, each time you send some lead down range. Thanks for the comment.

      2 years ago
  • Dennis Hanna

    You left out Ed Brown. He has been making great guns for a long time.

    2 years ago
  • Erik Finstad

    I believe that you missed out on one budget 1911 that absolutely should be on this list - probably in lieu of the Rock Island Armory. That is the Taurus PT-1911. I have owned one for many years (since they first came out) and it is by far my most accurate pistol - and I own a Kimber 1911 and various Smith & Wesson revolvers and pistols, as well as Rugers and others (some of them accurized, dedicated target handguns). While I did make some modifications to the Taurus - new McCormick slim grip panels, a Wilson Combat flared magwell and Heinie Straight Eight night sights (custom ordered just before Heinie came out with them as an available item for this gun), I have not done anything to the stock trigger or replaced the barrel or bushing with match components. The darned thing just shot sub 2" groups offhand at 25 yards out of the box. If I use a rest and slow-fire I can punch and nibble 2" target centers out all day long, with no flyers. I've put 3 boxes (150 rounds) through the center ring of a target without ever missing on numerous occasions. This is still the gun I like to use when shooting steel matches or IDPA, even giving up the extra couple of rounds, just because I know it will hit whatever I aim at. I know that some folks don't like the MIM parts that Taurus uses, but I have never had a malfunction or broken piece in this gun and I've run thousands of rounds through it. The slide-to-frame fit is tight and smooth and the trigger is good for a factory piece - clean break with no creep or grittiness. Taurus is a respected name in the industry and I've liked their revolvers for a long time. The PT-1911 should be considered by anyone looking to spend less than $500 to get into a 1911. Now, if money is no object then a Wilson Combat or Ed Brown looks very attractive!

    2 years ago
    • Jim Neal

      Absolutely! Mine runs great, It takes all sorts of bullet weights and shapes. Great buy.

      2 years ago
    • Joshua Gillem

      I hear ya. It's hard to include every 1911 on this list. There were likely many that could have taken the place of what you see here, but I only have so much space to make it all fit. Thanks for the comment.

      2 years ago
  • Tanner

    I am kind of surprised you did not include a Sig Sauer in the $1,000 range...any reason why or just your personal preference? I love my Sig 1911 full size but do not have a lot of experience with other manufacturers. I have had a couple failure to ejects with it though. I probably don't clean it enough (not my everyday carry).

    2 years ago
    • Joshua Gillem

      Sig was in the running, in fact they were in the original draft. I did cut them out, however, because of some issues I'm having with one, right now. I didn't feel right including a gun in the running that isn't working right for me. Overall, Sig makes fine firearms. Thanks for commenting.

      2 years ago
      • Jack

        I'm also quite surprised that Sig didn't at least get an 'honorable mention'!! My 1911 Fastback Carry was my EDC for a very long time, and I never once had a problem with it any any sort of manner. I know that they're on the more expensive side of 1911's, but IMO, Sig quality alone should've earned it a spot at the table. Other than that, I think this list is pretty much spot on. Nice work with your research.

        1 year ago
        • Donald Lovan

          Hi Guys - Not as old as some but did serve during Korean Conflict and the 1911 got into my blood. Never bought one til purchased a rebuilt from a IL state trooper. Has an Ithaca slide on a Remington frame I was told. Was tight but still loose enough to not jam if dropped in the mud and water. Nice gun. Gave it to my nephew. Have owned a Colt MKV Series 70 45 SS ACP bought new for $185 and S&W 38 9mm as a store backup. Both sweet little sidearms. Talking about prices my wife bought me a 30-30 Winchester one year for Christmas = new for %69.00. Good hunting to all. 73s

          1 year ago
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