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Best 1911 Pistols For the Money [2021]

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?

Some 1911s
Some 1911s

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


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.


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.

1911s with Lights & Lasers
1911s with Lights & Lasers

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
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).

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.

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.

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.

4. Ruger SR1911

We wouldn’t call the Ruger SR1911 to be the best 1911 we’ve seen, not by a long shot. The trigger is a little spongy and doesn’t have that sharp crispness you would expect.

SR1911 Grip Safety
Ruger SR1911

But this is a work horse 1911 and for a decent price. That’s really what it’s claim to fame is.

As good as a Rock Island 1911 is, you probably wouldn’t trust it to being a duty weapon. Maybe as a CCW, but only barely.

The Ruger is a great price and actually can live up to being in a duty role or a CCW. That takes a level of ruggedness that costs a little more money than the budget tier stuff.

Check out the full details in our Ruger SR1911 Review!

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

$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.

5. 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:

6. Kimber Warrior

A lot of times when you see something like “WARRIOR” or “TACTICAL” in a firearm’s name, you should get an uneasy feeling that the boys in marketing went a little too far.

But in this case, Kimber’s name lives up to the expectation. This isn’t just a 1911 that could serve as a duty gun, it did serve as Sean’s duty carry weapon for years as a deputy sheriff.

Author's Kimber Warrior
Sean’s Kimber Warrior

That said, like many 1911 pistols it does need to be fed a diet of ammo and magazines it likes. But with the good ammo and good magazines, this gun is ready to rock and roll when you need it.

Maybe best of all, the accuracy is outstanding! Considering this isn’t a match 1911, this is one of most accurate you can find right now.

Make sure to take a look at Sean’s complete accounting of his many years of owning the Kimber Warrior!

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

7. 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…

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.

8. Springfield Loaded Operator

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

Springfield Loaded with Recover Tactical Grips
Springfield Loaded with Recover Tactical Grips

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
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

9. Colt Gold Cup

Old school competition shooting at its finest.

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.

10. 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.

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.


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.

11. Springfield Range Officer (9mm)

We wanted to include a 9mm single-stack 1911 on the list. Originally, I went with the STI Trojan, which has sadly been discontinued. Nothing else I’ve shot has beaten it yet, so if you can find one used, go for it!

STI Trojan 9mm 1911
STI Trojan 9mm 1911

However, since it’s a little hard to get ahold of those… we’ve updated this list with our new pick–the Springfield Armory Range Officer ($830).

If you’re looking for a 9mm competition pistol, the Range Officer is a performance machine. You get precision, reliability, and plenty of features you want–and nothing you don’t.

The rugged, forged frame and slide mean that this baby won’t be letting you down any time soon. Not to mention, the Range Officer has some beautiful, classic styling you’ll love to hold in your hand.

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

12. 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
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.

Wilson Combat 1911 Light Rail
Wilson Combat 1911 Light Rail

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

13. 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.  

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.

14. Vickers Tactical Master Class 1911

Brought to you by Wilson Combat, Larry Vickers, and Springfield Armory — this is a badass gun. Period.

Vicker Master Class (7)
Vickers Master Class

It’s a handgun designed with combatives in mind. The Master Class is most certainly a gun designed with a mission. From the sights to the trigger and beyond, the gun is modernized and perfected for combat.

Where this gun differs from your plain old 1911 is in the features, which are also what pushes the gun to a combative design. 

Wilson Combat has a number of upgrades in this gun that most people have to install after they buy a gun, but here it comes standard.

The trigger, the hammer, and more are “upgraded” over what you would normally get. We love that!

Best of the bunch in terms of upgrades is probably the sights.

They are perfect for combat. The rear sight is a Vickers Elite blacked-out rear sight and the front is a high visibility day and night sight. It’s quick to acquire and easy to get on target. 

There is a lot more to say about the Vickers Master Class, so read on in our hands-on review of it.

Bottom line — if you’re ready to spend this kind of cash, this needs to be on your short list.

at Springfield Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

15. Staccato 2011

Yup you read that right…2011.

Staccato (previously known as STI and the most winning of competition gun manufacturers) brings in high-capacity and optic ready 1911s like no one’s business.

Staccato Wheel
Staccato Wheel

I’m a decent shot and shooting the entire gamut of Staccatos simply felt like cheating.

Some of my favorites include the Staccato C2 line which brings 16 rounds in a compact concealable package.

Staccato C2
Staccato C2

It’s not much thicker than the single stack C version (8 rounds)…while coming in at just around the same weight of 25 oz.

Staccato C vs C2, Rear
Staccato C vs C2, Rear

And so flat shooting it’s scary (and super fun).

If you want to carry a 1911 that’s crossed over into the new century…check out the C2.

at Staccato

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And available in optic ready flavor.

at Staccato

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

See our full review of both the C and C2 here. Along with our video review:

Next up are the gamer guns!

If you’re serious about winning competitions, check out the Staccato XL which excels in USPSA Limited (with their .40 S&W version) and 9mm-friendly comps like Steel Challenge and Tactical Games.

Staccato XL, DPO and Regular (L to R)
Staccato XL, DPO and Regular (L to R)

With a longer slide brings a longer sight radius and more weight to keep it even flatter shooting even with factory Blazer Brass 124gr.

I’m not kidding…it’s basically cheating.

But you gotta pay to play!

at Staccato

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

How about the top of the line open guns?

Enter the Staccato XC which comes compensated and optic ready.

Staccato Double XC
Staccato Double XC

If you’re flavor of competition allows compensated guns you can’t go wrong. And even if you don’t plan on competing…this is one bad-ass gun.

Staccato XC Compensated
Staccato XC Compensated

Check out the compensated gasses shooting up on top.

And a slow-mo of it being super flat shooting.

Again…I can’t state how much it felt like cheating compared to shooting other guns. You simply press the 2-lb trigger and move the dot over. Rinse and repeat.

at Staccato

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

We now have a hands-on review and video of the XL and XC in action…with even better slow-mo footage of how little the slides moves up and down.

What’s your take on Staccato?

Readers' Ratings

4.86/5 (1876)

Your Rating?

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.


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. Also, stock up on 1911 mags with our list of the best mags for your 1911.

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265 Leave a Reply

  • James

    I think a major option was missed with Dan Wesson. I would rather have a DW over many of yhe mid $1000 options listed here.

    August 31, 2021 7:54 pm

    just a suggestion, check out the Magnum Research 1911C by Bull armories in Israel.

    August 19, 2021 11:02 am
  • John

    I'm fairly new to them,always wanted a simple GI or clone,nothing fancy or expensive,shot a couple Rock Island 1911's,handled several in shops along with ATI,Iver Johnson,and Springfield's, Kimbers,Colts,Dan Wesson's and a couple Les Baer just because they are always in the local shops and I could and wanted to see each end of the spectrum as far as quality.Rocks are very nice budget friendly 1911's,but IMO Tisas is the better deal.I found their 1911A1 Service in .45acp,checked it out,looked and felt great,talked to friends with experience and bought it.Glad I did.I run no less than 500 of the cheapest steel case I can find thru any pistol before I even consider for carry.500 Tulamo,Wolf,and Barnhaul steel case,while gun left dirty then 50 S&B JHP and 10 Critical Duty,with zero failures.In the stock 8 round MecGar magazine.Loved it enough to change some things,different trigger,Polished the bow slots and all contact points for the sear,spring and disc,reset pretravel and post travel,and break weight.Replaced hammer spring,firing pin spring and firing pin block with Wilson Combat parts and replaced the grips with wood Classic Double D grips from Altamont.
    As of today 1730 rounds of different make thru it with zero failures.Shes more accurate than I am,looks and feels great.Machine work fit and finish is as good as any in it's category,better than some.With Abit of work she reliably shoots as fast as I can pull the trigger.With about 1/16" of total trigger travel now,I can pull that trigger pretty fast.
    Already had an RIA plus cash offered for it.Have their 4.25" Carry waiting for me to pick up.

    July 31, 2021 7:45 pm
  • Brett

    My 1911 is a Dan Wesson. It was my first hand gun. Went 1911 because a buddy carried one and I like the look. His was a Rock Island, but when I got mine, they didn't have them in stock...but they had a Springfield and a Dan Wesson. I didn't like how the Springfield felt when holding it. Ya, that was the deciding factor!

    June 27, 2021 5:01 pm
  • Sleepy Uncle Joe

    The Springfield Armory 1911 Cabela's links take to to an XD model on Cabela's website.

    June 22, 2021 4:26 pm
  • Geoff

    The 1911 is my all time favourite handgun, I have owned most of the major brands from basic to high end, and in all populars calibers from .22 to 10mm. From Norinco to Nighthawk and Wilson. IMHO one of the best values in a 1911, is a Colt Mk IV Series 70 Gold Cup from the early 70's. Just an iconic pistol and you can pick them up at reasonable prices. The best shooting 1911 I have had is a Les Baer Premier ll, amazing smooth tight action and it shoots better than I do! (A close second is an Ed Brown Kobra carry). I have not tried a Staccato yet, it's on my list!

    June 19, 2021 12:35 pm
  • Tim Richards

    1 question . Why no DW in your list ?

    June 9, 2021 2:26 pm
  • GWB

    A bunch of makers missed. I have a Citadel in 9mm (they're the same folks as Rock Island) that isn't beautiful, but sure is nice and shoots nicely, so far. And it was less than your de facto threshold of $500 (bought during the early part of the Covid run on guns). As a matter of fact, even with current hi-demand prices, I can find 1911s under $500 from Taurus and such.

    May 25, 2021 1:00 pm
  • Charles Smith

    Have you ever looked at Fusion Firearms? They are absolutely the best 1911 in the 700-900 range.

    May 1, 2021 4:22 am
  • D Forkner

    I have owned examples of most of the productions 1911. IMO Colts are the worst of the bunch. One was a trophy gold cup and the other a government level. My smith said the ASs were better made. I almost had to give them away in trade just to get rid of them. I have moved on to WC, Nighthawks, Brown, DanWesson, etc. The Colt I have now is a Colt Hawk which is a Nighthawk customer Colt 70. Hopefully CZ can produce a Colt worthy of its history.

    April 30, 2021 4:57 pm
  • Kristy

    Hi Eric, I am super new to buying guns but read your .45 best rated in your opinion and would you happen to know how I can obtain a SA 1911 Vickers Tactical Masters?

    April 10, 2021 12:13 pm
  • David H Thomas

    You were kind of tough on my Rock Eric.... I've had it for many years and it has been through the fire while never failing me. Just saying! Love the article

    April 8, 2021 2:48 pm
  • JOHN

    I have several 1911s, my Gold Cup Trophy was the worst of the lot fit and finish wise. Grip safety, and magwell were loose, thumb safety poorly fitted, frame had numerous scratches. I don't expect to have these things to fix on a new in the box firearm.......But that's just me.

    March 16, 2021 5:54 am
    • Sam Blumenstein

      I have a Colt Gold Cup National Match 45ACP, a Gold Cup Trophy in 45ACP and a Gold Cup trophy in 9mm. I had zero of your issues with any of them. They are much more accurate than I could ever shoot particularly the later 2016 Trophy models I have. I also have an STI Rangemaster in 9mm and I'm hard pressed to gauge an accuracy difference between the STI and the Colt 9mm Trophy. I cast my own bullets and Hi Tek coat them with excellent results once I found loads that suited each gun with me shooting them.

      March 24, 2021 1:35 am
    • Lyle Burton

      The worst gun for jamming was my Colt Light Weight Commander. Didn't matter what ammo I ran through it just gammed all the time. Guns smith looked at it, said "This is a new gum should not be doing this" but it was.

      April 13, 2021 4:52 am
  • Mason

    SIG Ultra Compact. Under $900 with a ramped bull barrel. I put 500 rounds through it out of the box before cleaning and lube. No malfunction and very accurate. And it’s good looking too. Best 1911 I’ve ever touched.

    March 16, 2021 5:54 am
  • Dave

    Dan Wesson deserves a mention here

    March 16, 2021 5:54 am
    • JJ

      I own a Soecialist and Guardian and couldnt agree more

      April 11, 2021 7:00 am
    • Kurt Newbry

      I have 2 DanWesson .45’s, and three Dan Wesson 10 mm.’s I trust my life with those guns.

      April 14, 2021 9:31 pm
  • Gary the Wombat

    I’ve had my Les Baer Monolith for over 20 years. Shot thousands of rounds including everything from reloads to expensive defense ammo and never has a single failure. The trigger is absolutely flawless. It’s a big heavy gun, probably too big for everyday carry for most people, but what a work of art!

    March 16, 2021 5:54 am
  • Pyratt

    Staccato-P (comes with 2-17rd -flush and 1-20rd) mags and C2 (Carry model) comes with 3-16rd flush mags. Double stack 1911 duty pistols. Best on the market.

    February 25, 2021 9:44 am
  • Kilowatt3

    I've got to second what LTC C said earlier. I was shocked to see that your list of the "Best 1911's for the Money" didn't include any Dan Wessons! You can't touch the quality of a DW without spending $500-$1000 more.
    When I went shopping for a 'higher-end' 1911, I compared the DW Valor to Wilson Combat, Nighthawk, Ed Brown, STI, Les Baer, and a couple others. The Valor compared favorably to any of them, at a considerably lower price. Ended up with the Valor, and have since acquired DW's in CCO-size (Valkyrie) and Officer's-size (ECO). The ECO is an absolute gem! I've got 1911's from Colt, Sig, and Les Baer, but think the DW's were the best bang-for-the-buck.
    I know of at least a couple guys who, after shooting a Valor, went & sold their 1911's (a Kimber and a Springfield) to get a DW!
    No list of best-value 1911's at moderate prices is complete without a Dan Wesson or three on it!

    February 17, 2021 4:55 pm
    • MB

      Agreed. We own several as well as from nighthawk custom and ed brown. Personally I think they have done a great job with the new v-bob and would love to find a guardian either in 9mm or 45.
      Just a comment about price not always indicating quality. Although my husband has been happy with his ed browns I have not had that experience. A recent purchase with 2 quality control issues so far. I am a bit turned off by a company that doesn’t answer their phones and wants to be paid to evaluate the issue. My husband had a minor issue with a new nighthawk custom 1911 and the way was this was handled by the company was drastically different. We have never had an issue with the DW 1911s and I do not recall hearing or reading of any horror stories about customer service.

      April 24, 2021 8:48 pm
  • koldman

    Nice list of options. Kinda hilarious that you'd question the viability of a bare bones RIA as a duty weapon. Compared to the rattletrap stovepiping, shot-out Colts that I was issued in the Navy in the late 80s, my $399 (on sale, in 2008) RIA is a dream. A couple thousand rounds in and nary a hiccup. Nice slide fit. Better trigger than any striker fired plastic fantastic. Plenty accurate and hits point of aim with basic fixed sites. Shouldda bought 10 of em, as they seem to be unobtainium now. You can pay a crap-ton more, but unless you're a competitor or a fashionista, the rewards are questionable.

    January 28, 2021 7:30 pm
    • Dan

      I absolutely love my RIA .......

      February 8, 2021 5:28 pm
  • LTC C

    Great list!

    If I may add, Dan Wesson Valor gives you Wilson Combat, Les Baer, and Ed Brown level fit and quality at a better price. I've owned them all at one time or another, and it's hard to justify $3,000, when $1700 +/- will get you the same.

    If you are willing to accept MIM parts, then Kimber's current crop of government models in. 45 ACP are hard to beat for around $800 +/-. I've had feeding problems with other calibers.

    Sadly, every Colt I've handled in the last five years simply did not have the same quality slide to frame, grip safety and barrel fit. I just can't justify buying a current Colt, unless I hand selected it in person...

    January 6, 2021 8:31 am
  • Joe

    For that sub 500 price range, I picked up a RIA in .38 Super. Fun to shoot. Low recoil and fits perfectly with my collection of 1911's

    December 11, 2020 4:01 pm
    • Rex

      Like to find a 38 super by Ria..and ammo

      February 23, 2021 9:35 pm
  • Steve

    I have a Dan Wesson 10mm that is absolutely a dream to shoot, i have been pleased with the fit and finish of it, the price point is moderate for the quality that you receive, can't be beat ...

    December 7, 2020 7:19 am
  • jessie wison

    Loved the review Ive allways love the 45 1 disabled 100% veteran and chose the 45 over the 9mmwith my budget its hardto find one that wont break the bank,maybe the rock island thnx

    December 2, 2020 7:01 pm
    • Quentin Ridinger

      The RIA 1911s are sturdy and eat anything you put in them. Maybe 4-5 FTE in ~2000rds with my Ultra FS and those duds were with the alum cases. No issues with reloads but it does tend to ding to cases. I'm not a competition guy of any sort but for the hobbyist I would definitely recommend the RIAs.

      December 21, 2020 11:33 am
  • Keith Fenech

    Thanks for review - very useful. Putting the dollars aside - would you prefer the Wilson Combat CQB Tactical or the Vickers Tactical Master Class (you mentioned lots of Wilson parts), with accuracy and quality as criteria? Thanks.

    November 23, 2020 5:28 pm
  • Kenny Finch

    I am a Marine Officer from Vietnam flew the old UH 34, lost it on Hwy One north of Danang - -also lost my 1911A1. I realize I will never see that particular weapon again, but was rather good with it in my hand. I am now 76 yrs old and looking for something comparable -Can you help me. Thank you for your time

    November 19, 2020 7:09 pm
    • David, PPT Editor

      Any 1911A1 made by a solid brand would fit perfectly! I would recommend Rock Island if you're working with a small budget, Dan Wesson if you have some money to throw into it.

      November 19, 2020 7:48 pm
    • Dave

      Would suggest a Norinco. Made in China and faithful copies of 1911A1. Not pretty and a little rough but tough. It’s my dirt gun; all of the pretty Browns and Nighthawks stay home. Probably in the $500 range if you can find one.

      May 2, 2021 6:30 am
  • jack burton

    Have a Rock Island 1911 GI in 9MM that I picked up used for a couple hundred. It must have been babied because it looked like it had hardly been shot. I love it at the range. Shoots flawlessly and on the point every time. And it looks and feels so retro.

    November 17, 2020 8:33 pm
  • TONY

    Hi, have you guys tried the Rock Island TAC ULTRA FS HC? It's a 1911 in 45 cal that is a double stack! I've always been a 1911 fan (prior service) so when I wanted to get back into shooting after a very long lay off, I went looking for a 1911. The biggest drag has always been the seven round capablity. And since this isn't a carry weapon, the RI TAC ULTRA FS HC is perfect!

    November 12, 2020 5:33 pm
  • Curt

    Hmmm, I currently own 6 1911s and am always open to more. Curious you don't see more value in Ruger. I have two 1911s that I alternate between for EDC: a Ruger LW Commander and a Sig Ultra Compact - both in 45ACP and both with Crimson Trace Master series Lasergrips. Neither has ever failed to feed, fire and eject. I keep the LaserGrips sighted to point of impact at 10 yards and have use either Federal HST or Sig Ammo both JHP. Oh, and I open carry them (I'm old with less mobility in my shoulders and more girth in my belly than in my salad days) as do many others in my state as (Georgia) allows for both open and concealed carry.

    November 3, 2020 9:29 am
  • Robert

    I got into pistols by producing a bunch of videos for Rob Leatham. After a day of work he let me shoot his competition 1911 and I was hooked. Since he is a Springfield guy and kind of knowledgable I decided to buy a Springfield RO Elite Target in 9mm. It was my first pistol purchase! I have since shot lots of 1911’s in various price ranges and there just isnt any noticeable difference from my Sub $1k RO Elite to a $4k Wilson or similar! Around 5k rounds through it and the only hiccups were a bad box of cheap reload ammo and one time I didnt have a good weak-hand-only grip on the gun. It is way more accurate than I am! If I concentrate I can do 2” groups at 15 yards which is about the limit of my eyesight. Fit and finish are incredible even after the years I have been shooting it. I will have this gun til it gets passed down to my sons....through my will!
    I know this article was 1911 specific but I recently added a Staccato P duo 2011 with a Delta Point red dot. Trigger is a touch nicer than my Springfield but only a touch! It is a fantastic modernization of the 1911 design. The added capacity and the optic are nice...it is a great cousin to my Springfield! And it provides further proof of what an incredible bargain the Springfield RO Elite really is!

    October 23, 2020 8:30 pm
  • Chris

    Would seriously recommend that the author try out a Dan Wesson of any variety, but especially a Specialist in 9mm. Some people will call a non-45 1911 blasphemy, but then....they’ll always be more accurate in first and follow shots. Wesson knows how to tune a 9mm 1911, and....short of a Wilson/Night Hawk, Wessons are the best non-custom 1911s out there....no caveats.

    October 18, 2020 11:53 pm
  • Richard Miller

    The Colt Gold Cup I've owned 4 and shot one. A 1968 made and it was high mileage, but flawless in reliability. The others were bought and sold new ashame I know. But life is short, so I bought a Les Baer today and must shoot the gun because you don't make money if new, you lose opportunity in firing the baby.

    October 15, 2020 6:52 pm
  • Moose

    I bought my Cold Gold Cup 45 in 1980 while on active duty. I love it and it is and always will be my favorite. This gun is looking like it came out of the box after thousands of rounds being fired through it.

    October 3, 2020 4:30 pm
  • jeb brewster

    I know many people are not fans of Taurus, but I own a Taurus PT1911AR. It has never let me down and I’ve shot around 5k rounds through it with not one issue, not one. If you are looking for a good 1911, check em out.

    September 29, 2020 7:18 am
  • butch

    my edc is the sig C3 1911 in .45acp.

    September 24, 2020 6:25 pm
  • Paul

    My favorite 1911, and I've owned many, is a Kimber Stainless Classic MK I .45 5 inch. Shoots like a rifle and zero malfunctions over the two years I've owned it. No firing pin lock, pretty much GI except for the guide rod (but being one piece, no 'extra' parts!) I use Wilson mags and Springfield Armory GI Stainless mags (got at an estate sale for $5 each!) Work perfectly in it. I actually carry this rather heavy sucker CCW on occasion, usually in the winter when I can conceal it well.

    September 18, 2020 8:48 am
  • Colman Webster

    It's history doesn't expand 100 years,
    it SPANS a hundred years.



    September 12, 2020 1:41 pm
  • Tom

    I can't imagine why you would say "As good as a Rock Island 1911 is, you probably wouldn’t trust it to being a duty weapon. Maybe as a CCW, but only barely." I was a police officer for nearly 20 years and carried a bone stock Colt Mark 4 Series 70 for the biggest part of that time (I only carried something else when the dept. I was working for at the time forced the officers working there to carry pistols issued by the dept.). I'm now carrying a RIA compact (3 1/2 inch barrel) and it's as good a gun as my Colt. I would not hesitate one bit to carry it as a duty gun if I were still a police officer. Gun runs perfectly, just like my Colt! RIA recommends a 500 round break in period, but mine was completely broke in by 200 rounds; the only hiccups during the break in period were a few rounds that failed to fully chamber and a quick rap on the back of the slide cured those (no actual jams, just a few rounds that failed to fully chamber, and I used Federal HST hollow points the entire time I was breaking it in; can't say the same for my Colt which I purchased new in 1978, had to have a 1911 smith throat it before it would feed a single hollow point). I believe too many people today think they need all these fancy gizmos and add on's to have a viable carry gun; you don't, with the exception of sights and a throat job on guns manufactured before (at least some manufactures are making 1911's that run hollow points w/o any extra work) a bone stock GI 1911 is all you need, training with the gun will cure the rest.

    August 28, 2020 3:02 pm
  • Paul

    I own a Springfield TRP and really loved it that's until I started shooting Wilson Combat. I own 3 Wilson's. . .CQB versions, 2 in 9mm and 1 in 45 ACP. Love the weight, action and reliability. Such a joy to shoot. I'm nowhere close to being a competition shooter. All are pretty heavy to wear all day for EDC. . .I'm getting old. I carry a lighter pistol for EDC that shall not be named. G?x$k.

    August 28, 2020 11:57 am
  • Ramirez

    Here are the 1911's I currently own: In the $1000 price range, Colt Defender all day. In the $1500 range, I like the Dan Wesson TCP 9mm. In the $2000 range, I like the Ed Brown EVO-KC9. Best trigger I have had in a 1911. In the $3000 range, I like my Wilson Combat EDC 9XS for a sub-compact carry. That doesn't mean I carry it all the time. I have a Glock 43x for that.

    August 23, 2020 9:01 am
  • Tim

    I have shot many 1911 in my life,my personal carry gun is a series 70 colt commander. Reading your article on top picks for a 1911 I would for sure look at the STI 1911 single stack also compares to a wilson with a lower $$ if your looking at a wide body in 1911 ,STI can not be beat!! 25 years of competitive shooting and instruction has taught me a lot which gun shoots best for me may not shhot for some one else. As some who is new or not refined in hand gun sooting, this is the best advice I can give, shoot as many different guns as you can and get ones that shoots point of aim. The cool factor and pretty means nothing if you can't hit your target..

    July 25, 2020 4:52 pm
    • Ramirez

      I love the STI Staccato C Duo but the ambi safety and that notch in the trigger guard just bothered me too much. It's a very, very accurate gun and maybe I'll check it out again in the future. I guess I could always file down that trigger guard and remove one of the safeties.

      August 23, 2020 9:07 am
  • Robert Goodrich

    Kimber Aegis Custom for me. It is beautiful and Uber-reliable, if you stick with Wilson Combat mags. It is the handgun I shoot best. I have a Glock 19 that I can’t hit anything with. Love the Kimber. I keep an 8 rounder in the gun, and a 10 rounder in my pocket, all filled with Underwood’s Xtreme Defense .45 ACP. I changed out the fiberoptic sights for Trijicon night sights. The glass rods are not meant for a self defense weapon that goes in and out of a holster frequently. Otherwise, it’s perfect as a carry gun!

    July 11, 2020 6:48 pm
  • Chick

    First of all why would somebody leave a comment about an all plastic, striker fire, Glock on a 1911 post? I have carried the same three 1911’s for a long, long time. The first is a Colt Gold Cup Trophy National Match with a 2lb trigger and tritium night sites, no flashlight, no laser, the second is a Colt Delta Elite in 10MM set up the same way with a flared ejection port, the third is A Kimber Super Carry Pro with the exact same trigger and set-up as the Colts. This is the Kimber from their custom shop. I starting shooting my grandfathers 1911 in 1968 at a very tender age for a .45ACP back when Glock was still making knives. 1911’s have served me well & I see no reason to mess with what works.

    June 28, 2020 2:51 pm
  • HMA

    What makes a 1911 a 1911? I've never understood this. An article on this showing what changed from previous models and what differences exist between the 1911 and other modern handguns would be really helpful!

    June 27, 2020 3:49 pm
  • BigAggieMike

    While I have not shot other 1911s extensively, I really enjoy shooting the Ruger SR1911 in .45acp. It’s a good looking gun that is very accurate out to 15 yards.

    June 22, 2020 5:00 pm
  • david davis

    I've gotta say this list was a little thick with Springfields . The only 1911 I own is a Springfield micro compact 45. Iv been in love with Springfield since i bought my xd a few years back. I picked my 1911 up at a steal for around 350 and am looking for a full size 1911 now so seeing so many on here I'll most likely stick with the Springfield

    May 23, 2020 6:17 pm
  • David

    I’m surprised you only mentioned the Dan Wesson Bruin as your DW example (and as an afterthought no less). That’s not even a standard 1911 (10mm and long slide). They have a ton of 1911s in Govt., Commander, and Officer size, in 9mm and .45 ACP, and all of them are between around $1,000 to $1,500 (and much better quality than most of the Colts, Springfields and Remingtons).

    May 12, 2020 10:59 pm
    • Grouchy

      Don't forget the 1911s chambered in 38 Super! The DW 38 Pointman has become my favorite 1911 because of the flexibility in velocity and bullet weight. Not to mention an awesome trigger.

      June 27, 2020 5:25 pm
    • Ramirez

      I totally agree. I have the TCP but the Guardian is awesome as well!

      August 23, 2020 9:10 am
    • Al

      Totally agree. Dan Wesson PM-9 and Valor here.

      September 25, 2020 12:46 pm
  • Mike

    "Remington" did not manufacture 1911A1 pistols for WW2. The Remington Rand typewriter company did. The two companies are unrelated.

    May 8, 2020 12:32 am
  • Tom Ridley

    I have had many 1911's over the years and still have a Springfield GI model and a Remington R1 both in 45ACP and a Ruger Sr1911 in 10mm. All have great qualities.

    April 29, 2020 8:19 am
  • Bruno


    April 18, 2020 5:49 pm
  • Pete Shaw

    Why wasn’t the Ruger SR1911 mentioned? I have a CMD I paid $700 for, and I love it. It is a Series 70 and it’s beautiful. I think it is the best 1911 for the money. — Pete

    March 16, 2020 11:04 am
  • Hammer

    Taurus handguns suck in every way, i would never trust my life with a gun made by them.....absolute garbage!

    February 28, 2020 4:08 pm
  • Junior landry

    what about a Taurus 1911 I’m thinking of buying

    February 17, 2020 3:58 pm
    • John Mason

      I have no experience with Taurus 1911s, I do have experience with their Berretta clones, and second hand experience with their revolvers. The PT 99 ran awesome for many years, until it didn't, revolver quality was spotty, and their customer service for their lifetime warranty is non existant. I will never buy anything from them again, but it's your money.

      February 27, 2020 4:54 pm
  • Tim

    In this review it mentions that the STI Trojan 9mm is a great firearm to own - my wife had one previously and would agree, we relocated from Australia and sold our firearm collection prior to moving, we are now unable to locate an STI Trojan anywhere... my wife is not happy :(

    January 23, 2020 3:58 pm
  • Flight Medic

    It still amazes me that NO ONE ever lists the S&W e-Series 1911. I'm sure the "fish scale" slide serrations and external extractor will aesthetically offend some, but, in my humble opinion, it is one of the best bang-for-your-buck (sub-$1000) 1911's on the market. A series 70 design with titanium firing pin, forged frame, forged slide, match-grade barrel and superior customer service (and no, I dont work for S&W). I have fourteen different 1911 pistols, some costing three-times as much as the Smith (NHC, Guncrafter, Alchemy, etc) and the e-Series is still in my top 5 favorite 1911's in my collection to shoot. Runs like a Swiss watch and is far less finicky about magazine brands as some of my others.

    January 8, 2020 12:19 am
    • Gary

      The Smith & Wesson e series is what I have for competition it works great shoot straight every time in my opinion it's an excellent gun

      January 13, 2020 7:00 pm
      • Tyler durdin

        Thinking the same thing as im reading the article- no smiths on there?? Cmon man!! Then the only kimber on there is purple!! Smh

        January 13, 2020 9:00 pm
    • RJ

      Agreed-Down to 5 1911’s now, but for carry, my Smith SC series E gets the nod every day.

      January 20, 2020 6:28 pm
    • Harry

      I just ordered one! Can’t wait to get my hands on it! But I was wondering the same thing why the S&W doesn’t get more love when compared to other 1911’s.

      May 16, 2020 1:55 pm
  • John Beargrass

    My goodness, to each his own.

    December 30, 2019 1:24 pm
  • Dave Forkner

    I either have or have had most of the big names ( colt, nighhawk, SIG, Springfield, SW, Kimber, D Wesson, etc) . My favorite, most trusted and carried on occasion is a Norinco...My pistolsmith says it is a little rough but well made with no MIM parts. It will be the last 1911 to go. Dave

    December 30, 2019 6:59 am
  • Anthony J Dawkins

    Rock Island 1911 10mm is a very nice gun. I love mine!

    December 8, 2019 5:08 pm
    • Mica G

      First trip to the range today with mine. Shot well, which I thought it would. I was surprised at the quality of the fit and finish.

      December 12, 2019 9:24 pm
  • Don E

    Rock River

    December 3, 2019 5:24 am
  • YankeeDespot

    No honorable mention for Les Baer? ‘‘Twas my choice for a high end 1911.. tight

    November 14, 2019 7:25 pm
    • Ramirez

      Yup. I had a Les Baer Black Baer Commanche and loved it. I regret selling it. I will definitely get another one this year. Either that one again or the Boss.

      August 23, 2020 9:17 am
  • Eric Lautz

    Its kinda wierd that you put the springfield loaded operator on the list but left off the far superior trp operator, and in a BEST 1911 list did not even mention Springfields FBI HRT 1911 Professional, the gun that literally beat out the wilson combat you consider the "BEST" 1911. Juat odd is all.

    November 12, 2019 7:06 pm
  • Jim

    Take a look at Magnum Research 1911C .45 ACP. Great gun for a great price.

    November 10, 2019 3:45 pm
  • Thomas Altman

    Didn't like the Ruger SR-1911?

    November 3, 2019 6:16 pm
    • Riceinwa

      I'm with you...the SR-1911 in full government or Commander are great. I've converted my full size to 460 Rowland...and carry the Light weight Commander...

      November 8, 2019 6:09 pm
  • Bill Thompson

    I know there are a plethora of 1911 makers out there and some with very good reputations. Still hard to believe that Kimber only made this list once and only for their "girly gun" version of the 1911. They have guns all the way from entry level ones that could have squeeked into the bottom category all the way up to fancy boutique models. If I could afford to buy 10 different 1911s (my goal for my collection some day) I am sure 6 or 7 of them would be Kimbers. Not trying to argue that Kimbers are "better" but just that they should have been given more space in this article considering their importance in the 1911 market.

    October 30, 2019 8:19 am
  • David Gerba

    Best 1911 in 2019?!?! Joshua Gillem obviously did NOT do his homework prior to writing this article. STI phased out the Trojan in 2017, and no longer produces ANY 1911's!!

    October 27, 2019 12:52 am
  • 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.

    September 30, 2019 7:56 pm
  • 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!"

    September 29, 2019 2:41 pm
    • Pantexan

      Not hardly!

      October 23, 2019 5:18 pm
    • Trigeminy6

      Yes. Keep both.

      October 24, 2019 6:15 pm
    • Tom

      A glock ain't even fit for a trot line weight! It ain't heavy enough; I'll never understand why everyone wants all these lightweight pistols when you can shoot a heavier pistol much more accurately.

      August 28, 2020 3:27 pm
  • 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.

    September 17, 2019 2:57 pm
    • David Gerba

      The Magnum Research DE1911 is a GREAT choice. You get a whole lot of features for the money, and the fit and finish is superb. I've since moved up the food chain to EB's, Baers, Wilsons and Nighthawks, but the DE1911 was my first 1911...and it was a great choice. Also, take a look at the S&W e-Series. Probably the BEST bang-for-your-buck 1911 out there (match grade barrel, forged frame and slide). I hung onto that one, and I shoot it far more than my higher-end 1911's.

      October 27, 2019 12:45 am
  • Bert Powers

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

    September 8, 2019 6:00 pm
  • 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. . . .

    September 7, 2019 7:56 am
  • 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.

    August 31, 2019 8:57 am
  • 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.

    August 28, 2019 10:05 am
  • Randy Waters

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

    August 23, 2019 5:22 pm
  • Johnny

    Only Glock does NOT make a 1911!!!

    August 21, 2019 11:16 pm
  • 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.

    August 19, 2019 11:54 am
  • Mountainhobo

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

    August 18, 2019 9:47 pm
  • Jon

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

    August 18, 2019 3:29 pm
  • 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.

    August 8, 2019 9:04 am
  • 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.

    August 4, 2019 8:43 pm
  • Joe Gauthier

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

    August 3, 2019 9:10 pm
  • 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.

    August 2, 2019 12:52 pm
    • 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.

      August 15, 2019 10:49 am
  • Bill Tieleman

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

    July 31, 2019 12:11 am
  • 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

    July 10, 2019 12:39 pm
  • Dan Halstrom

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

    July 6, 2019 8:01 pm
    • 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

      August 1, 2019 2:51 pm
  • 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.

    June 26, 2019 12:39 pm
    • Pantexan

      +1 for Les Baer!!

      October 23, 2019 5:25 pm
  • 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 ......

    June 19, 2019 8:19 am
  • Stephen Krane

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

    June 17, 2019 11:39 pm
  • 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?

    June 12, 2019 12:37 pm
    • 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!

      June 12, 2019 2:39 pm
    • 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.

      June 28, 2019 9:51 am
  • Gale

    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?

    June 9, 2019 5:10 pm
  • 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.

    June 8, 2019 2:29 pm
  • 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.

    June 1, 2019 6:57 pm
  • 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$

    May 18, 2019 5:10 am
  • 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".

    May 16, 2019 7:49 am
  • 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.

    April 30, 2019 7:55 pm
    • 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.

      June 1, 2019 7:49 pm
      • Pantexan

        Ed Brown magazines are the way to go. Black or bare stainless and they feed my Colt, Springfield, and S&W 1911s without a problem. They had a trade in program for your old mags. Not sure if it still going on

        October 23, 2019 5:34 pm
  • 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

    April 27, 2019 9:42 pm
  • 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.

    March 31, 2019 4:54 pm
  • Jason Yates

    How could you leave Rugar off the list?

    March 26, 2019 11:45 am
  • 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.

    March 14, 2019 1:45 am
  • 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!

    March 8, 2019 4:50 pm
  • Monty Eliassen

    You left out Dan Wesson and Les Baer 1911's

    March 6, 2019 9:20 pm
  • 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!!!

    March 2, 2019 10:44 am
    • Pantexan


      October 23, 2019 5:44 pm
    • Pantexan


      October 23, 2019 5:44 pm
  • Shane L. Rogers

    Para x ltc 9mm 1911

    February 24, 2019 1:21 am
  • Bill Tindeldo

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

    February 20, 2019 7:40 am
  • victor tortorici

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

    February 6, 2019 1:40 pm
  • 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.

    January 31, 2019 3:19 am
  • James Orth

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

    January 22, 2019 10:48 pm
  • Antonio

    Still the best colt combat comnander better than 9mm.

    January 21, 2019 6:34 am
  • 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.

    January 5, 2019 3:38 pm
    • 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

      January 11, 2019 9:30 am
  • 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.

    December 28, 2018 5:26 pm
    • almoudhi el-akhlid mourihamad

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

      January 17, 2019 5:27 am
  • Mike

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

    December 28, 2018 12:52 pm
  • Frederik

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

    December 22, 2018 7:04 am
    • Pantexan

      Not hardly!

      October 23, 2019 5:47 pm
  • 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.

    December 12, 2018 5:57 pm
  • 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.

    December 10, 2018 11:24 am
  • 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."

    December 6, 2018 8:28 am
  • 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.

    November 24, 2018 10:54 am
  • 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!!

    November 4, 2018 5:25 am
    • 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.

      November 24, 2018 10:45 am
      • Yanni

        And your experience with the 1911 is what?

        December 22, 2018 3:56 am
  • 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!

    October 16, 2018 11:03 pm
    • TLScott

      Looks like the gungroup.com is for sale.

      December 2, 2018 5:02 pm
  • Jim

    Every good American should have at least one.

    October 10, 2018 2:13 pm
  • 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?

    October 6, 2018 3:14 pm
    • 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%.

      December 19, 2018 7:35 am
  • 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?

    September 23, 2018 7:14 pm
  • Max Anderson

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

    August 27, 2018 9:00 am
  • 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.

    August 24, 2018 8:54 pm
  • 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.

    August 23, 2018 11:34 am
    • Riceinwa

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

      August 24, 2018 8:38 pm
  • Mike

    I Love the extra capacity of my Para P-1445

    August 5, 2018 5:54 am
  • 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.

    August 2, 2018 6:18 pm
  • Bob

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

    August 1, 2018 1:08 pm
  • Donn Crouse

    No Dan Wessons? WTH

    June 29, 2018 8:30 pm
    • 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.

      August 1, 2018 1:10 pm
    • 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.

      August 4, 2018 1:31 pm
  • Joe

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

    June 27, 2018 7:12 pm
    • Johnny

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

      March 19, 2019 10:38 pm
  • 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.

    June 19, 2018 11:53 am
  • 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;

    June 17, 2018 12:32 pm
  • 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.

    June 16, 2018 2:43 pm
    • 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

      July 6, 2018 7:23 am
    • 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.

      July 13, 2018 8:57 am
  • HM2Doc

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

    June 13, 2018 6:44 pm
    • Joe

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

      June 27, 2018 7:11 pm
  • 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

    June 12, 2018 9:11 pm
  • 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.

    May 28, 2018 3:50 pm
  • Frogger

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

    May 27, 2018 8:43 pm
  • 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........

    May 23, 2018 5:25 pm
  • Bill Mattocks

    ATI for me.

    May 19, 2018 3:06 pm
  • Ralph

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

    May 18, 2018 9:13 am
    • 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.

      May 18, 2018 9:32 am
      • 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.

        June 15, 2018 11:59 am
    • John


      May 28, 2018 3:51 pm
    • Jameslw3d

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

      November 21, 2018 1:32 am
  • Matt

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

    May 17, 2018 2:43 pm
  • 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 :-)

    May 13, 2018 11:33 am
    • 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.

      June 15, 2018 12:00 pm
  • 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.

    May 10, 2018 11:02 am
  • 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.

    April 23, 2018 7:16 pm
  • 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.

    April 23, 2018 9:49 am
  • 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?

    April 19, 2018 4:10 pm
  • prudiikal

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

    April 3, 2018 11:15 pm
  • 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.

    March 31, 2018 8:36 am

    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!

    March 26, 2018 7:26 pm
  • 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!

    March 21, 2018 1:19 pm
  • 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.

    March 13, 2018 5:30 pm
  • 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.

    March 3, 2018 7:58 pm
  • Baidy Lo

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

    February 25, 2018 7:27 pm
    • Frederik

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

      December 22, 2018 7:09 am
    • 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.

      February 10, 2019 7:08 am
  • 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.

    February 21, 2018 9:19 pm
    • Eric Hung

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

      February 22, 2018 10:58 am
  • 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.

    February 11, 2018 10:19 pm
  • Jdljlr sdkf;W

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

    January 30, 2018 11:38 am
    • 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.

      February 13, 2018 9:04 pm
  • Brandon K

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

    January 23, 2018 3:44 am
  • John L

    No Smith & Wesson? Really?

    January 20, 2018 7:58 pm
  • 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 !

    January 19, 2018 10:27 am
  • 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.

    December 23, 2017 5:21 pm
  • 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.

    December 14, 2017 8:34 pm
  • 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?
    Jeff Thalin

    December 14, 2017 9:54 am
  • 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

    December 2, 2017 5:58 pm
    • 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.

      January 17, 2018 11:19 pm
  • 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.

    December 2, 2017 5:28 am

    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.

    November 30, 2017 3:38 pm
    • Brandon

      You’re a huge dink

      December 11, 2017 3:57 pm
  • 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.

    November 21, 2017 10:08 pm
    • Tom

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

      November 28, 2017 5:16 pm
    • 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.

      January 26, 2018 3:25 pm
  • Kurt

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

    October 28, 2017 10:12 am
  • 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.

    October 25, 2017 11:18 am
    • Eric Hung


      October 26, 2017 2:36 pm
  • 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.

    October 3, 2017 7:53 pm
  • 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 ??

    September 30, 2017 2:38 pm
  • Stp

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

    September 23, 2017 12:57 am
    • Eric Hung


      September 28, 2017 9:31 am
  • kw

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

    August 12, 2017 2:17 am
  • 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.

    August 9, 2017 5:28 pm
    • 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!

      October 23, 2017 10:44 am
  • Leo

    Sorry I said nighthawks with 15000 but did not say rounds

    July 28, 2017 8:48 pm
  • 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.

    July 28, 2017 8:45 pm
  • 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 :-)

    July 10, 2017 4:20 pm
  • 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

    April 27, 2017 8:55 pm
  • 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

    March 27, 2017 7:13 pm
  • 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

    March 25, 2017 7:25 am
  • 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.

    March 17, 2017 5:19 pm
    • 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!

      March 25, 2017 7:27 am
  • 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

    March 17, 2017 4:51 am
  • 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.

    March 16, 2017 11:07 am
  • 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.

    March 15, 2017 10:55 am
  • 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

    March 15, 2017 7:18 am
    • 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.

      March 15, 2017 10:23 am
  • 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.

    March 15, 2017 6:16 am
  • 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.

    March 15, 2017 5:59 am
    • n8

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

      March 15, 2017 6:18 am
      • 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.

        March 15, 2017 10:21 am
  • 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.

    March 15, 2017 5:00 am
    • Joshua Gillem

      My pleasure, thanks for sharing your own experiences.

      March 15, 2017 10:19 am
  • 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.

    March 14, 2017 7:39 pm
  • 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

    March 14, 2017 7:01 pm
    • Joshua Gillem


      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.

      March 15, 2017 10:17 am
  • Dennis Hanna

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

    March 14, 2017 6:54 pm
  • 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!

    March 14, 2017 6:45 pm
    • 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.

      March 15, 2017 10:15 am
    • Jim Neal

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

      March 15, 2017 3:10 pm
  • 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).

    March 14, 2017 6:45 pm
    • 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.

      March 15, 2017 10:13 am
      • 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.

        December 7, 2017 10:58 am
        • 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

          March 24, 2018 10:59 am