When “New” Means “Expensive”

I’ve been thinking recently about supplementing the old Springfield 1911 with another one sometime.  So I’ve been idly browsing the usual places, looking for a new 1911, with only a few specific must-haves.  Mostly, it looks as though I’m going to have to spend around $800-$900 to get what I need.  I’m not ultra-fussy because to me, a 1911 is like a hammer:  you pick it up, it works, and I don’t need much in the way of add-ons.

Over at Shooting Times there’s an article talking about the new 1911s on the market, so I went there with all sorts of anticipation.  Here’s one they listed:

Now before you explode, go to the article and read the comments.

Me, I need a drink.


  1. Kim, give the Ruger SR1911s a look. I got my name on a waiting list at the LGS when they first came out, then received it not long thereafter. Cost all of $560 out the door at the time. The gun has been faultless and shoots very well. It compares well with my Springfield Loaded model.

  2. Reminds me that back in the day, my spare time was spent hunting used gun bargains at pawn shops, flea markets, and the like. I bought a used Colt Combat Commander for something like $250 back in the 80’s. Still my go-to gun more often than not.

  3. I love the free market system, build and over decorate and see if it sells. To me a good 1911 should be $1,000 or less, new or used and then get a little tuning on the trigger and add some nice looking after-market grips if it suits you. I understand fine shotguns, made in England or Italy with a lot of care and then hand engraved and paying the cost of an expensive sports car if you have the dollars which I don’t and good Berettas can be found in the $2K range that will last a life time. Too much add on, look pretty, on a 1911 is kind of like the make-up on Kim’s Train-Crash thunder thigh women who look like rentals, by the hour rentals.

  4. I would pay five thousand dollars for a handgun, provided the price included someone to carry it around for me, and to perform entry clearance. Otherwise, a Systema 1927 would do just as well.

  5. When you’re reading the comments over at Shooting Illustrated don’t forget inflation.

    One of the comments was from a guy who bought a Gold Cup in the early 1980s. Even according to the official gummint CPI figures that’s a $1300 or so gun today; by Shadowstats’ figures more like $8000.

  6. I’m with you on this Kim. Paying 4 or 5 grand for a 1911 is way out of my league. I’m a 1911 nut. I have at this time a Colt Gold Cup, 2 Springfields, 2 Rugers and a Taurus. All work well and all cost less than $1000. I’m sure Wilson, Ed Brown, Nighthawk and Cabot, to name a few, do a fine job. I’m happy to see that there are people who have the means to keep them in business. I’m just not one of them.

  7. So much bling out there these days–which is fine. Free market and all that. Just not my taste. I bought one of these a few years back (PI9128L)–


    I was a Bullseye pistol shooter for decades, so this is my paper puncher, but could obviously be pressed into duty if need be.

    I handled three different examples to check fit before choosing one. It has broken in nicely and is wonderfully accurate. There were only two minor annoyances.

    1) The slides and frames are matched pairs for manufacture. I get that and am all for it. When I got the pistol home, I noticed an odd roughness when I slowly racked the slide. I’d like to know just whose bright idea it was to stamp the last four digits of the serial number in the track for the nose of the disconnector. A bit of work with my Arkansas stones and things are much improved.

    2) When I went to install a set of Hogue grips, one of the grip screw bushings came out with the screw. I applied a drop of Kroil to seep under the screw head and let it sit awhile. Then wiped the bushing and frame threads with brake cleaner. Screwed it back in tight, then was able to remove the screw by itself.

    My front line piece is a SIG 220 factory reman (red tupperware, not blue) that I bought used several years ago. If my eyes cooperate, I can hit grapefruit sized targets at 50 yds with it.

  8. I appreciate Cabot guns willingness to build a mirror image Southpaw version of the S100/103 1911s. But with it starting at $4700, I’ll be waiting for a lottery win to order. Now, if it were $1500 I’d have difficulty talking myself out of it. I also think of a 1911 being a sub-$1000 pistol, but I’ll go the extra $500 to cover the manufacturing effort to make it truly left handed. Even though I’ll have to retrain myself to use a thumb for the mag release.

  9. KIm, frugality is never a bad idea. “Cheap” though…
    Several years ago a friend alerted me to a sale at Sportsman’s Warehouse. Thanks to “instant” background check and rebates, I walked out with a stainless Para-USA 1911 for $499 and a blue Para-USA 1911 for $399. Good, solid, accurate 1911s. One for each of my two sons. I think gun prices will remain steady or increase leading up to the election, and assuming Trump wins reelection prices will fall and good deals reappear.

  10. What you get from those $4000 dollar 1911s is expert hand fitting.

    You don’t get that from a $800 Kimber, you get a pistol put together from stock parts, and run the risk of tolerance stack making your 1911 an unreliable club.

    If I were serious about carrying a 1911 again, a Nighthawk would be what I got to do so.

    I say this as a person who owns three Para-Ordnance 1911s, took Gunsite and Thunder Ranch classes with a P14-45, and now carries a 9mm S&W M&P full time.

  11. Don’t need to read the article. You want it and can afford it, Bob’s your uncle and good on you. I made a list of my ideal armory come Lottery Day back in the days of The Gun Thing and still have it somewhere. Fairly modest collection of blue collar pieces. I’m easy to please. Although if I could get my mitts on an M240 or M2HB with all the fixins’ I’d have a hard time walking away. I did win the Lottery, don’tcha know?

    Okay, one custom piece, the Quigley Sharps, but I’d stick with .45-70, .45-110 would be a bit much for this pushing late middle age pharte. Oh, and Laura San Giacomo, mebbe. She’s standing behind me, isn’t she?

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