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First 1911

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I'm ready to buy my first 1911. I "think" I have it narrowed down to these 3:

Metro Arms American Classic II

Rock Island Tactical

Springfield Range Officer

The first two I listed can be had for around $500 or less, the Range Officer is going to be in the $750-800 range. Is the RO worth the extra $$ or would I be fine buying one of the cheaper ones.

The gun will be mainly used for informal target shooting. Your Thoughts...

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In between your considerations, don't skip taking a look at the STI Spartan. Good quality build with extras (compared to the base RI and MA), great customer service, and a new one can be had for about $625.

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I also like to consider customer service, when buying a lower end product.

Just remember, 1911s are like expensive potato chips...tough to have just one :cheers:

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I purchased my RIA Match 45 a couple of years ago and love it. I have since gotten a 9mm slide and techwell grips/magwell. I hear their customer service is second to none, but have had no reason to try it out.

RIA9mm-vi.jpg

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I would recommend the SA Range Officer primarily due to SA's high level of customer service.

+1. Springfield is great to deal with and I hear that the Range Officer is a lot of pistol for the money

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I would get an STI Spartan. The SA Range officer is a good choice too. STI and Sprigfield are great companies to deal with if something goes wrong.

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I would avoid the "Range Officer." I don't even know why they called it the "range officer" when it's missing most of the features we desire on a competition pistol.

I'd look at the STI Spartan over the RIA Tactical. It gets you a better rear sight, sharper cocking serrations, front cocking serrations, and the STI trigger group. Otherwise it's basically the same gun. Add a magwell, a Dawson front sight in your choice of widths, some grip tape on the front strap, and a few mags and it's ready to rock and roll.

Springfield Armory does have great service on their guns, but the cheaper guns are still made in Brazil so they're not offering anything over a gun made in the Philippines, especially in light of the fact that STI is a great supporter of our sport (as is Springfield) and has a lifetime warranty just like Springfield.

If Springfield's Loaded model cost the same or in the same range as the Spartan, it'd be a tough choice. STI offers more gun (in the Spartan) for the money, though.

Edited by twodownzero

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I "know" of a guy who bought two Range Officers and neither one will run through two mags without some type of issue. Whether it's FTF, FTE, etc., with what he spent on those two pistols, he could have gotten something much better ad reliable. Ironically, I had (key word, HAD) an SA Loaded Target and experienced similar issues. Went to an STI Trojan and have never looked back.

If you can find a Spartan, take a hard look. If you can swing the added cost of a Trojan...look harder. B)

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I "know" of a guy who bought two Range Officers and neither one will run through two mags without some type of issue. Whether it's FTF, FTE, etc., with what he spent on those two pistols, he could have gotten something much better ad reliable. Ironically, I had (key word, HAD) an SA Loaded Target and experienced similar issues. Went to an STI Trojan and have never looked back.

If you can find a Spartan, take a hard look. If you can swing the added cost of a Trojan...look harder. B)

Why would he spend money on it? Springfield will pay for shipping both ways and fix any issues?

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Out of the guns you listed I would say get the Springfield.

That being said, when it came time for me to buy my first 1911 I went all out (or so I thought) and got a Springfield Trophey Match. I love the gun and it has never given me any problems. Recently I picked up a Spartan just because the price was right and it is just as good of a shooter as the Trophey Match.

Between the Spartan and the RO I don't think there's a wrong choice.

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Mike.

Edited by ck1

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I've had a Trojan and a Wilson CQB and while both were great guns having recently shot a friends tricked out RIA Tactical I wouldn't hesitate to pick one up at around $400 bucks. IMHO one of the most fun parts about 1911's is how relatively easily and cheaply you can customize them to your own personal taste, aside from trigger work, most other upgrades are accomplished fairly easily with some help from YouTube, Google, and by leaning on more experienced 1911 owners/shooters if you're not completely unmechanically inclined (meaning you can follow some directions and use a file and some sandpaper).

If you're set on a Bo-Mar-type adjustable rear sight, it's a different story and I'd say just grab yourself a Spartan (or maybe an RIA Match at $100 or so cheaper), but if not an RIA Tactical is a good base gun to build on. My buddy's has an SVI ITS trigger, EGW/STI fire control, and a set of kick-ass Warren/Sevigny 1911 sights on it for about the same or less than what a Spartan costs just through some looking around for the best prices and a little DIY elbow-grease, picking exactly the stuff he was after.

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I "know" of a guy who bought two Range Officers and neither one will run through two mags without some type of issue. Whether it's FTF, FTE, etc., with what he spent on those two pistols, he could have gotten something much better ad reliable. Ironically, I had (key word, HAD) an SA Loaded Target and experienced similar issues. Went to an STI Trojan and have never looked back.

If you can find a Spartan, take a hard look. If you can swing the added cost of a Trojan...look harder. B)

Why would he spend money on it? Springfield will pay for shipping both ways and fix any issues?

That's a legitimate questions...knowing this guy, he won't want to admit the guns don't run properly. Who knows...he's an odd duck.

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As others have said, from the list, I'd pick the Springfield. They bend over backwards to take care of you. Off list, I agree that the Spartan is worth a look. No matter what, I'm sure you'll love it. Everyone needs a 1911.

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The AC II is a great gun for the money and you won't go wrong for a first. I've found most people have never seen,heard of or shot one.

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#1 on the springer. Be it a RO or a loaded. Run 1000 rounds through it to find out any likes/dislikes and to find any bugs. Don't be discouraged if you run into a few hicups along the way. 90% of the time, quality magazines will resolve any issues that you may run into.

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I am going to echo another member here and say

"Yes, Springfield Armory has wonderful customer service when it comes to willingness to except a gun that doesn't work out of the box back" That type of customer service means nothing to me.

Don't leave out the new Ruger either. I just picked one up recently and love it.

Would I prefer it over a Trojan? Nope, but you did mention a smaller budget.

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+1 on the RO, however a friend of mine has a Spartan in 9mm that runs like a champ.

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Spartan would be my first choice. I have one in 9mm. It is just as accurate as my Kimber 9mm/.40. It just stacks bullets like the Kimber does.

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+1 on the STI Spartan... just got one and the fit and quality is better than I expected. You also have the excellent STI customer service backing the product up.

my 0.02 cents.

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