Classic lines and classic design describe the 1911 offerings from American Tactical. A Commander-sized pistol, the GI 1911 is chambered in the ever-popular .45 ACP and uses seven-round magazines. A 4.25-inch barrel, military-style sights and mahogany grip panels are standard. The gun weighs approximately 33.5 ounces unloaded. MSRP: $460. (<a target=blank href=http://www.americantactical.us/940/detail.html>http://www.americantactical.us</a>; 800-290-0065)
With the arched mainspring housing, relief cuts and longer spur of the grip safety, American Tactical makes a 1911 that reminds us of the ones carried by so many GIs in World War II. The Military 1911 is a full-sized pistol with a 5-inch barrel that’s chambered in .45 ACP. Magazines hold seven rounds. This pistol has fixed military-style sights, a blued finish and mahogany grips. Unloaded, this pistol tips the scales at 37 ounces. MSRP: $460. (<a target=blank href=http://www.americantactical.us/939/detail.html>http://www.americantactical.us</a>; 800-290-0065)
By engraving “Model 1911A1 U.S. Army” on the slide, Auto-Ordnance clearly draws a line to this gun’s inspiration. Called the BKO, Auto-Ordnance is now offering this GI-style 1911 at an affordable price. This full-sized pistol is chambered in the original .45 ACP, has a 5-inch barrel and weighs 39 ounces. The grips are checkered plastic and the sights are traditional with a blade front and drift-adjustable rear. MSRP: $588. (auto-ordnance.com; 508-795-3919)
A departure from the multitude of Government-Issue-style pistols on the market, this full-sized 1911 pistol features Novak-style fiber-optic sights, olive wood grip panels and a durable, attractive matte black finish. The 1911-45 has a 5-inch barrel and weighs in at about 38 ounces with an empty magazine. Two 8-round magazines ship with the Chiappa 1911-45. The pistol also includes a manual and backstrap safety. MSRP: $589. (<a target=blank href=http://www.chiappafirearms.com/products/140>http://www.chiappafirearms.com</a>)
With this full-sized 1911, Citadel offers a full-featured handgun for sport or self-defense. Available in the classic .45 ACP cartridge, these guns are also sold chambered for the 9mm and .38 Super cartridges. This pistol has a 5-inch barrel, holds 8+1 rounds and weighs approximately 37 ounces. More features include a flared and lowered ejection port, a skeletonized hammer and trigger, a beveled magazine well, an extended bevertail grip safety and an extended, ambidextrous thumb safety. Black and Cerakote finish options are available. MSRP: $589. (<a target=blank href=http://www.legacysports.com/m-1911>http://www.legacysports.com</a>; 775-828-0555)
For a more concealable budget 1911, take a look at the Citadel M-1911 Compact. This handy gun packs a lot of features without breaking the bank. Offered in .45 ACP, the gun magazine holds seven rounds and has a 3.5-inch barrel. Wood stocks are standard, though for a small upgrade, they can be had with synthetic Hogue grips. Unloaded, the guns weigh about 34 ounces, making it a contender for everyday carry. MSRP: $592. (<a target=blank href=http://www.legacysports.com/m-1911>http://www.legacysports.com</a>; 775-828-0555)
Although it is called the Expert, this 1911 is priced for everyone, including new shooters and entry-level competitors. The Para Expert is a full-sized 1911-style pistol with a match-grade, 5-inch barrel. The Expert has a number of nice features, including a green fiber-optic front sight, an oversized ejection port for top-notch reliability, a match-grade trigger and a beavertail grip safety. The standard magazines hold eight rounds of .45 ACP ammunition, for an 8+1 total capacity. MSRP: $663. (<a target=blank href=http://para-usa.com/2013/firearms/expert/expert.php>http://www.para-usa.com</a>; 888-999-9386)
The Regent R350CR is a compact 1911-style pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge and fitted with a 4-inch barrel. The pistol comes with an ambidextrous thumb safety, a high-rise beavertail grip safety that helps prevent slide “bite” and an accessory rail for the addition of a tactical light or laser aiming device. The gun is equipped with Hogue grip panels for enhanced control as well as a skeletonized trigger. MSRP: $499. (<a target=blank href=http://regentarms.com/products/models/r350cr.html>http://www.regentarms.com</a>; 479-646-4210)
Big Green jumped head first into the 1911 market in 2010 with the introduction of its single-action R1. The R1 family has grown since then with the R1 Enhanced, the R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel for suppressor use, the R1 Carry and the R1 Carry Commander. As fans of Big Green have come to expect, the R1 is produced with tight tolerances on equipment representing the height of modern technology. New R1s are shipped in a custom carrying case. MSRP: $729. (<a target=blank href=http://www.1911r1.com/Products/Firearms/Model-1911r1.aspx>http://www.remington.com</a>; 800-243-9700)
Rock Island Armory (Armscor) has a solid reputation for building good quality, but affordable, 1911-style pistols for self-defense. The 1911 Standard GI is a perfect example of this. It is a full-sized pistol with a 5-inch barrel, fixed sights and an attractive Parkerized finish. The grips are smooth wood, furthering the pistol’s classic aesthetic. A Massachusetts-compliant model is also available. MSRP: $557. (<a target=blank href=https://us.armscor.com/products/gi-standard-fs-45-acp>http://us.armscor.com</a>; 775-537-1444)
For a full-featured, modern 1911, you should take a look at the ROCK Standard FS from Rock Island Armory. Chambered in 9mm, this pistol has all of the upgrades that many shooters are looking for, including an extended beavertail, low-profile combat sights, a skeletonized trigger, a combat hammer and a full-length guide rod. The suggested retail price of this gun is $634. MSRP: $634. (<a target=blank href=https://us.armscor.com/products/rock-standard-fs-45-acp>http://us.armscor.com</a>; 775-537-1444)
Taurus has built a solid reputation in the industry through its workhorse 1911-style pistols. These guns are widely viewed as offering a lot of boom for the buck. The company uses a forged steel frame as the base for its full-sized 1911FS. The pistol has a 5-inch barrel and uses eight-round magazines. Heinie sights are standard on these pistols, as is the ventilated trigger, a large thumb safety and forward slide serrations. Unloaded, the gun weighs 38 ounces. MSRP: $684. (<a target=blank href=http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=59&category=Pistol>http://www.taurususa.com</a>; 800-327-3776)
Although the gun has a classic look, this is a thoroughly modern pistol with Novak-style sights, a combat hammer and a skeletonized trigger. The Compact Carry from Taylor’s Tactical is designed to satisfy your concealed-carry needs. Chambered in .45 ACP, this gun has a short 3.6-inch barrel and weighs slightly less than 39 ounces. Standard magazines hold seven rounds, giving you an immediate eight rounds of .45-caliber self-defense when you need it most! MSRP: $585. (<a target=blank href=http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/taylor-s-tactical-1911-compact-carry-45-acp-3-5-8.html>http://www.taylorsfirearms.com</a>; 540-722-2017)
Designed more than 100 years ago, the 1911-style pistol continues to be extremely popular with the buying public. I’d be willing to wager that there are more companies making these guns for the private market today that there ever have been before. Customized 1911 pistols costing thousands of dollars may be things of beauty, but most shooters are looking for something more affordable that can be enjoyed on the range or even used for home defense. Fortunately, there are a number of manufacturers making modern 1911 pistols at a reasonable price. Some are recreations of the original GI models, while others are modern updates to the venerable design. Here is a look at some of the most affordable 1911-style pistols that are available on the market today for shooters and enthusiasts alike.
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Rock Island Armory
Taylor’s & Co, Inc.
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by Personal Defense World / Apr 28, 2015