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Budget 1911, opinions please?

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radjag
Froneck
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CO1Mtn
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Post by CO1Mtn 3/4/2021, 8:37 pm

Greetings,

I might want to buy a .45 caliber 1911, but on a budget. Under $700. Range Officer pistols are good, but what about other brands? Why not another type of 1911, as long as it has a 5" barrel? I can swap out the rear sight for a target type sight like the Range Officer has, correct? Thank you in advance for any input you may have.
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Post by Olde Pilot 3/4/2021, 8:51 pm

Buy the Range Officer. Best accuracy/features out the box anywhere near your price point.  Don't agonize over all the other options.

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Post by Froneck 3/4/2021, 9:22 pm

If your interested in eventually shooting Precision (Bullseye) you want the brand that when you want match accuracy you can have a qualified pistol smith do what's needed. The sights mean nothing, the gun must be able to shoot a perfect score when put in a machine rest. Then better sighting can be added but if the gun will not hold a tight group especially at 50 yards there are no sights available that will change that! That is also true of the brand of pistol, there are many that can't be made to shoot a good group plus others that will require a lot of work therefore expensive to do.

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Post by radjag 3/5/2021, 6:54 am

Get a SA Range Officer. It already has decent target sights, so is fine out of the box for CMP EIC Service Pistol. And is good enough as is to learn the 2700 course for CF and 45.

If you want to move up to a decent wad gun send it to Dave Salyer to drill tap fit a rail and tweak the trigger. Buy a 1" Ultradot (or any other decent tube sight).

Then you have enough gun to get to Master if you train hard.

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Post by Dr.Don 3/5/2021, 8:39 am

+1  Range Officer is the place to start.
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Post by Froneck 3/5/2021, 6:34 pm

I too agree the SA Range Officer is your best choice. I know a few that had them worked on by guys like Jon to make them good match pistols. The frame is well made but assembled on a production line so at least you have a good base to start with if you desire to use it to shoot matches with. If you intend to become a good shooter you will never learn by shooting an inaccurate pistol! Any errors have to have been created by the shooter because that's the only thing that you can learn to over come.

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Post by zanemoseley 3/5/2021, 6:56 pm

Is this going to be your primary 45? If so being a master you would really benefit from a built wadcutter even if it's a used one. Do you plan to shoot irons or fit a dot?

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Post by aub1957 3/5/2021, 7:43 pm

Range officer is a great pistol for the money. Has a dang nice set of sights on it if you are going to shoot irons. All that swapping out sights business is $$$.

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Post by Froneck 3/6/2021, 3:28 am

The one thing you must do is define what you eventually want to do with the pistol. Asking which is the best gun will soon become like asking which is better Ford or Chevy! Understand one thing if you intend to become a Precision (Bullseye) match shooter any pistol not being able to shoot an X ring group is a waste of money! You will never learn to shoot a Master score with a pistol not capable of hitting where you aim and preform the proper controls that will direct the bullet to your point of aim. When everything is done correctly so as the bullet should enter the 10 ring and the pistol directs the bullet to the 7 does more to defeat your development than a good shooting pistol. The pistol you use to train MUST place the bullet on the target where it should be as you have placed it. Simply because the location of the point of target impact is what you have done and if not at the intended location it indicates your error in executing the shot so as to require correction, it is as bad as the reverse when you do have an error yet impact is in the center of the X ring! Too often the phrase the Gun Shoots better than me is used to describe the pistol used by many wanting to learn match shooting but if that means the gun will group in the 8 ring and the shooter can't do that well is because it's the gun that's harming the shooters ability to learn. Don't fall into that trap! If you can't afford a tack driver get something like the Range Officer that can be up-graded. Learn to shoot at 25 yards where the gun will group well until the up-grade can be afforded.

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Post by Jon Eulette 3/6/2021, 4:24 am

I build lots of RO into very competitive BE pistols. I recommend the following;
1) If on extreme budget get the pistol and a trigger job; add skateboard tape to the front strap.
2) When you can afford it get a EGW angle bore bushing fit to your pistol and get an EGW 0.200" slidestop pin; this will help the barrel lockup better.
3) Get it rebarreled with a Kart or KKM barrel (do not use an Exact Fit Kart barrel, SA/RO internal dimensions are excessive and that barrel will give you minimal upper lug depth; more recoil)
4) Upgrade to tool steel fire control parts.
When you get to number 4 you'll have a darn good BE pistol.
Jon
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