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Best Entry level BE 1911… right now

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RoyDean
Tim:H11
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Post by Gonzocm89 Tue May 31, 2022 8:46 pm

We all know the Springfield Armory Range Officer holds this crown, but with it being discontinued and all- what’s the next best thing?

I’m looking for something that doesn’t come with ambi-controls and tacticool stuff we don’t need.

I really need a .45 if I’m going to ever shoot a 2700. Not trying to break the bank too badly to do it or contend with the wife after doing so.

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Post by chiz1180 Tue May 31, 2022 8:57 pm

A used wadgun is how I started. A bunch of people have wadguns that they probably would part with, find a local (as possible) group and ask around.
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Post by dieselguy624 Tue May 31, 2022 8:58 pm

So Joe Chambers did a review of Rock Island Armory's 1911 where he pulled it apart and measured everything with a fine tooth comb.  He found that the RIA 1911's are better than a lot of the so called custom stuff out there.  For the money and if they are truly built to "spec" I would consider one if money was an issue. You'll want to at least have a barrel & bushing fitted and a good trigger job, I know some smiths won't work on them but maybe some will.

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Post by Tim:H11 Tue May 31, 2022 9:01 pm

You can still get a Range Officer used or pre owned but not shot on gun broker. And then theres always a used gun from someone here on the forum.
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Post by RoyDean Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:21 am

As Tim:H11 correctly points out, there are SARO's on GB right now. At least three when I just looked:-

https://www.gunbroker.com/Semi-Auto-Pistols/search?Keywords=range%20officer&PageSize=96&Sort=13&View=1&Ch-BarrelLength=5%20inch&Ch-Caliber=.45%20ACP

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Post by Gonzocm89 Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:45 pm

All good replies with excellent suggestions.

Now I hate to ask about it but since we are on the subject of SA pistols. How does the Loaded Target model stack up to the tried and true Range Officer we all love so much?

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Post by Jon Eulette Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:54 pm

I’ve built a few RIA pistols. Avoid at all cost!
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Post by Gonzocm89 Wed Jun 01, 2022 10:02 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:I’ve built a few RIA pistols. Avoid at all cost!
Jon
IMHO I am not a fan of their 1911s. You won’t see me pulling one out of my pistol box on EIC day.

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Post by 8eightring Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:27 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:I’ve built a few RIA pistols. Avoid at all cost!
Jon
Why  should we avoid them?
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Post by Jon Eulette Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:55 pm

Tolerances actually suck. Slides are a bit soft. Hard fitting barrel hood caused breech face to deform. 
Slide to frame fit was crappy, could be welded up and refit but in scheme of things better off starting with different platform. I’ll never work on another one.
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Post by Gonzocm89 Thu Jun 02, 2022 12:08 am

Jon Eulette wrote:Tolerances actually suck. Slides are a bit soft. Hard fitting barrel hood caused breech face to deform. 
Slide to frame fit was crappy, could be welded up and refit but in scheme of things better off starting with different platform. I’ll never work on another one.
Jon
Well. Now that we established the state of junk that is RIA 1911s…

How about that Springfield Armory Loaded Target 1911? How does that compare to the beloved Range Officer?

I can already tell you that ambidextrous safety is not needed but that’s an easy fix. Just need to know if the gun can shoot just as well (hopefully better for the extra $$) as the SARO.

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Post by Jon Eulette Thu Jun 02, 2022 12:58 am

The Springfield Armory loaded target model is a good base gun to build a BE worthy pistol. Similar to RO in factory form.
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Post by Grouse Thu Jun 02, 2022 9:29 am

Jon, What are your feelings on the SA Garrison as a base to build? I'm toying with the idea of doing this with a Garrison I've recently acquired for my son. However (as I have learned on this board) not all guns (and bones of guns) seem to be equal. It would be this, or a ground up build.   However, trying to find him a used/pre-owned wad gun has been suggested as well.

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Post by NukeMMC Thu Jun 02, 2022 12:20 pm

Grouse wrote:Jon, What are your feelings on the SA Garrison as a base to build? I'm toying with the idea of doing this with a Garrison I've recently acquired for my son. However (as I have learned on this board) not all guns (and bones of guns) seem to be equal. It would be this, or a ground up build.   However, trying to find him a used/pre-owned wad gun has been suggested as well.
These guys aren't neck-deep into Bullseye, but here's a comparison between the RO and Loaded Target in 9mm: https://www.gun-tests.com/accessories/carrying-cases/springfield-9mm-1911s-loaded-versus-range-officer-showdown-4/
The Garrison does not have adjustable rear sight.  If you're shooting 50 and 25, you have to adjust 4 clicks (+/-) to go from 50 to 25.  The Garrison's slide-to-frame fit isn't what the RO is/was, but folks like KC Crawford will tell you that having a tightened slide/frame fit is only about 5% of a pistol's accuracy potential.

Now for the reality check - Just pick something and get out there and practice.  When you can out-shoot what you are using, send it for a workup or get something better.  You'll get into or past Sharpshooter with a RO or LT, without any work on the gun.
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Post by Gonzocm89 Thu Jun 02, 2022 5:21 pm

Ok now with that out of the way. Does anyone shoot 185gr SWC out of their RO or LT? What has been the experience with those?

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Post by NukeMMC Thu Jun 02, 2022 5:30 pm

Gonzocm89 wrote:Ok now with that out of the way. Does anyone shoot 185gr SWC out of their RO or LT? What has been the experience with those?
I'll say that mine shoots loose 9/10 ring at 50yds off sandbag with 4.3 and 4.5gr of N310 under Zero 185 jhps.  I have a few hundred Hornady 185 jswc on the way.
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Post by Gonzocm89 Fri Jun 03, 2022 11:18 pm

NukeMMC wrote:
Gonzocm89 wrote:Ok now with that out of the way. Does anyone shoot 185gr SWC out of their RO or LT? What has been the experience with those?
I'll say that mine shoots loose 9/10 ring at 50yds off sandbag with 4.3 and 4.5gr of N310 under Zero 185 jhps.  I have a few hundred Hornady 185 jswc on the way.
I know the Zero bullets tend to have good results, however some 1911s are picky when trying to feed SWC. A friend of mine shoots a SARO and his doesn’t like 185 SWC.

Not every gun eats the same so I am interested to hear what your experience will be. Please keep me informed Smile

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