Most Reliable and Accurate 1911 under $1,000 USD


I am looking for three 1911 handguns (one each in .45 acp, .40 s&w, and 9 mm), that are both reliable and accurate. Also, would prefer a full length guide rod, stainless steel, and (relatively) easy to take down and reassemble. Strongly prefer under $1,000 USD (I know prices can go much higher, but my budget can’t.)

Any suggestions?

Thank you!


Thanks for the video, Robert. About what I figured (both from Miculek and Doctor Uptown).

It just confirms my desire for the full length guide rod.

My first 1911 was a Colt Government .45 acp. Nice gun, but it had the GI guide rod. I had no trouble maintaining it, but I still prefer the full length guide rod.

Regarding Rock Island Armory (RIA), hmmm, the reviews on Buds Gun Shop Online don’t exactly instill confidence in them. I think I will stick with Kimber, Ruger, Springfield, Para Ordnance, or similar.


I don’t think a single gun can spark as many different opinions as a 1911. I currently have 3. A S&W and two Kimbers. I like them all but I love my Kimbers. I offer this for your consideration. Not the simplest take down in the world but not at all difficult. 9mm or .45ACP.


A used Les Baer (I have seen them as low as $1100), used Dan Wesson, used Colt gold cup. Avoid kimber and Sig like the plague.


I have a loaded Springfield it has the full length guide rod . I am at around 2000 rounds and no problems .


So jf89, why no love for the Kmber? My Ultra Raptor has several thousand rounds through it with narry a hitch. “Avoid like the plague” seems strong. If your not a fan, something more like “Avoid like Justin Beiber” would be fine. (Or is it ‘Beaver’?)

On second thought I avoid Beiber like the plague, so I guess I get it.


Their QC is trash for the price, Cohen (sp) ruined them just like he is doing to Sig. Ive seen nice ones and obviously some will run good but I dont like gambling like that. Colt and SA is superior for the price and Dan Wesson and Les Bear are lightyears better due to the craftsmanship. My buddy did say he carried both a kimber and a Colt 1911 on his first couple tours in the sandbox and liked both but the Kimbers extractor gave him issues and he had to replace it at a fairly low round count.


Fair enough. Kind of a “you mileage may vary” thing. Luck o’ the Irish for me I guess.



Thanks for the suggestion. For occasional carry, this one might just do.


Thanks for the followup, Robert.

Jerry was dissing the tungsten guide rod - being unnecessary (and expensive). I got that. I know 1911’s don’t necessarily need full length guide rods. But, moving onto the Doctor Uptown video, he seemed to say they did not add a lot, but were okay (different strokes for different folks kind of thing). He made the point about the slight addition of weight under the barrel - something I like. He also said that, in theory, it could help with keeping the spring from bunching up - ever heard of Murphy’s Law? It would be my luck that the spring could/would bunch up on me (if I forgo the full length guide rod).

For the record, I like and admire Jerry Miculek a lot! He is a bit of a hero to me (and is about the same age as me). He is capable of doing things very few people in this world can do, but he has earned that thru years of practice. I will never reach his level, but it does inspire me to practice.

Regarding the RIA’s - I looked at several, not just one. Generally, I not only look at the stars rating, but what the reviewer says. Sometimes, the reviewer unfairly criticizes a gun for having trouble when they use low quality ammo. I ignore those. But, for the RIA’s - it was more than that. They seem to be hit and miss - more of a QC issue - something I pay a lot of attention to.



So, who has the better QC - Springfield or Kimber?

There was a time that I was willing to bust my budget a little by considering the Springfield TRP (.45 acp). But, then I watched Hickok45 review it, and it jammed on him a couple/few times. Uh oh, that isn’t good! He generally is the guy that somehow gets even crappy guns to work fine. So, I pulled back from that gun (especially since it was really over my budget).

And, should I even consider the Ruger SR1911’s? (I don’t think they have full length guide rods, so they are already lower on my list of candidates.) Plus, not sure if their accuracy is even close to the other choices.


SA has better QC but the kimber is fancier


thanks for your feedback, jf89.



Not sure what the reference about the paper clip is about. Also, on the Doctor Uptown video, it sure looked to me that the gun with the full length guide rod was as easy, if not easier, to take apart. What am I missing?

Also, never heard of Cabot guns, but I looked into them (viewed their website), and firmly determined I can write them off. They are way over my budget and so expensive, I could never be interested in them. Also, did not like the stars in the triggers (found on almost all of their 1911’s on their website). Thanks, but no thanks.

Do you actually have any RIA 1911’s? What has been your experience with them?



Thanks, Robert. But, I really need to stick to my budget, so $2,000 guns, regardless of their quality, function, etc., not interested.

So, what about Ruger’s SR1911 - worth considering, or no?

What about S&W - do they have any 1911’s under $1,000 (worth considering)?



What about Para Ordnance? I had the 14-45 Gun Rights .45 acp stainless steel 1911 - most accurate handgun I ever had! It cost me $900 brand new. I am very sorry I sold it! Never had any troubles with it, but it was a little stiff (did not finish breaking it in before I sold it, I guess). FYI - I did not sell it for the right reason! That is why I need to buy another 1911 in .45 acp.


RIA is also a 70 series and kimber has that funky schwartz (or whatever its called)80 series saftey crap. I would take an RIA over Kimber.


John, it seems to me you might want to put your hands on some or all of these suggestions. If you can hit a gun store when they’re not too busy you can spend some time with these and see what you like. Have them show you the take down method. Judge the build quality yourself. See how the trigger feels. Rent and shoot some if you can at a local range.
You know the old saying. “Opinions are like ass holes. Everybody’s got one and they all stink.”



Thanks for the links.

I guess I really have not been clear as to why I started this discussion. I am trying to expand my horizons, see what other people have learned and learn from them. The 1911’s I have had, I did not have them long enough to really judge them like some people. Is Para Ordnance even a good brand? I don’t know. The few hundred rounds I put thru the one I had, it was marvelous. Would it hold up? Would it be hard to maintain (I never even broke it down)? I don’t know.

I have heard mixed reviews (now) on RIA, Ruger SR1911, Kimber, Colt, and Springfield. What I am really looking for is a gun that does NOT get mixed reviews. In other words, would get 5 stars (not 4.x), on Buds. I have seen quite a few guns get that top rating, mostly Glocks. I have the Glock G21, both in Gen3 and in Gen4. I like them and have never had problems with them. But, was hoping to find a 1911 like that.(no problems, etc.)

So, sorry if I have wasted your, or anyone else’s time, on this topic. So many people have bragged on their 1911’s over the years that I was sure I would get someone bragging (rightfully so, I hope), on their 1911 (preferably within the parameters I set in the topic description). Then, instead of relying on my limited experience, I would learn something of true value to me.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.


You’ve not wasted anyone’s time. But you expectation that there ever could be a unanimous opinion on any gun is wrong minded. Especially in the world of 1911 in 2018.