18 All-New 1911 Pistols For 2018

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 6 months ago

At Shooting Illustrated.  You can go see for yourself, but I won’t comment except to say that the prices are totally unreasonable.

I simply won’t pay $4000+ for any handgun.  Ever.  Not even if I was wealthy.  I’d give my money away before I paid that much for a pistol, even a very good one.

I’m not sure what manufacturers are thinking (perhaps they think there’s a market for this price point, and maybe there is), but when you can get a pseudo-custom Dan Wesson for < $2000, it just isn’t worth is to buy more expensive.  And I think I’ve mentioned before that the gunsmiths at Hyatt Gun Shop would rather work on a Springfield Armory 1911 than a Kimber (so I’m told) because it’s a better pistol.

A Springfield runs for much, much less than the prices I see in this article.  Smith & Wesson also makes a very good Performance Center 1911 for much less than these prices.  I’m thinking that some of these must be custom-built guns, but even then, I’m just flabbergasted at the prices.


Comments

  1. On June 1, 2018 at 8:10 am, Chris said:

    You can get a perfectly good, accurate, functional watch for $12. Yet there is a market for watches as functional jewelry for $12,000. This is the same oddity but in pistols.

  2. On June 1, 2018 at 8:33 am, Gryphon said:

    I want to see how that $4k .45 does in the Army’s standard Weapons Testing, including the ‘Dropped in the Mud and Stepped on’ Tests….

    I’ll bet a Case of Ammo (your choice) that nearly all of those Expensive Guns will have 50-100 Rounds through them, and then gather Dust in a Safe.

    I’ve got 1,000+ Rounds through an out-of-the-box Springfield 1911 that I paid
    $800 for three years ago (Yes, I should Shoot More) and No Troubles whatsoever, No Disassembly other than regular Cleaning.

  3. On June 1, 2018 at 10:38 am, Bill Robbins said:

    Dang, I’m gonna need to try a 1911 and it’s gonna cost me. Resist. Resist. Resistance is futile.

  4. On June 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm, Old Bill said:

    I have made this very point in regards to ARs for a long time. Guns are machines; very specific machines with their own set of critical parameters, but relatively simple for all that. There’s a lot of noise about buying factory-made rifles instead of assembling one yourself, but it’s misplaced elitist BS. Milspec has worked all the troublesome kinks out; stay milspec, assemble your gun and have confidence.
    The worrisome anecdotes come (in my experience) from people who just HAD to “improve” on milspec. If you’re going to redesign the gas system, then you’d better be a machine designer/engineer and be willing to do testing.
    The one factor where more money probably buys value is in material science: boron-nitride bolt carriers (though milspec dimension) are better and worth some extra coin (as an example).
    I suspect what you’re seeing with the pistols is just the same.

  5. On June 1, 2018 at 3:01 pm, scott s. said:

    RRA and Les Baer are asking around $2500 for a competition-ready wad gun. In the past I know many bullseye 1911 smiths preferred the SA 1911 as the stating point for a custom 1911.

    Meanwhile, CMP goes on line next week in preparation for the sale of US 1911s (supposedly allocated 8000 for this year).

  6. On June 1, 2018 at 7:09 pm, Jack said:

    I’m with @Gryphon. The cheapest Les Baer is $2300. I can’t see the value over my $800 Springfield 1911.

    Unfortunately, there are way too many people with more money than brains, and they like the flash and status of Les Baer and Kimber – like the fool I took my first pistol course with in California. Whether or not his guns were any more accurate or smooth running than the Glocks or my HK USP or the instructor’s Sig didn’t matter, because he thought he was King of the hill when he proudly displayed his two $5000 LB custom 1911s.

    On a related topic, I’ve noticed that on many of the gun forums, people with high end 1911s struggle to find magazines that run smoothly. I’ve never had a mag problem with my SA 1911s. Is this just finicky people, or do the high manufacturers make tolerances so tight that it causes problems?

  7. On June 1, 2018 at 9:10 pm, John said:

    I’ve subscribed to several firearms trade publications over the years
    and still do though it’s not been for business purposes.
    When I see firearms with prices quoted over 2k for pistols,
    3k for long arms and optics that cost the same I just shake my head
    and turn the page.

  8. On June 3, 2018 at 9:32 am, John said:

    I have a SA GI model that made a trip to the SA Custom shop to be accurized, and an RIA that I “normalized” by installing a stainless barrel/bushing, standard guide rod, adjustable trigger, and a non ambit thumb safety, and both pistols are capable of 2-inch groups at 25 yards. Both pistols including mods cost me less than $1200.

  9. On June 3, 2018 at 12:35 pm, =TW= said:

    My MK IV Gold Cup was a work of art. Those were considered top of the line 1911s at the time. But not suited for carry so I sold it and began the quest for a more appropriate combat pistol. I was not impressed with the S80 Combat Commander I purchased as replacement.
    Next up, a Springfield 1911A1 as a base gun to work on myself. Took that one as far as I could with some success. I haven’t shot it in many years.
    Seven or ten 1911’s later I still haven’t found the perfect 1911. But the Kimber Compact comes real close. When I bought it, Colt quality was in decline and Kimber was on the rise.
    The runner-up is my last-production Para Elite Commander. Out the door it cost $500.00, about what I paid for the Gold Cup back in the late ’70s.

    Meanwhile, 1911s from Wilson, Baer, Brown, Nighthawk have gone through the roof, opening the market to imports- RAI, ATI, Chiappa etc, and some better clones from Taylors and similar. CZ/Dan Wesson 1911s look pretty good in the $1500.00 range. Triple the price of the Para. Three times as good as the Para? Maybe. Is the Wilson 3 times as good as the DW? Seems doubtful.

    Like the Chevy small block, there are few secrets left in the 1911. With modern CNC machines and adequate quality control it shouldn’t be too difficult to produce a reliable 1911 at a reasonable price. Kimber was among the first to recognize and act on this.

    For some reason both Kimber and Para take lots of flak from internet “experts”. I’m not sure why- possibly because the internet is an echo chamber that magnifies the relatively few legitimate gripes and turns them into Gospel.
    Certainly neither of these pistols are perfect, but my experience with them has been quite positive.

  10. On June 3, 2018 at 10:07 pm, snuffy said:

    If you go to Cabot home page and scroll through their offerings, you’ll find that the ones listed in the article are probably the least expensive of them. They make one of a kind works of art, more than a “weapon”. 99% will never have a single round even chambered.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published May 31st, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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