In this thorough article, we’re going to talk about the best 1911 45 ACP for the money on the market now, so that we can help you with your choice as much as possible.
However, defining “the best for the money” would be troublesome due to the state of today’s market. So, first, we have to narrow down the list by talking only for .45 ACP caliber firearms.
There are three important factors that we look at when deciding which model to opt for in our list. The first thing is the quality of construction, second is performance and last, but not at least – affordability.
About the .45 ACP Handgun
The .45 ACP is a handgun cartridge made by John Moses Browning in 1905. It was meant to be used in his Colt semi-automatic prototype, which was later adopted as a standard chambering for Colt’s M1911 handgun.
Prior to that, the Ordnance Board was dissatisfied with the issue revolver cartridge at the time, which was ineffective in the Philippine-American war against Moro tribesmen, who wore body armor.
So, in 1904, the inventor of the “Tommy Gun” – Gen. John Thompson, conducted a large array of the test to find a reliable option for the army. Several handguns were submitted such as a Colt, a Savage and a German DWM P08 Luger in .45 caliber.
After vigorous tests that consisted of firing thousands of rounds with each gun, the military-designed “Model of 1911” Colt emerged as a winner.
Back in the days, the heavy .45 ACP delivered a third more energy than the common 9 mm Luger. However, thanks to the technological advancements of our time, the 9 mm bullet delivers as much energy to the target as the .45 caliber.
This said the .45 ACP isn’t dead because it has benefited from that advancement as well. Almost every manufacturer has it’s own version of a 1911 gun, meaning that there’s more choice than ever before.
Best 1911 45 ACP for the Money Comparison Table
|Rock Island Armory Rock Standard Full-Size||Ambidextrous safety Skeletonized Trigger. Adjustable Novak-style rear sight.||VIEW CURRENT PRICE|
|Ruger SR1911 Standard Model||Stainless slide, barrel and frame. Staked plunger tube, 2 magazines - 8/7 rounds.||VIEW CURRENT PRICE|
|Taurus PT 1911||Lightened hammer & full-length guide rod. Free 1-year membership in the NRA. Lifetime Warranty.||VIEW CURRENT PRICE|
|Remington R1 Enhanced .45 ACP||Beavertail grip safety with checkered memory hump. 20 LPI checkering, flat mainspring housing.||VIEW CURRENT PRICE|
|Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 .45ACP||3-dot combat sights Series 70 trigger. Cross-cannon Double Diamond cocobolo .||VIEW CURRENT PRICE|
Best 1911 45 ACP for the Money Reviews
#1: Rock Island Armory Rock Standard Full-Size .45 ACP
Rock Island Armory, or “RIA” as it is also known, is an affordable .45 caliber handgun that offers great value at budget-friendly prices. The brand is owned by Armscor Global Defense Inc., a descendant of the Squires & Bingham Company, founded in 1905.
Later on, the company was bought in 1941 by the Philippine-based family Tuason, which started manufacturing firearms in 1952. Since then, the company produces close to 200,000 firearms and 420 million rounds of ammunition per year.
Their 1911 series has earned a very good reputation amongst shooters in terms of functionality and affordability. The full-sized version features a Parkerized finish that adds to the durability of the item.
The original 1911 comes with a short-recoil Browning action that requires a 5” barrel to function properly. Nowadays, the same system is used in the 1911 models, with minor exceptions in compact models.
Rock Island Armory offers a great variety of models, packed with different features and price tags. In this article, we’re going to talk about the standard full-size pistol.
The handgun comes with a standard RIA trigger, that breaks at 4.5-5 pounds. We tested the safety switches, slide stop, and magazine release and we were surprised that they worked very efficiently.
Moreover, it features Novak-style sights that add for the overall precision when shooting. Finally, we had some talks with the company’s customer service and we were pleased to see that all of our queries were quickly resolved.
#2: Ruger SR1911 Standard Model
The Ruger is one of the most renowned brands available on the market, and for some people, it is all they need to know about a gun. What impresses the most is the solid construction and accuracy of Ruger’s autoloaders.
The SR1911 is made of stainless steel and comes with beautifully checkered hardwood grip panels and perfectly positioned controls. The company offers a huge variety of 1911 models in .45 ACP, 10 mm, and 9 mm, but we’re going to talk only about the .45 caliber.
This pistol is based on the Series 70 design but offers more safety features to prevent accidental misfires. For example, a firing pin safety has been added, which changes the way you operate with the gun significantly.
In terms of weight, the Ruger weighs only 39 oz. and has a magazine capacity of 8+1. The standard model comes at a length of 8.67” & 5.45”, whereas the MSRP is $939
Similar to the RIA models, the SR1911 also comes with drift-adjustable Novak 3-Dot sights, an oversized beavertail and skeletonized trigger with a crisp pull.
#3: Taurus PT1911
The Taurus company is founded by the Brazilian Taurus Armas, S.A. Through subsidiaries, the company produces many of its models in the United States, Miami.
At 38 oz., the gun comes at a slightly lighter weight than the Ruger and with the same magazine capacity of 8+1 rounds. Moreover, at a street price of $450-$500, we can say that the Taurus offers a variety of features that can be found in more expensive models.
The PT1911 features an ambidextrous safety and a full-length guide rod, which is important, but most of the competitors don’t have it. The trigger is skeletonized with regulated overtravel, which allows you to be accurate even at fifty yards with suitable ammunition.
The hammer is significantly lightened, while the ejection port is flared and lowered. It features a bushing wrench, recoil control mechanism and slide serrations, both front and rear.
Furthermore, the gun comes with a lifetime warranty and two 8-round magazines. What’s more to ask from a gun with a street price of around $500?
#4: Remington R1 Enhanced .45 ACP
The company behind the Remington is called Big Green, one of the most notorious firearms manufacturers in the world. However, their popularity mainly grew thanks to the shotguns they produced.
Back in WW1, Remington was the first producer to help Colt manufacture the M1911s because they couldn’t make the whole number of guns, required by the military.
A few years back, the Big Green company had some major issues with the production of automatic pistols. Now, they are back in an effort to regain the reputation they once had.
In 2010, the company introduced a modern 1911 version called R1. Combining their expertise with modern manufacturing methods and materials, it was a matter of time before they make a recognizable model.
It is important to note that there is more than a single version of the R1. You can purchase a budget-friendly model without adjustable sights, a concealed carry version, engraved editions, and more.
In this review, we will talk solely on the R1 Enhanced .45 ACP. It’s a functional 1911 gun with a 1.26” width, which makes it suitable for concealed carry.
The front sight features a fiber optic, while the rear sight is fully adjustable, allowing it to be used in a variety of competitions. The magazine’s capacity is 8+1, whereas the trigger is made of aluminum.
MSRP of the gun is valued at $900, but it can be easily found in gun shops around $640. If you’re looking for a fashionable and yet functional firearm, then the R1 Enhanced is the right model for you.
#5: Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 .45ACP
Springfield is a well-known company that makes fine guns. Their Mil-Spec 1911 gun is modeled after the original M1911A1 with some minor exceptions.
It is suitable for both experienced and beginner shooters. It looks pretty much as the original, with some minor replacements with modern components.
The changes include elevated 3-dot combat sights, lowered and flared ejection ports, as well as beautifully engraved grip panels. Moreover, this Series 70 autoloader has some other differences in the mechanism.
It doesn’t have an ambidextrous safety switch but offers a comfortable experience when placed in hand. If you wish to purchase a Military-Spec handgun that provides an outstanding piece of craftsmanship, then the Springfield is the gun for you.
The pistol comes with an original 7-round magazine, but you can also go for a Chip McCormack 8-round Power Mag. If you’re not into the wooden panels, they can be replaced according to your preferences.
The above-mentioned handguns are all tested and function properly. We’ve not reviewed any custom or high-end models, as we are looking for more budget-friendly options to showcase to our readers.
If you’re looking to purchase a sophisticated firearm that brings back memories of old times, then you will surely love these 1911-designed pistols.
When it comes to guns, the price tag isn’t definitive for the quality of construction and working functions. Experience shows that you can purchase lesser-expensive 1911 and still have a reliable weapon by your side.
A Bulgarian native law student, and a gun aficionado. I’ve graduated from a British International school and have successfully taken a number of Cambridge certificates such as PET, FCE, CAE, GSCE, IGCSE & IELTS. I found love in firearms early on in life when my father took me hunting for the first time. A few years later and an unknown number of rounds fired, I have the opportunity to combine my home defense & firearms expertise with the public.