The 1911 pistol is considered a symbol of durability, reliability and enviable gun power. This sidearm offers solid performance and when loaded with hard-hitting .45 ACP cartridges, the stopping power is comparable to rifles. In this guide, we will determine what is the best 1911 for the money in today’s market.
Nowadays, the market for this type of guns is flooded with models, each with its own advantage and disadvantage. To make your choice easier, we’ve made a list of the best 1911 for the money.
Background of the 1911 Handgun
In the 1800s, John Moses Browning, a genius known for his developments within some of the most popular firearms that we know today.
The 1911 model was built on the Colt 1905 model footprints. The name originates from the time when the army began using the pistol. Before the Beretta M9, the M1911A1 – .45 caliber, was the longest-serving American weapon.
This handgun is designed as a combat pistol for professional users. The 1911 pistol in .45 caliber offers unmatched reliability and efficiency. Its size makes it very suitable for concealed carry and home defense.
What to consider before purchasing
Just like any other gun, this also has advantages and disadvantages. All 1911 handguns come in 4 different barrel sizes: Officer Model, Government, Match Target (Long Slide) or Commander.
Experts advise that as a first choice, a barrel length of 5-inches stainless steel would be the best choice as they offer greater reliability, finer performance, and anti-corrosion characteristics.
Moreover, the guide rod must be a shorter standard length and not a full-length aftermarket piece. When it comes to triggers, there are four different options – flat, short, long and medium.
Look for models, in which the slide is already cut with Novak dovetails so that you can upgrade the sights according to your preferences. Also, some frames include Picatinny rails that will enable you to attach accessories.
The gun is well-known for its .45 standard caliber, but there are many other options available such as .380ACP, 9mm, .38 Super, .40 S&@ and even 10mm.
Best 1911 for the Money Comparison Table
|Springfield Armory Pistol 1911-A1 9mm||All steel construction. Suitable for duty & defense. Compact 1911 design chambered in the 9mm round.||VIEW CURRENT PRICE|
|Sig Sauer Pistol 1911 XO .45 ACP||Match-grade barrel, trigger and sear set. Contains only high-quality internal parts.||VIEW CURRENT PRICE|
|Cold Delta Elite 10mm Stainless Steel||Series 80-based pistol. Overall best 10mm 1911 handgun. Equipped with Novak Sights.||VIEW CURRENT PRICE|
|Colt 1911 .45 ACP Rail Gun||A solid and durable trigger, a bit too heavy. Decoband Brown Coating for improved durability.||VIEW CURRENT PRICE|
|Kimber Custom II .45 ACP||Sharp edges removed to improve drawing out. Full-length guide rod for precise shooting.||VIEW CURRENT PRICE|
Best 1911 for the Money Reviews
#1: Springfield Armory 1911 A1 – 9mm
Experience shows that the Springfield Armory 1911 is probably the best overall model in terms of performance and precision. Springfield’s Range Officer models are a competitive gun that offers unmatched precision at affordable prices.
In fact, the gun is known for hitting targets with less than an inch grouping at 25 yards. This 9mm chambered gun is a preferred choice by many for concealed carry and defense due to that precision.
In terms of construction, the gun offers a stainless steel frame for corrosion resistance and enhanced durability. The barrel is made of the same material and it is measured at 5 inches. There’s a dovetail installed for adjustable target sights.
The trigger is long, aluminum-made with a serrated face, that offers a crisp pull of 5 pounds. The grips feature a double diamond checkered wood design with the Springfield logo embroidered.
Shooting with the gun is a pleasant experience as it offers a mild recoil that doesn’t affect accuracy. Moreover, the 9mm caliber has a 9+1 magazine capacity, giving you plenty of rounds.
All in all, the Armory Range Officer 1911-A1 is a suitable option for an everyday concealed carry. The design is created with comfort in mind, but without sacrificing on functionality. This gun comes number 1 on our list of the best 1911 for the money.
#2: Sig Sauer Pistol 1911 XO .45 ACP
Given that you’re looking for the best .45 ACP pistol at a budget-friendly price, then the Sig Sauer 1911 XO is an option to consider. The Sig Sauer company is known for the production of quality firearms that deliver performance above the expectations.
This model comes with a black Nitron finish that resists to scratches and corrosion. Similar to other handguns from this segment, this one also doesn’t have front rails.
As we go further with the details, the barrel is 5-inches, features a half-length rod, a hammer, and a sear. The gun is “Government-sized”, 80’s-styled, which means that there are a firing pin safety and a hammer.
With the Sig Sauer, you have a full-sized 1911 pistol that weighs 41.6 ounces and is made mostly from steel.
Furthermore, the trigger is also made of steel, providing a heavier trigger pull of around 5 lbs. It also has Ergo Grip XT’s for a comfortable use and contrast sights for quick targeting. Plus, it has a magazine with 8 .45 caliber rounds.
In conclusion, we can say that the 1911 XO from Sig Sauer is one of the best handguns when it comes to a great value at good prices. The quality construction, exquisitely checkered polymer grips and the hand-fitted internals all point that the Sig Sauer has produced a leading 1911 model.
#3: Colt Delta Elite 10mm
The third selection on our list is the Colt Delta Elite, which is our favorite for the best 10mm 1911 handgun. It’s a Government-style, single-action – Series 80 Colt, manufactured to deliver a powerful shot and quick reload.
The grips of the gun are made of checkered composite and feature a beavertail that keeps your hand higher for a more comfortable shooting experience.
It also features an extended safety lock, a lowered ejection port, and a stainless steel slide. The frame has a brushed finish and a 5-inch polished barrel.
The construction finishes with sharpened slide edges and side serrations. The 10mm Delta Elite comes with Novak white dot front sight and the low mount carry rear sight.
You’ll be delighted with the experience provided by the 3-hole aluminum trigger that offers a 4.5-pound pull. The Delta Elite comes in a box with two 8-round magazines, a manual and a cable lock.
The bottom line is that we have a valuable piece of firearms history with a collector’s importance. The Colt Delta Elite is the first commercially successful semi-auto 10mm chambered handgun. Still one of the best 1911 for the money that you can buy.
#4: Colt 1911 .45 ACP Rail Gun
Another model from the Colt family – the 1911 .45 ACP Rail Gun. This wonderful model comes with a stainless steel 5-inch barrel and a complete Decobond Brown finish for protection against dirt, corrosion, abrasion, and chemicals.
The slide and receiver of the gun are also made of steel and there’s also a serrated housing. Another thing that catches the eye is the MIL-STD 1913 accessory rail, which adds extra space for add-ons.
When it comes to shooting experience, we have to notice the reduced recoil due to the dual recoil spring system, which is similar to the Delta Elite 10 mm model.
Once again, we have Novak tritium front and rear 3-dot-night sights for enhanced accuracy in low-light conditions. The aluminum trigger is long and solid, which is a setback because it measures at 5.3 pounds.
It comes in a box with two Wilson Combat seven-round magazines. As a full-sized Government 1911, the Colt Rail Gun is the ideal candidate for those looking to have reliability when it comes to personal defense.
To summarise our review, we can say that Colt has incorporated 100 years of experience in manufacturing a proper 1911 gun that excels in terms of durability and performance.
After rigorous tests and complex selection processes, the Colt .45 ACP Rail gun was chosen by the U.S Marine Corps as their secondary weapon for close-space missions.
#5: Kimber Custom II .45 ACP 1911 Pistol
Kimber is an American-based firearm manufacturer that specializes in the production of mid-to-high level 1911 handguns. The Custom II series is fit together by hand and offers features that were considered common only for custom-built weapons.
Kimber offers the 1911 models in polished or matte finishes and you can choose between adjustable, fixed or night sights. This model features a full-size steel frame and slide with a matte black finish to match the grips and details.
Furthermore, it offers a full-length guide rod to improve the accuracy of the pistol. The Custom II features a few metal-injection molded parts and each one of them is fitted by hand.
The hammer and the 3-hole trigger are skeletonized to keep the weight of 38-oz, while unloaded. The trigger pull is measured at around 4-5 lbs, which is the average for a self-defense gun. Surprisingly, the package comes with only one steel magazine.
If you compare 1911 with modern pistols, you will find that the first isn’t a plug-and-play option, but offers a formidable performance. No matter which handgun you choose from our list, you will be investing in a tested automatic pistol that will keep you protected.
Once you’ve chosen a gun, take good care of it to preserve its life. Whether you are purchasing a pistol for yourself, a family member or a friend, it is always a special moment. Given that you want to purchase a 1911 handgun, then we hope our list will help you with the decision. This concludes the guide of the best 1911 for the money. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below!
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.