April 2014

Value Comparison: Used 1911s From RIA and ATI Shoot It Out

When all is said and done, we had $600 plus tax in two pistols, a holster, and a couple of spare magazines. For that price you could purchase, well, not much of a new 1911, much less two.

We all wish to own a good 1911 pistol, but the top-end 1911 does not fit everyone’s budget. With the better breed of pistols getting well over one thousand dollars, there is a great deal of interest in 1911 handguns around the six hundred dollar mark. There is even more interest in finding a good used 1911, and that is what we set out to do. After testing inexpensive 45s a few months ago, we went one better and located good used versions of two pistols. We were looking for the proverbial “used-but-not-abused” type that would give us as much confidence as a new handgun, but at a reasonable discount — say, 40% to 50%. These pistols would not be used in competition or for police service, but rather for recreational shooting and personal defense. For those uses, we did not need a light rail or adjustable sights, but we did expect the piece to perform reliably. With this in mind, we set our sights on a plain-Jane 1911 type with a matte or Parkerized finish and no high-profile sights, aluminum trigger, skeletonized hammer, or front strap checkering. We were able to find two representative examples for just $300 plus tax, one a Commander length ATI 1911 GI HGAFX45 and the other a Rock Island 1911 Standard GI No. 51421, which we had tested as a new gun in the June 2013 issue. Not surprisingly, these were Philippine-produced handguns. Here’s how they did:

To continue reading this article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Gun Tests

Get the next year of Gun Tests for just $24. Don’t wait another minute to get the knowledge you need to make the best possible firearms investment. Our offer is guaranteed. You can cancel at any time and we'll send a full refund for any unmailed copies. No strings, no hassle.

Or get 12 months of Gun Tests Digital. You get unlimited access to everything on the site including all current and past monthly issues in PDF format.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.