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: