. INTRODUCTION I'd like to start by thanking all of you for helping us kick off this new forum in style. I believe that with everyone's efforts, we can make this site truly special and certainly the best 1911 forum around. With our knowledgeable staff and outstanding member base, that will soon be a reality. This thread is designed specifically to help both new and existing 1911 fans make some tough choices. Let's face it, 1911s are built by a large number of companies and people. Likewise, finding the perfect gun for everyone in their respective price range is an impossible task that I certainly can't accomplish with consistency. However, I'm looking to help narrow the choices and at least give some candid information on the models in my possession. Of course, this guide is based only on one man’s opinion and its also based on the limits of my collection. I refuse to comment extensively about 1911s I don’t have personal experience with. That said, I will try to list the characteristics of each, regardless where my preference ranks it. This list is comprised primarily of 1911s that are currently available new. I own some military guns and/or 1911s that are no longer in production. With a couple exceptions, these will not enter the discussion until the end. I will include my discontinued 1911s that can be found (some very sparingly) on the used market in the last section of this guide. In addition, this work is designed to be edited as I continue working towards completing my collection. Another mention is that all of the models to be reviewed have been running great. A few had a failure or two during the first couple of magazines, but have since been perfect. Unless I mention otherwise for some of my newer additions especially, most of these pistols have 500-1000 rounds through them. I fully realize that’s not much, but it’s the best I can do at this point considering time restraints and the sheer quantity of guns included. That said, the lion’s share of a 1911’s potential problems will normally surface by this point, if not earlier. 1911s generally run smoother after a couple thousand rounds have been fired through them. My effort in this guide is by no means a torture test, nor is it a test of longevity, its simply a means to get the quick information sought by members looking for a 1911 in a certain price range. It can also serve to possibly sway somebody to hold off for a 1911 in the next category up. As far as categorization is concerned, I grouped these pistols in several different classes, based on features, characteristics, quality, and price. I don't wish to offend anybody who thinks his or her particular model should be ranked in a different category than where you see it here. I enjoy 1911s in all price ranges, as evidenced in this thread. However, this report was also written to encompass the entire 1911 “food chain” and, therefore, I had to break them up the best way I know how. It must also be noted that several of my 1911s, especially the more expensive models, include some factory options. The prices listed do not include these extra options, but I will certainly mention them in my description. Other than factory options, none of these models have been modified in any way, shape, or form. They are completely stock. While proper modification is certainly a great way to fix a particular shortcoming, it will not give a true measurement of the 1911 in question. My aim is to describe these guns the way they're available to the public straight from the manufacturer. Furthermore, it goes without saying that these groupings and rankings are by no means the law of the land or the “bible”. They are certainly subject to debate, as I’m far from an expert. Like many others here, I’m simply an enthusiast who loves sharing information, pictures, and ideas with those who either share my passion now or are just getting started in the vast world of 1911s. I'm closing this thread after posting it to preserve it in its original form. However, its also meant to be interactive so please use the link below to post questions or add comments, if you desire. Of course, if you have a question you don't want shared, you're welcome to send me a PM as well. So, without any further ado, let’s get started, shall we? Link for all comments and questions... http://www.1911addicts.com/showthread.php?517-Buyer-s-guide-comment-question-thread&p=7393#post7393 .