It’s Raining 1911s

Umarex Regent R100

The Regent R100 is an authentic version of the classic M1911 A1. Offered with Hogue grips and made under the strict requirements of ISO 9000 and AQAP 120 NATO quality standards, the Umarex makes the Regent with a level of quality that is unparalleled for a retail price of under $500. Umarex USA, one of the fastest growing sporting gun companies in the United States, introduced the Regent R100 pistol chambered in .45 ACP to match the original Browning. Umarex also introduced the Regent on the 100-year anniversary of the original M1911 pistol. They specifically engineered it for precision, durability, and accuracy. The steel investment cast frame gives the Regent the weight of the original M1911, while the 7-round steel detachable magazine allows for quick reloading. The wide spur hammer, arched mainspring housing, and low cut ejection port give maximum performance and accuracy for shooters. From the grips to the barrel, the Regent is truly an outstanding value to the consumer.

Iver Johnson 1911A1

There is nothing like shooting a 1911. The gun’s ergonomics are unparalleled, not to mention that sometimes you just feel like holding a chunk of ass kickery in the palm of your hand. It is no secret that the 1911 is one of America’s long lasting icons. When they gun cycles, nothing else feels like one. The Shooters Arms Manufacturing assembles Iver Johnson 1911s in the Philippines, but the factory made them to Iver Johnson’s specifications and design, using Iver Johnson’s parts. These pistols have a forged, CNC machined slide, and a cast CNC machined frame. All models have MIM parts and the slide and frame are hand fitted for a nice, tight fit. All models come with a magazine, gunlock, manual, and black plastic gun case. Own an icon at an affordable price.

Taylor’s & Company 1911

Remember your friend who had an Armscor 1911 that he had picked up for cheap at the local pawnshop? He was always bragging about how he spent hundreds less than a Springfield or Colt and his 1911 still worked fine and went bang every time. Ok, maybe that was my friend, I admit. However, Taylor’s & Company, the same folks who bring over the Italian cowboy guns from Uberti and Pedersoli, and the popular Chiappa .22 LR pistols, are importing the Armscor 1911s again. Taylor’s 1911AS has all the features you expect in a 1911A1 “government” model, with a 5” forged steel barrel, smooth arched mainspring housing, GI style sights, and a matte blued finish with nice wood grips. Two 8-round magazines are included as well. The spur style hammer is just a bit shorter than the original, to keep it from “biting” your hand when you shoot it, as the original Colts tend to do. Shooting a 1911 is much more enjoyable without a blood blister on the back of your thumb! Other than the improved hammer, all the other parts of the Taylor’s 1911AS adhere to standard 1911 dimensions, making this gun a great place to start for a custom build. If you so choose, aftermarket parts will drop right in!

Auto-Ordnance 1911PKZ

Of all the entry-level 1911 pistols currently on the market, only one can boast the “Made in the USA” slogan, the Auto-Ordnance 1911A1 “WWII.” The manufacturer intended to replicate a World War II issue 1911 down to the smallest detail, from the correct specification vertical slide serrations to the lanyard loop in the arched and serrated mainspring housing. Even the brown plastic grips are made to WW2 specifications (did you know that real WW2 1911A1s used plastic grips?). The Auto-Ordnance 1911 adheres to exacting specifications using computerized (CNC) manufacturing, made possible when Kahr Arms bought Auto-Ordnance a few years ago and revamped their entire pistol line. There’s no huge “billboard” roll mark on the side of the slide, just a simple military style “Model 1911A1 US Army.” The only change Auto Ordnance made was for the sake of safety—the 1911PKZ features a “Series 80” firing pin block to prevent accidental discharge if the firearm drops to the ground while cocked and with the safety off. The finish is parkerized, just like the originals, and the magazine holds seven rounds, just like the originals. An excellent condition survivor from World War II would set you back a whole lot more than $448. Leave that one for the collectors, and take the Auto-Ordnance to the shooting range!

Armscor 51484

Armscor has a reputation for building basic, no frills 1911s that work, while undercutting their competition by hundreds of dollars. They’ve been doing it for years and it seems to work pretty well for them. But with this model, number 51484, Armscor got all uppity and decided they would build an affordable factory 1911 with every “custom” feature found in guns costing $1000 or more. Novak sights, check, full-length 1913 Picatinny spec accessory rail, check. Skeletonized trigger and hammer, lowered/flared ejection port, ambidextrous thumb safety, beavertail grip safety, full-length guide rod, check, check, and CHECK. The 8-round magazine even has a rubber floorplate extension, as preferred by competition shooters. The features list is off the charts and yet somehow Armscor only wants $472 for this gun. Don’t tell them what the competitor’s railed 1911s with these features are selling for; they might raise the price on us! The finish is no-nonsense grey Parkerizing, the grips are checkered wood in the classic diamond pattern, and this model has a Series 70 type fire control group with no internal firing pin safety. The 51484 is flying under the radar right now. This may be because 51484 is not a very catchy name. If they named it the Punisher Special or something like that, it would not stay the best-kept secret in the 1911 market for much longer!

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. The Regent R100 1911a1 isn’t American made as reported: it is distributed through Umarex. The Regent (which I own and love being a retired Army NCO and know the M1911a1 affectionately!), is made in Turkey but is very well built and rugged. I love my Regent and found it to be dead on accurate right ‘out of the box’ and the only recommendation I have about the gun is that you might want to consider replacing the standard barrel with an after market barrel. After firing the gun, one thing to note is it doesn’t handle the cheaper brands of ammo well and the chambering of the barrel isn’t ground out as large as in an American made barrel. Still, I wouldn’t trade my for anything – people may call it a cheap gun but in the end, it has the weight, feel, stopping power, and accuracy I like in my pistols.

  2. Oh, my mouth waters. Now, I need a cigarette! I’ve been wanting a. 45ACP for quite some time now. If I hadn’t sold my Dad’s old worn Govt model for ten dollars, and later a slightly used .38Super for either 10, or 25 dollars (both Colts) when I was 15 back in ’68, I might still have them, who knows? Who knew? I really want and need a cut-down model of some sort for concealed carry. (I believe concealed or open should be optional, but that’s just me.) Presently, I carry a Colt Agent .38 Special, which serves well enough. However, I’d like to bob the hammer, add smaller grips, and make it an ankle-grab back-up. That may have to wait a little longer, as the Gun Show came to Boomhower, Texas yesterday, and the Boomhower Comptroller (my wife) issued a P. O. for a new AK-47, which I was authurized to pick up in person. With Obama’s epic year of gun sales, I picked up a Savage 350 Security (think Ithica 37) last month from the Boomhower Academy, so I may have to wait a little longer on a .45. Still not sure which to go with, a lot out there, and a lot of new developements over the last forty some odd years. The stuff sampled here looks good to me, as far as a standard size weapon. Anyone got a cigarette? Thanks guys.

  3. US made 1911s for less than $500- you forgot the ParaUSA GI Expert. Fantastic gun for a low price made not far from me here in NC

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