10 Best 1911 Pistols for $2000 – 45 ACP – 2024

Smith & Wesson Performance Center 1911 for sale - a great custom 45 ACP 1911

Last updated July 6th 2024

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Winners at a Glance

Colt Gold Cup Trophy

Colt Gold Cup Trophy

  • Overall Winner
Best Price
Dan Wesson Specialist

Dan Wesson Specialist

  • Top Tactical Pistol
Lowest Price
Rock Island Armory GI Standard

Rock Island Armory GI Standard

  • Best Cheap Pistol
Lowest Price
S&W SW1911 PC

S&W SW1911 PC

  • Value winner
Lowest Price
Kimber Rapide, buy your gun online now. Is this the best 1911 launched in 2020?

Kimber Rapide

  • Top Factory Custom
Lowest Price


The $2000 mark is a real sexy price point. It gives you access to some of the biggest names, the slickest finishes and a gun that could easily last you a lifetime.

So what are the best 1911 pistols for sale under $2000? Here are our top picks.

Colt Gold Cup Trophy 45 ACP - Discount gun sales online. Buy a Colt 1911 that has won shooting competitions across the USA now.

1. Colt Gold Cup Trophy

  • Price: $1,720.99
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Total Length: 8.5 inch
  • Weight: 2.38lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

Overall Winner


Is the full size Colt Gold Cup Trophy the best 1911 45 in the business? It just might be you know.

Most of the world agrees that the top rated Colt is pretty much the standard for competition shooting. And a lot of people have them at home too.

We like factory custom race guns with just the right amount of performance parts. And this is right on the money.

A fiber optic front sight and Bomar fully adjustable rear sights, a Colt Series 70 Target trigger set and G10 grips all combine to give the Colt a performance advantage that you’ll feel in every pull of the single action trigger.

You can spend much more at the Colt Custom Shop, but this is all the gun that most of us will ever need.

Dan Wesson Specialist, a great 1911 and maybe the best for $2000. Get yours here.

2. Dan Wesson Specialist

  • Price: $2,000.00+
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Total Length: 8.75 inch
  • Weight: 2.48lb

Editor’s Choice

Price: 4/5 Accuracy: 5/5 Weight: 3/5 Prestige: 5/5

The Dan Wesson Specialist is the company’s flagship tactical pistol.

Designed specifically for Law Enforcement Officers, this is now one of the best 1911s for personal defense and it’s arguably a match for much more expensive custom pistols.

A 1913 Picatinny rail, 25 LPI Front strap checkering, ambidextrous thumb safety, extended magazine release, detachable magwell and undercut trigger guard join a recessed slide stop that allows for the installation of a crimson trace laser grip.

We like the G10 grips and Tritium front and rear night sights it comes with, though. And the stainless steel frame and slide move across each other like silk sheets, while the extended beavertail grip safety and thumb safety feel just as good in its own special way.

There is no firing pin block, so there is no firing pin safety, as with the original design.

The full size Dan Wesson Specialist is available in 45 ACP, and can be chambered in 9mm Luger and 10mm Auto. You can order a Commander version as well if you’re looking for the best concealed carry pistol.

Rock Island Armory GI  Standard

3. Rock Island Armory GI Standard

  • Price: $461.99
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Total Length: 6.5 inch
  • Weight: 2.2lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

Budget Choice


Now I know this will be controversial. But this Rock Island Armory GI Standard is a best seller for a reason and this budget friendly 1911 is one of the most popular 1911s on sale in the United States.

This is also a solid tribute to the original 1911. There’s a spur hammer, wood grips and classic controls.

There are some concessions to the modern world, like a stainless frame, parkerized finish, lowered and flared ejection port and, well, that’s about it. Aside from that this is the classic single stack 1911.

But this is 130 year old technology with modern manufacturing, and the end result is a reliable and soid pistol that costs less than $500. It isn’t the most accurate gun here and the slide action isn’t the smoothest, but it’s the cheapest by a mile.

And you can opt for 9mm Luger if you want an extra round and less recoil.

Smith and Wesson SW1911 Performance Center. A great 1911 for concealed carry and general use.

4. Smith & Wesson Performance Center SW1911

  • Price: $1,583.99
  • Barrel: 4.25 inch barrel
  • Weight: 1.85lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

This is basically a factory custom 1911, that hasn’t been sent off to a third party tuner along with a blank check.

Smith & Wesson Performance Center engineers are effectively the skunkworks. So they have a big budget, and intimate knowledge of the best-selling base firearms from the original design phase.

Essentially they are providing the finishing touches to the iconic Smith and Wesson E Series SW1911 Government model, for those that want to pay for them.

The results speak for themselves with one of the best 1911 pistol options out there.

Pull the single action trigger and you’ll feel the difference over the standard Smith & Wesson E Series from the match grade barrel and slide lightening cuts through to the beavertail grip safety.

Kimber Rapide - a Go fast gun for the Fast & Furious crowd.

5. Kimber Rapide

  • Price: $1,517.99
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Weight: 2lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

Top Factory Custom Gun


The Rapide is a custom pistol straight from the factory, complete with custom porting and one of the fastest cycling slides here.

Stepped coking serrations, lightening cuts and a TiN Coated barrel are just the start of the aftermarket influence. It comes with all the goodies from the factory, together with G10 grips and extended safety.

The Kimber Rapide Scorpius Limited Edition comes with a hard chrome and matte black finish, which some people prefer. And the Kimber Custom Shop can sell you a great gun with top notch gunsmithing and new products.

We kinda like the cheaper gun and think it’s one of the best 1911s on the market.

1911 Emissary, the nexty generation of lightweight 1911.

6. Springfield 1911 Emissary

  • Price: $1, 227.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP Auto
  • Barrel: 5 inch barrel
  • Weight: 2.5lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

Solid mainstream brand. The Ford of 1911s


The Springfield 1911 Emissary is a big box brand that offers solid value in a stylish package. Bridging the gap between personal defense and competition shooting, this Government model is a great pistol with an increasingly devoted following.

We have been singing this gun’s praises for years with our buyers guide. It is a Ford in a world of Porsches and Ferraris, but the fact it can hang at all means it’s an impressive semi automatic pistol.

There are also high end touches like a titanium firing pin that is lighter, but also comes without a firing pin block safety. As well as the straight cut trigger and aggressive front strap stippling.

This is a performance bargain with low drag sights,, G10 grips ambidextrous safety, front and rear cocking serrations and a matte stainless steel finish that belies its budget price range. John Moses Browning would approve of this full size 1911 with a mid-range price tag.

If you find a Springfield Range Officer, or a full Custom Shop, you’ll have a great gun in your hand. The Springfield Range Officer and TRP can both be found for way less than $2000 too. But this could be the best 1911 for this money.

Ruger SR1911 is a great 45 1911 that you should really add to your collection.

7. Ruger SR1911 Standard Model

  • Price: $949.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP Auto
  • Barrel Length: 5 inch
  • Weight: 2.5lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

Ruger is an iconic brand in its own right and the budget friendly Ruger SR1911 Standard Model is also one of our favorite 1911s under $1000 . There are better pistols, though, including competition spec 1911 models that are truly sexy.

The Ruger SR1911 Standard 45 and the Ruger Target single action handguns seem to be available. But you will struggle to source a Competition with the upgraded steel slide and frame, skeletonized trigger and more.

They aren’t easy to find at the moment, but check them out anyway and you might get lucky and find a semi custom Doug Koenig race gun with a better fit and finish.

The budget friendly Springfield Mil-Spec. A great gun if you want to scratch the 1911 itch on a budget. Get the best cheap 1911 here.

8. Springfield Mil Spec

  • Price: $648.99
  • Weight: 2.2lb
  • Magazine capacity: 8+1

The Springfield Mil Spec used to be our favorite 1911 for $500 and topped the charts in our cheap 1911s piece for a looooong time.

It has crept up in price, but the Springfield Armory Mil Spec is still a good gun that’s worth it at $650. In fact this is still a performance bargain and one of the best pistols for the money.

So if you want a cheap 1911, we still think this is one of those hidden gun deals you’re looking for. They’re great pistols for the money and the Springfield Armory Mil Spec is arguably the best bang for your buck.

By the way, check out the full review of the Springfield Armory EMP, the Ronin EMP and double stack Springfield Prodigy 9mm pistols, if you’re looking for 9mm 1911 models. You can also get an extended magazine for the Springfield Prodigy with 26 rounds, which is basically insane.

You can add night sights, new grips, turn this into the best 1911s here over time if you want.

Sig Sauer STX handgun. A solid 1911 that doesn't cost the Earth. Get yours today.

9. Sig Sauer STX

  • Regular Price: $1,259.99
  • Pistol Caliber: 45 ACP Auto
  • Weight: 2.6lb

Sig produces a series of solid, affordable handguns based on this stainless steel Sig Sauer STX foundation.

Now there are better on this list if you want that last nth degree of accuracy. There is no match bull barrel here, or titanium guide rod, or billet steel frame washed down with unicorn’s tears.

This is mid-range, basic engineering, done well, with a skeletonized trigger and full length guide rod. It’s fine for a patriotic home defense pistol then.

If you’re looking for a concealed carry gun then the single action Sig Sauer Ultra Compact is still a great gun, if a little hard to find. Check out our favorite sub-compact 1911s, including the Sig Sauer Ultra Compact, here.

Honorable Mentions

We wanted to include the Colt Defender, but you know we’ve got so many Colts here already that we just don’t think it’s that important. So if you’re wondering where is the goddamn Colt Defender? That’s what happened…

We also liked the Magnum Research Desert Eagle Undercover and were seriously considering the government size Magnum Research Desert Eagle, too. But then the list was too long and so it is what it is.

Want to Spend a Little More?

Just a little more than $2000 gets you into serious full custom guns & handguns…

Les Baer custom carry.

1. Les Baer Premier Custom II

  • Price: $3,000

Les Baer Sr founded the company in 1991, and since then the company has gained a reputation for producing high quality handguns that are worth the exhorbitant price tag.

The Les Baer Custom II are great firearms, and we love the clever little Les Baer Black Baer 10mm concealed carry pistol. Now the Les Baer 1911 BOSS, with 1970s muscle car design cues, allegedly, and Les Baer Stinger are also fantastic new models.

Wilson Combat CQB 45 ACP.

2. Wilson Combat CQB Tactical

  • Price: $3,515.00+

The Wilson Combat CQB Tactical is a brilliant handgun, arguably the best gun here, and we just wish it was even close to the $2000 cutoff we arbitrarily chose for this list.

Everything, from thehi viz front sight and the recoil spring to the ambidextrous thumb safety and super crisp trigger are nigh on perfect with the Wilson Combat CQB Tactical.

When they are brand new the slide is super tight and you’ll need the break-in period to get it running super smooth.

It can also offer a great choice of 9mm 1911s, check the full range of Wilson Combat single action pistols here.

Nighthawk Custom Agent2, one of the world's most expensive custom 1911 handguns for sale

3. Nighthawk Custom Agent 2

  • Price: $5,100

Nighthawk Custom guns like the Agent 2 are pretty much peak engineering.

Every gun is manufactured by one gunsmith and the parts arte all top quality. Is it worth the money? That’s your call really…

We love the match grade barrel, the aggressive cocking serrations, the suppressor height front sight and the perfect fit and finish on the steel frame and slide.

Then there are Les Baer handguns like the Les Baer Premier Custom II and optic ready Black Baer. Seriously, the Les Baer Premier Custom with its match grade bull barrel and stainless steel frame and slide, as well as a flat mainspring housing, remains the best shooting benchmark to this day for plenty of folks.

Buy Gun Accessories And Other Stuff

If you can’t quite afford a CQB Tactical, but you really want to look like you can, then you can buy Wilson Combat parts. You can get that classic Starburst grip, an ambi safety and just about every other major part.

It’s an expensive way to build a gun if you use them throughout. But the odd part can make the world of difference to an otherwise best budget 1911 build.

Check out the TruGlo TFX Pro Day/Night sights too, if you want to upgrade your Novak style sights. Those TruGlo TFX Pro Day/Night sights and other new products are available on Amazon, and at gun stores.

Check out these parts, barrels, pistols, revolvers and other options:

Where to Buy 45 ACP Ammo

If you’re buying 45 ACP, 9mm ammo hollow points or other handgun ammo, shotgun ammo, or more, you’re going to end up back at the same places.


  • Nick Hall

    Nick is a lifelong gun enthusiast who has a simple mission. He wants to find the best deals for guns online and help you make the best choices with weapons your life may depend on one day.Nick won a minor league shooting competition at the age of 11 and it all went from there. Now he runs one of the biggest firearms websites on the net and his work has featured in Playboy US, Tatler Asia, Forbes and a whole host of national magazines and websites.

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25 thoughts on “10 Best 1911 Pistols for $2000 – 45 ACP – 2024”

  1. I was pretty surprised to see the Bruin at number 2. I give you props for recognizing it specifically when choosing one from Dan Wesson. Though I have to say the Colt still probably isn’t number 1. Really for the fact that it’s a competition gun so the features for the price ratio is a bit low. The quality is definitely there, but given all the extra chamfering and dehorning that comes standard on some of these other options, I think that would be more preferable to most shooters over a nice finish and history of pro shooter choices. Part of the reason the Gold Cup model is even chosen for pros is because Colt was producing high quality handguns for competition like this at least a decade before other manufacturers. Colt hasn’t really broken any ground in the 1911 world in the past 10 years and yet makers like Kimber, Springfield, Dan Wesson, Smith and Wesson, Les Baer, and more unknown groups have continued to make more and more changes without the price of a Wilson. I would have to put the Colt near 5 since it doesn’t really include anything you can’t find anywhere else. Just using the Bruin as an example, there is 45° chamfering on the bottom edges of the slide, a ball cut on the slide, slide serrations on the top to reduce glare, a slight bobtail on the mag well, flared mag well, a flared and extended safety lever, an extended slide stop, 6 inch match grade barrel, 25lpi checkering, the front sight is actually fiber optic with tritium, the rear sight is fully adjustable tritium, a square hammer that also has chamfering, and it comes in 10mm. What all of that tells me is Dan Wesson puts a ton of time into each and every part. They don’t even use MIM even though they could and have few issues if any. Anyway, enough of my shilling. Your list is well founded and it was great to read.

    1. Thanks ever so much for this comment! That’s what I’m hoping for to be honest, lively debates on everybody’s personal favorites. I take your points on the Colt, but stuck with it as a flagbearer of sorts. You know if I’d put the Colt fifth, somebody would have been calling me a Dan Wesson shill 🙂 But I’m glad to see stuff like this and thanks for the input, stick around!

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    1. You are absolutely right and it’s one of those that needs to go on the list. I circle back to pretty much all of these every month and I’ll add it on the next pass!

  21. So the Smith & Wesson 1911 is the cover picture, but not listed? Or did I miss it? The S&W 1911 P.C. I found found to be one of the best dollar for dollar production 1911 out there!

    1. You did miss it, but that’s OK, there’s a few things going on. It’s in number 7, but the updated spec so it looks a little different. I didn’t change the top picture because, like you, I really like the older design. So I think yes, we agree!

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