14 Cheap 1911 Handguns For $500 – 2023

Get the best cheap 1911 handgun for $500 or less. At the USA Gun Shop, we think that's the Springfield Armory Mil-Spec Defender 1911.

$500 1911 Pistols You Can Rely On

Cheap 1911 handguns can turn into your favorite pistol.

That’s because they’re a perversion of everything we know. And they shouldn’t work. But they do…

Instinct tells us that a $500 1911 handgun can’t work, because reasons. Otherwise how could we justify dropping $2,000 as a matter of course?

Cheap Guns That Punch Above Their Weight

Well it turns out there is a small group of cheap guns with an absolutely devoted following. These are complete handguns, for $500 or less OK some are creeping towards $600. But come on…

You can also use these for a DIY custom gun. Because there is no heritage to destroy at this price. Some of these handguns are sold as basic as possible to allow for constant upgrades. That’s the whole point.

So what is the best Cheap 1911 in 2023?

Rock Island Armory GI Standard. Possibly the cheapest 1911 that you should consider buying.

1. Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Standard

  • Price: $437.34
  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Weight: 2.56lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

The RIA 1911 Standard has been a star on this list for some time. It’s kind of the definitive cheap 1911 semi auto pistol.

RIA handguns are basic as hell, to look at, but nobody cares. It’s a .45 Caliber handgun that shoots straight and comes with a rubbed through patina on that parkerized finish. It is a truck gun, or a general purpose pistol, and spends exactly zero time posing at the range.

The base model was always a great handgun for the money with build quality that belied its best budget roots. But the additional bullets are a serious tactical advantage now.

Tac Ultra 9mm: A Lot More For a Little More

If you don’t mind spending a little money and want the top 9mm 1911 that about $850 can buy, then check out the double stack Tac Ultra FSHC.

High capacity 9mm 1911s are basically the biggest leap forward in decades and we like the concept. We also like the execution in the Tac Ultra double stack 1911.

You can also get cheaper single stack 9mm pistols, and you can see the full line here and it’s hard to beat the prices on offer there.

SDS Imports 1911A1 Service Model on sale now. A budget 1911 that faithfully recreates the classic Colt.

2. SDS Imports 1911A1 Service Model

  • Price: $403.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel Length: 5 inch
  • Capacity: 8+1
  • Weight: 2.3lb

SDS has concentrated on the price point and found a faithful reproduction of the original design 1911, courtesy of Tisas Zig in Turkey.

Cute touches include a cerakote finish and black checkered grips as an option, instead of the classic blued frame and fixed sights. And a chrome plated barrel.

Beyond that it’s a straight reproduction of the gun you know and love with a Series 70 firing mechanism. There isn’t much more to say, apart from that, again, we like the price of these.

Rock Island Armory BBR 3.10. A double stack 45 ACP carry gun with 10 rounds.

3. Rock Island Armory BBR 3.10

  • Price: $613.99
  • Barrel: 3.1″
  • Total Length: 6.8″
  • Weight: 2lb
  • Capacity: 10+1 Rounds

This is not just cheap, the Rock Island Armory BBR is a double stack subcompact 1911 with 10 rounds of 45 ACP crammed inside that fat handle. That is a revolution…

Of course reliability is something that will have to be proven. So you might need to oil these guns and send 1000 trouble free rounds down range before you trust it with your life.

But that’s happening, right now. People love the RIA BBR3.10, they have done the torture testing and they do trust it as a daily driver. That could be you, with 10+1 rounds of 230 grain, Pretty sweet huh?

It sounds too good to be true, but it’s here and you can buy it today.

The EAA Girsan MC1911S Government Tactical 1911 pistol for around $500. A cheap 1911 you actually want to shoot.

4. EAA Girsan MC1911 Government

  • Price: $600.00
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Weight: 2.55lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

This Girsan MC1911 Government model comes in around $600 and you can sometimes get a compensator in with that pretty dramatic deal.

The Girsan MC1911S Government stays fairly faithful to the original GI Government Model 1911, from the trigger to the arched mainspring housing. This is a classic 1911, without the classic 1911 price tag.

You do get premium touches, like the three-hole skeletonized trigger and skeletonized hammer with this Girsan MC1911S. The low-slung Picatinny rail offers a mounting point for a light or laser if the Novak sights don’t do it for you and you get black checkered grips.

The ambidextrous thumb safety and other parts look good and this is a basic full-size 1911 with decent polymer grips that you don’t have to upgrade. Just shoot this Government Model 1911. Then in a few years, maybe buy another one.

Smith & Wesson CSX. A hybrid 1911, buy yours today

5. Smith & Wesson CSX

  • Price: $549.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel: 3.1 inch
  • Weight:1.2lb
  • Capacity: 10+1

The Smith and Wesson CSX isn’t a true 1911 and is basically a hybrid of an old school 1911 and striker fired pistol with a black polymer frame.

But is this just a forward thinking 1911? Maybe, and it is cheap.

This micro compact 9mm pistol is pretty much the only one with a hammer fired action. It comes with a thumb safety, but it also gets a trigger safety.

Purists won’t love it, but this is a real convenient carry pistol with most of the 1911 features that you really want.

We like it.

Tisas 1911, a low budget 1911 that is fast gaining a reputation.

6. Tisas 1911A1

  • Price: $355.99
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Weight: 2.4lb

Tisas is another company that is getting an outsized reputation with cheap pistols and not just working with the likes of SDS.

This is a tribute to the classic American service handgun in World War I. One major difference is a smoother ring hammer rather than the old tang style, but aside from that this is a solid and faithful tribute to the old school 1911.

Look out for the Tisas Night Stalker, too, which is slightly more expensive and comes with a lot of race gun premium touches.

Taurus 1911 for sale. One of the best 1911s for $500 or less. But is there a better cheap 1911 for sale? Find out here.

7. Taurus PT-1911

  • Price: $569.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Weight: 2.38lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

The Taurus PT1911 is slightly more than $500, but this full-size 1911 comes with some premium features that some folks think justify the extra $50.

Essentially the Taurus PT1911 is a clone of the US Military 1911 and was announced in 2005. It has evolved little since then, but the Brazilian budget 1911 has a solid market share in this price range.

Novak sights join a hammer forged barrel and stainless slide. It’s all ordnance-grade stainless steel, the blued finish is well done and you get touches like a lowered and flared ejection port and magwell, and skeletonized trigger. We like the black checkered grips too. They do look like premium gun touches.

Get some G10 grips, maybe an extended slide stop and fiber optic front sight, upgrade your 1911 pistol as you go and this could turn this into a nice project.

Not everybody loves Taurus 1911 reliability, including the South American law enforcement officers that often opt for revolvers instead. But put 1000 rounds downrange and you’ll probably be able to trust your Taurus when it counts.

Sig P938. An affordable micro compact 9mm semi-auto pistol.

8. Sig Sauer P938

  • Price: $611.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel: 3 inch
  • Weight: 1lb
  • Capacity: 6+1

This diminutive Sig P938 just about slips into the micro-compact class.. There it offers a different hammer fired approach and metal construction in a sea of polymer pistols.

Now this is pure entry level. You can spend around $800 on your Sig P938 semi auto pistol pretty easily and more if you really try with the most ornate stainless steel slide and frame finish.

You only get 6+1 rounds, but this is a slimline 1911 that is very easy to conceal and has more than enough ammunition for most defensive encounters.

Springfield Armory Mil-Spec Defender 1911. The best cheap 1911 on sale in 2019. Get a Mil-Spec 1911 for $500 with match-grade barrel!

9. Springfield Armory Mil-Spec Defender Series

  • Price: $650.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Total Length: 8.6 inch
  • Weight: 2.4lb

The Illinois company has hit on a winning recipe with the Defender series of pistols that can now be found in black polymer compact pistol and now 1911 form. Hopefully an AR pistol and Springfield Saint Defender AR-15 is on the way too.

Now it’s down the list at the moment due to the savage price rise. Do you remember when this was launched as a $499 handgun? Pepperidge Farm remembers….

The forged carbon steel frame and slide are the American classic GI configuration.  And it’s good. Really good. The basics are beyond the world of budget 1911s and this is accurate and reliable. Those are good starting points for affordable 1911s and we like the beavertail safety here.

Match-Grade Barrel And Basic Parts & Accessories

Even the cold hammer forged 5 inch barrel is match-grade, so it’s accurate amd reliable. The ejection port is flared and you get a lot of trickle down tech from Springfield’s more expensive guns. Right down to the full length guide rod.

For this price range, that’s awesome. It’s a great gun and an even better starter gun for a DIY 1911 build.

The Springfield Loaded 1911 is a great 1911 at a much higher price.

For less than $500, this is the one you wanted for home defense. At $640+, it’s still pretty close.

Kimber Micro 9 ESV - Competition tuned 9mm carry handgun

10. Kimber Micro 9

  • Price: $615.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel: 3.15 inch
  • Capacity: 7+1
  • Weight: 1.7lb

The Kimber Micro 9 is another non purist’s 1911, because there is no grip safety and that’s just the start if we’re honest.

But we’ve pretty much decided it doesn’t matter here and this is a carry friendly 1911 style pistol for around $600 that slips into your pocket.

And that’s a good thing.

Now the Micro 9 does not enjoy the same cast iron reputation for reliability that you get with the Kimber Ultra Carry 1911 from the Custom Shop. But then this small pistol is much, much cheaper…

You can spend a lot more on your Kimber Micro 9. This is the base version with a stainless steel finish, but you should check out the more expensive alternatives here with slide cuts and custom touches.

EAA Girsan MC1911SC Officer for sale. A sub-compact 1911 that's getting a reputation for reliability and accuracy. Buy your 45 ACP carry pistol here.

11. EAA Girsan MC1911SC Officer

  • Price: $642.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel: 3.4 inch
  • Total Length: 7 inch
  • Capacity: 6+1
  • Weight: 1.6lb

EAA has done great things of late with competition 1911 handguns and 10mm auto handgun specials.

So is this a genuinely solid sub-compact 1911? At this price? There is a ready market for this Officer 1911 carry pistol if it can hang with the competition. The early signs are that it really can.

First and foremost, this gun cycles reliably. That is a big deal for a sub-compact 1911, as many of you will attest to. It took Colt years to get this right.

You also get a thumb and extended beavertail grip safety, and all the usual 1911 parts & accessories in a compact package, topped off with wood grips.

Iver Johnson Eagle Series 70 handgun, buy a discount 1911 that performs.

12. Iver Johnson Eagle Series 70

  • Price: $667.66
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Weight: 2.6lb
  • Capacity: 7+1

Iver Johnson makes cost effective pistols that are slightly better than the absolute standard fare.

This is a budget friendly series 70 semi-auto pistol with a polished bull barrel and some other premium touches that don’t belong in this price bracket. Other premium touches include a hand fitted frame and slide to make sure the tolerances work well from the off.

It also comes with a beavertail grip safety and a memory bump that looks pretty slick together with the double diamond rosewood grips.

That is the Iver Johnson magic. This is far from a bare bones handgun honestly.

You get walnut grips, adjustable white dot sights and a bobbed hammer with this single stack mag. The Iver Johnson might not win any design awards, but it is definitely good value for money.

Auto Ordnance M1911A1 45 ACP handgun. A classic 1911 handgun for around $500.

13. Auto Ordnance Thompson M1911A1

  • Price: $586.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP Auto
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Total: 8.5 inch
  • Weight: 2.44lb
  • Capacity: 7+1

There was a time, way back, when Auto Ordnance was a pretty big deal around here. Like Ron Burgundy, that time has passed.

Now it pumps out nostalgia pieces, like semi-automatic Tommy Gun replicas and these old-school full-size 1911s for less than $600, normally.

The M1911A1 is a Series 80 semi-automatic pistol with a single action only operating system and basic fixed rear sight.

You can spend more on a hard chrome finish and the fancy touches that separate this full size pistol from more expensive fare. But you can also just buy one of these and shoot it for years, probably without any major trauma.

The only problem is it is Ruger SR1911 money now, and that seems a safer bet.

Metro Arms American Classic 1911 for sale. A budget 1911 full size pistol based on the classic American service handgun.

14. Metro Arms American Classic 1911

  • Price: $595.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel Length: 4.3 inch
  • Total: 8.5 inch
  • Weight: 2.2lb

The American Classic 1911 semi-auto pistol is a base model interpretation of the classic American military 1911 pistol.

It hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but it has squeezed a few premium touches into a budget 1911. At just 2.2lbn it’s also a lightweight 1911.

This is a viable carry gun thanks to low-profile Novak-style sights, 4140 steel frame, skeletal combat hammer and hardwood grips with a beavertail grip safety.

Metro Arms has made a name for itself with the best budget 1911s and the user reviews all seem impressed with the build quality and price tag.

At this price point, though, we think there are better options like the Ruger SR1911.

Where to Buy Ammo For Your 1911

When you shop for guns, ammo, parts… you often end up back at the same places. But we do have the odd surprise for guns/ammo prices. As you have seen…

So if you have a 9mm pistol or the classic 45 ACP then either way you need to stock up on 45 ACP ammo, rimfire ammo.

These are our favorite suppliers at the moment:

1911 Parts & Accessories

The old saying goes buy cheap, buy twice, and you’ll definitely need to upgrade and replace more parts on a cheaper gun. That’s just the way it goes.

You might want an ambi safety, night sights, a better barrel or to switch out a tang style hammer or a new recoil spring. That’s before we start on the best holsters,

So check out Primary Arms and Brownells for the best selection of gun parts & accessories, gun cleaning kits and more.

Want to Spend More on Your 1911?

Colt Combat Unit
Don’t Forget Colt and Kimber Custom

Colt and Kimber are legends for a reason and both have massive model lines that should suit almost everybody.

Kimber has the Gold Combat, National Match and the flamboyant Super Jagare. The Kimber Custom shop, in particular, produces some stunning guns. Look at the top Kimber pistols here.

Colt, meanwhile, has the Colt Government Gold Cup Trophy, CCU Combat pistol and a whole host of other options. They include the best 10mm, the Colt Delta Elite.

Read more about the leading Colt 1911 handguns, get a buyer’s guide and order a gun here.

What About a Dan Wesson?

Dan Wesson and more are waiting at the real top end with the latest great carry guns and the best 1911 pistols.

Together with the custom shop offerings from the big guns that really deserve red dots up top. Or a laser down below on the Picatinny rail for super accurate shooting.

So if you have seen the $600 1911s, and want something just different in your gun safes, then check out these features. We have more expensive 1911 handguns, custom 1911 pistols and Wilson Combat pistols for shooting like a Lord.

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One Response

  1. Robert November 10, 2020

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