11 Cheap 1911 Handguns For $500 – Jan 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 1911s 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.

Best Cheap 1911 Handguns For Sale in 2022
Rock Island Armory GI Standard. Possibly the cheapest 1911 that you should consider buying.

1. Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Standard

  • Price: $444.99
  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Total: 8.75 inch
  • Weight: 2.56lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

The Rock Island Armory 1911 Standard has been a star on this list for some time. It’s kind of the definitive cheap 1911.

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. 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.

Simple Engineering, Done Well…

The rear sight is fixed, but they are snag-free. The trigger is a little ornate and never quite looks fitted completely square, but that’s a minor thing. The trigger and hammer are both skeletonized, there’s a guide rod, a Series 70 firing system and firing pin. The color-coded grips are kinda cool too. 

Aside from that the RIA 1911 has a fearsome reputation for reliability and it’s the ideal start for a custom 1911 build on a budget. 

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

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

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

We have more double stack pistols on offer in this post on next gen 9mm 1911s here. Glock has been doing it for ages, of course, but double stack 1911s are sexy pistols. We’re sure there will be more of them that might even slide under the $600 price point for this list soon.

That double stack gives the Rock Island Armory 17+1 rounds of 9mm Luger, and that is a lot. With the leaps and bounds in ballistics tech, and the significant reduction in over penetration issues with the smaller round, this can be an ideal tool for modern home defense.

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

2. EAA Girsan MC1911S Government

  • Price: $495.99
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Total: 8.6 inch
  • Weight: 2.55lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

If it weren’t for the smaller version featuring higher up, this Girsan MC1911S Government model wouldn’t be this far down. As with all European American Armory weapons, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this tactical 1911.

The EAA 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. The low-slung Picatinny rail offers a mounting point for a light or laser too.

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

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

3. SDS Imports 1911A1 Service Model

  • Price: $429.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel Length: 5 inch
  • Total Length: 8.5 inch
  • Capacity: 8+1
  • Weight: 2.3lb

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

Cute touches include a cerakote finish, instead of the classic blued frame. 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 and SDS Imports offer a range of, well, styles.

Tristar American Classic 1911. A basic, cheap 1911 that should cost $500 or less. Get yours here.
A basic, cheap 1911 that should cost $500 or less. Get yours here.

4. Tristar American Classic

  • Price: $525.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel Length: 5 inch
  • Total Length: 8.5 inch
  • Capacity: 8+1
  • Weight: 2.3lb

This looks a like for like replacement for the Metro Arms American Classic that is on the list in spirit only right now and can be found further down in all its sold out glory.

This is the basic recipe once again, with a few nice flourishes like the skeletal hammer, thoroughly drilled trigger and dare we say Kimber Raptor style grips?

It all works as you’d expect and you can find parts for this gun pretty much everywhere.

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

5. Rock Island Armory BBR 3.10

  • Price: $623.99
  • Barrel: 3.1″
  • Total Length: 6.8″
  • Weight: 2lb
  • Capacity: 10+1 Rounds

This is not just a cheap 1911, it’s 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.

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.

6. Taurus PT-1911

  • Price: $575.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Total: 8.5 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 steel, the blued finish is well done and you get touches like a lowered and flared ejection port and magwell, and skeletonized trigger. They do look like premium gun touches.

Get some G10 grips, upgrade your 1911 pistol as you go and this could turn this full size pistol 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.

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!

7. Springfield Armory Mil-Spec Defender 1911

  • Price: $645.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Total Length: 8.6 inch
  • Weight: 2.4lb

Springfield Armory 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 Mil-Spec Defender 1911 seems to follow the same basic recipe for an all-round pistol. It’s a solid frame, with basic as hell accessories you can swap out, or not. Fit night sights or whatever you like to this base model from the 1911 parts bin.

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.

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. It’s not quite a bull barrel, but you don’t need that really with affordable 1911s…

The TRP and more are regular stars in our posts of the best 1911 pistols in higher price ranges, and all the basics are here. That includes those slanted slide serrations, that have proved a success on the best 1911 pistols.

The thumb-safety lever is not ambidextrous and you get 3-dot sights, rather than Tritium Luminescent night sights. The slide stop is basic. It all is. But you can fit night sights yourself, next month, and it’s a good gun to get going with…

Create a Custom 1911

1911 handgun parts & accessories aren’t exactly thin on the ground. So you can dress up this forged GI frame with a GI style recoil spring as you see fit.

The important thing is the foundations of the house are right. They are with these budget 1911s. This is the bare bones and you can pick up the right 1911 parts at your local gun shop, gun fairs or online gun stores.

The frame is parkerized and the stainless steel slide is Melonite coated, as is the way at Springfield with basically all of its handguns for sale. 

The Springfield Mil-Spec Defender 1911 is a great 1911 at a much higher price. For less than $500, this is the best cheap 1911 handgun for sale in 2022. At $640+, it’s still pretty close.

Armscor Citadel 1911. Basically it's the RIA 1911 with an even cheaper price tag. If you can find one, it's surprisingly good for the money.

8. Armscor Citadel M-1911 Government

  • Price: $605.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel Length: 5 inch
  • Total Length: 8.5 inch
  • Capacity: 8+1
  • Weight: 2.3lb

Armscor and Rock Island Armory are all part of the same big happy family these days. So yes, this is basically another version of the RIA, but that means it’s surprisingly good for an off-brand gun.

Now even that’s up for debate. Armscor has forged a solid reputation with shotguns, and now pistols. So really you’re getting a solid, sort of mil-spec 1911 for just the wrong side of $500. Sometimes much less if you spot a deal.

It’s a standard 45 that does everything you want with the money you have at your disposal. That’s good.

EAA Tanfoglio Witness Commander 1911 Polymer. A plastic 1911, finally. Buy your gun here.

9. Tanfoglio Witness Commander 1911 Polymer Match Pro

  • Price: $725.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel Length: 4.75 inch
  • Total Length: 8.5 inch
  • Capacity: 17+1
  • Weight: 1.9lb

The Tanfoglio Witness Polymer Match Pro really is a full-size polymer 1911 that weighs as much as a Glock 19 and packs just as many rounds. What’s not to love?

We also think the original polymer 1911 is a peak into the future.

Material Science Makes Lightweight Guns

It’s a 9mm plastic 1911, or something else, that is different to almost everything else out there in the defensive carry pistol class. You might not see polymer frame 1911s all the time now, but we think you will.

A plastic 1911 might go against the grain. But you’re cool with polymer Glocks firing the same ammo. So it was a matter of time before we got a polymer 1911 for sale. And the really good news is it’s from one of the world’s best gunsmiths.

EAA features heavily on this list, because it isn’t a manufacturer. EAA imports a number of different firearms manufacturers’ guns to the United States. Tanfoglio is the runaway success story so far.

A Polymer 1911? Why Not?

This polymer frame gun is an enigma, just because it’s a combination of technology that we haven’t seen much of yet. But plastics are the future, they’re already at work in most CCW holsters and a plastic 1911 was just a matter of time we guess.

In many ways it’s the best tactical 1911 here, purely due to the lower weight and Commander size barrel for accuracy and reliability. MaybeyYou could have these in your gun safes all over your house and sleep well at night.

Features include an extended beavertail safety, stainless slide, a skeletonized hammer and a flat mainspring housing. You also get a gun that will accept pretty much all standardized 1911 parts & accessories. This could be the start of a real interesting custom pistol.

Fixed rear sights are low profile for a quick draw and the compact barrel means this could be a potent carry pistol. At 1.8lb it’s a lightweight 1911 and the gun is just 1.27 inches wide too.

A Lightweight 1911 For CCW

So the EAA Tanfoglio Witness Commander 1911 Polymer is easy to conceal, light and yet comes with all the benefits of a 1911. It’s an interesting defensive carry proposition, a unique gun and one that will be joining the collection soon if only for the novelty factor.

Look closer and you’ll see premium touches like a beveled and enlarged port. The fixed sights are low drag and the extended beavertail grip safety helps position your hand high up.

This is one of the most interesting budget 1911s here and we think it’s going to be a sales sensation for the best online gunbrokers in the United States. This is a good gun and affordable 1911s just got better…

Check out the company’s other headline acts, too, which include some of the best 10mm handguns and match shooters on the market today.

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.

10. EAA Girsan MC1911SC Officer

  • Price: $598.99
  • 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. But the EAA Girsan MC1911SC Officer is the type of handgun that will sell off the back of their success.

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 beavertail grip safety, stainless steel slide and all the usual 1911 parts & accessories in a compact package.

Now EAA doesn’t make the gun. It’s made by Girsan in Turkey, and imported by EAA. Much like the EAA Tanfoglio target champions are made by the Italian master gunsmiths. 

Girsan might not be in that same league, but EAA has a rep to protect. Theoretically, it can’t import garbage. It’s bad business when the company has invested heavily in its own brand as a purveyor of the world’s finest firearms. Or something…

Girsan Combines Low Prices With Proven Tech

The Turkish firearms manufacturer claims to have perfected the basic technology and mass manufacturing techniques required for an affordable carry pistol. Based on EAA’s other firearms in the portfolio, we’re inclined to believe this hype.

Our favorite 45 ACP Sub-compact 1911 is the Colt Defender. But that costs much more than $500. So, if you’re on a budget and want a 1911 CCW with a beavertail safety, this might be the best low cost 45 ACP 1911 handgun out there with a decent fit and finish.

ATI Firepower Xtreme Titan 1911 Concealed Carry pistol. Just $399.99 at the USA Gun Shop for a 45 ACP carry 1911.

11. ATI Firepower Xtreme Titan 1911

  • Price: $429.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel: 3.1 inch
  • Total Length: 6.93 inch
  • Capacity: 7+1

A cheap sub-compact 1911 for concealed carry? Are we high? No, as it turns out. You can get good ones these days and this one comes from ATI.

Now this company has some bold claims going on. It has plastic AR-15 rifles, but it also has a solid track record producing continuation firearms like the Sig Sauer Mosquito 22 LR pistol. Then there is one of the best concealed carry pistols here…

This Officer sized 1911 is basic, with textured mahogany grips, and when did that become a negative?

A parkerized finish is the norm here and there is not much else in the way of luxuries, with Novak style sights at the rear providing a low profile. But all the important stuff is here and this carry gun actually looks decent. 

Reliable Enough, Good Enough, Cheap Enough

The grip safety joins forces with a frame-mounted ambidextrous thumb safety on this carry friendly pistol. Speaking of the frame. It’s hardened 4140 forged steel. It’s good enough and slots in to standard carry holsters.

Cycling can be an issue for some sub-compact 1911s, but read the user reviews of this cheap handgun. They love this cheap 1911 for less than $400, which slips into your waistband and goes bang every time. The slide, recoil spring and more all seem up to the task.

The Girsan makes a slightly more compelling case and is only $100 more. But if the sticker price on your cheap 1911 concealed carry is the number one priority, this might be your next semi auto handgun…

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

12. Auto Ordnance Thompson M1911A1

  • Price: $799.99
  • 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 Auto Ordnance pumps out nostalgia pieces, like semi-automatic Tommy Gun replicas and these old-school full-size 1911s for less than $600, normally.

The Auto Ordnance Thompson M1911A1 is a Series 80 semi-automatic pistol with a single action only operating system.

They aren’t double diamond checkered wood grips, or G10 grips, they’re simple brown plastic. But you can swap them out for antique mahogany wood grips if that’s what you want. The same goes for the basic fixed front sight and rear sight combo. Apart from that this matt black finish 1911 is a no frills weapon that still somehow manages to retain its rugged elegance.

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

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

13. Metro Arms American Classic 1911

  • Price: $535.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel Length: 4.3 inch
  • Total: 8.5 inch
  • Weight: 2.2lb

The Metro Arms American Classic 1911 is a base model interpretation of the classic American military 1911 pistol. It’s as basic as cheap 1911s get, but it’s also effective.

Metro Arms hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but it has squeezed a few premium touches into a budget 1911. At just 2.2lbn it’s a lightweight 1911 too and the gun lends itself to concealment.

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

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. It’s certainly a Rock Island alternative, if you like budget guns or you’re shopping for a home defense handgun and don’t want to spend the Earth.

Ready to Spend a Little More on Your 1911?

Make no mistake, $600 is a great price, but it is scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to affordable 1911s in 2022 and there will be no hand fitted frame and slide.

If you spend just a little more, you can get a jump in quality and a much nicer slide stop. You may also need a buyer’s guide…

The Ruger SR1911, Smith & Wesson SW1911 and Springfield Range Officer are waiting for you if you have just a couple of hundred bucks more. Magnum Research make some great mid-range 1911s, and one of the best concealed carry 45 ACP sub compacts for sale. Sig has a healthy presence in the $1000 price range too.

They are great guns and the full-size Ruger SR1911 in particular has become part of the best 1911 pistols folklore. You get into a world of hard chrome and brushed steel, too. Rather than staid blued and matte black finish guns.

Ruger, Smith & Wesson or Springfield?

Check out the semi-automatic Ruger SR1911 Target, or limited edition competition shooters, if you want to really see what the frame can do with a fully adjustable rear sight and competition parts. Then get into high end red dot sights, all the bells and whistles and breathe new life into your 1911…

The Springfield Range Officer is one of many guns to adopt an aluminum alloy frame for weight saving. it also has the fiber optic front sight, adjustable rear sight and a host of other premium 1911 touches.

Smith & Wesson Performance Center is waiting for you if you really want a custom gun at a great price too.

What About a Dan Wesson or Wilson Combat?

Dan Wesson, Christensen Arms, STI, Kimber and more are waiting at the real top end with the latest great guns and product. Together with the custom shop offerings from the big guns that really deserve a red dot 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, then check out these features. We have more expensive 1911 handguns, custom 1911 pistols and even some fancy Dan Wesson handguns and Wilson Combat pistols for shooting like a Lord. You have to see the Wilson Combat guns. They’re awesome…

Where to Buy Used Pistols Online

There is a solid selection of used pistols from the likes of Para Ordnance and much more exotic fare from Colt, Kimber and more. You can buy the best 1911 pistols, for less. Shopping for used guns is more complicated than new budget 1911s, but you can unearth an absolute bargain if you know where to look.

Buy used guns online here:

Guns.com – Awesome selection of collectible and vintage firearms.

Then look here for the hell of it.

All rights reserved, copyright remains property of the USA Gun Shop. For full terms & conditions of the privacy policy, or privacy policy specifics, contact us at the main customer service email address. Customer service will get right back to you on your email address. Or something. I mean who wants terms & conditions anyway? Go read about concealed carry insurance instead, it’s more your speed.

One Response

  1. Robert November 10, 2020

Add Comment