The Best 1911 for You
There is an old shooter who gave the best 1911 recommendation ever voiced. It goes like this......"100% reliability, sights you can see, a trigger you can manage." That fellow was Jeff Cooper, the father of Modern Combat Handgunning. It still holds up today. That is ALL you need, the rest is just convienence. The journey is finding the sights you can see and the trigger you can manage. Realize that this first 1911 will likely not be your last 1911 and take some of the pressure for the "right" gun off your shoulders.
Now, I'll indulge in what I have found is right for me in a carry 1911. This might not be right for you, but it is posted as a seed for thought. 100% reliability. Wilson magazines, low profile base pad. Fixed sights. 2 inch accuracy at 25 feet under stress, handheld. A 3-4 pound trigger. Ed Brown grip safety. Single sided thumb safety, extended. Pearce rubber double diamond grips. No front strap checkering. Flat MSH, either checkered or serated. A decent dehorning. A tough finish. Things I prefer but don't insist on are a high ejection port, and a barrel bushing. Things I refuse to have on my carry gun include ambi safeties, magwells, extended slide stops, FLGR, extended magazine releases, any kind of locking device.
No out of the box guns fit my criteria, so I built my own. As far as recommendations of makers, I like Colts. It's a quality/pony thing for me. I also own Springfields and have found them to be a great value. I have shot the S&W guns, and found them to be good stuff. If I wanted an out of the box CCW/shooter, the S&W 1911PD would be my pick. I realize that I like to modify though, so Colt gets my spending money. As long as a buyer sticks with Colt, S&W, Springfield or Kimber Series 1, there is a high probability that he (or she) will be happy with their first 1911. I'm not listing the higher priced stuff, but they make good guns too, obviously. Over time you will either modify your 1911 to suit you better, or trade it off for one that suits you better. That is the nature of the beast. The thing to do is get into the game with a quality 1911. As you become a seasoned 1911 shooter, you will learn what is right for you.