Thanks for the welcome. As I am now on my computer, and not my ipad, I can be a little bit more concise about my wants and needs. First, a little background. I am an (older) ex-marine and Viet Nam veteran. One of thousands and not a big deal. Just thought I'd mention it because most of the people I know don't even know I spent time in the military. It appears that the gun owners appreciate it a bit more and a lot of them are ex-military. During boot camp I qualified with the M-14 and shot the 1911 just for familiarization. Just one mag. I then re-qualified with the M-14 while over in Okinawa just before leaving for Viet Nam.
I haven't picked up a gun since leaving the military in 1967. For some reason, last year, I decided to take up shooting again. Bought a M&P22 because I thought it was a good way to re-train myself regarding stance, grip etc. Fun gun and cheap to shoot. I now have an M&P9 on order and am looking forward to moving up to a larger caliber. However, I am now starting to drool over the 1911's. Beautiful guns but there's a huge amount to choose from. After sifting through a number of forums I've come to believe that the most popular are (excluding the very expensive ones) Kimber, Smith & Wesson and Springfield. All around the $1000 range (give or take). I've held the S&W E series. Pretty gun and about $1000 at Buds discount guns. Not sure if I want a full sized 1911. Maybe a 4"barrel would suit me better. I've been searching the YouTube videos and watching them. Also looking through Buds guns I found the Kimber pro raptor ll. Could get this for a little over $900. My uses would be for HD and range use. Don't plan to carry. How does this gun stack up to others. I know my questions are very general but I'm still in the discovery phase. Sorry for the long post. In the future they'll be no need to give my complete history. Just some rookie questions.