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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has probably been asked before so be patient with me.

I'm looking for a used 1911 A1 in .45 ACP. I want something with no frills and as close to GI as possible for paper punching and possible carry. Assuming I find one within my price range that I can examine, what kind of mechanical things should I check? Slide looseness? looseness of the barrel in the ejection port when in battery? how loose is the barrel in the bushing? trigger pull? What kind of things do you guys look for that will tell you whether a piece should be passed by or taken home?

By the way, my previous experience with the .45 ACP has been limited to my S&W 4506. I've never had a 1911 A1 but always wanted one.
 

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If you get a 1911A1, you do not have something close to GI, you have GI. 1911A1 is a military designation, not a commercial designation. The commercial equivalent is the Government Model, to which Colt never applied the 1911 or 1911A1 nomenclature. Commercial models are often tighter than military guns, are often less worn and are usually a lot less expensive, depending on age and model.

Your budget will dictate what you can get. Generally, the older the gun, the more expensive, and the better the condition, the more expensive. All other things equal (which they never are), the least expensive Colt pistol of the 1911A1 style would be would probably be what Colt calls the 1991A1, a relatively recent "no frills" model. If you want a target gun (you mention paper punching), then you should spend enough to get a Gold Cup or the like. Look for tightness in every joint if the best accuracy is important to you.
 

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Hi TOM

First off how much do you have to spend on it, If you are like me not much, I blew my load on a colt 1911, SO I am worIing up some cash to buy a 1911a1 too. I like and have hear good thing about the Auto Ordnance 1911A1 GI WWII. I also hear good thing about Springfield Armory 1911-A1 but I don't like them becaues they are not made in the USA. as far as uesd, real 1911a1 if you look long and hard you may get found one under $600.00 that would be a keeper, but most of them at that price are pitted and been really uesd up.
IMOP GET A Auto Ordnance 1911A1 GI WWII OR spend $950.00 and get a new COLT 1911. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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I assume the poster wanted a real Colt or he would not have posted on this forum, but rather on one of the 1911 forums. Right now, you will have a very hard time finding a Springfield Armory, as they are in very short supply. Auto-Ordnance quality is variable, but I have not seen a new one for a couple of years so maybe they have become better of late.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the input.

Well, I went shopping today. I was prepared to check out some used Colts but the prices were too high for my wallet. So instead I found a new SA G.I. which came home with me in exchange for 5 bills and change.

Tomorrow I'll run some FMJ thru it and see if it shoots as nice as it looks. I should've gotten one of these years ago. It fits my hand like it was made for it.

Wish it could've been a real Colt. Maybe next time!
 

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"Used" Colt pistols can emcompass everything from vaulable collectors items to worn out junk. It is not uncommon to find "used" Colts selling for many thosands of dollars on the auction sites. Perhaps you were looking at collectors items and not just what we think of as used.

You are lucky to find a Springfield Armory pistol right now. (I just tried to get one for a guy and could not. He is now saving extra for a Colt instead.) Just keep in mind that you could have had a new Colt M1991A1 for less than $200 more, and now you STILL have to buy a Colt! Penny wise and pound foolish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"Penny wise and pound foolish?" Yeah, I guess so. But now I'll end up with one of each someday!
 

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I too just bought a new 1911a1 today. but i got a Auto-Ordnance GI. for $399.00 It look's very well made and it's made in the U.S.A. not brazil like the Springfield Armory is , and as for my Colt's 1911 replica I am still waiting for colt to fix it. it had alot of problem and for $950.00 dollars and IMOP it shouldn't have left colt like it did. I say again i love colt but 400.00 vs $950.00 /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif would i spend that again on a new colt, NO maybe on a real WWI COLT yes!
 

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[ QUOTE ]
If you get a 1911A1, you do not have something close to GI, you have GI.

[/ QUOTE ]

Not if it is a Colt M1911A1 reproduction. Despite being marked with a "WB" inspector's stamp (used only from late 1941 until late 1942) and "M1911A1 US ARMY" rollmark, I don't think those were ever GI.


Here is a "real" GI M1911 from 1912:




Here is a pic of a "real" GI M1911A1:





Here is a pic of an M1911A1 configured Commercial Model from 1926:





And a Commercial Model in M1911 congiguration from 1917:




Each and every one was used when I bought them! <lol>
 

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Well stranger, I guess you split that hair! Of course the replicas were never issued. The last new Models 1911A1 entered service in 1945. Actually, now that I think about it, a new Colt replica 1911A1 might be the least expensive "close to GI" gun the original poster could get.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Well stranger, I guess you split that hair!

[/ QUOTE ]

You mean like splitting hairs over whether or not a commercial model can be called a 1911 or 1911A1? /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

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No, that is not a hair to be split. No Colt commercial catalog ever called a commercial O-frame with the military designation, nor is any commercial pistol stamped with the military designation. (Yes, I know some commercial Colts were sold to the military at the start of WWII, just in case you want to split that hair.)
 

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[ QUOTE ]
No, that is not a hair to be split. No Colt commercial catalog ever called a commercial O-frame with the military designation, nor is any commercial pistol stamped with the military designation. (Yes, I know some commercial Colts were sold to the military at the start of WWII, just in case you want to split that hair.)

[/ QUOTE ]


You are not quite correct, your Honor. The earliest Colt manual refers to it as the "Military Model 1911".










The "Military Model 1911" designation was dropped in favor of the "Government Model" designation on the later manual:

 

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Not quite right? You are being diplomatic! I am clearly wrong on the catalog part. (I could split a hair and say that what you show is a manual, not a catalog. Ah, there's the ticket! No CATALOG ever refered to the O-frames with a reference to 1911. Or did one?) I had a guy tell me once that the earliest manual called the new pistol a Military Model, but since he did not have such a manual, I always assumed he was confusing a reference to a Model 1902 or a Model 1905, sometimes called a Miliatry Model.

That really damages my 40-year crusade to stamp out the misuse of military designations for commercial pistols! I do not know what I shall do!

OK, I have composed myself enough to write. I guess I shall continue the crusade, but shall add an astrisk in reference to pistols made in 1911. Still, none of these commercial pistols have any reference to "1911" stamped on them. (Or do you have some evidence to the contrary on that too?)

Do you have an extra manual of the early type? I have the later style, but have never seen the early style pictured. WOW!
 
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