US M1911A1 Pistol, 45 ACP
The M1911A1 is an American classic, which as the name implies, has been around since 1911. Designed by John Browning, it has been the American sidearm of choice in WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, and was only phased out in 1985. There are some specialty units that still use the M1911A1. If you want to read the full development history, check out Wikipedia here. It is a very popular pistol today and is made by a multitude of manufacturers. I currently own 3 as depicted in the picture below. These include an original M1911A1 made by Colt in 1944, and Kimber Target Match II, and a High Standard (Philippines). These are all wonderful side arms and an iconic symbol of the American soldier as well as a time proven instrument of protection with a serious punch .
This is my prized Colt 1944 M1911A1. GHD is the wartime inspector for Colt standing for LTC Guy H. Drewry. Famous Colt stamp on the left side of the slide. When I first got this pistol, it had a Remington slide. I traded a parts guy at a gun show for the perfectly matching Colt slide with the addition of $20. I have put many rounds through this pistol and even used it in bowling pin competition. It is nice and tight and shoots straight. Manufactures during WWII include Colt (400,00) Remington Rand (900,000), Union Switch and Signal (50,000), Ithaca (400,000) , and ultra-rare Singer Sewing Machine (500).
Right side of Colt. Serial number is digitally smeared. SA is a post WWII rebuild stamp from Springfield Armory (SA). While some would consider it a "parts" pistol because it has been through rebuild, it doesn't bother me; this pistol was used in war! As the old adage goes, "If only this gun could talk!" I bought this pistol when I was a 1LT in the 1st Cavalry Division in 1992. It was advertised as a Springfield Armory M1911. The man selling was a LTC and charged me $325! Those were the good ol' days. I have put many rounds through it and it it has been responsible for the demise of numerous armadillos and jack rabbits.
This is an "Officers Model" M1911A1 made by High Standard in the Philippines. While some consider it an "economy model" due to its price, I have found it to be an outstanding value; the steel is hard and the finish is "good enough". I bought this pistol in 2010 for $525. Notice it has many features of pistols twice the price including the skeleton trigger, beaver tail grip safety, loop hammer, and "Novak style" rear sight. However, I never confuse effort with results. Let me assure you, this is a quality pistol and shoots straight and hard. From what I have heard, Rock Island Armory pistols are of similar value for the money. Other exciting entries into the M1911 market include Remington and Ruger. Springfield also has an assortment of classic M1911s that resemble the military original.
Comparison of size of standard M1911A1 and the Officer Model (Also called Combat Commander). Mag holds 6 vs 7 and it is easier to conceal.
Click on the pics above to enlarge.
This is my beloved Kimber. These are not inexpensive pistols, but they are as good as they get right out of the box. This particular model is the Target Match II which is the pistol used by the US Shooting Team in preparation for the Olympics. The factory grips are red and blue checkered wood with a faux ivory inlay with the logo "Team USA". Frankly, I find these grips to be ugly as hell and as you can see, I replaced them with the US Army eagle. Kimber has experimented with external extractors and you can see it on the right side of the ejection port. I have had no problem with this feature, but Kimber has since gone back to the classic extractor. It has an extremely tight fitted barrel and slide as well as all the features one expects to see on a high grade M1911 such as the adjustable trigger, adjustable sights, beaver grip safety, loop hammer, and hand fitting. I also find the enlarged, beveled magazine well to be extremely useful during rapid reloading. If I was limited to one pistol, this would be my choice. It has class, functionality, and knock down power.
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