Sistema Dilemma


September 20, 2006, 09:00 PM I have a Sistema Aeronautica in decent shape, I would like to put new sights on it but to do so would require smithing and may lessen the future value of the gun, can anyone see these prices going up any further? should I just leave it alone and enjoy it as is?

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September 20, 2006, 09:13 PM
Gun prices are always going to go up but the Sistema is never going to be considered a "collectable". It's main appeal is that it is C&R eligble for a fraction of the cost that a U.S. made 1911 would be. The sights on it and the Ballester Molina do leave something to be desired.

September 20, 2006, 09:41 PM
Sistemas will not likely escalate in value any time bsoon. If you want better sights installed, have at it.

September 20, 2006, 09:55 PM
Thanks for the reply, I knew they weren't collectible, but looking at what I paid for it and seeing what the prices on gunbroker are, and it being an Aeronautica,I thought I might have missed something. I guess it's going to the smith for new sights.....thanks.

Old Fuff
September 20, 2006, 10:37 PM
You have another alternative. Fit a second slide to the frame with new sights, and retain the original one as it is. I've done that on two guns, and in one case I'm very glad I did... One never knows what the future may hold.

September 20, 2006, 10:45 PM
I wouldn't get carried away on that nice old gun! I'd stake on a set of Kings Hardball sights and leave it at that!

September 20, 2006, 10:48 PM
Are you sure that your 1911 has not been reparked? That finish looks very nice for an old 1911.

September 20, 2006, 11:05 PM
the only thing I have done is added new grips. It came like that when I ordered it.

September 20, 2006, 11:06 PM
sounds like a good idea Old fuff, thanks!

September 20, 2006, 11:11 PM
Yours is in a lot better shape than mine was. If mine had been in that condition, I probably would have left it alone. If that is your only 1911, however, then go for any modifications you want.

September 20, 2006, 11:28 PM
I've got a kimber and a Delta elite, but I really hate the old iron sights, it dosen't have a serial number on the barrell and I read where it was supposed to, I may just go with Old fuffs idea of fitting a new slide to keep it as complete and original as possible.

Old Fuff
September 21, 2006, 10:40 AM
One time many years ago a gent came to me with what appeared to be an ordinary USGI 1911 pistol. Thinking that was the case he had Micro target sight mounted on the slide.

What he didn't notice was that the frame was stamped, "NRA" - it was one of a small lot that the government sold to NRA members through the DCM program.

Today that pistol, if it was unaltered, would be worth around $2,000 or maybe more.

As it is it's worth perhaps $600 to $800 at best. :uhoh:

Ya' can't fortell the future... ;)

September 21, 2006, 10:44 AM
As good as that 1911 looks I would at the very least keep all of your original parts so that you can always convert it back if you desired, Including the sites. Just locate some sites that use the factory cuts on the slide or like you said locate another slide although that will more than likely need some fitting and lapping to get the frame to slide fit right.

September 21, 2006, 10:51 AM
It sounds like you got an arsenal refinish gun, since the barrel does not have a matching S/N. My Aero Sistema has seen alot of use, also with a none matching barrel, but was not refinished. I have put in a new GI barrel and have no plans to modify it further.

It may not be a true collector, but since I have other pistols, including 1911's, I will leave it original, and suggest you do the same. BTW, AFAIK, the Aero's had a limited production of some 4285 pistols, so it could be more collectible than other models.

Mad Magyar
September 21, 2006, 02:15 PM
Real nice pistol...Old Fuff's idea has merit....The Aero is not an ordinary run of the Sistemas....
On my regular Sistema, I had it satin-chromed and did other things to it...However, my Marina de Guerra with limited production & matching numbers; only the grips.....

September 22, 2006, 12:40 AM
Like I said , just put a nice set of King Hardball sights in the original cuts! These inexpensive sights have the same target/'combat' sight picture as the swoopy Novaks and Bomars ect. but don't mar the pistol for restoring to original. IMHO they look "right" on a parked basically stock, 1911a1.

Old Fuff
September 22, 2006, 11:06 AM
The King sights are excellent ones, but to mount the front one a flat needs to be filed on the top of the slide because the blade is wider then the original one. Also the tenion on the blade is wider requiring modification to the slide. Last but not least, the front sight now on the pistol is that used on a 1911 pistol, and those aren't easy to find. So if one intends to be able to return the pistol to what it was, it is best to mount any new sights on a different slide. If this is not a consideration go ahead and mount the sights you want on the slide you have.

September 22, 2006, 01:28 PM
Another thought - use it with a .22 conversion kit with good sights.

September 22, 2006, 01:32 PM
I bought one in '01 and had King's do the whole upgrade trip on it. No regrets. It's now one of my primary HD weapons and sports a Crimson Trace laser. To each his own.

In retrospect I wish I'd bought two (at $299).

September 22, 2006, 07:41 PM
I'll augment my first statement to say that Lipsey's imported what appears to be the last of the Argentine Sistemas this year. They were not in very good condition at all. See this link ( for more. Sistemas may increase in value as a result, but I personally feel the Springfield Mil-Spec will keep the price down. The Sistema, even original blued Sistemas just don't have the collector appeal of the US Property stamped GI 1911s, but it is true that the Aero stamped models have the greatest appeal overall. At most, I think rearsenaled Sistemas may increase to $600 or so in our lifetime.

Ted Tost makes an excellent rear sight for the GI dovetail ( Combined with a hardball front sight, it's a killer set-up.

Sistemas are good guns, I actually use one as a carry gun. I retained the original sights. They are accurate and effective. Here's a pic, and here's some info ( about it. I do keep an extra Sistema in case the values skyrocket........;)

September 22, 2006, 09:33 PM
Thanks Xavierbreath, for the info, and thats a good read, nice work!

September 22, 2006, 11:35 PM
I'm with Xavier and the increasing value.I paid $289 each for the 4 I got from JLD 4 years ago.They were rearsonaled but in beautifull condition.You can't touch another one for that price anywhere.

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