Quick Question for the 1911 Junkies Out There.


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DogBonz
November 3, 2006, 11:00 AM
What date did colt change from the 1911 to the 1911A1? How can you tell them apart? I know about the mainspring housing and trigger, but I was looking for either serial numbers or proof marks, as mainspring housings and triggers are often changed depending on what the owner prefers. Also, what if any, were the best years of the 1911?

Thank you for any assistance.

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DogBonz
November 3, 2006, 11:40 AM
Anyone know?

brownie0486
November 3, 2006, 11:41 AM
I'm pretty sure it was 1924.

Arched mainsrping housing on the a1's is the biggest difference.

Brownie

Dr. Dickie
November 3, 2006, 11:46 AM
Don't know the date, but the difference is the arched mainspring housing and the cut out behind the trigger guard.
According to the Sight the M1911A1 was put into production on June 15, 1926

brownie0486
November 3, 2006, 12:01 PM
Colt ( Transition Models): S/N 700,000 to 710,000 = 1924

Brownie

DogBonz
November 3, 2006, 12:11 PM
thats what i was looking for.

Thank you

Dr. Dickie
November 3, 2006, 12:17 PM
I think that the pistols produced in 1924 were considered transistion models, with all of the changes not introduced offically until 1926.
As usual, changes like this have no clear cut points.

brownie0486
November 3, 2006, 12:20 PM
I think 26 is the recognized date by most as well

Brownie

XavierBreath
November 3, 2006, 12:30 PM
Mainspring housings and triggers can be swapped. You must go by the frame. The big difference is the 1911 frame lacks the scallop cut-outs behind the trigger that the 1911A1 has.

1911Tuner
November 3, 2006, 01:08 PM
First photo is a 1911...circa February 1919. Second photo is a late 1945 production Remington Rand...a 1911A1. I have a June, 1925 production commercial Government Model that has all the A1 mods as shown in photo #3.

Arched housing. Scallops at the rear of the trigger guard. Short trigger.
Larger sights. Shorter hammer spur. Longer grip safety spur are all A1 changes. Take note also of the differences in the slidestop.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/Colt.jpg

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/45RR.jpg

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/25Colt.jpg

Phil DeGraves
November 3, 2006, 01:11 PM
Also, the 1911 has a shorter grip safety tang than the A1s.

DogBonz
November 3, 2006, 01:21 PM
Also, the 1911 has a shorter grip safety tang than the A1s.

I'm not sure what you meen. Can you elaborate?

Diamondback6
November 3, 2006, 01:29 PM
The tang's that piece at extreme rear, right about where the hammer is when cocked. The beavertail on a beavertail GS replaces the tang.

Roc_Kor
November 3, 2006, 01:57 PM
Looking at the November Issue of American Rifleman at the article entitled "The U.S. '45 Automatics'" it says that the nomenclature (name) was changed from 1911 to 1911A1 in June of 1926, and that all 1911s with serial numbers over 700,000 be renamed to 1911A1, with those from 1-699,999 remain as 1911.

DogBonz
November 3, 2006, 02:09 PM
Thanks,

1911Tuner
November 3, 2006, 03:52 PM
Quote:

>Looking at the November Issue of American Rifleman at the article entitled "The U.S. '45 Automatics'" it says that the nomenclature (name) was changed from 1911 to 1911A1 in June of 1926, and that all 1911s with serial numbers over 700,000 be renamed to 1911A1, with those from 1-699,999 remain as 1911.<
**************

Won't be the first time that a publication made a wrong or incomplete call. Serial number 700,000 began in January, 1924. The US Army's designation of 1911A1 may have become official in 1926...but all the 1911A1 features were apparent on pistols that were built over a year prior to that date. Known as the Transition Model, or the "1911 Improved" all the features weren't included in the beginning. So...Technically, the pistol wasn't known as the 1911A1 until June of 1926, but the 1925 Commercial Model pictured above...Serial 143XXX...is clearly a 1911A1. Only the long, arched hammer spur remains.

boing
November 3, 2006, 06:09 PM
Take note also of the differences in the slidestop.

That one I didn't know about. What was the reason for the change to that part?

1911Tuner
November 3, 2006, 06:19 PM
Boing...With no explanation given that I've seen, I'd have to guess because the newer style was faster/cheaper to make...likely because it eliminated a
machining step. It did lose some of the functionality when locking the slide manually though. The old one didn't let your thumb slip off as readily as the new one. Note that Wilson's Bulletproof slidestop sorta copies the design. Sorta...

The 1911A1 was noted for certain "Improvements" that sometimes didn't really improve anything and some were even a step backward. The slidestop design was in that category, IMO.

boing
November 3, 2006, 06:51 PM
Thanks, Tuner. The Wilson is my preferred aftermarket slidestop. Figgers it was invented a hundred years ago. :p

1911Tuner
November 3, 2006, 07:01 PM
Boing wrote:

>Figgers it was invented a hundred years ago.
************

Yeah...Ol' John Moses was pretty sharp, or so I hear.;)

Roc_Kor
November 4, 2006, 02:04 AM
1911Tuner, as I stated 1926 was when the NAME was changed. In the same article there's a chart listing all the 1911s made from 1912-1945 by manufacturer and serial numbers. On the chart, it says, and I quote:

1924 700001-710000 Colt

That means that yes, the A1 features were made before 1926, but it wasn't until 1926 that it was designated as the A1.

Just clarifying so I can feel smart. :D

1911Tuner
November 4, 2006, 07:36 AM
Yep Roc,

Fact is that A1 was...and is...a military designation. The commercial Colts were simply known as "Government Models" whether or not they incorporated the A1 features...and the commercial and military pistols had a completely different serial range. I've also found out that it surprises some of the younger guys who get bit by the 1911 bug...that the designation Government Model goes back that far, and that many believe that Colt started using it after WW2.

The article in the Rifleman was correct...just incomplete.;)

XavierBreath
November 4, 2006, 10:26 AM
http://www.sightm1911.com/1911pix/product/diffs1911-1911a1.gif

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