Gunsite 45 - wassup?


March 2, 2007, 10:08 PM
YEARS ago (15-20?) I read what Jeff Cooper said about a proper 1911 weapon. It was basic, had NO extended safety or mag release, NO beavertail GS, had good sights, a little dehorned, and slim grips - I think the first GSP had the framed relieved to get a slimmer grip. Oh yea - it also had a lanyard ring/lanyard - for sleeping with it and grabbing it at night in a sleeping bag. When I search on a Gunsite pistol now, I see ALLLLLLLL the bells and whistles - some of which Cooper rejected. What is going on?

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March 2, 2007, 10:16 PM
The new(er) Colt and Smith production guns aren't "real" GSPs.

Real ones were made under the watchful eye of Yost when he was at Gunsite.

Wanna see a real one? Convince me and I'll take a picture of mine.

March 2, 2007, 11:03 PM
show us a real 1911!

March 2, 2007, 11:26 PM
Battery is dead in the camera or I would post some newer and better pics, but as it is the two pistols at the bottom right are both Gunsite Pistols built at Gunsite by Ted Yost. One has the slimmed down frame, one does not. Both are dehorned and have rounded sights.

March 2, 2007, 11:34 PM
green i hate you horribly

March 2, 2007, 11:38 PM
Don't hate me. Think of me a defender of the true 1911.

March 3, 2007, 12:20 AM
Here ya go.

Regular width frame, lowered safety

Thinned frame, lowered safety

They both share the rounded sights that so many copy today, which were an original Ted Yost creation.

And the "GSP" engraving on the slide

Nomad, 2nd
March 3, 2007, 02:32 AM
He didn't say you 'couldn't have them'
He said you needed reliability, sites you can see, and a trigger you can manage.

The one he carried when I met him wasn't 'stock'

March 3, 2007, 11:37 AM
While the lowered safety is quite functional for a high thumb, I'd have to get used to the looks. This is a REAL 1911. I just think that calling something a GSP and having extended mag wells, extended everything, etc., etc. is at a mimimum a distortion of the truth, as Jeff Cooper might call it!

(I remember Mr. Cooper even distained BEVELED mag wells...)

Looks also like yours do not even have a flared ejection port.

March 3, 2007, 05:42 PM
GreenFurniture, I'm green with envy.:) I think it's safe to say you're a 1911 type guy too!

Old Fuff
March 3, 2007, 06:05 PM
The first GSP pistols were made exclusively for Gunsite students or past ones. They were built on Colt platforms without any special markings, and other then high-visability fixed sights, no special parts. To avoid hammer bite the standard spurs were slightly bobbed and reshaped. Some attention was given to the innards, and the trigger pull set between 4 and 5 pounds.

Jeff was determined to make a affordable fighting machine, and insisted that nothing should be added to run up the cost for no useful purpose. He was also fed up with high-priced custom guns that became jam-o-matics and held up his classes.

Today it has become another Christmas tree, loaded with gadgets.

March 3, 2007, 08:38 PM
The Gunsite Commander (S&W) is a "Christmas tree?" I'd call it dang close to an ideal fighting pistol. You mean a beavertail makes you a heretic?

Old Fuff
March 4, 2007, 12:31 AM
The Gunsite Commander (S&W) is a "Christmas tree?" I'd call it dang close to an ideal fighting pistol. You mean a beavertail makes you a heretic?

Well it isn't exactly what Jeff had in mind when he said, "everything you need, but nothing that you don't," but then if it rings your bell ... go for it!

March 4, 2007, 12:40 AM
I have a friend who got one and it was built on a Springfield gun. It was pretty loose so I don't believe "tightening" was done to it. It looked pretty plain to me for the money.

Old Fuff
March 4, 2007, 01:05 AM
It looked pretty plain to me for the money.

Yup... They were plain. Not exactly gunzine centerfold sort of stuff. The money went for internal work to insure functional reliability. And yes, they worked.

Jeff had some strong words about the even higher cost custom guns that students brought with them to Gunsite. They were decked out with most of the currently popular accessories and exotic finishes. But looks didn't count when their owners were left to do endless jam clearing drills. Excessive tightness belongs in a target pistol, but not a weapon.

Col. Cooper wasn teaching target shooting techniques.

March 4, 2007, 01:08 AM
Anywhere I could read more specifics of what went into the GSPs and how they were built? They sound up my alley.

Old Fuff
March 4, 2007, 01:30 AM
Most of the "cuss'n & discuss'n" went on during the late 1970's and early-middle 1980's. I'll look and see if I can find anything among my stuff.

Jeff was a wild-eyed radical... :rolleyes: who actually though a simple, reliable service pistol could be built on the 1911 platform that an ordinary person could buy without having to sell the farm. Some of the modifications not yet mentioned included rounding or beveling sharp corners and edges, fiting a tight firing pin stop, making sure a lip on the top of the left grip supported the plunter tube, using barrels with service (not match) chambers, and slightly bobbing and rounding the hammer spur to prevent "bite." Plain, high-visability / low profile fixed sights were installed and individually zeroed. When finished, most were bead-blasted and either blued or Parkerized.

Not pretty, but very effective.

March 4, 2007, 01:41 AM
These features are present on both of my GSPs:
Crowned barrels
Custom combat bar-dot tritium front and rear sights
Fitted and tuned extractor and ejectors
Complete dehorn job frame and slides (Break and smooth all hard edges)
Contoured and polished feed ramp and throat barrels
Contoured low-mount thumb safeties
Contoured and melted standard grip tangs
All tool steel internals
Fitted tool steel hammers
Fitted & tuned extended ejectors
Dehorned and fit Videcki triggers
Match tool steel sears
GSP engraved on slides
Finished in matte supertough blue

In addition, one of them has:
Machined reduced width grip frame.
Flat mainspring housing
Skeletonized hammer

And the other one has:
Standard width frame
Arched mainspring housing
Commander style ring hammer

Old Fuff
March 4, 2007, 09:11 AM
Sounds like ordinary, basic weapons to me... :rolleyes:

What did they cost? :uhoh: :D

March 4, 2007, 10:01 AM
I guess I've been fortunate with all my guns. I just leave them as issued and they perform as they should. My 1911 made in 1918 is 100% as issued and shoots any hardball ammo I can put thru it. I did put the double diamond grips away for safekeeping and replaced them with WW2 plastic. I loaded some very light Bullseye loads, knowing that at the next shoot some of the guys were bringing their wives and girlfriends. Four of the girls shot the 1911 and were amazed at the lack of strong recoil. The only downside to the shoot was when I was asked where I got the 1911 I told them I had carried it in WW1. They nodded their heads and said "cool!.

March 4, 2007, 10:19 AM
The only downside to the shoot was when I was asked where I got the 1911 I told them I had carried it in WW1. They nodded their heads and said "cool!.

Too funny, so you're what 106, 107?:D

Old Fuff
March 4, 2007, 10:52 AM
During the early days when Jeff Cooper's Gunsite school had only been open for a short time, a student showed up with an absolutely stock Colt Government Model. Although he was surrounded by others with expensive, custom built “combat pistols,” he did well, and unlike some of the others his pistol always functioned.

So during a break Jeff ask him why he hadn’t had his pistol modified like so many of the others did. “Sir,” he said, “I didn’t know what modifications should or shouldn’t be made. So I decided to go through the course and then make any changes, if any were necessary, based on what I’d learned.”

There was a twinkle in his eyes when Jeff related this story to me, and he said he wished more of his students would come to Gunsite with the same attitude.

The concept and development of the first Gunsite Service Pistol (GSP) came about because of the constant failure of some of the expensive, gadget loaded “combat pistols” that were so popular in gun magazines, to function reliably. Col. Cooper observed – quite correctly – that the emphasis was on looks and accessories rather then dependability. Literally hundreds of 1911 platform pistols were being used at Gunsite, and it didn’t take long to discover what worked and what didn’t. He also believed that a reliable 1911 style pistol shouldn’t be something that only the well heeled could afford.

March 4, 2007, 12:20 PM
"Everything you need, nothing you don't." Okay, I buy that.

But I need a beavertail, night sights, lowered ejection port, throated barrel, and what for me constitutes a few other "basic" things. All the stuff I did to my Sistema via King's. Nothing fancy, all utilitarian. Object: produce a good, reliable shooter, not a bling bling showpiece or object for the Browning reliquary.

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