Original 1911 Government Specs


The Dutchman
July 18, 2008, 06:43 PM
Does anyone have a link or know what the original Browning metallurgical specifications were for the 1911?

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July 18, 2008, 08:02 PM
Try http://www.m1911.org

July 18, 2008, 08:14 PM
You will see that many changes have been made, in just about every area. Some good, like the change from medium carbon steel to chromoly steel, but some bad. A good for instance is screws, the original screws were low carbon steel case hardened to about file hardness, I don't think anyone does that anymore. The screws that have hex sockets are soft as far as I can tell, and there is precious little metal between the bottom of the socket and the terminus of the screw under the head, so they break off! A plain jane thin slotted screw will not break off as there is plenty of material left.
It could be worse, they could make them out of plastic. :barf:

Old Fuff
July 18, 2008, 10:17 PM
You can purchase a set of USGI drawings for the later 1911A1 version that has material and heat treating specification for each part. Obviously all the parts weren't the same. Any relationship between the real 1911A1 and current copies so far as materials or part dimensions are concerned is purely unintentional on the part of the present day manufacturers. :banghead:


July 19, 2008, 01:37 AM
Yep....how many makers use spring steel for extractors?.....even forgings weren't specified for much, only machinings....

The Dutchman
July 19, 2008, 01:52 AM
Thanks for the replies guys....I found some blueprints online but I don't see any alloy specification, i'll post them and maybe someone could tell me if I'm reading it wrong. Old Fuff thanks for the link I might end up buying one of those catalogs just so I can read how the 1911 was suppose to be made by JMB

Old Fuff
July 19, 2008, 09:55 AM
Those are poor quality and imcomplete drawings. the hammer's heat treating specifications should be in the upper/left hand corner. On my drawing this is covered in three paragraphs, covering three specific alternatives, including investment casring. :what:

The frame (receiver) is covered by not one, but six different detailed drawings. :cool:

If you are going to get drawings, get real ones, not trash - of which there is a lot out there. :banghead:

The Dutchman
July 19, 2008, 03:25 PM
Im definitely going to get those original blueprints from that link you gave me Old Fuff. Like HisSoldier said have there been improvements...like switching to 4140 chrome moly? BTW isnt many of the new expensive 1911's have their slide and frame made from 4140?

Old Fuff
July 19, 2008, 04:43 PM
Real 1911, 1911A1 and commercial Colt Government Models were built in an environment where there were recognized material, processing and manufacturing standards as well as dimensional ones.

Today there are none, and sometimes it shows.

There are uncounted manufacturers making copies of the genuine article that have little but a passing acquaintance with it. Any adherence to the old blueprint requirements is purely accidental. Some manufacturers don’t make anything at all. They buy all of the parts and simply assemble them into pistols that may or may not function.

Parts may be made from forgings, investment castings, molded or formed using MIM or punch press technology, or machined from bar stock. Materials include various alloys of high carbon or stainless steel, different kinds of aluminum, and even plastic (trigger fingerpieces and mainspring housings). To the degree that there are standards, each manufacturer makes they’re own.

The government drawings are interesting, but hardly relevant for any use concerning current pistols now being made; because no authority forces the various makers of components or pistols to conform to them, and as a result few or none do.

The most obvious difference between the genuine guns, and what are being made now, is that they worked out-of-the-box, without any tinkering, breaking in, substitution of after-market parts or magazines, special lubricants (whatever); and they did so on a predictable, consistent basis.

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