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COLT 1991A1 NRM Long review.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by bigjim, Jul 27, 2003.

  1. bigjim

    bigjim Well-Known Member

    COLT 1991A1 NRM Long review.
    Colt 1991A1 New Roll Mark Blue Finish

    The Buy:

    I went to the annual Reeds Sporting Goods sale in San Jose CA. I was going to by a Smith and Wesson 945 pistol they had on sale for just under 1300 dollars, I stopped in front of this Colt and asked to see it. It was the last one in stock (They had three of them when the store opened 30 mins ago). The store was starting to fill up. Reeds sold one third of all pistols sold in California that weekend.

    I picked it up not expecting to buy. I was instantly impressed with the finish. Brush polished sides nicely matted rounds. The double diamond grips had nice looking grain and a good fit. Sights were standard old school three dot types. They had a clean strong simple look to them and provided an excellent sight picture.

    The trigger pull had a clean break at what felt like about 4.5 lbs maybe a bit more, but since it broke cleanly it was very manageable. It has a long metal trigger with no stupid looking holes and the unneeded over travel screw was not installed.

    This gun was just plain appealing! Clean lines line of the classic 1911A1 profile were not lost due to melting of edges. The smooth front of the slide looked really nice to the eye after years of looking at those front serrations.

    The barrel fit was good. Just a little front and back play in the bushing. The barrel hood fit nicely into the slide. The slide to frame fit was not super tight but the action felt so smooth it was like it was hand lapped.

    Feed ramp was very highly polished, and the interesting barrel throat Colt is using now looked nicely done as well. I decided to buy this pistol and put off the S&W 945 for a while longer. I paid 569 plus tax and CA license fees.

    Range report:

    I am a re-loader not a hand loader. So I had lots of ammo on hand to shoot the gun. I took the pistol home detail stripped it and gave it a very good cleaning. I lubed the gun with FP10 and a mixture of FP10 and Proshot grease on the rails, barrel lugs and bushing area of the barrel.

    I have 60 magazines. I know that sounds crazy it’s just my habit to buy 5 new mags every time I buy a 1911. I don’t fight with bad mags if it doesn’t feed well I get rid of it. So over the years I have built up this pile of great feeding mags of many different brands. ( Wilson, Kimber, Colt, Metalform, Mec-gar, Les Baer, Springfield ) I loaded them all up with some 230 grain round nose ball duplicate loads and also brought 300 rounds of 230gr flat points and another 200 155 gr semiwad cutters.

    This new Colt is possibly the most reliable Pistol I have ever purchased. Almost 1000 rounds fired in about a four hour period and not one problem. No failures to feed. No failures of fire. No failures to extract. No failures to eject. No failures to lock the slide back on an empty mag. No failures at all period… ..zip….nada… None!

    Accuracy is good. Not as good as some 1911’s I own but still very good. My Les Baer and Valtro will out shoot it, but not by much. Off the bench you can keep all the rounds touching at 15 yards. Eight rounds in a group the size of a quarter is about how it shoots.

    The old school grip safety eats a small hole in my hand while shooting. After the first few hundred rounds it stopped hurting for some reason so I just kept shooting. I would be lying of I said that a high cut front strap, a beaver tail and checkering did not enhance shooting but the gun was fun to shoot with out all of that! It was a nice change and I enjoyed taking this trip down memory lane shooting a more classically configured 1911A1 pistol. Some times less is more.

    I think this pistol represents the best dollar value in 1911A1 pistols today. It is enough nicer than the Springfield Mil-specs, RIAs and Chuck Daleys that it competes directly against that it is a no brainer. I have looked over a number of new Colts and I got to tell you Colt is back!!

    Took the gun home and gave it a good cleaning looking for any unusual wear or problem developing after this extended shooting session. I am happy to say no problems were noted. I expected to use 1911Tuners hand lapping trick with JB bore paste on this gun like I do with most other 1911s but I just did not need it. Why mess with perfection.?
  2. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    Congrats. Your experience mirrors mine with the new 01991... new Colts are great guns.


    By the way, if you get hammer bite from the gun, you can have the hammer slightly shortened and the problem will go away.
  3. Boiler_G

    Boiler_G Well-Known Member


    I had the same results with my NRM Colt. I love the gun. 500 rounds and counting, no failures. :D
  4. Zach S

    Zach S Well-Known Member

    Might not be hammer bite, the old school grip safety on mine puts a hole in my hand as well on long range sessions.
  5. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Well-Known Member

    Only ninety rounds through mine so far, but I love it!
  6. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

    At about three times the price no less...

  7. VaughnT

    VaughnT Well-Known Member

    I'm really glad to hear this report, BigJim. I've been aching for a new Colt for some time now that they've gone back to the good rollmarks. And while I've had my once-milspec 1991 tricked out with beavertail and such by Ted Yost, there is something incredibly appealing about those original lines that I miss.

    A milspec Colt S80, with good rollmarks, for under $600? That's a super deal and I'm going to do some serious searching come October.
  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Tuner is...

    Jealous! I haven't bought a new pistol in almost two years, and I'm
    gettin' antsy.

    About the 60 magazines...I've got about 85, and lookin' to order a few
    more from Metalform, so you're in good company, I reckon. Uh...Just
    a question. You say you toss a misbehavin' magazine? Send'em to
    me and I'll give 3 bucks each and refund your shipping. Wait 'til
    you get 5 or more, and let me know in a PM. As long as they aren't
    dented or have cracked lips or baseplate welds, I can tweak'em and

    If you will do me one favor...Use a dial caliper to measure the wire
    diameter on the stock recoil spring and count the coils, starting from the
    bottom on the open end. I'm bettin' that the diameter is .043-.0435 and there are 32 - 33 coils. I'm keeping a record of OEM recoil springs in
    new Colts and Springfields, and would be obliged for the numbers.

    Here's hopin' that new Colt's a keeper.

  9. bigjim

    bigjim Well-Known Member

    Will due 1911Tuner. We have never met but I owe you one! You have been a big help to me with things you have posted.

    As far as tossing bad mags. It does not happen to often. I bet I have only thrown away about ten or twelve mags since I started shooting 1911 pistols in 1984. Most of those were Mec-gar mags that had cracked lips.
  10. mec

    mec Well-Known Member

    Good, Good and Good! That was a super report. You gave it over 1,000 which is a very reasonable number to establish reliability. This is the most informative and credible look at a new Colt I've seen. The gun magazines have been upset with colt for a long time and seldom say any thing nice about the company.

    I shoot a Milspec Springfield ( had to be rebuilt to funcition) and get the same hand irritation from the grip safety tang. ( It is the tang as the hammer does NOT pinch or touch my hand) I melted it just a bit but still get a tatoo after extensive shooting. The problem does not occur with 200 grain swcs at 830fps.

    You've very likely sold some Colts here.
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Grip Safety Blister


    There's a 30 dollar cure for that grip safety...25 if ya get Brownell's
    discount. The King's beavertail drop-in will drop in and work 9 times
    out ten, and usually will require only a little stoning on the sides if
    it doesn't. No alteration of the frame is required, and it puts a stop to
    that sore web. It's fugly, but it works without destroying the originality
    of the gun. I have one on all my heavy-use range guns just for that reason. They can be had for 70 or 80 series pistols.

    I can give you a part number and Brownell's toll-free if you want it.
    They take Visa/mastercard, and will ship COD. Good folks to deal
    with, in case you haven't.

    Standin' by...
  12. 45auto

    45auto Well-Known Member

    Nice report on the Colt.

    I had a similiar experience with the Colt I purchased a while back, although it took me a bit longer to shoot the 1,000 rounds.

    I gave up on the standard beavertail at the 1500 mark and had one installed- no comparison... for my hands anyway.
  13. mec

    mec Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I've got a relationship with Brownells already. I may give that item a try.
  14. tex_n_cal

    tex_n_cal Well-Known Member

    I grabbed the first (and only) stainless NRM I've seen in CA. Worth every penny. Prancing horses rock:)
  15. VaughnT

    VaughnT Well-Known Member

    I'm soooo glad to see that I'm not the only one suffering from a gouged web! I thought it was hammer-bite at first, but careful examination showed that it was just a case of natural erosion as will always happen when a hard object meets a soft object repeatedly.

    It was kinda funny because the only time it really got bad was when I was in NC for a firearms qual. Everyone was laughing at me because there was blood running down my arm. Yea, they have the latest wonderguns and I'm shooting a dinosaur.... Yup, my T-Rex of a pistol just took a sacrificial chunk of me.... I showed them my target...and had the last laugh! :cool:
  16. mec

    mec Well-Known Member

    It eventually evolves a patch of scar tissue right there. this used to be regarded as some sort of badge of honor. Beavertails do have their place:

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  17. Drjones

    Drjones member

    Darn you, darn you, DARN YOU!!!

    Why'd you have to go and post such a great review??? Now I REALLY can't wait to get this gun!!!

    Seriously, I've been wanting this exact gun for quite some time, and its nice to read such a wonderful review. Come to think of it, I haven't read a bad thing about it yet, but nothing quite as glowing as your review.

    Glad to hear it!


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