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1911 vs 1911a1 embarrassing question.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TCB in TN, Jan 1, 2011.

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  1. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    My search foo is probably off, so I am just going to have to ask a kind of a strange question. I have owned a couple of 1911s over the years, including a colt gold cup, and I understand that that the a1 designation came after some updates post WWI, but in today's guns what is actually the difference in the two?

    I found a decent used SA 1911a1 local (holster wear, but a good trigger and isn't hurt), so I got it yesterday (haven't shot it yet), and am a little embarrassed to admit I really don't see a lot of difference between it and the 1911 's I have owned in the past. :eek: Any real differences between the two?
     
  2. predator20

    predator20 Member

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    Pretty much every 1911 today is an "A1" One changes from the M1911 to the M1911A1 was the relief cuts on the frame behind the trigger. Almost all current 1911s made today have that. Only Colt's WWI reproduction doesn't have it, which is correct for its time period.

    While there were other changes from the M1911 to the M1911A1, shorter trigger, arch mainspring, longer grip safety etc. The frame change is a permanent one.
     
  3. xr1200

    xr1200 Member

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    SA 1911's are all service grade pistols and are a sloppy fit, don't expect the same accuracy you had with your old gold cup.
     
  4. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    Actually this little gun feels right, and the guy I got it off of could shoot well with it, but no it is a far cry from my gold cup. Of course that original Gold Cup got better after getting a little dr'in to it. Just wanted to get me something solid to start with, and then I can begin moving back to good 1911 guns.
     
  5. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    As already said, just about every 1911 you'll see on the market is actually patterned after the 1911A1. We just refer to them all as the 1911 as opposed to the longer 1911A1clones/copies...it is like using the term Kleenex as opposed to facial tissue

    The original 1911 proven too large for general issue and the A1 modifications entailed:

    1. the relief cuts behind the trigger
    2. the short trigger
    3. the arched main spring housing
    4. the longer tang on the grip safety
     
  6. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    I think the relief cuts were a Colt model 80 change. Longer grip safety was the fourth change made to the A1.
     
  7. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    And, really, we "ought" call the current crop "A2" since they all seem to come with flat, rather than arched m/s housings.

    Since I "grew up" with arched MSH, I find I shoot "flatties" about a foot low--and I've never been comfortable with a 12 o'clock hold, even if I thought I could train myself to it.
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Here is a series 70 with the relief cuts
    [​IMG]

    Here is a 1911A1 with the same cuts
    [​IMG]

    ...and just for comparison, an original 1911
    [​IMG]
     
  9. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    Yep, I was mis-informed, thanks for the pics. I need to figure out where I read that......
     
  10. swinokur

    swinokur Member

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    Wasn't the hammer narrowed in the A1 to minimize hammer bite?
     
  11. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the info.
     
  12. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    for the O.P....

    M1911s made for WWI Doughboys were produced by:
    Colt, Remington UMC ( not to be confused with the WWII
    1911A1s made by Renington Rand - different companies)
    & 1 other company whose name excapes me for the moment
    total production around 550,000.

    The changes outlined by others for the 1911A1 came about
    in 1924/25. The Colt made model of the 1911 for Civilian sales
    is trademarked the Goverment Model.

    WWII M1911A1 production was mainly Colt, Remington Rand and Ithaca.
    There were a few others but they didin't make a lot. Total production
    was around 2.9 Million. After that the US Armed Services didin't buy any more as they had a lot in inventory.

    The Gold CUp you mentioned became a production model in the
    mid/late '50s, and these early Gold Cup National Match have the angled
    slide serrations, flat mainspring housing and long trigger, adj. rear sight.
    THey also have internal cuts making the slide lighter and should not ever
    be fired with GI Ball they're built for light 185 gr. TC-FMC target ammo.
    the Mk IV 70 Series Gold CUps and all later models have regular slides
    and when used with the proper recoil spring weight for the load being used
    are fine with whatever ammo. I think the current 'Gold CUp' version has
    the title "Trophy' in it so it's changed - probably got the FPS..

    R-


    -
     
  13. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Member

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    Been said quite a few times, most use the term 1911 for all the Colts that are now being discussed, even if they are a 1911A1;) Some confusion to be honest... Good question IMHO...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1911_pistol
    :)
     
  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    If you think about it, the changes to the pistol since the 1911a1 model have mostly been aimed at undoing the "a1" changes, ie; back to the flat mainspring housing and long trigger. The scallops in the frame remain, but aren't needed with the long trigger.

    The only lasting change has been the extended beavertail, which is something most people don't really need even though most everyone thinks they do.
     
  15. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    I have always been a bit of a geek about things, if I get into something I like to become as knowledgeable as possible. I guess that why I felt so foolish. Having owned several different 1911s over the years, knowing so little about them is just a sad thing. As usual the great folks here at THR come to the rescue.
     
  16. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    M1911 & M1911A1 have the "Property of,..." stamped on em. These days "1911" is a generic term for the vaious offerings by many manufacturers of handguns following the basic JM Browing design.

    If one wanted to call something an A2 suffix - Cmdr/lightened
    type hammer with beavertail, and improved sights. would imho
    ge the most difference going forward post MK IV 70 Series.

    R-
     
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    If you haven't done so yet, I highly recommend a detail strip of your 1911...it really helps you understand the function and is really very easy
     
  18. Slimbo

    Slimbo Member

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    All springfield 1911's are sloppy service guns? Really? :rolleyes:
     
  19. Magnumite

    Magnumite Member

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    "SA 1911's are all service grade pistols and are a sloppy fit, don't expect the same accuracy you had with your old gold cup. "

    I am assuming this reference is to the military service pistol produced by the US Springfield Arsenal - not the commercial company alive today.

    Today's SA pistols are not all sloppy fitted...many are highly accurate and very shootable.

    As for the beavertail grip safety...that is one of the best changes made to the 1911, that is why it is so prevelant on todays pistol - it works. Allows the pistol to sit lower in the hand for more control, spreads recoil over a broader area of the hand, and even stablizes the pistol to a degree. Competition shooters would not use them if they didn't work...oh, the beavertail evolved from competition...and caught on because it works.
     
  20. BBelwood

    BBelwood Member

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    Lov. of the 1911

    I was forced to carry a plastic gun the last eighteen year's as LEO. I retired ten month's ago. I have reunited my Lov. of the 1911, all 1911's. I have bought six in the last eighteen months and love them all. My Wilson is top's close behind is my three Kimbers. I have a Springer and a Rock. Not one of these gun would I trade for another. I carry my Rock as personal protection weapon. I am not bragging about the number of 1911 I have. I traded off plastic guns for most of them and don't intended to own another plastic gun. Plastic guns have there place but not for me any more.The point I am getting to is any 1911 is worth owning. If any one wants to give one away I be glade to take it. I don't care what brand or the condition.
     
  21. Magnumite

    Magnumite Member

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    I tried two polymer frame pistols.. a Ruger P95 and a Wilson Combat KZ45. Sold them both because I don't like the way the pistol shoots when running it fast. Now if I were required to carry and a 1911 was an option...I'd definitely seek out another KZ 45.
     
  22. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    Don't be embarrassed, and thanks for asking . . . I learned a few things from your question as well.

    That is quite the generalization, considering the range of 1911s that SA makes. They have a custom shop making $2000+ guns, as well as some pretty high end production guns to go along with their more economically priced models.
     
  23. Slimbo

    Slimbo Member

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    I hope that comment was talking about the old GI guns. Neither of my two SA (mil spec, GI) 1911's are sloppy and neither are anywhere near the high end of the market.
     
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