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What makes a 1911 a 1911?

pardogpardog MemberPosts: 423 Member
I was reading some critics of Kimber 1911s and one point that was brought up was that with the exception of the "Warrior" most Kimbers are not true 1911s, as in true to JMB's original design. That got me to thinking. What makes a 1911 a 1911?
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Replies

  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,327 Senior Member
    As one of those purists myself, I pretty much define it thusly:

    If I can take all of the mechanical internals out of said pistol and switch them with a Colt that was made in 1912, it qualifies. Models sporting external extractors and firing pin blocking devices do not.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    My all time favorites being the G.I. copies made by Remington Rand or Singer for WW ll .....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    pardog wrote: »
    What makes a 1911 a 1911?

    Kool-Aid!!!!!!

    :jester:
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    pardog wrote: »
    What makes a 1911 a 1911?

    A gun manufacturer a gun manufacturer.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    As one of those purists myself, I pretty much define it thusly:

    If I can take all of the mechanical internals out of said pistol and switch them with a Colt that was made in 1912, it qualifies. Models sporting external extractors and firing pin blocking devices do not.
    Does that mean my Springfield Loaded is not a true 1911? The firing pin is of nonstandard size for a .45: .38 Super.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    Doc

    Those were 1911A1s

    1911s were made before the 1927 time frame I believe, but the date may be wrong.

    The true 1911 will have a flat mainspring housing. There will be no scallops behind the trigger and the sights will be too small for the post five-year-old human eye to focus on. The hammer will have a wide tail nicely checkered.

    In all, the 1911 is by far the classier piece.

    Dan
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,327 Senior Member
    Does that mean my Springfield Loaded is not a true 1911? The firing pin is of nonstandard size for a .45: .38 Super.

    No, because its firing pin will fit in the old gun and it will work just fine, and vice versa. Springfield did the titanium firing pin and heavy rebound spring to get around California's drop test. The Colt Series 80 parts and the Kimber Series II guns with their copy of the late '30's Colt Swartz safety will accomplish the same thing, but you've lost GI compatibility with them.

    Edit: See my post below. It seems I was actually wrong about something. I'll try not to let it happen again. :tooth:
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,327 Senior Member
    Doc

    Those were 1911A1s

    1911s were made before the 1927 time frame I believe, but the date may be wrong.

    The true 1911 will have a flat mainspring housing. There will be no scallops behind the trigger and the sights will be too small for the post five-year-old human eye to focus on. The hammer will have a wide tail nicely checkered.

    In all, the 1911 is by far the classier piece.

    Dan

    1924 was the start date for 1911-A1's, although hardly any were made with military markings until the late 1930's. All the commercial market guns from that period, however, were made to the 1911-A1 pattern.

    As far as "classiness" of A1 pattern guns versus the WWI-era stuff, exact vintage counts for a lot. ALL of the pre WWII commercial Colt stuff is drop-dead sexy. The two-piece stamped trigger we know today didn't appear until WWII - the old ones were milled out of a block of steel. :drool2: The WWII guns didn't start getting cheap until sometime in '44. While their sandblast and Parkerizing will never compare to the pre-war bluing, Colt still used checkered mainspring housings, safeties, slide stops, and beavertail hammers up to that point. Probably, it was the pre-D-Day urgency that forced the change, much like the change from Thompsons to Grease Guns, milled to stamped trigger guards on Garands, etc. . .
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    Crap. When is the next gun buy back event.

    100_3042.jpg
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    No, because its firing pin will fit in the old gun and it will work just fine, and vice versa. Springfield did the titanium firing pin and heavy rebound spring to get around California's drop test. The Colt Series 80 parts and the Kimber Series II guns with their copy of the late '30's Colt Swartz safety will accomplish the same thing, but you've lost GI compatibility with them.
    I thought that the .38 Super firing pin had a more narrow diameter (and associated smaller hole in the breech) than the .45.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,327 Senior Member
    I thought that the .38 Super firing pin had a more narrow diameter (and associated smaller hole in the breech) than the .45.

    Well, it would seem that the war monkey is correct. I just tried a steel firing pin from one of my GI Colts in the slide of my recent production Springfield GI, and it won't poke through the breechface - too big. Damn good thing to know. :beer:
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    If it wasn't for them "not knowing any better" we would still be playing with flintlocks...

    Some of the most highly-skilled guys I know not only play with flintlocks, they build 'em from scratch!
    Jerry
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,327 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    No one loves a well made classic as much as I do but let's face it, wouldn't using a flintlock for home/self defense be a less than optimal solution? :tooth:

    Maybe. But have you really LOOKED at a Brown Bess bayonet? Sub-optimal can still leave a nasty mark.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Gee whiz, I thought all you guys were gun savvy do I have to correct all of y'all with my deductive reasoning again. :conehead::jester::jester::jester::jester:

    What makes a 1911 a 1911? Cause it costs $19.11 to make back in the day:silly::tooth::p:guns::jester::jester::jester:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,581 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Blows me away that this is even (or EVER has been) an issue. I know some folks need to hang on to a silly belief system in order to make it through the day or to justify one choice as better than another even though the difference in utility is absolutely non-existent.

    +100
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Well, it would seem that the war monkey is correct. I just tried a steel firing pin from one of my GI Colts in the slide of my recent production Springfield GI, and it won't poke through the breechface - too big. Damn good thing to know. :beer:

    This is a proud moment for me... I knew something about the 1911 platform BigSlug didn't know...
    I'm just here for snark.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Gee whiz, I thought all you guys were gun savvy do I have to correct all of y'all with my deductive reasoning again. :conehead::jester::jester::jester::jester:

    What makes a 1911 a 1911? Cause it costs $19.11 to make back in the day:silly::tooth::p:guns::jester::jester::jester:

    This I did not know.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,591 Senior Member
    For me, 1911 is a style, not a rigid set of specifications. I liken it to the advances in automotive technology; the Hemi engine in current Chrysler products is different from original Hemi engines, but a Hemi nonetheless. (my dad strongly disagrees with me on this point, btw)
    But to the purists out there, I say more power to you, and thanks for keepin' em honest. Just don't get too wrapped around the axle about it.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    This is a proud moment for me... I knew something about the 1911 platform BigSlug didn't know...

    I'm demoralized.
  • ken55ken55 Senior Member Posts: 782 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Blows me away that this is even (or EVER has been) an issue. I know some folks need to hang on to a silly belief system in order to make it through the day or to justify one choice as better than another even though the difference in utility is absolutely non-existent.

    As I've said before the current production 1911 is no longer a handgun (regardless of what anyone puts on some model's slide), it's a handgun type or style. There are as many variations as there are opinions out there as to where that "line" is. A real purist would tell you that a 1911 was a military handgun that was made in the early part of last century underer government contract and as a commercial offering with NO variations on the military theme. Anything other those guns are NOT a REAL 1911. At BEST they could be cataloged as 1911 COPIES.

    The net of this is that every handgun should be judged on its merits. For example, some folks put down external extractors on 1911s because Kimber screwed up the pooch on that one when they tried it, but then they extend it to the S&W and SIG lines of pistols which by the way have done an amazing job of putting out a 1911 style gun that is so high quality that I find any criticizing of it bordering on irrational.

    JMB was an inventor and innovator. He would have orgasms if he could hold in his hands what S&W has done with his design. And to the folks that hang on to his masterpiece as the height of gun design/making he probably would ask them with pitty in his voice, "After 100 years you have not been able to come up with ONE improvement over my work?"

    It is at times like this that I actually admire new people getting into our sport whose mind has not been polluted with elitist dribble. If it wasn't for them "not knowing any better" we would still be playing with flintlocks...

    Wambli, every time this question comes up, please re-post your response just as you wrote it. You said all that needs to be said. Let's go shooting and leave the obsessing to collectors.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    "It is at times like this that I actually admire new people getting into our sport whose mind has not been polluted with elitist dribble. If it wasn't for them "not knowing any better" we would still be playing with flintlocks"...Re: WAMBLI SKA

    Yep, especially those who know there really was a .45 LONG COLT and a "Clip" and Magazine are interchangeable:jester:
    Well excuse me, I need to go do some reloading..............or is that "Hand Load/Craft" some ammo:buff2::buff2::buff2::buff2::buff2::buff2::buff2:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,126 Senior Member
    I guess I don't have a 1911, because it has a notch to be used as a loaded chamber indicator.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,126 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Some of the most highly-skilled guys I know not only play with flintlocks, they build 'em from scratch!
    Jerry
    Shoot, Teach; why not go back to the match lock.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    We all have out pet peeves and get a little torqued outta shape when someone steps on the toes our particular area of devoted interest.

    :group::group::group::group::group::group::group::group:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,249 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    Crap. When is the next gun buy back event.

    100_3042.jpg

    Yeah, there is no sense in beating yourself up about that defective firearm, just send it to me and I will take care of it in a manner befitting its lesser status.:roll2:
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,126 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    THROW IT OUT!!! YOU BOUGHT A DEFECTIVE GUN!!! THE GHOST OF JMB WILL COME TO YOUR HOUSE AND HAUNT YOU!!!!
    :jester:
    Must have, mine flew apart with parts all over the table and rug, today.
  • Pez_FartolaPez_Fartola Banned Posts: 116 Member
    the 1911 is my favorite handgun and in fact one of my very favorite guns period and to me only Colt makes a 1911 a 1911 that i want anyway. even though i only have one Colt 1911 at the moment which is a series 70 .45acp and i've had it for probably about 4 years and have yet to even fire and probably will never fire it because it's just too pretty to me the way it is now and i want to keep this specific one in that condition. however i will be getting more Colt 1911s which i do intend on firing such as the Delta Elite which i may even use as one of my carry guns. also i want to get a colt 1911 with a flat mainspring housing. i did however very much like the Springfield GI .45 i had because it shot very good but i traded it in on another gun. I hope to at least get another Springfield GI again as i really liked everything about it down to the US grips it had which i've seen a lot of people say they didn't like and thought they were ''cheesey'' but i liked them very much.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    What's hilarious is a Glock owner daring to call something "ugly".
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    You guys are killing me!! I'm laughing so hard over this thread the wife comes in and asks me what's up... but then when I explain and read the repartee (sp?) to her..... she doesn't get it. LOL

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,970 Senior Member
    Life lesson I learned from this thread: Thinking a "1911" is a pistol that fits in a holster that is designed to fit a "1911" is all wrong. My life up to this point is now meaningless.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
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