1911s Tighter

by
posted on July 23, 2013
wiley-clapp.jpg (3)

In a recent blog, I talked about the differences between the M1911 and M1911A1 pistols. A number of readers were kind enough to write in with favorable comments, which are much appreciated. If this kind of commentary is of use to my readers, I’ll try to include more of it in these electronic pages. Let me know what you would like to hear about and I’ll try to meet those requests.

I was delighted to hear from a reader named John Browning. No, it wasn’t the famous one that died in 1926, but rather a gentleman named John W. Browning. He was inquisitive about the quality of the original 1911-era pistols being made to tighter specs than later guns. This is a matter that surfaces from time to time. To answer the question, I contacted one of the nation’s best pistolsmiths, who also happens to be a serious M1911/M1911A1 collector. He once had the opportunity to detail strip M1911 pistol, No. 9.

From this background, he replied instantly to the question: “Are original 1911s made to tighter specs than later ones?” No, they were not. Intended for rough service in field conditions, the 1911 was developed and produced with a certain amount of room for crud to accumulate before cleaning. The military services are often maniacal about clean weapons of all kinds, but they are realistic enough to know that there are times when it’s impossible. The first use of the 1911 may have been in the Punitive expedition into Mexico in 1916, which was a very sandy, dusty environment. For good reason, there is no major difference in specs for GI 1911s.

Latest

TangoDown Light Portal Front Sight
TangoDown Light Portal Front Sight

Preview: TangoDown Light Portal Front Sight

Due to their location on the gun, most front iron sights preclude the placement of a tactical light forward on a defensive carbine’s 12-o’clock rail, as they typically obstruct the light’s beam.

Holiday Gift Guide: Specialty Knives, Hand Axes & Multi-Tools

While smaller blades can be plenty helpful for everyday carry, sometimes bigger blades and tools are necessary. Here are a few larger specialty knives, hand axes, and multi-tools worth keeping in mind as the holiday season approaches.

NRA Gun Of The Week: KelTec P15

Watch American Rifleman staff on the range this week with the KelTec P15, the company’s first striker-fired handgun and also one of the thinnest 9 mm Luger concealed-carry pistols to ever hit the market.

The Armed Citizen® Nov. 25, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Hodgdon Powder Celebrates 75 Years

This year, Hodgdon Powder celebrates its 75th year in business, having grown from humble origins in 1947.

Handloads: Hunting With The .375 Winchester

Although it is often difficult to find components for reloading the .375 Winchester cartridge, this lever-action round is deserving of customization for hunting in today's game fields.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.