New .45 Pistol - Is It the Last?
Early last year about this time I first thought of acquiring another 1911 type pistol. It was suppose to happen sometime during the one hundredth anniversary year of 2011 and was originally suppose to be new but, running late as is my wont, one was finally chosen.
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It's an older used Colt Government Model, not pristine safe-queen material but seems to be in good shooting order, broken in but not shot a lot. It's not heavily worn or internally battered. A 1918 Colt kept around here serves as the internally battered example.
It's a little difficult to photograph well. While not perfect it does come off looking better in person than in the photos. It has some slight wear on the edges, handling pecks, and the merest beginnings of an "idiot mark" scratch.
I'd originally thought to acquire a brand new full-sized Colt during 2011 and looked the different variants on the Colt web site. Also looked at all the 1911 clones. Later last fall, older but NIB Series 70 Government Models, as could be found on the auction sights, began to look appealing so I started tracking prices on those. Then I was back onto the New Colt Series 70 re-issues. Only thing was, when contacted, the Colt distributors never seemed to have the guns in stock, even as they were being advertised in the trade papers.
I occasionally peeked at the Government Models made before 1970 but they seemed either too pricey for what they were or else too trashed or too modified. This one was found and seemed to be in decent used condition, decently priced and unmolested. I was most interested in one that hadn't been monkeyed-with.
I got a little skinning though as it wasn't quite as "all original" as represented. Upon receipt of the pistol I first noticed a curious groove filed in the underside of the hammer spur. This would have been apparent in the auction photos if I'd been sharp-eyed but it didn't just jump out at me. Also, the grip safety was rendered inoperable by a tiny set screw installed under the edge of the left grip panel.
I think pinning grip safeties was one of the early popular modifications to 1911 guns way back before my time. I can't figure out why someone would take a 3-cornered file to the back side of the hammer spur unless they wanted to relieve it for some reason.
The trigger pull is perfect and can't be improved upon. Light enough but very crisp, just the way I'd have chosen it to be. Beats out my Gold Cup's trigger. The insides don't look polished (or even much worn) and the pistol hasn't been throated.
The original, proper World War II style "Coltwood" grips are cool because they are still present on the gun but they aren't very appealing to look at. I don't much like their feel either when shooting the pistol. I'm afraid I'll have to hunt up some dark walnut fully checkered grips for the pistol for regular use.
I was a tiny bit peeved by the hammer and the pinned grip safety but I may have a proper thin blued hammer with checkered spur in the parts supply and the set screw was removed so no real harm done.
The workmanship is very nice on the pistol and it behaved in a most gentlemanly fashion at the range. No break-in required.
This makes the fourth 1911 type gun on hand. I was acquiring another 1911 with the view that it very well could be the last one. That is one of the great philosophical questions of our time; whether a 1911 fan can ever truly recognize when he has enough.