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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Colt 1991A1 that I have owned for years. After I purchased it, I sent it off to Richard Aldis for his Chuck Taylor "Combat Master" package and it has sat in that trim since. I could never shoot the Colt as well as my other handguns, and I assumed that I just wasn't as good at handling the 1911 platform pistol.

On a whim, I recently purchased a SAI Mil-Spec. I shot it expecting to do about as well as with the Colt. But lo and behold, I shot it as well as my other handguns! The problem isn't me, it's the 1991A1!

I've communicated with Jim Milks at Innovative Custom Guns about the problem and he suggested that I tighten up the slide/frame fit and install a new barrel/bushing ( the 1991A1 slide/frame fit is very loose/rattley compared to the Springer which is nice and snug ).

I had about convinced myself to send the pistol off to have the work done, but now I'm not so sure I want to put the money into it. So here I sit vacillating, unable to decide what to do.

So what do think I should I do with the poor 1991A1? Do I sell it? I won't shoot it as is, and I could put the proceeds towards a "Loaded Package" for the Mil-Spec. Or, do I put the money into it to get it shooting like the Mil-Spec? I do like the looks of the G.I. style vertical slide serrations and the Colt just feels a bit better in my hand than the Springer.

I look forward to your thoughts/suggestions.

Rooney
 

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Slide/frame fit is a minor component in accuracy. What is the Combat Master package, if it doesn't address accuracy? If your Colt won't shoot as well as a Springfield Mil-Spec, I would probably invest enough in the Colt to have a match bushing fitted, or have EGW make one for you that fits properly, and maybe have the barrel crowned. The last new Colt I bought appeared to have no crown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Combat Master package included a trigger job, polish throat/feedramp, MMC fixed sights, new SS barrel bushing, King extended single side safety and a crude carry bevel. I can't remember if a barrel re-crown was included, but the factory barrel is blued and the crown is nice and shiney so I think it was.
 

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In a very similar circumstance, I had a gunsmith do a trigger job and install an Ed Brown match bushing to the existing barrel and I am very happy with the accuracy now.
 

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Hi rooney,

I see that you are in Cupertino. I would suggest that you bring your Colt 1991 over to Frank Tabor at " Tabor Shooters " in San Bruno. He is at El Camino Real. Just check his exact address in the phone book.

Tell him how unhappy you are about the accuracy. He can do some measurements for free (barrel bushing tightness, etc.) and he will suggest things he can do to improve. I've found out he is a very conservative gunsmith and would only want to do things that would have the greatest effect at the most minimal expense.

He did me good on several occassions that I needed the help of a gunsmith. He is a little gruff, depending on how busy he is but you can be sure that he will give you an honest and fair evaluation of what is ailing your pistol.

Good luck!
 

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Did you ever shoot that Colt before you sent it off to Mr. Aldis? Did it perform better when you got back, or worse? I've never heard of any of the 1911(?) smiths you've mentioned, and the results you have paid for to date are probably why. Every Colt I've ever handled would shoot rings around every Springer I have shot save a friend's Professional.
I suggest that you give Jim Hoag in Canoga Park a call. He's one of the top-tier 1911 specialist pistolsmiths in the country, if not the world, and his metalwork/finishing is second to none. Walking into his shop is like walking through a time warp. He shot with the Big Bear SWPL, and there are pictures of him with Thell Reed, Jeff Cooper, and all of the other legends of the '70s and '80s. His stuff has graced the covers of Guns, American Handgunner, and other rags. After his second stroke, none other than Armand Swenson had me send Jim my Commander Armand had previously done for me to have the front strap checkered and the frame re-anodized and the gun reblued. Tell Jim I sent you.
Regards,
Andy

P.S. He's listed as Hoag's Gunworks on 8523 Canoga Ave., tel. (818) 998-1510.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I acquired the gun so long ago, I can't remember if it shot any better or worse once I had the work done!!

IIRC Richard Aldis was the gunsmith for J&G Sales back at the time the work was done. The Combat Master package was something that was endorsed by Chuck Taylor in an article he wrote for SWAT magazine, so I'm pretty confident he was qualified to do the work.

I'm familiar with Jim Hoag, he's been around a long time. Thanks for the suggestion.

Rooney
 

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Before spending more money on gunsmithing, it might be worth it to shoot the pistol from a good rest. My friends with a science background always tell me that the starting point is good data. They're usually right.

Try two or three different kinds of ammunition. If you have a friend that is a pretty good shot, ask him to go with you and do the same with your pistol. Maybe then try another pistol that you consider to be accurate. Write the group size numbers down for each shooter, pistol and ammo combination. If you'll post the data you gather, I'm sure we'll learn something from it.

A good friend of mine owns a gunshop. He tells me most customers report Colts are better than average shooters, even the ones that rattle quite a bit. From my own experience, unless the barrel has a bad crown, I, too, have found that Colts barrels are good shooters.
 

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i'm constantly amazed at stories of people taking stock pistols, barely shooting them, and then sending them off somewhere for "improvement". give the companies that designed and built these pistols a little credit for doing a good job. take the stock gun out, shoot it, both off a rest (to determine accuracy with various ammo types) and with one and two hands in various stances (to determine its overall operability).

in my opinion, you should run a few hundred rounds thru a new pistol to wring it out and take down accuracy data (if that is an important criteria). compare that info to published info (lots of info can be found in back issues of magazines) on accuracy. if you have a "clunker", then yes, get the problem addressed, but if yours is generally as accurate as accepted other examples, then spending more $$ to fix what is not wrong is money wasted, and money better spent on ammo and range time to improve your own abilities.

good luck with your 1991a1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I purchased this gun right after the 1991A1s first came out. I shot it quite bit, but could never shoot it near as well as the other pistols I owned (including 2 other Colts - S70 Governnent model and a Gold Cup). I wasn't happy with the stock sights or the stock thumb safety so I sent it off for the Combat Master package to address these issues. I didn't purchase it and then just send just it off to be worked on before I had shot it much or before I had any idea of what it was capable of.

At this point I had been shooting bullseye pistol for about 8 years so I had some shooting experience and a good feel for what to expect from the pistol. Even after I had the work done to it (the new bushing), it never shot as well as my other guns.

About this time I was married, started the family thing, sold off the GM (only had about 100 rounds through it!) and the Gold Cup (stupid me!) along with most of my other gun collection (I shot High Power rifle too) but for some reason I kept the 1991A1. I didn't shoot for years, but recently, since I'm single and the kids have left the nest, have been getting back into it. As I said in my initial post, on a whim, I purchased the Springer Mil-Spec. I was quite surprised at how well I shoot the Mil-Spec (stock right out of the box) compared to the 1991A1. I can shoot it as well as any of my other pistols. For some reason the 1991A1 just doesn't shoot as well.

I appreciate the suggestions supplied on how to fix my problem, but that's really not what I was looking for when I started this thread. I started this thread more as a "what would you guys (or girls) do" in my situation? Would you put the money and effort into the older gun to get it shooting as well as the Mil-Spec? Would you sell off the 1991A1 and be happy with just the good shooting Mil-Spec? Or, would you be content to leave the 1991A1 as it is now, keep it, and accept that it doesn't shoot as well as your other guns.

Thanks for all of the input.

Peter
 

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I started this thread more as a "what would you guys (or girls) do" in my situation? Would you put the money and effort into the older gun to get it shooting as well as the Mil-Spec? Would you sell off the 1991A1 and be happy with just the good shooting Mil-Spec? Or, would you be content to leave the 1991A1 as it is now, keep it, and accept that it doesn't shoot as well as your other guns.

Thanks for all of the input.

Peter
I normally would not put money into a 1991. However, you wont realize any of the prior investment, so -

I would have a set of accu-rails installed first. Slide to frame fit does matter, especially in terms of reliability with other match parts installed. Trust me on this. This should be done first, as it will influence how well the barrle can be fit (slide needs to be centered!!!!). Or you can have it welded by a good shop. I like the rails best.

Second, I would have someone put in a Kart barrel, or attemt the EZ-Fit one yourself (my vote).

The rails will set you back a couple hundred dollars and do wonders for how you feel about the gun.

The Kart barrel will make it shoot like it should. Colt makes fine barrels, but they dont fit them as well as I like (which is just an opinion). I'd be happy to bump the prices by $100 for a better barrel fit, but not many people care.

Hope this helps, and sorry about the crappy fit!
 

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thanks for the added info.

i have a used 1991a1 commander, i haven't had to the chance to do a side by side with my gold cup, but i suspect the gold cup shoots better. that said, my 1991 shoots well enough for what it is and what i intend it for. i got the gold cup for target shooting, not the 1991.

i'd say as long as you can get a group at 10-15 yards that you can cover with your fist or hand, leave it alone. if the group is not at POA, fiddle with the sights until it is better.
 

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I purchased this gun right after the 1991A1s first came out. I shot it quite bit, but could never shoot it near as well as the other pistols I owned (including 2 other Colts - S70 Governnent model and a Gold Cup). I wasn't happy with the stock sights or the stock thumb safety so I sent it off for the Combat Master package to address these issues. I didn't purchase it and then just send just it off to be worked on before I had shot it much or before I had any idea of what it was capable of.

At this point I had been shooting bullseye pistol for about 8 years so I had some shooting experience and a good feel for what to expect from the pistol. Even after I had the work done to it (the new bushing), it never shot as well as my other guns.

About this time I was married, started the family thing, sold off the GM (only had about 100 rounds through it!) and the Gold Cup (stupid me!) along with most of my other gun collection (I shot High Power rifle too) but for some reason I kept the 1991A1. I didn't shoot for years, but recently, since I'm single and the kids have left the nest, have been getting back into it. As I said in my initial post, on a whim, I purchased the Springer Mil-Spec. I was quite surprised at how well I shoot the Mil-Spec (stock right out of the box) compared to the 1991A1. I can shoot it as well as any of my other pistols. For some reason the 1991A1 just doesn't shoot as well.

I appreciate the suggestions supplied on how to fix my problem, but that's really not what I was looking for when I started this thread. I started this thread more as a "what would you guys (or girls) do" in my situation? Would you put the money and effort into the older gun to get it shooting as well as the Mil-Spec? Would you sell off the 1991A1 and be happy with just the good shooting Mil-Spec? Or, would you be content to leave the 1991A1 as it is now, keep it, and accept that it doesn't shoot as well as your other guns.

Thanks for all of the input.

Peter
I started this thread more as a "what would you guys (or girls) do" in my situation?
Would you put the money and effort into the older gun to get it shooting as well as the Mil-Spec?
Would you sell off the 1991A1 and be happy with just the good shooting Mil-Spec?
Or, would you be content to leave the 1991A1 as it is now, keep it, and accept that it doesn't shoot as well as your other guns
To me it really depends on how much you like the gun.
Some people would never sell the gun. Other people would sell it as soon as the first scratch appeared on the slide.

You have had it for a long time, maybe consider installing a new barrel and bushing.
This is not a great expense.
Probably looking at say 200.00 for a decent pre-fit drop in and another 25.00 for a bushing plus ~ 10.00 for shipping to do it yourself.
Add another 150.00 – 200.00 to have a non- fit setup installed.

But you have to consider for what you could sell it for and the money you would spend on a new barrel/Bushing if you add the two together this would probably get you into a pretty nice production 1911 by about anybody.

It would be how much I liked the gun
Good Luck :)
 

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The Combat Master package included a trigger job, polish throat/feedramp, MMC fixed sights, new SS barrel bushing, King extended single side safety and a crude carry bevel. I can't remember if a barrel re-crown was included, but the factory barrel is blued and the crown is nice and shiney so I think it was.
That's a Clint package?You have a trigger and sights to help you shoot it(?) and the only machanical accuracy they did was a bushing-that's roughly 20% of the accuracy potential of your barrel.If you let the slide drop the last 1/2" of trvel how far can you push the barrel hood down?That end of the barrel makes up well over twice what the bushing did and it wasn't adressed.Slide fit as stated is quite overrated as a mechanical accurizing expense as long as your sights are mounted on the slide-the barrel needs to mate on the slidestop pin solidly but more important it needs to grab that slide everytime at front and rear to shoot to the potential of the barrel and your potential with assisted work like a real trigger,workable sights,fit(or that ergo word)etc.If you shoot other 1911's well this one isn't well and just needs some TLC to tighten up.Every specimine of a 1991 I touched made me think of the original SA's and I can puke over working on them so I set it down an looked or walked on.I have fingered a few friend's Kimbers and was impressed in the last few years but never shot one,I buy Colt's and nothing newer than my early XSE that needed tweaked but not much.Sucks 70series and before are either investments or you luck into a good deal for a shooter to beat on.


-Once again I type too slow,Gerk's idea reinforces my ideas but if you decide to rid yourself of it.........
 
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