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Discussion Starter #1
Anal-retentive newbie questions--I defer to the experts.
My search was over and the gun came in today. I bought a used stainless MkIV pre-enhanced Government off of Gunsamerica. I'm on the three day inspection period wanted some educated opinions on how well I did--plus my transfer dealer made some negative comments suggesting I got a bad deal (but I'm not sure if he just wanted to sell me the new 1991a1 in his case). Gun was advertised as a clean stainless government; I paid $500. I am mostly concerned about how far away this gun is from stock as I want to turn it into a "retro" carry pistol. Gun is polished/brushed stainless (not mirror polish--not beadblast)-wear scratches that I would expect-small dings in back of magwell and on triggerguard-peppering of small nicks on both sides of frame around slide stop. Grip safety and thumb safety look like bad castings (thumb is much worse but I plan on changing that out). What I'm most worried about is the comment my dealer made about the top of the slide looking like someone tried to do a bad polish job on it--it looks to me like the top of slide matches the rest of the finish--are these supposed to be matted?
Stocks are bad aftermarket that I planned on changing. MSH is arched plastic in ugly condition--I was expecting steel. Trigger is short, Sts. Barrel bushing is a collet that I will be replacing if I keep the gun (gun dated to 1987 according to my call to Colt). Spring plug looks blued, unfortunately. Short guide rod is in the white and hollow (stainless?). Barrel appears to be slightly throated, but the throating is higher on one side than the other--dealer said the barrel was stock when I asked him. Extractor is a slightly different shade than the back of slide and has weird scratch marks on it.
I will be shooting the pistol tomorrow afternoon to see how it functions--so far it tests okay.
My only other 1911 experience was with a Kimber custom classic that I could never get to be reliable, so after several years in the Glock camp I had to have a real Colt this time. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Good points are that the GI arrangement feels really good in my hand--better than the cookie-cutter so-called "custom" productions of today. Also the trigger pull on this one feels pretty nice.
If I decide to it's a keeper, I'll be pestering y'all for sources of sts factory Colt MSH's and triggers--any chance I could get a stock grip safety that was prettier?

And could anyone provide me with info on what internal parts are carbon instead of sts?

Thanks,
Chad
 

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Your always going to pay 15 to 20% more than high value. On the gunsamerica site, no matter what gun you get. No good deals are made just pretentiously offered. The gun you have is wrong on the msh, top slide should be matte, hurry up and shoot it. If it does'nt perform well, send it back. But clean it and don't mention firing it.
 

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Chad, a lot of that sounds like nit-picking. For $500 you got a gun for a reasonably fair price as long as it functions properly. The MSH will be plastic, as they've been on all Colts from the mid-80s onward. The rounded surfaces should all be a bead-blasted matte, with the flats of the slide and frame given a brushed semi-gloss finish. Small scratches on the flats are very easy to clean up, just take the gun apart and carefully run a wood block with 600 grit emery across the oiled surface. But if the rounds need re-sandblasting I'd have a gunsmith redo the whole thing. The beauty of stainless is that it is so easy to refinish without having to prep for or apply bluing or coatings.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

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Chad,

I've got to side with dsk on this one. The SS is very easy to refinish, and the plastic MSH will work just as well as a steel one. The short trigger was the stock model for many years, I suspect you may really have a medium length as opposed to the short GI style. Scratches are going to happen, dont worry about it, and grips will get dinged and damaged if you really use a gun, especially checkered wood grips, and it looks worse than it really is.

Now, the proof is in the pudding. Go shoot it, run some ball and hollowpoints thru it, and see what happens, this could be a real sleeper. If it feeds and shoots then $500 is a good deal. The rest of it just cosmetics, and being pretty never did make one shoot or work any better. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I took it out Friday. Wilson 7 and 10 round mags. In 200 rounds of S&B it had 2 double feeds and 2 failures to feed. 25 rds of Golden Sabre and no failures. 40 rds of Gold Dots and 2 failures to feed and one early slide lock. The slide also likes to slam home when a mag is inserted. Dern thing had so much oil in it, it looked like a river at the back of the slide (thought I'd wiped it down good to)
I took it home and detail stripped it--boy, what a mess. Crud everywhere and a cracked plastic MSH (here's one for Col. Colt's records). I'm gonna keep it though--see how it shoots with a new slide stop, springs, and MSH. I had already planned on shipping it away for reliability work and refinish.
I guess I was picking nits 'cause my dealer had me questioning my purchase.
But I still think that the pre-enhanced MkIV's are the prettiest 1911's available in stainless.
-Chadd
 

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The plastic MSH's are known to split from the mainspring retaining pin hole upwards. Is that were yours split?

Regarding the FTF and slide lock problems, they are usually simple to fix as long as a previous owner didn't butcher it with a Dremel tool. The FTF may be a bad extractor and the slide stop may have a mag follower button that's just a bit too big.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 
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