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Well before the GI, Milspec and RO models, SA made plain jane 1911's with the slide designation of "MODEL OF 1911-A1". NM ####, Geneseo Ill. Production runs early to mid 80's. NM would suggest American Made.
How unusual are these models? How do they rate (quality) in comparison to the versions manufactured today?
 

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I've had a couple those and if I'm not mistaken they called them the GI model. Based on my experience the newer NM Mil-Spec models are better quality.

As far as unusual, you might not see them for sale every day, so they might be a little hard to find, but definitely not as in demand as the new NM models.
 

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They had the G.I. Mil-Spec (seriously) and the Standard.

Quality was pretty poor IMO. Frame had the blocky frontstrap and dustcover, machining was usually pretty rough. About on par with a RIA today.
 

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I have a Standard... Thought it was an old Mil-spec but was educated on this sight!!! Love this sight!! Anyway I have done some work on it and have to say it is an outstanding 1911. I carry it almost daily.
 

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I've got one of the old "Standard" models that I came across at a gun show last year. It had a little "bubba" work done to it, but I've corrected all of that and it's turned out to be a really excellent shooter. It's not as pretty as my stainless loaded, but it's not always about looks!! :D
 
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