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I shot my first Colt 1911 reluctantly as an 8 year old kid. The circumstances may sound familiar to some who were born in the late 50's early 60's... I stumbled upon my Uncle's opened gun safe while my aunt was "baby sitting" me. In later years, my Uncle admitted he was careless in leaving the safe open although he never kept the guns in his safe loaded. He also kept his ammo in my Aunt's locked "hope chest" at the foot of their bed and his personal defense pistol was always with him or in a locked bed-side drawer.

Uncle Ron came home early that day. He caught me red handed, "playing" army with one of his 1911's. He was PISSED-OFF. To this day I remember his facial expression. I forget his exact words. They were something like: "So you like my gun!... Well let's go shoot it then!"

The next thing I remember was the fear, and later the pain after he promptly took me to the river bank where he shot and "taught" me what it was like to shoot a real pistol. As I recall, the hammer bit me till I almost bled.

Later that night, after my Uncle told my Dad what happened, I got the belt from Dad.

I was scared of guns for a while... maybe a year or two after that. But when I was 10 or 11, my uncle offered to take me shooting again. I was scared. But I really still had that urge. I went. It was completely different. This time my Uncle went out of his way to truly teach me. It was the same 1911. This time my Uncle was proud to tell me it was my Grandfather's COLT 45... "from the war" (WWII).

Since then, I've owned countless pistols. So many of them I look back and frown at myself for being stupid for spending so much money. Since then, ONE thing has remained constant. I keep coming back to Colt 1911's.

Saturday, I traded my last "designer" 1911 (a Wilson Combat) Protector, on a new Black Oxide Colt WWI Reissue. Today, I shot it for the first time and I was transported back to the days with Uncle Ron. YES, I wax nostalgic. But the lesson for me over the years has boiled down to this:

I've owned MOST of the high-end 1911's on the current market (Kimber, Ed Brown, Nighthawk, Wilson, Baer). ALL of them have had issues. ALL but the Ed Brown have been back to the factory. I've even bragged about the "customer service" I've received from these high-end makers in this forum and others. But I can honestly say in over 25+ years of owning Colts (so many I can't count)... I can only remember ONE (yes 1, Uno) that was problematic to the extent that it was traded or sold in disgust. If only that were true of the designer 1911's I've owned, but alas, ALL of them are gone because they were NOTHING like they were cracked up to be.

Today, I am a Colt-Only 1911 owner. I can't guarantee that I'll never be stupid enough to spend too much on a "designer" 1911... but I CAN guarantee that I'll remember the lesson I learned in boyhood from an Uncle who knew his guns... "Colt saved a lot of soldiers kid... I wouldn't be around today if not for this gun" Mom was younger than my Uncle... do the math.
 

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I was "learned" proper too... these are the only 1911's I have ever owned...




 

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Ah, Colts are good too, I guess. ;)

BTW AngelDeville
That is a very nice 1991 ya got there. Honest.

Laser

Kimber owner
 

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Good story.


Four T5 said:
I shot my first Colt 1911 reluctantly as an 8 year old kid. The circumstances may sound familiar to some who were born in the late 50's early 60's... I stumbled upon my Uncle's opened gun safe while my aunt was "baby sitting" me. In later years, my Uncle admitted he was careless in leaving the safe open although he never kept the guns in his safe loaded. He also kept his ammo in my Aunt's locked "hope chest" at the foot of their bed and his personal defense pistol was always with him or in a locked bed-side drawer.

Uncle Ron came home early that day. He caught me red handed, "playing" army with one of his 1911's. He was PISSED-OFF. To this day I remember his facial expression. I forget his exact words. They were something like: "So you like my gun!... Well let's go shoot it then!"

The next thing I remember was the fear, and later the pain after he promptly took me to the river bank where he shot and "taught" me what it was like to shoot a real pistol. As I recall, the hammer bit me till I almost bled.

Later that night, after my Uncle told my Dad what happened, I got the belt from Dad.

I was scared of guns for a while... maybe a year or two after that. But when I was 10 or 11, my uncle offered to take me shooting again. I was scared. But I really still had that urge. I went. It was completely different. This time my Uncle went out of his way to truly teach me. It was the same 1911. This time my Uncle was proud to tell me it was my Grandfather's COLT 45... "from the war" (WWII).

Since then, I've owned countless pistols. So many of them I look back and frown at myself for being stupid for spending so much money. Since then, ONE thing has remained constant. I keep coming back to Colt 1911's.

Saturday, I traded my last "designer" 1911 (a Wilson Combat) Protector, on a new Black Oxide Colt WWI Reissue. Today, I shot it for the first time and I was transported back to the days with Uncle Ron. YES, I wax nostalgic. But the lesson for me over the years has boiled down to this:

I've owned MOST of the high-end 1911's on the current market (Kimber, Ed Brown, Nighthawk, Wilson, Baer). ALL of them have had issues. ALL but the Ed Brown have been back to the factory. I've even bragged about the "customer service" I've received from these high-end makers in this forum and others. But I can honestly say in over 25+ years of owning Colts (so many I can't count)... I can only remember ONE (yes 1, Uno) that was problematic to the extent that it was traded or sold in disgust. If only that were true of the designer 1911's I've owned, but alas, ALL of them are gone because they were NOTHING like they were cracked up to be.

Today, I am a Colt-Only 1911 owner. I can't guarantee that I'll never be stupid enough to spend too much on a "designer" 1911... but I CAN guarantee that I'll remember the lesson I learned in boyhood from an Uncle who knew his guns... "Colt saved a lot of soldiers kid... I wouldn't be around today if not for this gun" Mom was younger than my Uncle... do the math.
 

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I own 7 Colt firearms. I have an Officer's ACP XS 45 and an XSE Lightweight Commander in 38 Super. They are the ONLY 1911 pistols I own or plan to own. (I might add a full size Govt. XSE to the collection someday) To me, COLT is THE 1911!
 

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As an old writer, collector, and shooter I read most of the gun mags. I'm amazed at the "premium" guns today selling for $2000-$3000-$4500 and their accuracy being 2" groups or more at 25 yards. I would expect these guns to do dime or nickle holes all day long for these prices. But most can't do this. So why would anyone spend this kind of money for these guns? I don't get it. Most of my shooters were bought for $500-$900 and all shoot sub 2" groups at 25 yards, many do 1"-1.4" groups. And most of my pistolss are Colts (25 out of 31). Bob
 

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I would "bet" that a Colt "worked on" by a real 1911 "smith" or some of the high-end maker's 1911 will be more reliable and durable than a production Colt in the long run...maybe even the short run depending on how "lucky" you choose your 1911.

You may not "see that" until 20,000+ rounds, but IMveryHO, a lot of "things" can happen to "assembled" guns when "things" start to wear or are "assembled" improperly.

"Worked on" doesn't have to mean a full house custom, but proper ramp/barrel specs, barrel timing, trigger engagement, plunger tube, extractor, series 80 timing, just to name a few...can greatly increase your reliability and durability.
You might get that with a "production" model...might not!

Notice I didn't mention accuracy or "glass-rod" trigger pulls. :)
 

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Irishlad, I doubt that. I have a Colt made in 1918 that has been used since then and it still performs perfectly. It was a .45 that shot 1.9" 25 yd groups that now shoots my .22 Ciener. I have a 1927 Colt (Argentine) that was arsenal refinished in Argentine that shoots 1.7" groups. I carried a RR made in 1943 in combat in 1966-67 and it functioned perfectly, shooting
3"-4" groups at 50 yds using regular military ball ammo.
While I have never owned or used a "premium" .45; I have no doubt how well they might function. But reading so many published reports of average accuracy I believe one is buying the name. I believe that one doesn't have to spend thousands of dollars to get accuracy, reliability, and longevity from a gun. And no other US manufacturer has the longevity of a Colt product semi-auto(excepting the military versions of the Colt).
I don't deny that people spend money to get a "brand" that lets the world know they can spend the money. I stand by my assumption that a plain jane, no frills, semi-auto can not only replicate the performance of a multi-thousand brand name gun, but can most likely equal and exceed its accuracy. I'm cheap so I can't justify spending the big bucks when the less expensive guns can do the same thing, and often better. Bob
 

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I've owned 6 Colt 1911's and all ran like a champ straight out of the box.
Today I have a 1991A1 GM and a WW I 50th Anniversary GM. But try as I might, I can't get either to group better than about 5" at 25 yds. Now I can hold any of my 6" S&W revolvers to 2" groups and I have a Taurus .41 mag snub 415 that I can group under 3" with reloads. So I can hold and press.
I'm thinking of having some tuning done before I break down and get one of them designer models to drive some tacks!
 

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Apprentice. Here are some suggestions. All of my 1911 style .45s do very well on 4.5 grains TiteGroup behind a 230 gr FMJ ball bullet. You might try that since you handload (or someone you know does). Or try different factory loads until you find one that works. If I have a perfectly functioning semi-auto pistol that doesn't group with my TG loads I next start switching barrels until I get one that does the job. If I like the gun enough, I may spring for a drop-in match barrel and bushing such as Kart or Ed Brown or any others that Brownells sells. Bob
 

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I stand by my assumption that a plain jane, no frills, semi-auto can not only replicate the performance of a multi-thousand brand name gun, but can most likely equal and exceed its accuracy. I'm cheap so I can't justify spending the big bucks when the less expensive guns can do the same thing, and often better. Bob
What, out of the box? I don't think so. You simply aren't going to get the level of fitting in a production gun that's necessary to achieve any serious level of accuracy -- except by fluke.

Now, if it's a matter of installing a new barrel and bushing, that can hardly be considered out of the box performance. If you can install your own barrel and bushing, great. Most folks can't, and can't be bothered to learn how.

Custom and semi-customs are a good way for folks like this to get a gun that will shoot accurately and reliably without having to do all the tweaking and parts fitting themselves. They are paying to get a gun built by someone who really understands what makes the 1911 accurate and reliable, instead of a gun that's thrown together on an assembly line and fiddled with until it runs, then slapped in a box.
 

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Out of the box performance: NIB Colt Tank officers model made in 1989;
1.4" groups at 25 yds. NIB Colt Cmdr, made 2005; 1.43" gps at 25 yds; I have 4 Colt SAAs, NIB which all shoot sub 2" gps at 25 yds. Maybe your experience is vastly different than mine but I've been shooting for 60 years and while not all NIB guns can do this, mine have. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Out of the box performance: NIB Colt Tank officers model made in 1989;
1.4" groups at 25 yds. NIB Colt Cmdr, made 2005; 1.43" gps at 25 yds; I have 4 Colt SAAs, NIB which all shoot sub 2" gps at 25 yds. Maybe your experience is vastly different than mine but I've been shooting for 60 years and while not all NIB guns can do this, mine have. Bob
I'm with you! My Colt WWI reproduction consistently outshot my Wilson Protector at all distances. Fluke?... maybe, but I'll take a "fluke" on ANY gun that cost $1.5K less than an inferior shooter.
 

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Well I have my Model 70 which outshoots my brand new Kimber :(

This Colt shoots very well and it is a well used gun. I bought the Colt at the range for 600, and have punched out a good 1000 rounds since I bought it and it will always outshoot my Kimber (a TLE/RL) ..

This is my first Colt and despite what I have heard from others claiming Colts are not shooter, all I can say is that my Colt, will group everything into a small hole at 15 & 20 yrds. Yes I do have flyers and misses and some days I think I could not hit a barn door in a breeze, but thats me not the gun..

An observation if I may;

On cleaning my 1911's ( I only have 2 ) I noticed a real difference on barrels. The Kimber barrel was thinner, much much lighter and looks rather weak compared to the Colt barrel.

From all my pistols, my ol' Colt is probably the best shooter I have, its uncanny..
 

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When I started shooting in the mid to late 1940s there were three common semi-auto center fire pistols in rural CT. The .45 Colt and its 1911A1 cousins, the German luger and the German P-38 (both 9mm). In the 1950s my wife and I would buy from the govt (DCM), via the NRA, 1911A1s in excellent condition for $15-$17 each. In the early 1960s, I worked as a cop while in college and my duty weapon was a Colt .38 spec revolver but when doing special assignments I carried one of my DCM 1911A1s. In the 1960s as an infantry and spec ops officer I carried the 1911A1 again. As an Army competitive shooter I shot the 1911A1. In the 1990s and beyond I still use Colts. I had some Kimbers but they were hard to field-strip so I got rid of them. I've had two Army M-9s and the military ball ammo doesn't have the stopping power of the military .45, plus it has too much of a trigger pull for me. Springfields are okay (I've had several of them and still have one), plus I've had Norincos, LLamas, and other assorted 1911 style pistols.
But I love my Colts. They are all quality guns and hold their value better than any other manufactured pistol. I have several WW II 1911A1s which I paid an average of $800 each for (in 80% to 90% condition) over the past 5-6 years. They probably now go for twice that. I have a WW I 1911 made in 1918 in about 95%-98% condition which I paid $2800 for, 4 years ago. What is it worth today? I don't believe that any of my 25 Colts is worth less than I paid for it.
Colts are (most of them), well made, reliable, durable, and accurate...and their value only goes up over time. I have 5 WW II 1911A1s (Colt, Ithaca, US&S, and two RRs); all are 80% to 90&, all original, and they group at 25 yds from 1.25" to 2.8" with an average of all guns at 2.0". These five guns are untouched, just like out of the box guns. I grew up in the age of the bare-minimum open Jeep, Piper cub, and military style Colt 1911A1s and SAAs. They worked then and they still do today (although getting the old Jeep and Cub isn't easy). Sixty years of shooting and I still prefer the old style Colts. But I do have the one Springfield, an accurized mil spec; 3 like new P-38s; a S&W SS Model 60 (which I bought new and have had in 2 combat tours); and a new style Ruger .45 Vaquero. Bob
 

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Out of the box performance: NIB Colt Tank officers model made in 1989;
1.4" groups at 25 yds. NIB Colt Cmdr, made 2005; 1.43" gps at 25 yds; I have 4 Colt SAAs, NIB which all shoot sub 2" gps at 25 yds. Maybe your experience is vastly different than mine but I've been shooting for 60 years and while not all NIB guns can do this, mine have. Bob
Wow, so I guess all those bullseye shooters are wasting their money on accurized guns when they could have been buying stock Colts all this time.

:)
 

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Well, Ken, you've got part of it. Competitive shooting is not what I was referring to. The difference between a specific competitive pistol and the everyday shooter is akin to the difference between a race car and the family sedan. But you did get the part that thousands of dollars do not need to be spent (wasted is too harsh because what is a lot of money to some folks is chicken feed to others) to get reliability and accuracy. And I guess this topic has run its course. Bob
 

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I have a Colt made in 1918 that has been used since then and it still performs perfectly
rworthin,
That I don't doubt. I would maintain that your 1918 Colt is probably at the level of, at least, "semi-custom" 1911s as we now know them. In so far as "quality" parts and "fit"...all that stuff. :)

I doubt that's what you getting from Colt now...I didn't!
 

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Custom guns aren't just about a accuracy.
If thats your only or most important criteria, then your buying the wrong custom gun.

Much of the work performed, is either "reliability work", handling, or cosmetics. Much of it, if not most is done by hand, and takes time. Whats your plumber or mechanic get paid per hour?

If you need accuracy, specify that with your builder, or in your search for a custom. If it doesn't deliver, send it back. What if those Colts didn't shoot to your standard? Do they shoot to Colts? Would Colt "accurize" them for free or under warranty?

I like Colts, and I think what you get with them is a higher degree of the hand fitting required of the 1911, they've been makin them for how long? They probably know how to do it. They do it at the expense of features, that some shooter, me included, prefer. So we either customize our Colts, or go custom all together.

I think some of the "rip offs"( if I were to go there, and I won't) are the in between "loaded" type guns, with little to no handfitting, and features, that cost no more to build into the gun then Colts, "classic" style features.

As far as old GI guns, well, just like alot of LE guns, they get carried more then they get shot, and get rebuilt numerous times. Theres no tellin how few rounds went thru it, or who re-built it. Samples of one or two are not real conclusive.

Bob
 
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