A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Elusive M1911A1 Pistol

Another person is wanting a M1911A1 like Dad used to carry........

Click to enlargeMy response:
The least expensive but still durable option is a Springfield GI45. Swap out the goofy US grips for genuine GI grips (about $15) fit a genuine GI thumb safety, ($10) and Bob's your uncle. If you want to get fancy, swap in a GI mainspring housing to get rid of the ILS. Take a quick look at this pistol. This gets you into the game for $600 or so, including taxes. There are cheaper guns available, but they are cheaper.

Next up is a shooter grade M1911A1. These can be Colts, Ithacas, Remington Rands, or occasionally Union Switch & Signals. Sistemas fit in here too. These are the real deal historical guns. What you want is a pistol with enough finish wear or mixed GI parts to take it out of the collector's realm. These start at $600-800 and go up as high as the seller thinks possible. Click to enlargeKnow your stuff here. Experts and good info are available at the USGI section of the 1911 Forum. Register and learn. Read up on The Sight M1911A1 for good info.

Next will be the Colt M1911 or M1911A1 repro. These start at $1000. Occasionally you can find one for less, maybe $850-900. People think they are instant collectibles. If they are, all Colts are. Buy one and shoot it. These are fairly close to the real deal. Swap out the trigger on the WWII repro with a genuine GI trigger. The M1911 is fairly close on the small parts.

Finally, there is the M1911A1 itself. Click to enlargeExpect to pay $1500 and up for an original Very Good unrefinished condition Remington Rand, Colt, Ithaca or Union Switch & Signal M1911A1. The good thing is it will hold it's value, and indeed become more valuable if you take care of it and just shoot it. If you want a Colt M1911 (not A1) in this condition, think $2000. These pistols are one of the best investments in the gun world, if you can afford one. Again, be wary of fakery, and know your stuff. A year or two spent on the USGI forum reading and educating yourself is beneficial. If you get into this area, be aware that just about everyone gets burnt once, some multiple times.

Remember, always buy the gun, not the story. Money spent on books will be recouped when you evaluate a pistol. Use my Pre-Owned 1911 Checkout to check out any prospective purchase. Lastly, have fun in your search.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a slow Sunday and I'm just curious if you ever considered Polish VIS pistol (pistolet wz. 35 Vis)? Have you ever seen one on your trips to a pawnshops or gun shows?


1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here is a m1911 in your neck of the woods on gunbroker

2:52 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

I've never owned a Radom. I understand it's a mix of the BHP and the 1911. I've never seen one in a pawnshop, but if I did, I would likely get it if the price was right. I think I saw them at gun shows occasionally a few years back. What is the going price now?

4:04 PM  
Blogger Mark Horning said...

Personally I would have put the Sitema at he top of my list, since it needs the least done to it.

Finding a GI thumb safety when I needed one was very chalenging. That's pretty much a gun-show item only these days.

Know where I can get a replacement Sistema Thumb safety? The GI is not quite right.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Now that ebay has shut down sales of gun parts, the most likely place is your gunsmith's take off box. You might try the want ads of some of the gun forums......

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is your opinion on shooting an original Remington Rand? I have one coming that my Dad brought back in 1945, has had less than a box through it in those 60 years. I haven't seen it in a long time, so not sure of the condition of the finish.
The hold up right now is that Dad lives on the other side of the country, and he does not want to ship it to an FFL, doesn't trust UPS or FedEX to get it here - preferring to wait until he comes to visit to transfer in person.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

It's a personal decision anon.

If you would purchase a $1500 pistol, then shoot it for the joy of it, then no problem.

As far as the historical significance, a M1911A1 with a 60 round count is probably a very nice example, but it may also have little to no actual combat history. The question is whether a pistol that did not go overseas to serve has the same historical significance that one that did see combat and bears the scars does. This is a question we can only answer for ourselves.

If it were mine, I would cherish it, take care of it, and shoot it every once in a while to honor my father. Me, I'm taking my old Remmy Rand to the range to shoot a little hardball tomorrow in honor of the unknown man who carried it. I figure that is more important than a few dollars lost on some investment.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do the Dan Wesson series of 45's fit into all this? Or do they? The price is well below $1K

10:55 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

To my knowledge, Dan Wesson does not offer a GI M1911A1 style pistol. The Dan Wesson 1911s are of the modern 1911 persuasion.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To my knowledge, Dan Wesson does not offer a GI M1911A1 style pistol. The Dan Wesson 1911s are of the modern 1911 persuasion."

Hi. Thanks for the clarification. Obviously my knowledge of 1911's is not up to speed :-) But thinking of getting one...

9:44 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home