View Full Version : 1991A1 parts question

June 26, 2009, 03:17 PM
I just picked up a Colt 1991A1 COMPACT I want to put a full length guide rod and spring in it. Can I use parts from a 1911 officers model in the gun. I think it has and 80s series slide. If can what the best lbs spring to put in it for a carry gun.

June 27, 2009, 03:39 AM
IIRC, the Officer's Model has a short barrel, and ergo different spring/guide, than the 1991A1 - which as I also recall is a longer barreled, Gov't Model clone.

So, I wouldn't think those parts interchangeable - although I could be wrong (again ;) ).


June 27, 2009, 08:05 AM
The one I have has a 3 1/2 inch barrel. Offiers sized frame. Colt 1991A1 Compact stamped one slide. I hope someone really knows this gun.

June 27, 2009, 08:10 AM
No, you cannot use an officers size giude rod or spring in a goverment size pistol.In fact i dont even think any officer size pistols are available with a full length guide rod,they generally have reverse plugs.You also cannot use the commander size guide rod or spring in your goverment pistol.Use a standard 16 lb. spring in your pistol if you ch ange your weight to much you could change the timing on your gun causing ftf .
If your in need of a gov size guide rod and plug pm me i have a stainless one for sale.

edited didnt relize your frame was an officers frame assumed by the 1911a1 that it was a government model 5" barrel .
and yes most of your parts are interchangable

June 27, 2009, 08:59 AM
Wow this is not going well. It's not a goverment sized gun. IT only has a 3 1/2 barrel. It's is the compat model. Wilson combat makes one for officers model with a 24 lbs spring. I want to know if it wil fit Colt 1991A1 compact.

June 27, 2009, 09:09 AM
what wasnt goin well was your initial decription of your pistol .

1911a1 is a goverment size pistol 5" barrel

Don P
June 27, 2009, 09:19 AM
To answer your last posted question, yes the spring will fit. Most manufactures parts for the officer model will interchange.
Just for future use, Government model 5" barrel, Comander model 4 1/4" barrel and you know the officer size
I just notice reading some of the posts 1911 is model of the pistol. Wheather it is a Gov, Com, Officer the model is still a 1911 design. The A1 just means it is the newer version with changes that were made to the pistol. This web site is all about 1911's you may want to take a look,

June 27, 2009, 09:24 AM
The "1991A1" is Colt's version of an inexpensive, basic 1911A1 model. Mechanically the exact same thing. Like Springfield has the "GI" and "MilSpec" line.

The 1991 line is made in all three of the configurations. The 5", the 4.25" and the 3.5".

Corresponding names you'll hear:

5" = Government; Fullsize

4.25" = Commander

3.5" = Officers; Compact

I just picked up a Colt 1991A1 I want to put a full length guide rod and spring in it. Can I use parts from a 1911 officers model in the gun. I think it has and 80s series slide. If can what the best lbs spring to put in it for a carry gun.

No, you cannot use a recoil system from a 3.5" and install it in a 5".

For a 5", stock configuration, your recoil spring should be 16lbs, mainspring 23lbs.

As for a full length guide rod setup, it is my opinion that they are unnecessary and a waste of money.

My advice to you on a new pistol is to shoot it for a good while until you know what you want to modify and why you want to modify it. Primary functions are reliability and accuracy (in my book). Do the modifications that will net you that.

The one I have has a 3 1/2 inch barrel. Offiers sized frame. Colt 1991A1 Compact stamped one slide. I hope someone really knows this gun.

Yes, had one. Want another.

Not goverment sized
Wow this is not going well. It's not a goverment sized gun. IT only has a 3 1/2 barrel. It's is the compat model. Wilson combat makes one for officers model with a 24 lbs spring. I want to know if it wil fit Colt 1991A1 compact.

I went with a spring set from Wolfe springs. You can't go wrong. As for a full length guide rod setup, I think it's a pain in the butt for field strip. I found the stock method annoying compared to the easy by-hand disassembly of the bushing setup. An option I would suggest is a reversed plug setup. Tabs on the stock plug have been known to sheer off, sending your plug, broken, downrange and rendering the gun inoperable. You can grab a spare plug or just wait it out until you need a repair. If this is going to be a carry gun, I'd at least make preparation and have a plan of action so that your reliable stays reliable.

June 27, 2009, 09:31 AM
I have edited the post I have the Compact model.

Thanks Shorts you told me what I needed to know.

I just dont trust that double spring setup. So i wanted to see what my options are. I have had alot problems out the one in my para.

Don P
June 27, 2009, 09:44 AM
The following is fron the 1911 forum site, and if you scroll down it will explain the difference between the 1911 and 1991
Series 70 vs. Series 80


There have been a lot of questions posted by new members and 1911 owners as to what the difference is between Series 70 and Series 80 Colts. This question is best answered by giving the following history:

Colt is the original manufacturer of 1911 pattern pistols, having made versions for both the military as well as commercial market since regular production began in January 1912. The commercial versions were nearly identical to the military ones, differing only in markings and finish. Following World War Two military production ended, but the commercial guns remained in production with only minor changes such as deletion of the lanyard loop and a larger thumb safety shelf. These pistols are known to collectors as "pre-Series 70" guns, as they pre-dated the Series 70 guns introduced in 1971. It was during this year that Colt introduced the first major design change to the Government Model in nearly 50 years. In an attempt to improve the accuracy of production guns the barrel bushing was redesigned, along with the barrel. In this system the bushing utilized four spring-steel "fingers" that gripped the enlarged diameter of the muzzle end of the barrel as the gun returned to battery. By tightening the fit of barrel and bushing in this manner Colt was able to improve the accuracy of the average production gun, without going through the expense of hand fitting the older solid barrel bushing to the barrel and slide. Models using the new barrel/bushing setup were the Government Model and Gold Cup, which were designated the "Mark IV Series 70" or simply Series 70 pistols. It should be noted that the shorter 4 1/4" barreled Commander pistols retained the use of the older solid bushing design and thus were never designated Series 70 pistols, although one hears the term erroneously applied to Commanders from time to time.

The new "collet" bushing (as it came to be known) worked quite well, however it was prone to breakage if the inside diameter of the slide was too small as it caused the fingers to buckle, then later break from the stress of being wedged between the barrel and slide. On pistols with oversized slides the bushing didn't grip well enough, and accuracy suffered. Because of this the collet bushing was eventually phased out sometime around 1988, with the older solid barrel bushing design being reinstated for use in production guns.

The single biggest change to the 1911 design came about in 1983, when Colt introduced the "MK IV Series 80" pistols. These guns incorporated a new firing pin block safety system, where a series of internal levers and a plunger positively blocked the firing pin from moving until the trigger was pressed, thus eliminating the possibility of the gun discharging if dropped onto a hard surface or struck hard. In this instance however, ALL of Colt's 1911-pattern pistols incorporated the new design change so even the Commander and Officer's ACP pistols became known as Series 80 guns. With the previous paragraph in mind, it is important to know that from 1983 until 1988 the early Government Model and Gold Cup Series 80 pistols used the Series 70-type barrel and bushing as well, although they were known only as Series 80 guns.

There was one other design change made to the Series 80 guns as well, and that was a re-designed half-cock notch. On all models the notch was changed to a flat shelf instead of a hook, and it is located where half-cock is engaged just as the hammer begins to be pulled back. This way the half-cock notch will still perform its job of arresting the hammer fall should your thumb slip while manually cocking the pistol, yet there is no longer a hook to possibly break and allow the hammer to fall anyway. With the notch now located near the at-rest position, you can pull the trigger on a Series 80 while at half-cock and the hammer WILL fall. However, since it was already near the at-rest position the hammer movement isn't sufficient to impact the firing pin with any amount of force.

Regarding the "clone" guns (1911-pattern pistols made by manufacturers other than Colt), so far Para-Ordinance, SIG, Auto Ordnance, and Taurus have adopted Colt's Series 80 or a similar firing pin block system as well. Kimber's Series II pistols and the new S&W 1911s have a FP safety also, but it is a different system than Colt's and is disabled by depressing the grip safety. No manufacturers aside from Colt ever adopted the Series 70 barrel/bushing arrangement, so technically there are no "Series 70" clone guns. What this means is that design-wise most of them share commonality with the pre-Series 70 guns, using neither the firing pin block NOR the collet bushing. Because of this it is important to remember that only Colt Series 80 models, and a couple of "clone" 1911 makers use a firing pin block. Older Colts and most other clone guns lack a firing pin safety and can possibly discharge if there is a round in the chamber and the gun is dropped on a hard surface, or if struck a blow hard enough to allow the firing pin to jump forward and impact the primer of the loaded round. By the way, Colt has just recently reintroduced new custom pistols lacking the S80 firing pin safety (called the Gunsite models) as well as a reintroduced original-style Series 70 to appeal to purists. Interestingly, the latter uses a solid barrel bushing and Series 80 hammer, so it is somewhat different mechanically than the original Series 70 models.

Regarding the controversy involving getting a decent trigger pull on a Series 80 gun, it is only of importance if the gunsmith attempts to create a super-light pull (under four pounds) for target or competition use. In defense/carry guns where a four-pound or heavier pull is necessary, the added friction of the Series 80 parts adds little or nothing to the pull weight or feel. A good gunsmith can do an excellent trigger job on a Series 80 and still leave all the safety parts in place, although he will probably charge a little more than if the gun were a Series 70 since there are more parts to work with. But any gunsmith who tells you that you can't get a good trigger on a Series 80 without removing the safety parts is likely either lazy or incompetent.

1991 vs. 1911

For those wondering what the difference is between these pistols, the fact is there really is none. Back in 1991 Colt decided to market an economy version of their basic Series 80 Government Model. The polished blue was changed to an all-matte parkerized (later matte blue) finish, checkered rubber grip panels were used, and the serial number sequence was a resumption of the ones originally given to US military M1911A1 pistols. The resulting pistol was cleverly named "M1991A1", after the year of introduction. Mechanically however they are the same as any other Colt Series 80, 1911-type pistol. Around 2001 or so Colt upgraded these pistols with polished slide and frame flats, nicer-looking slide rollmarks, stainless barrels, and wood grips (blued models only). The newer ones are commonly called "New Rollmark (NRM)" pistols by Colt enthusiasts, to differentiate them from the "Old Rollmark (ORM)" 1991 pistols. The earlier guns are easily identified by having "COLT M1991A1" in large block letters across the left face of the slide. The NRM Colts will have three smaller lines of text saying "COLT'S-GOVERNMENT MODEL-.45 AUTOMATIC CALIBER", along with Colt's rampant horse logo.