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Old December 11, 2019, 07:31 PM   #1
Stats Shooter
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A Real 1911

I have several 1911-type pistols including some dan Wessons, rugers and sig. With my wifes grandfather's passing i got a (year 1918) model 1911 military. Its a 228xxx serial number.

The barrel bushing was rusted in place so i had to soak it in wd-40 for 3 days and finally got it broken loose and all the rust cleaned out. Then there were other spots of rust under the grips, bottom side of the hammer, under the mainspring housing. There was some other spots but they cleaned up.

I replaced the firing pin spring as it was worn out as well as the recoil spring and sear/trigger/grip safety spring as it was rusty. The mainspring seems to work fine.

Unloaded, it function tests fine....however im thinking that i may shoot a few reduced power loads in it, like 750 fps 230 gr ball ammo to try it out. I dont plan to shoot it much, just a few mags and then probably put it on the shelf.

A lot of the original finish is gone but i don't think one should refinish a gun like this, i kind of like the old distressed look anyway. Its pretty amazing that a gun thats as old as this and likely used a lot would still work great after a few days of care.
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Old December 11, 2019, 08:50 PM   #2
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Reduced power loads may not function well depending on what weight recoil spring you use. I'd load that puppy up with standard loads and let her rip.
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Old December 11, 2019, 09:12 PM   #3
Rangers13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stats Shooter View Post
I have several 1911-type pistols including some dan Wessons, rugers and sig. With my wifes grandfather's passing i got a (year 1918) model 1911 military. Its a 228xxx serial number.



The barrel bushing was rusted in place so i had to soak it in wd-40 for 3 days and finally got it broken loose and all the rust cleaned out. Then there were other spots of rust under the grips, bottom side of the hammer, under the mainspring housing. There was some other spots but they cleaned up.



I replaced the firing pin spring as it was worn out as well as the recoil spring and sear/trigger/grip safety spring as it was rusty. The mainspring seems to work fine.



Unloaded, it function tests fine....however im thinking that i may shoot a few reduced power loads in it, like 750 fps 230 gr ball ammo to try it out. I dont plan to shoot it much, just a few mags and then probably put it on the shelf.



A lot of the original finish is gone but i don't think one should refinish a gun like this, i kind of like the old distressed look anyway. Its pretty amazing that a gun thats as old as this and likely used a lot would still work great after a few days of care.


Sounds nice. Any photos. Would love to see it


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Old December 11, 2019, 10:13 PM   #4
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The classic load is 5 grains of Bullseye under a 230 grain FMJ. Still works today.
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Old December 11, 2019, 10:18 PM   #5
Stats Shooter
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here's a few pictures.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

My current load nick is 5.6 gr of win 244 and a 230 gr ball. Gets around 855 or so in a government sized gun.
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Old December 12, 2019, 12:26 AM   #6
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Two tone magazine to boot!

I don't think I'd refinish it. Just keep it well oiled so it doesn't rust up again.

Check your slide around the ejection ports for cracks. If the slide cracks this is where it's gonna happen. Some may say not to fire it because of its value but I disagree. Put a few boxes through it per year.

Did you disassemble the magazine? The early ones may have brazing on the back of the magazine behind the follower. I probably wouldn't use the mag much.
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Old December 12, 2019, 10:22 AM   #7
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That's a beauty. Thanks for sharing
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Old December 12, 2019, 10:42 AM   #8
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It's your pistol, so the choice is yours. My recommendation is to not shoot it -- no matter how tempting it might be to do so. Recommended reading:

https://ezine.m1911.org//showthread....vernment-Model

https://forum.m1911.org/showthread.p...nal-USGI-M1911

I had a WW1 M1911 for several years. I kept fighting the temptation to shoot it, but I knew that the slides are not heat treated for hardening, and that it only takes one shot to break it. I finally sold it rather than give in to the temptation and break it.
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Old December 12, 2019, 10:43 AM   #9
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That one certainly has been through the wringer cosmetically but if it was mine I would leave it alone except for the aforementioned spring. The slide is off of a later gun.

I have a 1918 vintage 1911, mine was made a bit after yours and was shipped on 28 March 1918 to the C/O, Springfield Armory.

This is pretty much what yours would have looked like when new. It's not perfect or anything, but it's still a decent WWI Colt 1911:



Last edited by highpower3006; December 12, 2019 at 02:59 PM.
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Old December 12, 2019, 11:28 AM   #10
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Reduced power loads may not function well depending on what weight recoil spring you use. I'd load that puppy up with standard loads and let her rip.
Absolute poppy-cock, I shoot ICORE and my 45 acp loads chrono at 600 fps
These loads function all my 1911's with stock springs as well as my Glock 36 and my XD
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Old December 13, 2019, 12:24 AM   #11
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I shoot both of my 1911’s but not on a regular basis, leave that to my 1911a1 and clones. One of mine is a well used workhorse that seems to have retained its original parts although the barrel has suffered from many many corrosive rounds bouncing down its length. The other is a nice example of an original pistol.
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Old December 13, 2019, 01:35 AM   #12
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I would leave original and not fire it , it's family heirloom and needs to be preserved.
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Old December 14, 2019, 01:15 PM   #13
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I would likely pass and not shoot this gun. I would hate to take a chance of destroying the gun but that's just me. I have other guns to shoot so.
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Old December 14, 2019, 01:34 PM   #14
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I'm with the not shoot it crowd. It's a 1911 I can't ever tell what Govt. model I am shooting, all the same to me.
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Old December 14, 2019, 01:39 PM   #15
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"...through the wringer cosmetically..." That's being polite. It's been rode hard and put away wet.
The "barrel bushing was rusted in place" says it was stored some place incompatible with steel. It's highly probable other parts will also be rusted.
"...at 600 fps..." Using what powder and bullet weight? Just curious. That's really slow.
And it's not "Absolute poppy-cock" if you read the whole post. Using the wrong spring weight will absolutely cause functioning issues.
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Old December 14, 2019, 05:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
It's highly probable other parts will also be rusted.
There were other rusted places. Under the mainspring housing, the sear spring was rusted, and the recoil spring plunger was rusted in place, had to drive it out with a dowel once i got the barrel bushing to finally turn. But i got all the rust cleaned up and removed, oiled everything up as i stripped the gun down to nothing but the frame .

The only thing i did not disassemble was the mainspring housing as it appeared to function fine. Otherwise, all parts were removed, cleaned, oiled, and replaced. So, no more rust, and it functions properly (i mean apparently, have not fired it).
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Old December 14, 2019, 09:55 PM   #17
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Stats Shooter, you're in kind of a dillema about what to do. Sounds like you have a passion for preserving the pistol's history and just leave it alone, or skip the sentimental bond and just shoot the snot out of it like it was designed for. I think if it were me, I would want to enjoy it as a shooter and access the condition and see if it can be restored.
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