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Old November 15, 2012, 02:55 PM   #1
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Colt 1911 vs 1991

I know this mat be a dumb question, but is there a difference in a colt 1911 and a colt 1991? If so, what are the differences? Thanks
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Old November 15, 2012, 03:04 PM   #2
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When the M1991A1 was introduced, it was essentially a less finely-finished version of Colt's regular Series 80 Government Model. At about the same time, the rest of Colt's line was "upgraded" to "enhanced" status, with some bells and whistles, leaving the '91A1 as the only gun in the line-up which retained the G.I. configuration. Circa 2003, the military-style finish was changed to polished blue or stainless, so a newer 1991 is about a ringer for the pre-1991 Series 80 models.
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Old November 15, 2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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The bells and whistles you're referring to are what a lot of folks would term an accuracy/reliability upgrade? Lowered and flared ejection port, Throated barrel and what not?
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Old November 15, 2012, 04:07 PM   #4
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I'd say they're more like what the majority seem to prefer, rather than unequivocal improvements. Colt had been lowering ejection ports and throating barrels for years, prior to the introduction of either the '91A1 or the enhanced models.
A lot of the "enhancements" were sort of half-hearted, with the magwell beveled only part-way around, a "ducktail" grip safety that some find less appealing than even the G.I. grip safety, an undercut trigger guard that some feel wasn't done very artfully. I prefer the "blank canvas" of the '91 to the enhanced models, as the latter have features that can't be undone if you don't like them.
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Old November 15, 2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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My 1911 was my first pistol. I crossed my left thumb over the back of my right hand once. And once only. And decided I really really liked the Beaver tail and combat hammer combo, and wouldn't be getting a pure GI to shoot with.
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Old November 15, 2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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All Colt 1991s have the Series 80 firing pin safety. Colt has some other models that have it, and some models that don't.
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Old November 16, 2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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"1991" was just a marketing term Colt used for a less-refined version of the Series 80 Government Models with various cost-cutting measures like rubber grips, matte finishes, big ugly rollmarks and plastic mainspring housings and triggers, meant to compete with Springfield Mil-Specs and ChiCom Norincos that were underselling Colt considerably in the early '90s. As a point of interest, Colt used serial numbers on them picking up from the GI models produced during WWII.

In the early 2000s they upgraded the 1991s, giving the carbon models a nice polished blued finish, rosewood grips, a more aestheically pleasing rollmark, and a metal trigger (but kept the plastic mainspring housing). The price went up, however, and has kept going up, until the point that they are not really a "entry level" 1911 anymore, a role the various Filipino and Turkish 1911s seems to be usurping from Colt and Springfield.
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Old November 16, 2012, 05:58 PM   #8
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We had a couple of hundred 1991's pass though our shop in the early 90's. I found them to be cosmetically rough, but almost always very reliable. The throat work Colt added to the 1991 improved feed reliability over the previous style.
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Old November 17, 2012, 04:22 AM   #9
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I have a 1991A1 that I bought brand new back in the 90's. I paid $409 out the door at a gun show.

I like it a lot. It has been very reliable. The only thing that I didn't like about it was the factory magazine. When I would push the mag release, the mag would pop out about 1/8", and I would have to pull it out the rest of the way. I bought some Wilson Combat mags, and there was a night and day difference. Now when I drop a mag, they actually drop out and hit the ground if I don't catch them.

I actually like the parkerized finish, also.
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Old November 17, 2012, 08:04 AM   #10
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My Old Roll Mark (ORM) Colt 1991A1 is my main carry pistol. I've had it since the early 90's and it's been a great shooter. My replacements have been; new grips (wood), Wilson steel flat main spring housing, Wilson aluminum trigger, Wilson match bushing and Wilson thumb safety.

This gun shoots everything from cast 185 to 255 grain SWC's. It may have cost little (comparatively) but it's my carry and bed side gun.
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Old November 17, 2012, 10:50 AM   #11
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I asked and recieved a -1991A1 for Christmas in either the eight or ninth grade (circa 2000/2001). I remember wanting it specifically because out of all the Government Models in the case at the gun shop, it was the only one that resembles the military model I desired.

While I'm a bit put off my the plastic trigger, it is very crisp and feels solid to the touch. Also, the finish was sub-par to say the best, but I feel that it looks good as is.

Excellent reliabiliy, even though I have an ORM, it feeds just about everything I put into it.
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Old November 17, 2012, 04:56 PM   #12
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Just as a single anecdotal reference point...

I bought one of these back in '93. It has since had upwards of 25,000 rounds through it, plastic trigger and all with no problems other than the staked front sight, which popped out and disapeared. I had the slide dovetailed for Novaks and never looked back.

It's been carried thousands of miles in the mountains and had to be refinished twice because of holster wear and sweat rust. It was only recently retired from the role of "camping/fishing pistol" in favor of an M&P45 but it's still one of my all time favorite handguns.

Still going strong.

These are excellent pistols. Completely reliable and very durable.
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Old November 18, 2012, 11:10 AM   #13
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Bought an all stainless Colt 1991A1 a few years ago. I like the traditional look without all the cosmetic looks. It has been reliable with any bullet type right out of the box since I bought it. Not one malfunction at all. I got the Commander size in 45acp. It works great as a carry gun in a Raven Concealment Kydex holster. It is a little heavy at 39oz. but okay.
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Old November 18, 2012, 11:20 AM   #14
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On Tac TV last week or so Larry Vickers was "debunking" some common gun myths out there, one of which is that the WWII era 1911 was horribly inaccurate, not much use except for very close rangers.

Larry used one of his own custom made 1911s with all hand fitted parts, etc. top of the line, and he had his buddy shoot a genuine WWII 1911-A1 Colt with actual WWII .45ACP ammo.

The results?

Of course the custom 1911 with all hand fitting, tight slide to frame, barrel bushing, custom trigger work, etc. put the bullets in a tighter group, much tighter, if you want to say that.

They were both shooting from twenty yards at a human torso target, but....

The WWII 1911-A! put them all in a five inch group, all center mass, all deadly.

What made the greatest difference? The sights.

Put a good pair of sights on the WWII 1911 and the difference would have been even smaller.

Deadly accurate in either case? You bet.
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Old November 18, 2012, 02:44 PM   #15
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Just age!!! Pete

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