No, not trading in Hazel, folks. Rather I’m looking for a pistol.

All I can do is try to describe my memory and see if it rings any bells.
I don’t know if you can help or not, but I am looking for a 1911 like my dad used to have.  It was a govt issue, slim 1911 .45.  It didn’t have all the extra swirly bits that 1911′s seem to have in newly manufactured pistols, what with triple safeties or internal gun locks and whatnot.  It was a plain, simple, beautifully ugly gun; if beauty is in the simplicity of use and ugly is in the beat-up finish.  To be totally honest, I don’t even remember for sure but think I remember that it was olive colored with black plastic grips, possibly even had a big “US” on the grips. I do know for sure that it had a lanyard loop.

I don’t know if trying to hunt down this piece of nostalgia is worthwhile, what with the age of a gun like this possibly precluding it’s actual use, but would love to see if any new manufactured pistols still follow the old design.  The closest I have come are some of the Springfield models.

If it helps even to narrow this down some, my dad was a Navy corpsman serving with a Marine unit back in the Vietnam era.

No, I don’t know what happened to this pistol or I would be carrying it right now.  All I can hope to do is replace it.

Thanks in advance for any information you might have to point me in the right direction.



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13 Responses to “Seeking”

  1. Jubal Harshaw Says:
    May 24th, 2008

    Hi Ted,

    It sounds like an M1911, Officers model, because of the lanyard loop.

    You might try going here

    This is a pretty good gun forum and they have links to a lot of other places. In addition, there are a lot of knowledgeable people there that may be able to offer more help than I can.

  2. Xavier Says:
    May 25th, 2008

    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. Know 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. Expect 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.

  3. Ted Bronson Says:
    May 25th, 2008

    Thanks Jubal

  4. Ted Bronson Says:
    May 25th, 2008

    And thank you Xavier.

    This is what I love about the interwebz, the information always is out there somewhere…

  5. Robb Allen Says:
    May 25th, 2008

    Think about this, Ted. It used to be you had to go to the library to look up stuff. Then the Intarweb Tubes let you go online and look for things.

    Now, you post about something, people like me post an entry linking to you, and the information falls into your lap.

    Sweet eh?

  6. Drumwaster Says:
    May 25th, 2008

    I apologize for the off-topic entry, but just a last minute reminder that the Patriot’s Journey kicks off tomorrow.

    The rules for participating are simple – at least one post per day on your site, from Memorial Day to Independence Day (this year, that is May 26-July 4), something positive about the United States or her citizens. This includes anyone who has their own blog or posts as a guest author elsewhere. (Nothing negative, please, no matter how much the Dems or other anti-American types piss you off.)

    If you skip a day because life arises with pressing business, no big deal. (Freedom is a beautiful thing, eh?)

    Totally voluntary, and kind of fun, IMNSHO.

    You guys in?

  7. Hazel Stone Says:
    May 25th, 2008

    DW: Can you remind us of the details, please? I thought you had commented here before on it but wordpress claims not so when I search for it.

  8. Drumwaster Says:
    May 25th, 2008

    Hazel, milady, I just did. (See how simple it is?) :-)

    If you wish to be participate, just do so. (One or more posts each day from Memorial Day to Independence Day, extolling something positive about America or her citizens or her form of Government or the scenery or whatever.) If you wish to be linked, all I ask is a notification, so I can be sure to provide appropriate credit where due. If not, again, no big deal. (I’m all about personal liberty.)

    No pressure, and I’ll still hang out here for as long as you can tolerate me, either way.

  9. Hazel Stone Says:
    May 25th, 2008

    Gawd, I’ve been in the garden all day, can you tell? Attention span of a gnat.

  10. Drumwaster Says:
    May 25th, 2008

    I wasn’t aware you even had a garden, but I have a rock lawn with palm trees and cacti (I pay a guy $50/month to tend it, and it requires minimal input from me, dontchaknow?), so who am I to judge?

    I have the diametric opposite of a green thumb. Hell, I’ve been known to kill artificial plants.

    So, you guys in? :-)

  11. XGBC51 Says:
    May 27th, 2008

    I also wanted to add the pistol from my days past in the “Far East Gun Club” but being a working stiff my toys usually come in around the 300$ range. My parameters were function and interchangability of parts. I found in the 325$ zone a 1911 from Rock Island made by Twin Pines P.I. It’s a piece just like what I carried, complete with lemon squeezer and the parts are 100% interchangable with a mil spec weapon. It’s way better than any 1911 I was ever issued and it came with some nice hard wood grips. I may swap them out later for some crappy issue plastic ones but for now I like the way the wood ones look. Best part is I could afford it. They also offer a compact model for all you Zero wannabees.

  12. DirtCrashr Says:
    May 27th, 2008

    What Xavier said is spot-on. The Rock Island works too and Auto-Ordnance also makes one called the “Parkerized”. One of the best 1911 websites is Ty Moor’s at that has great ID pages and galleries of pictures. I paid $1100 for a ’43 Colt 1911A1 with a High Standard replacement barrel about four years ago.

  13. Jack Shaftoe Says:
    May 27th, 2008

    I would suggest looking at the Springfield mil-spec. It has slightly higher sights than the GI45 and there may be some other very minor differences but you get a high quality, no frills 1911 at a reasonable price.


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