Sunday, February 5, 2012

1942 Colt M1911A1: Rock solid after 70 years...

During February, 1942... Lt. Edward O'Hare became the first Ace of World War II piloting his F4 Wildcat, in just four minutes, shooting down five Japanese "Betty" bombers... President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted "War Time", better known as Daylight Savings Time and signed Executive Order 9066, resulting in the internment of many Japanese-Americans... a Japanese submarine fired at an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California... Donald M. Mitchell applied for the first patent of a mobile telephone... musicians Graham Nash, Peter Tork (yes, the Monkeys), and Carole King were born along with the anti-gun Michael Bloomberg...

...and our Colt M1911A1 was manufactured by American workers and craftsmen in Hartford, Connecticut, then delivered to the U. S. Army for service.

Now I know that 2011 was the 100th year anniversary and recognized the enduring genius of John Moses Browning's design of the 1911, but of particular interest to me is this Colt M1911A1 that came to us from my wife's grandfather who served through two wars... WWII and Korea... a grandfather who took a liking to his grand-daughter's husband... and left this pistol to us with the condition it remain in the family.  Some day we'll have the honor or passing it along to our daughter.

We're proud to have this pistol in our collection and as we have no "safe-queens" here... it gets a regular workout just like all our guns do... and just like it did with my wife's grampa.  We keep a set of Colt rubber grip panels on it as the original grip panels you see here are becoming a bit fragile with time, but the gun still works well, better than anything of it's age has a right to.

A few years back, we had the gunsmiths at Springfield Armory's Custom Shop check it over, carefully go through it, give it a four-pound trigger job, tightened the slide-to-frame fit, and hand-fit an Ed Brown barrel bushing that not only has this gun keeping two-inch groups at twenty-five yards, but has the bullets hitting dead-on with the original sights... amazing handy-work and they also returned all the original parts they replaced (springs, bushing, etc.).

You should see the excitement of our 4H Shooting Sports kids or local Boy Scouts when they get a chance to see AND shoot a real piece of American history, a piece of American ingenuity... of American exceptionalism.  That's right folks, there is only one United States of America... and we're darn proud to be Americans.

If you look at this gun, you might be in awe of the incredible design, manufacturing, craftsmanship, and skill that produced it.  If Americans could produce this seventy, or even one-hundred years ago... I know we can still do amazing things today... we can produce men and women with even greater capabilities today... folks that are proud to work and proud to know what it means when we say, "Made in America".

This old gun does show some wear, some marks, some age, some imperfections... but with some care, effort, and common sense... it's still working like it should.  Like our country, it ain't perfect... but I can't think of anything else that's better.  

We have a local boy who recently came home from Afghanistan... a Marine Scout Sniper... who came home after stepping on an IED... he's lost both legs above the knees and has some additional injuries... and it happened just three weeks short of the February 7th end of his third and final deployment.  He still exhibits a pride and attitude that should put us all to shame.

Ya know folks... I think of the service to our country by those who made this gun... of the service to our country by those who carried this gun... of the service to our country by those who still carry guns on our behalf... and I think that we can do better... for ourselves and for their honor.

That's what I tell the kids and those who we show and let shoot this gun... this is an example and symbol of America at it's best... so get a firm grip... ok, now squeeze the trigger straight back... and fire a 1942 Colt M1911A1: Rock solid after 70 years...


  1. A very fine pistol and a very fine write-up about it.

  2. Nice! Both the pistol and the post are fantastic.

  3. Replies
    1. Appreciate that... I've been enjoying your blog too...

      Dann in Ohio

  4. Passed on a great award to you today! You can check it out at

  5. Worthy of the honor of a Liebster award at the very least....