Colt 1911A1 Military - Western Arms

The Colt 1911 is a strong contender for most famous pistol of all time. Only the Luger P08 and the Colt SAA .45 revolver come close in terms of universal recognition.

Although the 1911 dates back to before WW1, it earned its fame in the Second World War, in 1911A1 form, as reviewed here.

Metallic finish, not semi-gloss like Parkerised finish on Para Ordnance.

Thanks to Elite Airsoft, I was able to review this Military model which features WA's latest SCW gas system.

In the Box

Lying in the familiar grey, with white lettering, box, the 1911A1 looks pretty much like any other WA 1911, except for its unusal colour.

Just another SCW 1911 box.

With the gun is the usual array of accessories; a 1911 bushing wrench, some BBs, an Allen key and the usual collection of paperwork.

First Impressions

The first thing that strikes you about this 1911 is the colour. Whilst some recent WA pistols have been a battleship grey to replicate the Parkerised finish, this gun bears a gunmetal flake finish. The closest thing I can approximate it to is the finish on the HFC M9 190, which is no bad thing.

Simpler grips look plastic.

The general finish is good, with heavyweight material frame and slide being a good match to the metal parts.

This gun is not as heavy as the 1911 US Army model, but pretty much on a par with all the other WA 1911s.

Note shorter, chequered trigger.

Comparing the 1911A1 with the 1911, the most noticeable differences are the chequered trigger, the longer curve of the frame and grip safety top and the addition of the curved backstrap on the grip. The trigger, too, is shorter, front to back on the 1911A1.

All the usual parts of the 1911A1 are metal, with outer barrel, sights, grip and thumb safety, trigger and hammer, all being metal along with various other minor parts.

Closer Look

Introduced in 1926, the 1911A1 introduced a number of changes which are generally viewed as definitive features of the 1911 styling, following the recommendations of the US Army Ordnance Dept.
These changes incorporate the following items:

1. Wider front sight
2. Longer hammer spur
3. Shorter trigger
4. Curved spring housing
5. Simplified grip panels checkering
6. Index finger reliefs behind the trigger
7. Longer grip-safety spur
Courtesy of World Guns - See link at bottom of page

Small cutout in front of grip common to 1911 and 1911A1.

All these features are present on the 1911A1 as replicated by Western Arms.

The shorter trigger also features a chequered face for a more secure purchase as does the trigger spur.

Curved backstrap, longer hammer spur, simpler grips and longer grip safety differ from 1911.

The mainspring cover is curved out and features the same chequering seen on the hammer and trigger, whilst the front of the grip remains smooth.

Inner barrel well recessed - Note chequred trigger and recoil spring plug.

The slight cutouts in the frame, behind the trigger for the index finger, are present and the grip safety spur extends further around to prevent the hammer pinching the skin of the hand.

Sights remained unmarked - White dots were still some years away...

Markings are good, as you would expect of a WA, with the left side of the slide marked "PATENTED APR.20.1897.SEPT.9.1902"/ "DEC.19.1905.FEB.14.1911.AUG.19.1913" with a Colt rampant horse logo, followed by "COLT'S PT.F.A.MFG.CO."/"HARTSFORD.CT.U.S.A.". The left of the frame has a P near the mag release, a proofing mark on the front of the trigger guard and "G.H.D" below the slide lock.

Plain chamber same colour as frame and slide.

The right side of the slide is unmarked, whilst the frame is marked with an ASGK mark above the grip and "UNITED STATES PROPERTY M1911A1 U.S.ARMY" above the trigger guard.

The bushing is plain, painted to match the frame and other metal controls.

The magazine release is a simple, chequered button on the left side of the frame, just behind the trigger. The slide lock is narrow and chequered along the top. The chequering is repeated on the recoil spring plug, below the bushing.

The grips are plain brown and look plastic, rather than wood replicas. There is a lanyard ring on the bottom of the mainspring cover, as with the original style 1911.

The magazine is SCW2 double stacking affair, capable of holding 22 rounds. It also features replacable plastic jaws and some people have encountered some issues with feed problems on these magazines. I had a few problems, at low temperatures, using 134a, with this gun, but also with the SCW1 1911, which has metal jaws and a single stack design. Both worked fine with Abbey Ultra gas and have not shown problems in further testing.

Shooting Impressions

In line with all the SCW 1911s I have tested, performance of the 1911A1 is good and consistent.

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the 1911A1 produced the kind of accuracy seen with other SCW system WA 1911s.

The best 5 grouping was 4.5 CMs (1.75 inches), with the shots actually falling in 3 distinct pairings. The shots for this gun are marked as squares on the target.

Over 10 shots, the 1911A1 Military averaged 245 fps (using 134a gas) indoors (at 21C), which would suggest a figure of around 300 fps with Propane or Abbey Ultra gas.

Shot      FPS
1 251.4
2 247.1
3 244.1
4 245.7
5 247.1
6 245.1
7 244.3
8 243.9
9 241.8
10 240.1

Trigger pull was 900g (32 Oz), which is a medium weight pull for a GBB.

Take Down

Take down of this gun will be familiar to anyone who has field stripped a 1911, real or airsoft.

mmmmmmmm - Yep, it's a 1911!

With the magazine out, the slide should be moved back until the slide lock can be pushed out of the frame. The slide and barrel can then be slid off of the front of the frame.

The barrel bushing should be rotated 45 degrees anti-clockwise, it can then be removed. The recoil plug and spring must be removed from the barrel/slide and then the barrel and chamber can be drawn out through the front of the slide.


Overall, the 1911A1 is another good 1911 from Western Arms.

The classic WW2 Colt 1911 - Possibly the most famous handgun of all time?

It performs pretty much like all the others, so choose this one if you want the authentic WW2 look.

Weight : 860g (220g magazine)

Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****

Real Steel link at World Guns

Buy this gun at Elite Airsoft

HL E-book on the Colt 1911

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