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  #1  
Old 06-13-2012, 02:41 PM
areslagae areslagae is offline
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Colt M1991A1 background information




Hi all,

I am looking for background information about this Colt M1991A1 model.

http://postimage.org/gallery/xhkuk3o/

- The serial number is 2700XXX.
- The finish is parkerized (I think, not sure) and grips are plastic (definitely not rubber).
=> I am guessing a date of manufacture between 1992 - 1994. Is that correct? Can someone be more specific/correct, or do I need to contact Colt?

- The magazine is ACT MAG, so I assume this is not original. How did the original magazines for this model look like? 7, 8 or 9 round? Blue, stainless, bright stainless, nickel?

- Everything else looks original.

Are there any other things I should be aware of?

Any other interesting information on this specific model?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2012, 05:10 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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You have a very early production M1991A1 pistol, which as its name implies was introduced to the market in 1991. The name was some Colt marketing exec's clever spin on the original military M1911A1 designation. It was a basic Series 80 pistol with less frills than a standard Colt Government Model to enable it to sell at a lower price point, and better compete with the Springfield Armory and Norinco pistols that were starting to take away Colt's market share. At the same time the no-nonsense military look was actually promoted as a selling item, and in fact the serial number range picked up where the original USGI contract pistols left off in 1945. "No frills" features included the matte Parkerized finish (later changed to matte blue after a couple of years), black plastic grips (which had a tendency to crack and were soon replaced with similar ones made out of rubber), a nylon mainspring housing and trigger pad, plain black sights and a simple "COLT M1991A1" slide rollmark. Aside from these changes they were made just as well as standard blued Series 80 Government Model pistols of the same era, although a year after the M1991A1 was introduced the rest of Colt's 1911 line received some pretty radical changes in the form of their so-called "Enhanced" line of pistols. Around 1995 or so a stainless version of the M1991A1 was also introduced.

Technically the 1991 is still in production, although in late 2000 it was upgraded as well with a semi-polished blue finish, alloy trigger and wood grips (blued models only), and is no longer called the "M1991A1". It's now simply a Series 80 Government Model, and as such the slide rollmark reflects this change. As a result Colt enthusiasts now refer to the older pistols as "Old Rollmark" (ORM) guns and the newer ones "New Rollmark" (NRM). The SKU is still the same however, #O1991 for the blued model and #O1091 for the stainless. While your pistol is an early model (probably made in the first year or two) it is still a great gun and an excellent base for a custom build. Assuming you still have the box and manual it's probably worth about $600. Subtract $50 without the accessories or if there are any changes to the basic pistol (I see what might be import marks on yours). The original mags were plain blued 7-round "GI" style mags with the Colt name and horse logo on the bottom, which are still being made and should be easy to find anywhere that 1911 magazines are sold.
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Last edited by dsk; 06-13-2012 at 07:24 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-13-2012, 06:13 PM
European European is offline
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Thank you for the useful information, dsk. I also have an early 1991A1 (serial number 2728XXX). It's a great gun and it doesn't need any modification to run reliably. I only made minor changes in it (grips, trigger, ambidextrous safety) and I couldn't be happier with the way it shoots. Not fancy but very practical!
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:30 PM
MAG-63 MAG-63 is offline
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I have 272XXXX which I bought new for $400.00 "out-the-door" in the early '90s. It has been flawless for 22k rounds with only spring replacements and routine maintenance. Billboard markings aside, I think they were great pistols for the money.

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Last edited by dsk; 06-13-2012 at 09:44 PM. Reason: formatting
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2012, 10:20 PM
DamnDirtyApe DamnDirtyApe is offline
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I've got one myself. Serial 2695xxx got new in 1991. It was my first pistol and aside from grips is 100% original and flawless record for unknown thousands of rounds. I was going to customize it but rather leave it stock due to sentimental reasons. I'd buy another in a heartbeat and put a 460 Rowland kit on it.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2012, 11:05 PM
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I bought one back around 1994 or so, but for some reason I didn't hang onto it for very long. I think it was because I couldn't get used to that ugly billboard rollmark, which was dumb of me because if I remember correctly it was a very good shooter. I later bought a stainless one and tried to polish the flats to make it more like a pre-Enhanced Government. Unfortunately the factory sandblasting was so coarse that I was unable to get a decent level of polish without risking taking off the serial number. It too was sold after a short while. Those who keep track of my posts will see that I went through a lot of different guns in my fickle youth!
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Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2012, 09:52 AM
Dangerous Dangerous is offline
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Yea, we have all 33,000 of your posts memorized
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2012, 12:53 PM
scalinghammer scalinghammer is offline
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I have a 1991A1 in 9mm I bought it in 92-93 for $399. I have modified it over the years to suite me more and it works great now. I still use it in Single Stack (USPSA) and find it very reliable.
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2012, 01:25 PM
areslagae areslagae is offline
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Thanks for your input!

There are indeed import marks on the pistol. I am living in Belgium, and all firearms here must be proofed by the national proof-house.

I had read the note about the grips cracking previously. It seems that that is why Colt replaced them by rubber ones in later serial numbers. I am planning to replace them ASAP, both to get better grips, but also to preserve the original ones.

I was planning on getting these:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/839...eckered-walnut
They are Colt and seem to fit very well with the M1991A1. Only Midway seems to carry these.

However, unfortunately Midway will not ship internationally :-(
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  #10  
Old 06-14-2012, 02:11 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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See if you can get Hogues's repro set instead. They look better anyway. www.getgrip.com.
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Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.
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  #11  
Old 06-14-2012, 04:54 PM
European European is offline
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areslagae, I also live in Belgium and Midway US won't allow you to order from their site. If you want to buy something from Midway you'll have to use one of their partners in the EU (mainly in Germany), which are far more expensive.
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  #12  
Old 06-14-2012, 08:32 PM
fxntime fxntime is offline
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$400 seems to be what they used to go for in their day as it's exactly what I paid for this one. Still one of my favorite shooters and it has never bobbled once since I bought it. [and I mean NEVER] It is usually fed either hardball or lead reloads.

It's one of the cheaper 1911s I own but I have turned down several offers and it'll have a home for quite some time.

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  #13  
Old 06-14-2012, 11:29 PM
meanc meanc is offline
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Mine is S/N 26977XX - Colt told me mfg date was 1991 and parkerized. Yours is very close to mine, so I would say 91-92 production.

Just noticed that mine does not have the "TM" on the rollmark, but every other 1991 ORM I see does have it.

I wonder if anyone else has one without the "TM"


Last edited by meanc; 06-14-2012 at 11:32 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-15-2012, 08:27 AM
M21guy M21guy is offline
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Interesting information. I own a Y2K 1991a1 Commander. The poor thing needs a lot. I bought it used and abused, for way too much money. My fault, I was stupid.

Someone replaced the sear componets, removed the series 80 components, the trigger mag realease, and put a awful ill fitted SS drop in beavertail on it. The gun is butt ugly. The millet sights fell off and the finish which looked good on gunbroker was Krylon. Even the extractor is shot. That thing is so worn out I'm suprised it doesn't break off. However as loose and worn the gun is, and without sights at all, it functions like a top and it groups suprisingly nice.

Sill I kind of like the 1991. After looking at someone's new 02071ELC2 with its loose fitted slide, I don't feel so bad anymore about mine rattling like an angry rattlesnake. I'm thinking about having it all redone at Colt, but I may have it done here instead. I don't know yet I guess it depends on if I want it close to stock or go wild with it sending it off for the tac package.
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2012, 08:44 AM
R DiFlorio R DiFlorio is offline
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Look at this thread I posted has the factory letter its on the 2nd this forum
Colt Series 80 M1991A1 1996 AFL-CIO Convention Poster Gun

Last edited by R DiFlorio; 06-15-2012 at 12:57 PM.
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  #16  
Old 06-17-2012, 04:03 PM
Kawboy65 Kawboy65 is offline
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fxntime: Is that one of the limited run Lew Horton 2 guns (SN suffix LH2)? I just bought one this afternoon from a gunshow; looks like it had no more than 100 rounds run through it. Judging by the serial numbers, our guns are within a few hundred of each other, or maybe even closer....
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  #17  
Old 06-18-2012, 11:41 PM
DamnDirtyApe DamnDirtyApe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meanc View Post
Mine is S/N 26977XX - Colt told me mfg date was 1991 and parkerized. Yours is very close to mine, so I would say 91-92 production.

Just noticed that mine does not have the "TM" on the rollmark, but every other 1991 ORM I see does have it.

I wonder if anyone else has one without the "TM"

I had to go look at mine. No TM. Must have been added to the later ORM.
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  #18  
Old 06-19-2012, 12:49 AM
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dsk dsk is offline
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I think it would be logical to assume that the TM appeared once Colt got the name trademarked.
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Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.
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  #19  
Old 06-19-2012, 10:23 AM
153 153 is offline
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I didn't like the roll mark either, it got lost somewhere along the way to this ...




Great shooting pistol, no bobbles!
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  #20  
Old 06-19-2012, 11:35 AM
vinny vinny is offline
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Man, can't wait to get home and report my serial numbers. I have an early 1991A1, a customized 1991A1 (nicely done) and what was referred to as the "Limited".

All are fine shooters and the first one mentioned above is my usual carry gun. I will check and see if there is a "TM" after the roll marks as well.

Great gun and thread...

Vinny
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  #21  
Old 06-19-2012, 02:58 PM
DamnDirtyApe DamnDirtyApe is offline
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I agree Vinny, so far I'm in the lead with the lowest serial! LMAO

Does anyone know what the first serial # for these pistols would be?

153, that's a sharp looking pistol. ORM are ugly as sin but you found a way around it for sure!
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  #22  
Old 06-19-2012, 07:36 PM
fxntime fxntime is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawboy65 View Post
fxntime: Is that one of the limited run Lew Horton 2 guns (SN suffix LH2)? I just bought one this afternoon from a gunshow; looks like it had no more than 100 rounds run through it. Judging by the serial numbers, our guns are within a few hundred of each other, or maybe even closer....
No LH prefix, just a plain ol" 1991 with just a couple of minor mods.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:59 PM
Kawboy65 Kawboy65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxntime View Post
No LH prefix, just a plain ol" 1991 with just a couple of minor mods.
I misspoke a little in my original post. The serial number doesn't have a LH suffix, but the model number is 01991LH2. My serial number is in the 2,800,600 range... I may be wrong, but I am thinking that may be toward the end of the ORM parkerized production run?

After doing some research on what I just bought, it turns out that the LH2 was a ORM 1991 with a stainless barrel, rosewood grips, and that aluminum trigger with the over travel screw. The funny thing is that I beat the seller up over the trigger, thinking that it should have had the black plastic one in it that the regular 1991s had, and I was leery about other mods that might have been done. It worked, and I got it for what I thought was a good price. Later I realized that the grips were swapped out for some crappy rubber ones, but that's an easy fix.

Lastly, I am somewhat amazed at how well it shoots. It shoots every bit as well, if not better, than my new series 70 reproduction! Also, I used to hate the Billboard rollmarks and parkerized finish, but now they are really growing on me
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:53 PM
fxntime fxntime is offline
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Mine is in the 28006xx range also, has to be close to the cut off.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:01 PM
meanc meanc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawboy65 View Post
Lastly, I am somewhat amazed at how well it shoots. It shoots every bit as well, if not better, than my new series 70 reproduction!
Had mine out yesterday after I made a few mods to it.

At 25yds standing, it is every bit as accurate as my Springfield Loaded or TRP
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