By now you have probably seen my part one review of the Inland MFG M1 carbine and know that the new Inland is making a niche for itself in the market for making WW2 reproductions or “re-issues.” A few weeks ago I got another gun from them. This time a 1911A1. It, like the M1, is aimed at the WW2 look and it does it very good and very close with one exception that no doubt will probably cause some panty twisting among people who think they know a lot about 1911s. But we will get to that in a bit.
The Inland ‘A1 is obvious as to what it is and what it is meant to appeal to. As soon as it came in me and my friend,the FFL to which it was shipped for me, were impressed. The FFL immediately asking me if it was possible to buy the writers demo. As the pictures show, it is a nice representation of the originals.
Unlike some other USGI type 1911s sold, the Inland has period correct type parts One of these I always look for first is the original small safety lock. The Inland has it and its is very nice. Colt is the only other factory produced 1911 maker I know of that offers of the original part, Some may claim it is too small, but it really is not. I have never in 30 some years found it hard to activate. No, its not something meant for ambi use like new slick CCW 1911s but its still fine. In fact, I use the original safety lock on one of my personal Colt’s that I carry, You can see in the picture it is well made and blended nicely and does not pinch of grind into the skin. Also it is a small thing, but the brown plastic stocks are also correct and match the originals close enough for me not to nit pick them,
The next feature usually missing from others aiming for a USGI pistol is the hammer. The wider and short checkered hammer is iconic on the GI in my opinion. the safety is something more casual users would miss and never even think about. But almost everyone notices the spur hammer. Along with the hammer is the government model sights. The tiny rear can clearly be seen. They are absolutely usable. Best? of course not. But they are small and very tough and would not snag or hang up in a holster when a GI needed the pistol out of its holster and in his hand right now. Combat pistol use then did not emphasize use of the sights like now and it shows when you see a USGI pistol. For accuracy testing, I put a little red sight paint to see the front sight better but these are correct for a USGI 1911A1 and if you give them a chance, you will see they are not that bad.
The ejection post is the correct small size. the original may be shocking to casual 1911 users who are use to seeing the larger flared and opened up larger port on modern guns. Surprisingly this smaller original spec port works fine. Almost as if John Browning knew enough about the 1911 to make sure it would work fine, Who knew?
The trigger is the shorter trigger with the frame cuts to make it easier to get to for the shorter fingers of our smaller users of the past. Enough complained about the long trigger after use in WW1, that one of the upgrades of the 1911A1 was the shorter trigger and cuts on the frame to allow the finger to get to the trigger easier for people with smaller hands. I think it is fine either way myself. But if you are looking for accuracy on the ‘A1, this is the way you have to go.
One of my favorite features on military 1911s is the lanyard loop. To me, the lanyard loop just seems right on a combat pistol, vintage or not. The usefulness of a way to keep the weapon attached to you in very rough, harsh, confused conditions with awful weather should never be laughed at. It also just looks cool to me. With the lanyard loop is also the correct arched main spring housing. The arched MSH does not do well to some and they like the flat original better. The arch was added to supposed upgrade to the A1 after some thought the flat MSH made them shoot low. Oddly now we have gone back to most wanting the original flat MSH. I use both and like both fine, with a slight preference for the flat MSH.
The HORROR!!! Yes the Inland has the system often referred to as the series 80 safety. let me start by saying, if you think this ruins 1911s. then I will tell you that you are pretty ignorant. It is not a problem and never really has been, I have used 1911s for over 30 years now and owned many, I have never found the series 80 type to ever have the supposed bad trigger. Further more, any gunsmith who deserves the title can easily tune one to however you want it to feel. In fact I like the series 80 system on my Colts fine and it being on this pistol does not even warrant a raised eyebrow from me.
However, I do realize it is not correct for a USGI 1911. It is what it is though. It is not original but it does add some safety to the gun that it did not have, Does/did it need it? probably not. But it is not an issue. If it rustles your jimmy so much you are turned off from buying this very nice and affordable 1911A1 then whatever. It would not bug me.
The slide is just as you would expect with roll marks that nicely recall the original marks from war time pistols. They are not huge ostentatious, idiotic marks like those on the desert eagle 1911. They are tasteful , sized and placed very well and look the part of a 1911 made by a company supplementing the war time need for pistols. The mark seen on the slide is entirely from my use of it. It rubbed against the metal buckle of a 1936 pistol belt and did not come that way.
the gun field strips down like any other 1911. I did notice the bushing was tight like a match bushing. After I thought about this. I realized the gun was also tighter than the USGI spec 1911s. The gun did not have the looseness of military pistols. On closer inspection I realized this gun was made closer to modern custom production tolerances more commonly found in 1911s meant for CCW or match use. I emailed back Inland and mentioned this and asked it if was indeed the case as well as some other questions for the review.
Me. Is the 1911 forged or cast?
Inland-The 1911 is Cast. As for any Mim parts I do not believe so but I will double check with Inland and get back to you on that.
Me- I notice you used a “series 80” type system, I am sure this will bunch up some panties.
Inland- yea it is a firing pin safety generally incorrectly refereed to as series 80. Inland outsources most of the components for its firearms, so with our 1911’s they are made with the firing pin safety. That is why we went ahead and incorporated it into the GI model. Yes it does move it technically away from being 100%GI but we also fell the firing pin safety is worth having. Anyone that truly knows how to tune a 1911 should not have a problem working with a 1911 with a firing pin safety.
Me- Some of those parts are so close I wondered if they are surplus parts Inland may have reconditioned
Inland-There are no surplus parts. Everything is made in the US to Inland’s specifications. (same goes for the M1’s)
Me- I noticed the bushing was tight enough to make me think it is a match busing. Was this done to help with accuracy and to tighten down groups? Are you guys making a modern model with tighter tolerances and using some of the same parts?
Inland-Inland does have a more modern style 1911 called the Custom Carry. The Custom Carry has been a planed design from the get go so when building the GI it just made sense to build them with just as tight of a fit. So every 1911 GI that we produce you will find it to be just as tight. The 1911 I sent you was simply one I pulled from the shelf. No work had been done to that pistol.
Me- I really was impressed with the original safety lock and hammer, trigger, MSH etc. Is there a way to buy these as spare parts or parts for just building or swapping out from other guns like originals or just for home projects?
Inland-Inland is supplying parts for both the M1 Caribne and the 1911 on the Inland Depo. It is a page on the main Inland-Mfg page.
That is straight from the mouth of Inland. I am glad to see a way to get some USGI parts new, that are not original parts that may cost a fortune or be of questionable quality. Now if you get a good deal on an original but well worn surplus gun you can get the parts to bring it back to life and make a good shooter. Or at least get it back up and going and then later buy original parts when and where if you find them while in the meantime you have a working new parts that can be safely used and are correct for the time.
I have already been shooting the gun and of course the accuracy test will be following. The gun as not be oiled since i got it and between my friend, myself and my Dad we have fired close to 1,000 rounds through it with no cleaning. it is filthy and you can not touch it without getting your hands dirty, but its still working, I have shot ball and modern hollow point ammo though it and it works as expected. Part 2 will have accuracy test and more on reliability and my abuse of the gun