The Vintage 1911


A beautiful photo of a post WW2 Colt National Match. The gun that would evolve into the Gold Cup. Photo from our friends at the Vintage 1911.


  1. Very nice old iron.

    My 1980 (or maybe ’79, I don’t recall correctly when I bought it) Gold Cup pales in comparison.

    • Most people, especially those under the age of 40, simply don’t get what I’m on about when I talk of the superlative nature of Colt’s finishing before WWII.

      Then pictures of mint pre-WWII guns like this one appear, and I finally start to see some “ahhhhh I see” start to happen.

      This is because most of what they’ve seen from Colt pre-WWII was parkerized, military-issue or police-issue stuff. Many of them have seen the chromed/nickeled 1911’s in .38 Super that look like pimp-gats. When people finally see a piece like this… it’s humorous to see the “ah-ha” moment happen.

      Yes, Colt knew how to polish a gun.

        • Yes, it is. But that’s a pre-war level of finish; that’s not a government/park’ed finish, and it has a pre-war level of polish on the slide and frame. You’re right, I mis-typed as you said, poor communication, sorry. I’m up to my ears in a half-dozen other things and just flipping off a comment without being able to sit for five minutes without some disaster-porn interruption from the other room.

          In the post-war period, the only production gun that really got the pre-war level of finish as a regular feature was the Python in Royal Blue. Other than that, you had to order through the custom shop. As years went on, people forgot the level of finish that Colt could achieve. That gun above is an example of that pre-WWII level of finish that was to be had on many of their guns.

          That is a 1911 that I would love to have.

      • DG–If Shawn will allow me to hijack this thread, what would you recommend for a young man’s first .22 rifle? My son is mid-teens and I’d like to get him a rimfire rifle at some point. I was going to go with a 10/22 due to their ubiquity, but I saw you say disparaging things about them recently so I thought I’d ask you for a recommendation. Budget is around $300, but I could go up to $500 for a quality piece. I’d prefer a mag-fed semi-auto, but I’m open to a bolt gun or something else.

        How about for a .22 pistol?

        • My beef with the 10/22, especially for training, is that people buy them because they’re cheap. Then they learn something about shooting… they want a better trigger. So they buy a better drop-in trigger. Then they learn something about sights, or they just buy a scope and mounts.

          Pretty soon, you’ve turned a 10/22 into a much more expensive rifle. So… why not cut to the chase, and find a quality rifle?

          Now, I’m sure there are readers here who have trained more young shooters to shoot than I. I’ve trained lots more women than I’ve trained youngsters in 4-H (my youngest shooter was a girl who, if my memory serves, was nine when we met. She was a heck of a good shot. She was an excellent student as well), but my recommendation is always the same: A bolt action or single-shot rifle help force a new shooter to concentrate on fundamentals, because they don’t get a fast follow-up shot to “make the first shot good.”

          IN your price range, I’d say “look at a CZ-45x” – 455, 457, etc. They’ve been the best bolt-action rifles for the money in the market for years now. You can get one with your choice of stocks, and that will change the price. Synthetic American-style stock 455’s can be found in the $300’s. Nicer wood stocks might run you into the $500+ range.

          Savage makes a bolt-action .22 rifle, but I’ve not shot it. I do have a Savage 93 in .17HMR, and the trigger is ‘Meh” and as a gunsmith, there’s not much I can really do with it to make it better. The Savage “accu-trigger” was designed by lawyers, not gun guys. But the rifle is pretty accurate, as a couple thousand Belding ground squirrels can attest. Or, they could, if they hadn’t died explosive deaths in front of that Savage 93.


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