To many fans of semi-automatic pistols, there are few handguns that hold a candle to the 1911.
The pistol has earned its share of renown; first as military sidearm, later on as a competitive firearm and concealed carry option. And shooters now have the opportunity to own a 1911 in one of its most iconic forms.
MKS Supply announced recently it is offering Inland Manufacturing’s replica of M1911A1, the long-running military version of the pistol. And from a cursory look at the handgun, shooters might find plenty to like about the new 1911.
Inland’s pistol appears to have stayed true to the original design of the 1911A1, with the new gun's dimensions nearly identical to the early military iteration. The new handgun has a 5-inch barrel and tips the scales at 39 ounces .
The company has also kept the chambering of its firearm historically correct, opting to make this gun a .45 ACP. This should win a lot of 1911 fans' praises, given purists have typically grumbled when the gun has been produced in anything other than its original caliber.
Inland’s version of the single-action, recoil operated pistol has a 7+1 capacity and comes with one magazine. Picking up spare magazines should be simple, given the company has made the pistol compatible with Mil-Spec 1911 magazines.
The frame of the 1911 appears ready for heavy use, constructed of 4100 series steel. The chromoly steel is typically used for M4 and M16 barrels and is known for its toughness and resilience.
The grips of the pistol are plastic, styled and colored like the original's. And while it might sound counterintuitive, this is not a historic departure. Before the eruption of World War II, walnut grips were phased out in favor of more accessible forms of plastic.
As an aside, MKS Supply had this note about the original plastic grips in its press release on the new 1911:
In the years since WWII, owners of the original .45s replaced the plastic grips (also referred to as stocks, grip panels or stock panels) with wood, rubber and other materials. The original plastic grips, however, often shrank if removed from the pistol and left unused for a long time – sometimes to the point that they no longer fit on the screw escutcheons. This makes the rare original plastic grip panels that still fit a rather scarce item.
Perhaps the feature that has the biggest chance to get shooters – 1911 aficionados and otherwise – to swoon is the pistol’s price. The American-made handgun has an MSRP of $749, making it an economical choice in the world of 1911s and semi-automatic pistols in general.
The 1911A1 should be available by the end of December 2014 to the beginning of January 2015, according Inland Manufacturing's website. And it is not the only U.S. Military firearm replica the Ohio company is producing. Inland also manufacturers replicas of the M-1 Carbine, also available at the end of this year or beginning of next.
Tangentially, Inland Manufacturing was founded in 2013 and is named after the now defunct division of General Motors. The tie into firearms comes from the original Inland Manufacturing producing M-1 Carbines and other goods for the U.S. Military during World War II.