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The Colt 1911 Government is the “new classic” iteration of M1911 A1. Colt invented the M1911, short for Model 1911, named for the year it was accepted for US Army production, and “Government” refers to the full-size gun that’s based on the 5” long barrel. The original M1911 has now proliferated to seemingly every arms maker and was designed by John Browning for Colt.

Over 100 years later, Colt still makes the M1911. They’ve been modernized and tweaked to be better than before, but they’re never so far from the originals to where a layperson would know the difference. And that is after almost 110 years. Imagine if the Wright Brothers Wright Company was still making biplane flyers that were still flying around as current production designs. It would seem surreal, yet the M1911 still soldiers on.

Colt gives these large Government-size 1911s the rubric of “new classics” and has given them limited tweaks. The look and feel doesn’t represent any one specific M1911, but an amalgamation of various facets of 1950s, 1960s and 1970s elements. The guns use simple front and rear sights, slides with only rear serrations and vertical ones at that.

This Colt features a national match barrel, pinned front sight, a Series 70 (from the 1970s design) firing system, and spurred hammer. The trigger has vertical serrations across its surface. The finish is sublime. It’s worth noting that the flat mainspring housing, slightly lowered ejection port, the slightly improved over the original sights are subtle and appreciated nods to modernization.

There is absolutely nothing high-tech or intrinsically fancy about this lineup. And Colt says that’s on purpose. While many will be delighted to use the fully ready gun right out of the box (at least with some fresh ammo), Colt always wants to encourage customization and to see what its customers come up with.

These guns have a 5” barrel and an overall length of 8.5”. The beavertail is slightly downturned. They have the grip safety and solid curved trigger in the standard racetrack oval trigger guard, and just behind it are finger recesses on the grip. The other primary controls are on the left: thus the thumb safety, slide stop and magazine release are all on the left.

There is a quintet of choices. The first is the blued .45 ACP with a 7+1 capacity. It has the classic double-diamond checkered rosewood grips fastened by flat head screws and weighs 35 ounces, so just over 2 pounds. The same gun is available with .38 Super as a 9+1. Each of these is also available with a stainless steel frame in lieu of the blued one. So that’s four of the five.

The fifth choice is the Royal Blue 1911 Classic. It’s like the first, and thus a .45 ACP with a 7+1 capacity. But it differs in the frame’s finish and the grips. It has a mirrored, high polish royal blue finish and Colt Custom rosewood grips that are inlaid with a gold Rampant Colt medallion.

The Colt 1911 Government is Made in USA in Hartford, Connecticut.

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