The Colt Model 1911 Handgun was the standard issued sidearm for the U.S. military between the years of 1911 and 1985, earning the trust of soldiers who served in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Since then, many former serviceman and service woman have decided to dust off their old service guns and get them restored. Designed by John Browning, this handgun has been one of the most popular make and model to be re-manufactured in the 21st Century, since being deactivated by the U.S. military around 30 years ago.
Restoring the Model 1911 handgun allows the owner to bring the life back to this once proud pistol. As one of the most experienced restores of 1911’s, Turnbull knows that the keys to restoring them are, attention to detail and maintaining the historical authenticity.
Attention to detail is a must when restoring a 1911 pistol. To start the restoration process, each piece of the pistol must be meticulously disassembled and labeled (for reassembly purposes). Once disassembled, each piece will be cleaned, polished and remarked before the proper period finishes are applied. They are then assembled and tested to ensure it is in top working condition. This may sound relatively simple; however, this is more of an art than it is an exact science. Some metals react differently to the finishes making it relatively difficult to accomplish the desired finished look. When looking for a restoration service, you will want to make sure they are capable of bringing the gun back to its original luster, and experience cannot be undervalued.
Maintaining the historical authenticity of the pistol can be just as important as attention to detail. You don’t have to get the pistol restored to exact color or finish, but you do want the handgun to have its true and original markings. Again, this may seem like a simple process, but it is anything but simple. These roll marks need to be sized and shaped perfectly, in order to match the original markings. They also need to be in the same position on the slide and or frame. Without experience in this field, you may end up with an odd looking marking on your newly restored 1911. Again, finding an experienced restoration expert cannot be overlooked.
Manufacturing new 1911 pistols has recently become a growing market. As one of the leaders in restoring them, Turnbull has taken that knowledge and applied it to our own line of new Model 1911 Handguns. When looking for a new model you will want to look for one that maintains the historic look of the pistol. However, there is more room for personal preference when buying a newly made one opposed to having one restored.
The 1911 is a classic look that people recognize and love, and buying one new allows the buyer to have more design options that are more appealing to the individual. Opposed to restoring, you can get relatively creative when manufacturing these classic handguns. With new model’s, you still need to pay attention to the historical authenticity, or it won’t be recognized as the iconic piece that it is.
Companies, like Turnbull, have put their own twist on these models now. Adding different coloring to the slide and frame and applying new grips, can really make these handguns standout. Classic engraving styles can also be added to these guns turning them into beautiful show pieces. When looking for a company to buy a newly made 1911 from, historical authenticity and attention to detail is still the most important thing. Hand cut engravers, experienced metal finishers and experienced restorers make the perfect shop from whom to buy from. Whether you are looking to use these handguns for sport or for show, the Model 1911 is a perfect choice for a handgun collector.
Whether you are an experienced collector or someone who is just beginning to collect, finding an experienced company to restore or buy new from, is a must! Without experience, you may end up with a devalued restoration or a 1911 that is not historically accurate. Done correctly, these classic handguns will continue their storied tradition in American History.