Colt Model 1911

Colt 1911 Government Model

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The Colt 1911 Government Model

This John Browning patent gun, Model 1911, was so named for the year it was officially adopted for use by the United States Army. The Browning design was so great, that it has been changed little in over 100 years of production.

This gun shares the nick-name "Colt .45" with Colt's other famous .45 caliber handgun, the Single Action Army "Peacemaker" revolver, but, that is the cartridge it fires—not a proper name for the handgun.

The most widely produced, copied, used, talked about, written about and debated handgun in the world. The Colt Government Model 1911 is referred to by many as "the world's greatest handgun". Colt introduced this model in 1970 as a newer version of the Model 1911A1. The major changes were a slightly heavier slide and a slotted collet barrel bushing. From 1970 to 1976 the serial numbers had a prefix of "70G", from 1976 to 1980 they had a suffix of "G70" which changed to a prefix of "70B" from 1980 until 1983 when production ceased. In 1983 the Series 80 Models were introduced with an additional passive firing pin safety lock and the half-cock notch was also redesigned.

The MKIV Series 70 Government Model Colts were available in blue or nickel plate and were chambered in .45, .38 Super, 9mm and 9mm Steyr (foreign export only). There's nothing I can say about these guns that hasn't already been said a thousand times, by a thousand others. The 1911 Colt is without a doubt, "the most copied and most modified gun in the world".

The two guns pictured on this page are both MKIV Series 70 Government Model Colts in .45 caliber. I like them all, but the Series 70s are my favorites.

In 1992 Colt introduced the Enhanced Government Models which included new features such as a flattop slide, angled rear slide serrations, scalloped ejection port, combat style hammer, beaver tail grip safety, relief cut under trigger guard and long trigger. In 1999 Colt released the XSE Series Model O Pistols. Features of these guns included front slide serrations, adjustable McCormick trigger, three dot dove tail rear sights, ambidextrous safety, enhanced tolerances, aluminum frame and stainless steel slide.

All of these modifications to the John Browning designed and Colt produced Model 1911 remind me of a couple of things. I have a really good friend in Memphis that once told me, "those folks in Nashville have been looking for somebody that can sing better than old George Jones for years, and they ain't found them yet". People have been trying to make a better 1911 Colt for years and with all of the modifications they've come up with, I think the old original holds its own very well indeed.

It also reminds me of something my younger brother once said concerning Mexican food. I'm a pretty big fan of Mexican food, but my brother on the other hand, can only tolerate it. He said, "you don't need a menu, you might as well just order this food in dollar amounts, $5 worth, $10 worth, etc. depending on how hungry you are, because it's all the same stuff, just arranged differently".

1911

colt 1911 in holster with extra magazine in a magazine carrier holster

series 70 colt 1911 laying on desk with wallet and watch series 70 colt 1911 laying on marble top



question or comment

Comments and feedback welcome ...

The serial number tables on this page are for the Commercial line of 1911s. I wont' be much help in dating one of these guns after 1976. As always, I suggest you call the Colt Archive at 1-800-962-COLT.

1911 Serial Number Table

These serial numbers are for the Commercial Model. Military Issue Serial Numbers can be found by clicking here.

Year
of
DOM
Begin Serial Number End Serial Number Yearly
Prod.
Totals
1912 C1 C1899 1,899
1913 C1900 C5399 3,500
1914 C5400 C16599 11,200
1915 C16600 C27599 11,000
1916 C27600 C74999 47,400
1917 C75000 C98999 24,000
1918 C99000 C105999 7,000
1919 C106000 C120999 15,000
1920 C121000 C128999 8,000
1921 C127000 C128999 2,000
1922 C129000 C133999 5,000
1923 C134000 C134999 1,000
1924 C135000 C139999 5,000
1925 C140000 C144999 5,000
1926 C145000 C150999 6,000
1927 C151000 C151999 1,000
1928 C152000 C154999 3,000
1929 C155000 C155999 1,000
1930 C156000 C158999 3,000
1931 C159000 C160999 2,000
1932 C161000 C164799 3,800
1933 C164800 C174599 9,800
1934 C174600 C177999 3,400
1935 C178000 C179799 1,800
1936 C179800 C183199 3,400
1937 C183200 C188699 5,500
1938 C188700 C189599 900
1939 C189600 C198899 9,300
1940 C198900 C199299 400
1941 C199300 C208799 9,500
1942 C208800 C215018 6,218
1943 - - -
1944 - - -
1945 - - -
1946 C221001 C222000 1,000
1947 C222001 C231999 9,999
1948 C232000 C238500 6,501
1949 C238501 C240000 1,500
1950 C240001 240228C 228
1951 247701C 253179C 5,478
1952 253180C 259549C 6,369
1953 259550C 266349C 6,800
1954 266350C 270549C 4,200
1955 270550C 272549C 2,000
1956 272550C 276699C 4,150
1957 276700C 281999C 5,300
1958 282000C 283799C 1,800
1959 283800C 285799C 2,000
1960 285800C 287999C 2,200
1961 288000C 289849C 1,849
1962 289850C 291299C 1,449
1963 291300C 293799C 2,500
1964 293800C 295999C 2,200
1965 296000C 300299C 4,300
1966 300300C 308499C 8,200
1967 308500C 315599C 7,100
1968 315600C 324499C 8,900
1969 324500C 332649C 8,150
1970 332650C 336169C 3,520
1970 70G01001 70G05550 4,550
1971 70G05551 70G18000 12,450
1972 X70N20801 X70N21020 220
1972 70G18001 70G34400 16,400
1972 70S03801 70S06500 2,700
1972 70L02601 70L03400 800
1973 70G34401 70G43000 8,600
1973 70S06501 70S07851 1,351
1973 70L03401 70L04000 600
1974 70G43001 70G73000 30,000
1974 70S07852 70S19999 12,148
1974 70L04001 70L04400 400
1975 70G73001 70G88900 15,900
1975 70L04401 70L06000 1,600
1976 70G88901 70G99999 11,099
1976 01001G70 13900G70 12,900
1976 70S20000 70S20200 200
1976 70L06001 70L08319 2,320
1977 13901G70 45199G70 31,299
1977 70S20201 - ?
1977 70L08320 70L11200 2,881
1978 45200G70 70L11201 ?
1976 70S20000 70S20200 200