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A "drop-in" barrel for a Model 1911/1911A1 and its clones(of which there are many) is any factory,aftermarket or G.I. barrel that is not marked National Match(N.M.) or marked "requires gunsmith fitting. The whole idea behind John M. Brownings design is that it is ALL drop-in. It is only "accurized" National Match pistols that do not take issue parts or clones of them. The only "Trick" here is that most of the original Colt and GI pistols have collector value. The higher value is on all original firearms or those with replacement parts that are of its era of manufacture. For a shooter, our host offers barrel in .45 acp ...5" bbls of GI Spec that are drop-in (if your pistol has not been altered) Check item #252990.....if you wish to go to a aftermarket barrel that is drop-in, then go to www.brownells.com and consult thei... and then to their archives and search for the article titled The .45 Can Be Accurate by M.D Waite or search the out of print book sites for a copy of The NRA Gunsmithing Guide -Updated, you can find several self help articles on these handguns. The Brownells Site also has a books section with several how to books and CD's on the 1911...one of my favorites is the out of print Hallock's Handbook...this book will halp you troubleshoot and fix your 1911 problems and to accurize it with step by step instructions that include the "WHY" your doing it..A few hours of upgrade work can turn you 1911 into what is called a "Possible Gun" meaning..you can tighten it up to shoot consistent 3" groups at 50 yds with NM Hard Ball ammo...a gun that holds 3" at 50 yds is capable of shooting aperfect 10 shot score of 100...hence the "Possible" tag..have fun and if I can help with anything...just ask BUT FIRST determine the vintage of your 1911 and its "as is" value.....www.bluebookinc.com
My gun is a bit of a odd one but from what I can tell its a 1918 Colt with a Ithaca slide from god knows when. Most of the USGI marking have been filed away except H/G and the SN# printed on the Colt frame which is one from a 1943 Ithaca. I believe this gun to of had a full make over quite sometime ago to make it unidentifiable. I have paper work on the gun from where it was seized by Florida Highway Patrol in 1981 and it had the same SN# on the gun then, as it does now. I think they over look all the details of it and signed the gun over to my grandpa which I was inherited it from him.
The rifiling in the barrel has been sanded out hints why I want a new barrel. I am assuming this was probably done the same time as the rest of the refinishing. Who ever done the work on this gun seem to know what they were doing.
So from all this I would say the value of the gun is not very high on the market but to me as a heirloom its worth a lot. My father did not want me to get a new barrel for it to shoot with but its worth more to me as a working gun then something in a box.
Any drop-in GI spec barrel will fit without any fitting...that was the basic premise by John M. Browning...that the soldier in the field could get his sidearm up and running without a lot of precise work The barrel listed in our host's paper catalog as Item #252990 will work...you will need to strip the link and pin plus the barrel bushing from your old barrel...unless these parts have been "gunsmithed' they should also be a drop-in fit a G.I. gun is not abn accurate firearm..holding 16" at 25 yds is pretty much standard with ball ammo..BTW a GI gun will not feed any other ammo except Ball reliably...that would be ammo marked .24 acp...230 grain round nose bullet.....referred to as "hard ball" don't waste your money with ammo marked match..your gun will shot it OK but any improvement in accuracy will be a happy accident......