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View Full Version : The most copied pistol in the world


raubvogel
November 02, 2016, 20:50
I read somewhere that the 1911 was "the most copied pistol in the world." Really? :facepalm: I thought the P35 Hi Power was the one that fit the bill.

Here is my reasoning:

When was the first Canadian 1911 clone built? What about the HP?
How many 1911 variants were issued to the Nazi?
When did FEG made its first 1911 clone? How about the Bulgarians?
Should I go on?

Well, I shall: when was the first 1911 clone made in the US not by one of the companies that made the military contracts?

Gazz
November 03, 2016, 09:22
You should do a bit more research before you make a challenge like that.
these just off the top of my head without going to the books.

Canada - Para Ordnance pistols were originally made there. (The Canadians also bought a number of Colts during the war).

The Nazis used the Norwegian 1914 - a licensed copy of the US 1911 with some minor changes. I was at an auction once and there was a 1911 pistol to be sold that had Mauser markings on it (I have doubts about it being a real Mauser made pistol though and wonder if it was some kind of fake though).

I do seem to remember that FEG made a .45 that was a copy of the Colt Double Eagle - a double action pistol based on the 1911.

Don't know about the Bulgarians but do know that the Chinese made copies as well as Argentina (1927 and the Ballerina Molester) as well as Mexico. I do not know how long the 1911 has been being made in the Phillipines. While a world recognized maker now, many were made in small clandestine workshops and still are.

Both Llama and Star made copies, or pistols that were undoubtedly from that lineage.

Back in the sixties, you could buy a 1911 slide and frame made by Essex Arms and build your own from surplus US parts. Then there was companies like Randall, AMT. Coonan copied the 1911 but in .357 magnum.

The Italians and maybe the Germans are making "copies" of the pistol in .22rf. There was also German company that made a high end 1911 style pistol but I can't seem to drag out its name.

I can't tell you how many US makers of copies of the 1911 today but, Kimber, Remington, S&W, SIG, STI, Ruger, Auto Ordnance, Springfield Armory (imported) come to mind. I think there are more but can't think of anybody making a High Power copy right now. There may be some but I can't think of them.

jeffrey
December 10, 2016, 11:01
"...as well as Argentina (1927 and the Ballerina Molester)"

At first I was like :facepalm: dumschitt can't spell.

Then I was all :rofl:

jeffrey
December 10, 2016, 11:03
I thought John Moses copied his own design and made a few tweaks to create the Hi Power. That makes the Hi Power a copy.


Minor and mostly unnecessary tweaks.:devil:

lew
December 10, 2016, 11:08
That makes the Hi Power a copy.


You meant to say "improvement" rather than "copy". No worries, though.:biggrin:

meltblown
December 10, 2016, 11:17
Norinco too

hueyville
December 17, 2016, 09:21
Don't know about the Bulgarians but do know that the Chinese made copies as well as Argentina (1927 and the Ballerina Molester) as well as Mexico. I do not know how long the 1911 has been being made in the Phillipines. While a world recognized maker now, many were made in small clandestine workshops and still are.

Both Llama and Star made copies, or pistols that were undoubtedly from that lineage.

Back in the sixties, you could buy a 1911 slide and frame made by Essex Arms and build your own from surplus US parts. Then there was companies like Randall, AMT. Coonan copied the 1911 but in .357 magnum.

I can't tell you how many US makers of copies of the 1911 today but, Kimber, Remington, S&W, SIG, STI, Ruger, Auto Ordnance, Springfield Armory (imported) come to mind. I think there are more but can't think of anybody making a High Power copy right now. There may be some but I can't think of them.

So many companies have jumped into the 1911 clone, modified clone, improved clone, cheap clone or high dollar clone of the 1911 it would take a volume of encyclopedia type books to cover them all. Some manufacturers like Colt would need two volumes. Randall would need a full volume and was only in business two years. As first true CNC pistol builder and first all stainless semiautomatic builder they changed models about every 500 units. Would have to go to my old Randall Collectors Guild newsletters (pre Al Gore's invention of internet) and spend weeks trying to list all the varients they did.

Like Kimber and now SIG, LGS has two dozen different SIG 1911 varients on shelf. Over the years seems like Kimber has sent out 100 slightly different featured 1911's. The addition of 9mm, 40 Smith, 357 SIG, even little 380 up to 460 from different people I would love to see someone spend a lifetime trying to compIle a complete list of makers, models and features.

Have both a Llama IX 45 model that mostly resembles a 1911 and was built before their first bankrupty in 1992. Mine was purchased lightly used late 1980's and took some effort to make run well enough to not pull your hair out. From what pulling out of memory banks they started building these at the onset of WW2 in Europe preceeding our involvement in that skirmish. Uses a bastard extractor that is prone to breakage. Also have a Llama Omni 45 which is not a 1911 clone but interesting design. Slide mounted safety, attempt at modern shape with square trigger guard and grip angle, believe was first pistol I owned with polygonal rifling and the slide/frame rides on ball bearings. It also featured a two piece "unbreakable" firing pin (marketing hype fixing a non problem) that was prone to breaking.

The ball bearings were supposed to reduce wear and make the gun run consistent. It had actually the opposite effect as the hard bearings chewed the soft metal of the slide and frame up if gun was run hard. Both of my Llama's and most have disassembled are a nightmare. Their machining was all over the place requiring every pistol having to be hand fit by a semi-skilled worker. Because everyone took major filing and grinding the parts are generally not easy to interchange. Have to luck up with Numrich and find a smith willing to work on something odd. Have not seen either in years but list shows them still in a vault somewhere. Too crappy to sell to some poor soul who may think can use to defend their family. Plus not much value last I looked. Unless like to add varients into a collection can skip these. Llama reformed in early 1990's using same importer as Bersa which should be all need to say. Again they are sloppy machined units with lots of hand fitted fragile parts that break or wear out quickly. When the Omni came out it created a deal of hype due to good marketing of all their ground breaking innovations.

Star has made several 45's with the P series being the most accurate clone of a 1911 from again my damaged memory banks. First issue was it's aluminum frame. Steel slide, major power factor, bashing back and forth on aluminum frame. Another vault queen that's fine to shoot on occasion but won't stand up to regular use. They made a 1st and 2nd generation Model P in multiple configurations with the Gen 2 being closest to the traditional 1911 but it has a non standard extractor that have been rumored to be prone to breakage then difficult to find and fit.

They also made a model called the Firestar before folding which is actually a nifty little gun and have a compact would carry as long as had a backup or it was the backup to my primary. 1911 lineage but looked more like the Llama Omni than a 1911. They are single action, frame mounted safety, mine has a 3 3/4" barrel. They are very heavy which makes carrying a pain but when shooting the little pistol the weight becomes your friend. If find one under $300 and can verify it functions is not an unworthy 45 for the collector to add but know parts are some of the hardest to source if break. They also made the Megastar which never owned or fired as need a membership at the gym and round of steroids to carry the darn things. Weigh as much as some rifles.

Had a couple Norinco's run through my pile in trades along with more odd named 1911 type pistols than just I could keep up with. I am not a 9mm fan but a spotty Hi Power collector. Have a Canadian Inglis, Belgian, Portuguese and several others. Think most ever owned at a single time was about a dozen. That said, being prone to buy them, don't see them often enough in enough varients don't have covered in about a half dozen basic models that the collection has ever taken off. Would buy a unique Hi Power today if spot on shelf. Saying that, not uncommon for me to see a different tweak to a 1911 every week. If proof is on the shelves of LGS year in and year out, here in the U.S. will see dozens of 1911's for every single Hi Power.

Wife saw me fiddling with the new SIG STX after getting home from surgical center yesterday and I got one of those "looks". She hasn't said anything but feel it coming considering it's fifth new 1911 since fall and said years ago had all I need. When purchased 150,000 primers plus powder before election in case world ended with a Hillary win she assumed the 2016 firearms budget had been maxed out. That and she knows since it didn't get wrapped and put under the tree, odds are Santa will bring me another toy along with her annual Santa gun. Went by and picked up lithium batteries for her 07 Roadking and 73 Wideglide and that should smooth her over a bit when realizes even she can pick up easily with one hand and have 10 year warranty. Have two pistols waffling between for her Santa gun this year. A Kimber "Micro Carry" in 380. Basically a one pound 1911. Other in lineup is a SIG P290RS at just over a pound. She loves her Walther PK380's in 380 which are one plus pound 380's but got same pistol last two years. Want her to try something different to see if can find a better fit. Leaning toward my first Kimber since looks and operates just like a 1911.