I was kicking back here on my bed a couple of minutes ago and saw my old Colt Officer’s Model 45 ACP laying on the cabinet next to me and had to smile when I saw where the finish has been worn off.
I actually went shopping for a Government Model when I bought my Officer's Model. I took my Dad with me and headed for the gun shops in the area. Believe it or not, I couldn't find a 1911A1 to save my life. All day long Pop had been trying to talk me out of a 1911 knowing that I was damned well going to carry that sucker around so I might as well get something a little more concealable, like a Commander. We ended up at P. V. Ranch Supply, where I saw a Colt Officer's Model for the first time. I was in love!! With the gun price, tax, transfer fees, etc., I was into the gun about $600.00, give or take 10 bucks. That little gun was beautiful. It was hefty for its' size but I figured that the extra weight would help keep the recoil on it under control. And talk about easy to hide, with a 3 1/2" barrel and a 6 shot magazine you could hide it under a t-shirt with the right holster.
Most people don't put 500 rounds through their handguns during the entire life of the gun, but I ran 500 rounds through mine the very first day I owned it. I left P.V. and went to Gun Countrys' indoor range and bought a cleaning kit, 10 boxes of hardball, and 4 hours of range time. I shot a half a box, cleaned the barrel, fired a box, recleaned the barrel, fired a box and a half, cleaned the entire gun, fired 3 boxes, cleaned the gun, then fired off the other four boxes, stopping long enough to let the gun cool down every once in a while. I had quite a few jams at first, but that was to be expected. I mean that was the reason I burned up $150 bucks worth of ammo, to get the break in period over with. After about 300 rounds, the gun settled down and quit hanging up.
Oh, and it shoots so sweet! For that short a barrel I can hammer 6 rounds of 45 into an area the size of my fist at 15 yards as fast as I can pull the trigger. Well, I USED to be able to. For a long long time when I lived out in the country there wasn’t a day go by that I didn’t burn at least a box a day. Hell, I shot that thing so much that I had a callus on the web between the thumb and forefinger of my right hand and one on the side of my right thumb from the slide release.
I still have that gun. I've put Pachmayer wraparound grips on it, a new front sight, an extended slide release, a new mainspring, an aftermarket sear and disconnector from Kings Gun Works and have gone through a couple of barrel bushings, firing pins and firing pin springs but other than that the gun is still hanging in there. I don't think that's too shabby. I figure I have put somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 rounds through that Colt, and I can back that up with receipts for reloading supplies and loaded ammo.
I don't carry that gun as much as I used to or should. As a matter of fact, it's pretty much a house gun now. But I tell you what I'll never get rid of it. It's just too much like a part of me, like a member of my own family.