Time for fun: M1911A1 Colt from Umarex

by B.B. Pelletier

I remember when this airgun came out, because I love the M1911A1 Colt pistol. The other Umarex pistols were very realistic, but I wanted to see if they would really incorporate the grip safety in this gun. They did, and it was love all over again. Allow me to introduce you to a favorite of mine.

Umarex makes realistic airguns
Umarex is the parent company that owns Walther, so they make firearms. They also have a history of making realistic blank-firing guns that are legal in Germany without a special license. Firearms are legal there, too, but the permits and training required to own and use them are very expensive. Where the Orient developed airsoft to permit collectors to own replica guns, Germany went to blank-firing guns. Then, they had a better idea.


The slide separates at the line above the grip, so the clips can be loaded.

An 8-shot revolver in wolf’s clothing!
Umarex designers created an 8-shot revolver mechanism so small that it fits inside the frames of many popular semiautomatic pistols – like the M1911A1. The heart of the mechanism is an 8-shot clip that drops into the gun and automatically indexes. Take a close look at the pistol below, and you’ll see a line where the “slide” separates to drop in the clip.

Everything works!
The neat thing about Umarex air pistols is that all the controls work! The sights adjust (on some models), the magazine releases function, the safeties work, and, in the case of this pistol, the grip safety really works. The grip safety is a second safety mechanism that must be depressed for the pistol to fire. If you hold the pistol naturally, you will depress the grip safety and never even think about it. This is a feature peculiar to Colt 1911s, though a few other handguns have it, and it enhances the realism that Umarex not only put it on the gun but actually made it work correctly!

Like accurate guns? Get this one!
Towsend Whelen of he Springfield Armory said “only accurate guns are interesting.” I agree. If you feel the same, then you’ll find this pistol very interesting!

If you hold the pistol like a 1911 (see the posting Grasp the secret of accurate handgun shooting for tips), you will be rewarded with one-inch groups at 10 meters. That’s shooting one-handed! The 1911 is one of the more accurate Umarex pistols (or else I shoot a 1911 better than other guns). And, the rear sight adjusts for windage.

Velocity
You’ll get 400-425 f.p.s. on warm days or in a warm room. And there are at least 50 if not 60 full-power shots in every powerlet. Umarex has made exchanging powerlets a breeze, so you won’t mind that chore. Don’t forget to buy a lot of them. If you get one of these guns, it’s easy to get carried away.

Accessories
If you like to shoot a lot, a speedloader makes short work of loading the clips. And don’t forget to get something to carry your pistol in, like the tactical holster that looks so great!

There are four models to choose from, so if you like Colt pistols or you just want to see what an action air pistol is all about, this is one of the good ones!

90 thoughts on “Time for fun: M1911A1 Colt from Umarex

  1. I ordered mine some time ago but because of a foul up in shipping (they didn’t get the right order) I have not received it as yet. I had hoped to use it to train for a firearm pistol course I’m taking in early December but presently they are not shipping until Nov. 21st. :(
    This post just makes me more disappointed but I guess that’s life!



  2. Question: Do grip panels from a 1911 firearm fit on the air pistol? I’m considering buying this one but I’m a grip fanatic. I like nice checkered wood grips. The ones pictured on the site are plain wood(walnut?) I would like to buy the less expensive one with plastic grips, then repace with really nice aftermarket wood. Also, is the compensator removeable on the comp model? They used to sell the comp as an accessory. Thanks!!!!


  3. Speedloaders are great. I have them for both the Umarex 8 shot clips and for the Crosman 1077 clips. They make reloading fun instead of drudge. Might be worth a full write-up!!


  4. Grip panels,

    Yes, I believe 1911A1 panels fit the Umarex gun. I know they fit the Beeman P1, and I believe I also swapped grips on my 1911, when I had it. It’s so easy to do that I would be shocked to learn they did not interchange.

    I also believe the compensator is removable, because I remember it being sold as an accessory, like you. Better ask Pyramyd Air to be sure.

    B.B.





  5. i have two break barrel rifles that say ” 22 cal made for daisy in scotland 230″ can you give me any information on these? there is no date on them but they appear to be older. my email addy is wmahlb@aol.com


  6. Daisy breakbarrels were made by Scottish airgun maker Milbro from 1965 to 1974. They exist as models 160, 220, 225, 230 and 250, which are one zero added to the Diana models they actually were.

    This came from the Blue Book of Airguns 5th edition.

    B.B.


  7. Question: I’m thinking about buying the Colt 1911, but I really hate the way it looks with the compensator. Does it really make much difference with regards to accuracy? I know I could just take it off (I called Crossman and checked) but I don’t even really care to own it. Any thoughts?


  8. The compensator is just for show. It has zero affect on accuracy.

    There are many models with no compensator at all. You must have seen them?

    B.B.


  9. Yes, I was actually trying to decide whether to buy the model with the compensator or the one without. I thought it might be worth the extra twenty bucks it costs for the compensator to get some extra accuracy, on the very off chance some day I actually get good at shooting. Something to grow into, maybe. But if the compensator does no significant good I’d be happy to disregard that notion. I’m curious, however, why they would make a compensator for “show” on a gun so clearly targeted at buyers who value the fact that the gun is an accurate replica. Obviously the compensator ruins that realism. Seems strange.


  10. Recently purchased Colt 1911 new. Very happy with it except advertised as blued finish and it is actually painted black. Has anyone seen actual blued finish on this gun?


  11. Blued finish,

    In fact, these guns are not made of steel but from spelter. It is impossible to blue spelter. However, the black finish is not a paint, and it does resemble the black oxide now put on firearms. It does not resemble a Colt Royal Blue finish, however. To my knowledge, there is no Umarex gun finish that resembles that type of finish.

    B.B.


  12. Hello BB
    Finally got my 1911. Shoots great. Yes the comp does come off, I like the look both ways. I have not tried any wood aftermarket grips yet, I got the cheaper one with plastic. Overall very nice quality. Very solid feel, points well, nice trigger. Compares very well with my other Umarex guns (CP-88, SW586, PPK/s, Walther Lever). Gamo match and RWS meisters give groups just under 1″ at 10 meters (when I do my part). No Chrono data yet. Very addictive, good thing I have that speedloader.


  13. JB,

    Thank you for that report. This kind of feedback really helps me advise other readers, because I know I’m not off-base in my thinking.

    By the way, your one-inch groups are superb!

    B.B.


  14. Thank you for the information on the black finish and spelter of the Colt. Your knowledge on this model and airguns in general is remarkable. What do you suggest for cleaning/maintaining an air pistol, outside of occasional synthetic oil on moving parts and a drop on the tip of the CO2 cartridge. Is cleaning the barrel with a brush recommended? If so, do you know a source, as I have not seen any at Pyramid. Any thoughts on those felt cleaning/oiling pellets?


  15. Pyramyd sells Crosman Pellgunoil. That’s the stuff to use to seal powerlets.

    As for cleaning, I don’t clean my airguns. Only when I have shot Premier pellets at greater than 900 f.p.s. do I find it necessary to clean. I don’t use the felt cleaning pellets. I just shoot and shoot and never clean. I compete in 10-meter air pistol competition and I have never cleaned my target pistol in over 4,000 rounds. I still do fine with it.

    Enjoy,

    B.B.








  16. damon,

    You only have to post a comment in one place and I will answer it. I prefer the 586 to the M1911A1 because I prefer revolvers to semiauto pistols. That said, the M1911A1 is my favorite pistol.

    B.B.






  17. I just receive my colt pistol but I have a few questions in regards to it. Is the slide supposed to fly away when you press down the slide release buttom? I have to place one of my hands in front of the slide when releasing the slide releaser or else it will fly away making the gun appear that it has two pieces? I am wondering wether I received a bad one. Also, my pistol came with no manual and with a co2 inside the grip. Does this mean that I received a used gun or are the pistols fire before being sold to make sure that they work properly? Thanks.


  18. I don’t know where you bought your gun but it does sound like someone was inside the box. That’s because you received no manual. The powerlet is also an indicator, as companies no longer ship guns with empty powerlets in them. Shipping with one that contains gas is a crime.

    The Colt manual is on the Pyramyd Air website. Scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on the word “Manuals” to see all they have.

    Or, just follow this link:
    http://www.pyramydair.com/site/manuals/colt/index.shtml

    I would contact the dealer I bought the gun from and request a manual, too.

    B.B.


  19. Nice gun. Be sure to use wad-cutters or other short pellets. Pointed pellets may protrude from the magazine and jam the gun.

    Is there a safe way to remove the hyper-annoying warnings to the brain-dead stenciled on the eject port side of the gun?


  20. If there is a way I don’t know what it is. Those are dictated by U.S. liability laws and there is no way around them.

    B.B.


  21. re: 1911 grips

    My Alumagrips are very close to aligning properly, but the cutaway for the thumb safety needs to be deepened by a few mm. A more flexible grip may snap-in.
    ——-

    If Umarex were to develop a blowback 1911, like the Desert Eagle, they’d have a market among IPSC/IDPA shooters in the US as a training pistol. These folks have started using high-end airsoft pistols for this purpose.

    I’d forgive less metal if this allowed a clean and realistic recoil.




  22. If you hold the pistol naturally, you will depress the grip safety and never even think about it.

    The one quirk that I’ve run into when firing this gun, using a two-handed ‘straight-thumbs’ aka ‘IPSC grip’, is that if the grip safety is partially but not fully engaged the gun can still fire. The resulting shot receives less power than when fully engaged, but fires nonetheless. You’ll notice a diminished report and significantly lower velocity.

    I suspect that the reason for this is that the grip safety begins to rotate the striking plate into position as soon as you begin to depress it. A grip that partially engages the safety can still place the plate between the hammer and pin. But in this partial engagement, the plate will disengage from the pin before fully depressing it.


  23. dlb,

    An IPSC grip is something I never tried. I shoot taqrget and I was discribing the classic one-hand grip.I will test what you say on my 1911.

    Thanks,

    B.B.


  24. I have just bought a COLT GOVMT MODEL 1911 A1 6200 air pistol and got these innovations Co2 cartridges but i think they are for filling air in bicycles. I would like to know what brand of C02 I should get that best fits my model.



  25. I am hoping for this to be my next purchase, I think it looks better then the Beretta, I already have two Walthers, and I dont like revolvers (I would like to get the desert eagle, if anyone in canada had it…) so Im going for this one next


  26. i find that this gun is acctually very weak. is there anyway that it can be upgraded to shoot at a higher fps?? does anyone know of a shop that could do this?


  27. The paint on the blued colt looks like it would chip off if you are not too carefull or over time. Im debating between the nickle and blued look but the paint is what concerns me and determins my choice.


  28. Their was a tune up kit for this model but nowadays its hard to come by. If anyone knowes what im talking about would anyone know where to get it? I bellive it came with a different grip safety and inner parts. Its on the umarex web site but the pic wont pop up and i emailed them about it and their not sure what it is. Help please.


  29. The finish is not paint! It’s a plating or process other than paint.

    None of my guns show any wear after 5 years, but I don’t carry them in holsters. Even a firearm will show holster wear.

    B.B.


  30. I realized that about the blue coat i worded the question wrong my appologies. I guess what I really want to know is if the blue coat on the pistol is as rugged as the nickle coat. I also realized that the colt has whie warning on one side. Are these warnings as intrusive on the nickle model?


  31. Okay, now I understand what you are after. In my opinion the nickel-plated guns look much better than the blued ones. The bluing almost never is even over the whole surface of the gun, while the nickel usually is very even.

    The warnings are the same on both guns.

    B.B.


  32. Thanks. One more question, i see pyramidaire has a speacial model of the colt with floral work on its side. The price says you must request it to know. Is that still offerd threw pyramid air?


  33. I’m not with Pyramyd Air, so I would have to call them, same as you.

    I just looked at their site and didn’t see any engraved Colt. Are you sure you are not looking at a cached page? When did you dump your history last?

    B.B.




  34. I belive the upgrade is out of production or something because i cannot find it anywhere, it only changes the trigger pull and grip a little and thats it i think.


  35. If you get the colt with the compensator and take it off, will the bolt bellow the barrel petrude out any since it came with the compensator or do they use the same size bolts fot the ones without it


  36. I’m not sure what “bolt below the barrel” you refer to. There is no bolt on the M1911A1.

    The compensator screws into female threads of the false muzzle of what would be the barrel on the firearm.

    B.B.


  37. IM talking about th ecompensator that you can buy seperate and attatch it. the small metal one for any colt model pellet gun. not the tactical one





  38. No they will not increase the velocity and no their isnt a way to make it go up. they make one model and do not alter velocities unless they use a different calibre. all airguns are made a certain way and then they stay that way.


  39. For the ones who want a Colt 1911 A1 CO2 160th Anniversary Air pistol, I bought two fron the Sportsmans club a few years ago. They are pretty! One has a failure to rotate the rotary magazine problem. I need to get it fixed. The Colt Tuning Grip Backstrap looks good on them.





  40. B.B.

    I do like what I see & read about the CP88 & wish they made the Tactical version of it with a 6" barrel instead of just the 4" barrel quite frankly, I'm surprised they didn't), but just out of curiosity, why do you prefer the 88 over the 1911? Is it just the "wonderful feel in the hand" or is there more?

    I have the nickle 1911 with the wood grips (like the one in the picture, but with out the compensator), & I REALLY like this gun. In fact it's one of my favorites by Umarex.
    Granted, I haven't shot the CP88 yet, so that could change. ;)

    As for the 1911, as usual in my opinion, B.B. is right! They done this one good! :)

    It looks & feels great, & is pretty powerful & acuurate too.

    This is one of my favorites along with the S&W 586-6 & the Magnum Research Desert Eagle.

    BTW, for any of you interested in the S&W 586 models, read on…
    I was all set on the 586-8 for the longer barrel, thinking about the longe barrel giving me more power & accuracy, but when I went to the Shot Show & was able to hold both of them, I was instantly sold on the 586-6!

    The reason for my choice was VERY simple… Th 6" was SO much better ballanced, it was immediately clear to me, that for what ever little extra accuracy that the longer barrel may have given me in accuracy… It would probably have robbed me of it from it being too barrel heavy unless I shot it benched all the time.
    Also, since I will be using this primrily as a target gun & just occassionally as a plinker, the extra accuracy is much more important than the extra 35fps. ;)

    Since were talking about Umarex airguns here, I want to throw in my two cents here on another one of their airguns.
    I have to say, that while this Colt 1911 & most of Umarex's guns are very nice… In my opinion, they blew a great gun by failing to include one simple thing with the CP99. I have the nickle version of the Walther CP99.
    It IS a beautiful replica, & feels great in the hand thanks to them including a couple of extra different size back straps, that allow you to make it fit perfect for people with different sized hands, & they were well on their way to a great gun, BUT… In my humble opinion, they blew it with ONE simple thing they left out. ADJUSTABLE SIGHTS!

    It has good power & accuracy for a short barrel gun, but unless you get REALLY lucky & get one that shoots dead on, you WILL have to compensate to hit the bull.

    Now by all means, feel free to disagree & correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel that for $170.00
    it SHOULD have came with at least a rear sight being adjustable for windage.

    Hence I say if you are tempted by the CP99, unless you just HAVE to have it, &/or are willing spend more money to put a laser sight on it… Take that extra money & buy the Colt 1911 A1 (the all black version of the one pictured at the top) & for $25.00 more, you will get a considerably more powerful AND more accurate gun, that DOES have some sight adjustment!

    Or, if you want it all, get the Colt 1911 Nickle with wood grips like I have (the one in the picture at the top, but with OUT the compensator), & you will have a great performer & one of the most BEAUTIFUL replicas that Umarex makes! :)

    Take a look….

    http://www.pyramydair.com/p/colt-1911-air-gun.shtml

    Pretty damn sexy eh? ;)

    Anyhoo, I just wanted to throw in some of that extra info & personal opinions, & see what some of the other people on here might have to say it. ;)

    - The BBA -


  41. BBA,

    I only said I liked the CP88 over the Colt pellet pistol. In a firearm, the P88 is only a 9mm and therefore pretty gutless as a defensive weapon. In firearms, I’ll take the 1911 every time.

    My $2,400 Wilson Combat 1911 doesn’t have adjustable sights, either. And that is the reason, I think, that Umarex doesn’t put them on their 1911. They are staying true to the prototype. While there are 1911 firearms that have adjustable sights, they are not used on defensive weapons – just on bullseye guns. A bullseye gun is a completely different gun that isn’t really the same gun as the combat firearm, except in form and origins.

    B.B.




  42. How would you rate this Colt versus the Beretta M92FS? Even though the 8-shot mechanism is the same with both airpistols, what are the pros & cons?

    Thanks a lot in advance,

    Tim


  43. Tim,

    The main difference between the Colt and Beretta is the width of the gun though the grip. The Beretta is patterned after a double-stack 9mm pistol, so it’s wide through the grip. The 1911A1 is a single-stack gun.

    How good that feels to you depends on the size of your hands.

    B.B.


  44. B.B.

    I am trying to decide between purchasing the Colt 1911 or the Walther CP88 for general fun and target shooting. My wife and two daughters will likely be shooting it also. My wife is left handed. Can you give a recommendation on which of these is the best overall or would be best suited for us? Also, can the Walther rear sights be adjusted?


  45. You posted to the 1911 report, so I hope you had a chance to read the report on the CP88 as well.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/07/walther-cp88-tactical-part-3.html

    Either gun will be fine, but the CP88 will probably feel better to most new shooters. It has a slightly smaller grip.

    Both guns have roughly equivalent accuracy, but when I tested it, the CP88 was slightly better. I think that might change from shooter to shooter, because they both have the same barrel.

    It’s really up to your tastes.

    B.B.


  46. I have to disagree on the grip safty. With my Colt 1911 .45, I have never had any problems with the grip safty. With the pellet pistol, my wife misfires it about 30% of the time. She has to hold it tighter to depress the safty.
    Myself and her father (we both have large hands) have had it fail to fire on occasion as well. I am thinking I will need to deactivate the grip safty as this is her pistol.
    Being a target air pistol, it does not really need the safty anyway. Its not like she will carry it in condition one or anything. Other than that it is a very nice gun and a close copy of the colt.




  47. Hitari0 ,

    Match sights don't change the accuracy. They just make it possible to adjust where the pellet strikes.

    The compensator is for show, only. It doesn't function.

    The nickel finish is more evenly applied and looks better than the blue finish. But a silver gun will always be more difficult to shoot because of reflection.

    B.B.



  48. Ryan,

    I think we are miscommunicating. Accuracy to me is the inherent ability of the gun to shoot to the same place every time. In that respect, the sights do not help.

    I think you define accuracy as the ability to hit a certain spot. In that case, yes, the adjustable sights will be of great assistance.

    B.B.


  49. Well, when I talk about firearms, air guns, or the like, accuracy is just that: the ability to hit the same place every time. I define the accuracy of sights as the ability to hit an intended target consistently with those sights. Sorry if the way I said it made you misinterpret what I meant.


  50. Hello Tom,

    Today, I was pulling the hammer back on my 1911 (It was empty, no pellets, no CO2). When I pulled the trigger, the hammer stayed in cocked position. Please help me, I don't know what's wrong with my 1911.

    Thanks in advance.
    Josh



  51. Yes, I did. It is much harder to pull the trigger. It goes back but I can feel and hear a hard metallic clacking noise.

    Josh




  52. I carry a couple 1911s in various holsters always cocked and locked, but .45 ACP ammo is expensive and the range I shoot at frowns on fast draw shooting. I got this gun to practice quick kill witch requires drawing and firing from concealment and not using the sights. The gun skips a pellet when manipulating the thumb safety for every shot, and will not fit correctly in all my 1911 holsters, so its dimensions are not true to the colt. Its an expensive toy, not a serious training aid.


  53. Hi Tom

    I own a Umarex M1911A1 and its sister RWS C225 pistol. These guns were purchased in the late 90's, if memory serves me.

    I recently purchased a Walther lever-action CO2 rifle that uses the same style magazine but found that in fast levering of the gun the cylinder hand was shearing the tips of the magazine ratchets.

    I dug out the magazines I purchased with the Umarex pistols and used them in the rifle and they functioned perfectly. I noticed on closer inspection that the old magazines were distinctly different than the new ones in the area of the ratchets. Do you have any idea why they were changed and if the older style is still available. They seem to be superior to the current offering.

    I have called Umarex on this but they have no information about the old style magazines and weren't even aware there was two styles.

    I would attach a photo of the two magazines but I don't think I can do it through this medium.

    Thanks
    Greg Anderson


  54. Greg,

    The reason Umarex USA doesn't know about the old-style magazine is because the company that imported and distributed the products in the 1990s was RWS USA. They were in New Jersey and owned/run by a completely different organization.

    Umarex USA is part of Umarex in Germany, while RWS USA was part of RWS/Diana in Germany. So, you bought your products from an importer that no longer exists, which is why the current importer has no knowledge of previous versions.

    Edith


  55. Hi,

    I just celebrated a milestone that I thought I’d share it with you. I bought a Umarex Colt 1911 A1 on September 1, 2009 and to date (based on the collected, empty tins), I’ve shot approximately 20,000 rounds through it.

    I’m a wannabe IPSC shooter, who has a great deal of difficulty with dry firing…. I simply find it boring! I figured that if I bought the Umarex pistol it would give me trigger pull practice along with some entertainment. My IPSC instructor told me “don’t do it, the different pull weight and feel will mess up my cadence and rhythm”, and he also said, “because the grip is different than my CZ and it doesn’t recoil, the experience will be virtually useless”. I didn’t listen to him. It’s not that I didn’t believe him, I just really wanted the fun, and one year later I still haven’t had a chance to enter an IPSC competition. Perhaps, “no harm no foul”… Yet.

    My observations so far are:

    1. At 38 ounces, it’s a nice weight.
    2. The grip is a little wide compared to a single stack 1911, but close to my double stack, 9mm CZ.
    3. In double action the trigger is not anywhere close to being linear. You can really feel the segmented trigger “stacking up” as you progress through the pull.
    4. The single action pull is much smoother, but pellet velocity really drops on my pistol. Don’t ask me why, but it does.
    5. Although beefy in weight, the guts of the pistol are a little weak. After one month I had to send it in for a warranty repair because the “slide” wouldn’t close properly. As it turned out, a stripped screw had fallen out of the barrel and lodged in the slide. After three months I sent it in again because the grip safety no longer worked. The repair depot in Canada fixed the safety and replaced the valve. The valve was already beginning to mushroom over from it’s pointed shape due to hammer strikes. On a side note, Umarex has never given me any grief in regards to authorizing any repairs. The repair depot in Canada (D & L in Langley British Columbia) is an awesome outfit, and they make any repair experience a joy!
    6. I have found that even when the grip safety is functioning within specification it can still disengage erratically, so once it came back from repair I pinned the safety to eliminate its function.
    7. During the second repair I had the windage adjustable rear sight replaced with a fully adjustable unit ($50.00 Canadian), because my pistol was hitting about 3-4 inches below the point of aim, at 10 meters.
    8. I’ve shot a variety Daisy pellets and all have been useless. Most of the pellets used have been RWS, ranging from R-10 Match to 7.0 and 8.2 grain Meisterkugeln. All of these RWS pellets have been great, but no better than the Hobby Sport Line 7.0 gr. I’ve also tried, for kick and giggles, Beeman Perfect Rounds (lead BBs) and Gamo High-Grade lead BBs. They have been surprisingly accurate, producing sub 4 inch, 8 shot groups from 10 meters. All of the RWS pellets routinely produce off-hand (two handed, IPSC straight thumb) groups of about 2 inches at 10 meters. When I’m really paying attention I can produce 0.5-1 inch groups with the Hobby pellets at the same 10 meters.
    9. One of the most surprising finds is that if I load 18-8 round clips (yes, I have that many!) in advance of installing a Crosman Powerlet, I can actually fire all 144 shots in quick succession without losing significant power!!! If I leave the Powerlet in the pistol for 24 hours, however, I only get about 80 shots.

    All in all, this has been a great pistol for me! I would happily buy another one if, and, or when, this one dies. Any deficiencies it has are easily outweighed by its grin making ability!

    Yuk


  56. Hey,
    Im from australia and due to our less than impressive firearms laws we require air pistols and rifles to have unique serial numbers on them. do these have a serial number on them at all as they seem to meet all our other regulations in regards to barrel length, max mag capacity etc.

    Thanks from down under!!


  57. Steve,

    I just verified that my Colt 1911A1 from Umarex does have a unique serial number. Of course it's one of those endless numbers that you find on computer software or Blue-Ray players, but it is present and would satisfy your laws.

    B.B.


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