Submitted by Eric Daniel
In 1990 I was issued an M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol that had been manufactured by Remington Rand during WWII. Though a stout and reliable firearm, my "Colt" had one limitation.
To put it mildly, I was surprised the bullets ever hit the ground. At 25m I had a shot group of around 2 feet.
Now, I was (and still am) by no means an expert on firearms, and stories abound regarding the inaccuracy issues of the M1911A1, but the one thing I did know was the .45 was, and still is, used extensively in pistol competitions, so I knew the weapon design was not the issue, nor was the ammunition, but I was at a loss as to why I literally couldn't hit the target right in front of me.
This went on for a year or so until we got a new Platoon Leader in our company who also happened to be something of a shade-tree gunsmith and a Colt collector. What he said was, no the weapons aren't bad, and the ammunition, while not match grade, wasn't the cause, but rather, the Army's level of "tolerance" in key components. Bottom line, all my troubles centered on the barrel and barrel bushing. Upon further inspection it was noted that when fully seated (slide all the way forward) my barrel was still capable of movement, a LOT of movement, as was explained to me, which obviously was having an effect on my accuracy. Unfortunately, as the LT explained, that "slop" was still within Army tolerance, so technically there was nothing to be done.
Well, the next day what should appear but a Brownell's catalogue, listing all the parts I would need to