Taylor’s & Co. Full Size A1 1911 Model PC2/230006 45 Auto

The Taylor’s A1 1911 is actually more like an M1911 than an M1911A1. The trigger was heavy, but we still squeezed out some impressive groups.


When was the original M1911 adopted by the U.S. Military? As you might guess, the year was 1911, and the first model, the M1911, was used by General Black Jack Pershing’s expeditionary force of horse cavalry units to chase down Pancho Villa along the New Mexico and Mexico border in 1916. The M1911 was also used in WWI. Most modern 1911 pistol models take after the early M1911s, which had a flat mainspring housing and long trigger. Also, the iconic double-diamond checkered grips debuted on the M1911.

The U.S. Military made a few tweaks to the M1911 after the war that included a thicker front sight, long hammer spur, and arched mainspring housing, and a relief cut on the frame/receiver behind the trigger. These changes made this pistol more user friendly, and it was designated the M1911A1. Wood grips were replaced with checkered plastic grips, too. This model went on to be used in WWII and every other minor and major conflict or action until 1985, when the M1911A1 was dropped by U.S. ranks for the Beretta M9. The Marines and Army Special Forces still use 1911s, but they are modern models vastly different from the originals. All U.S. military 1911s are chambered in 45 Auto. The similarities with modern interpretations of 1911s end there.

GI and Mil-Spec–style 1911s are what many 1911 manufacturers call no-frills, plain-jane 1911 models. These models are stripped of any modern upgrades, such as accessory rails, snag-free or adjustable sights, magwells, extended beavertails, textured front grip straps, and a lot more. Typically, these models mimic some characteristics of the original 1911s Uncle Sam bought in the last century.

We requisitioned four GI/Mil-Spec style 1911s in 45 Auto to see how different they are from the originals and to see if these old combat pistols could still be used as defensive handguns. The four guns included the Taylor’s & Co. Full Size A1 1911, the Rock Island Armory GI Standard FS, the SDS Imports Tisas 1911 A1 U.S. Army 45 WG, and the Springfield Armory Defend Your Legacy Series 1911 Mil-Spec. The Rock Island, SDS, and Springfield pistols are closer to the amended M1911A1, while the Taylor’s is more like an original M1911. The Rock Island and Taylor’s were manufactured in the Philippines by Armscor, the SDS is made in Turkey by Tisas, and the Springfield Armory pistol is made in the U.S.

Generally speaking all four of these 1911s feature the classic dome shaped slide, tiny fixed sights, rear-only fine slide serrations, small beavertail safety spurs, plain grips, barrel bushing, lanyard loop, and spur hammers. All use a Series 70 internals which does not have a firing pin block and true to the original design. Since they all use a GI-stye bushing disassembly is easy and there is no need for extra tools. It’s the details that separate them from each other and originals and we will get into that later.

How We Tested

Manufactured in Slovakia, the Falco A105 IWB holster, belt, and ammo-pouch leather pieces all had a deep mahogany color. As with all leather holsters, it took some time to break in. The Falco made it comfortable to carry the GI-style 1911s, which weighed close to 3 pounds each loaded. The pistol is the Taylor’s 45 ACP, easily spotted by the lanyard loop sticking out the butt of the gun.

Accuracy testing took place at 25 yards away, and speed shooting was performed at 7 yards, where we ran the Mozambique Drill or Failure Drill — two rounds to center of mass and one round in the head of Thompson Targets B27 Stop targets, which present center-of-mass and head immobilization zones. Test ammo consisted of FMJ ball ammo and hollow points. Armscor 230 grains and Remington UMC 185 grains rounded out the FMJ ammo. We noticed the Remington ammo had the best accuracy across all the pistols. Defense ammo was 45 Auto +P Hornady Critical Duty 220-grain FlexLocks. We wouldn’t use +P ammo in an original 1911, but these modern clones are capable of handling the extra pressure. A steady diet of +P ammo will batter any pistol, and there was more recoil with the +P load, which manhandled the slide fast and hard. The Remington and Hornady loads produced noticeably more recoil than the Armscor ammo. The recoil was very tolerable, but the inside of some right-handed testers’ shooting-hand thumbs were rubbed raw on the bottom edge of the thumb safeties.

For concealed carry of these pistols, we used the Falco A105 Falcon IWB holster, belt, and ammo-pouch set from FalcoHolsters.com, $220, which allowed us to comfortably carry these heavy full-size 1911s. All three pieces of the rig wore a deep mahogany color. This leather is manufactured in Slovakia, and, like with all leather holsters, took some time to break in. We left one of the 1911s in the holster for a week, then repeatedly drew and re-holstered the gun to break in the leather. There was no retention device on this holster, just the friction of the leather against steel. We found the holster comfortable to wear, and it provided fast access to the 1911s. The belt is plenty sturdy to support the weight of these pistols, too. Both the holster and ammo pouch uses a sturdy metal clip that clamps onto the belt.

The Taylor’s is close to a M1911 with small hammer spur and small grip safety spur. Thumb safeties varied. The Taylor’s, Springfield Armory, and Rock Island Armory all had a larger modern thumb safety. The SDS had a period-correct thumb safety that is notably smaller. All worked with precise clicks when flicked on and off.

At the range, we averaged 2- to 2.2-inch five-shot groups at 25 yards across all four pistols, but as you can see in the range data, some pistols had moments when they absolutely shone, shooting tiny groups well under 2 inches. At 7 yards, these pistols were surgical. We did not experience any hammer bite, even though all the pistols had smaller grip-safety spurs compared to a modern beavertail. Also, we noticed that the Mil-Spec-style magazine releases do not extend from the frame as much as magazine buttons on more modern guns. To adjust, we had to change our shooting grip to completely press the button and drop the magazine. Also, we swapped magazines between all the pistols with no issues. The Springfield Armory and Tisas pistols used magazines truer to originals in design, while the Rock Island Armory and Taylor’s magazine designs were more modern and incorporated a bumper pad.

We had two failure-to-fire jams with Tisas and three with the Springfield, and none with the Rock Island Armory and Taylor’s. We re-oiled the Tisas and Springfield guns, which took care of the malfunctions. By the end of the test, all the guns were running extremely well. Here are the details of how they did.

Gun Tests Grade: B+


The Taylor’s gun had a nice Parkerized matte-black finish and checkered wood grips that felt slightly fat in hand. The left and right sides of the slide were void of any markings except for the Taylor’s logo behind the slide serrations on the left side. The frame/receiver is marked with “M1911 A1-FS” on the right side and the manufacturer’s name on the dust cover. The frame is cast, while the side is forged steel. The barrel is bright stainless.

ActionSemi-auto, locked breech single action
Overall Length8.5 in.
Overall Height5.5 in.
Maximum Width1.3 in.
Weight Unloaded39.5 oz.
Weight Loaded46.1 oz.
Barrel5.0 in.
Capacity8+1 (single stack)
SlideParkerized steel
Slide Retraction Effort21.0 lbs.
FrameParkerized steel
Frame Front Strap Height2.6 in.
Frame Back Strap Height3.2 in.
GripsWood, checkered
Grip Thickness (Maximum)1.3 in.
Grip Circumference (Maximum)5.3 in.
SightsRound post front/fixed notch rear
Trigger Pull Weight6.9 lbs.
Trigger Span2.7 in.
Magazines(2) steel w/bumper pads
SafetyThumb safety, beavertail grip
Warranty1 year
Made InPhilippines

While the name and markings suggest an M1911A1, the Taylor’s is actually more like a M1911. There is no relief cut in the frame near the trigger. This extra bit of metal can rub against the trigger finger, and we noticed it, especially when firing the hotter Remington and Hornady rounds.

It came in a hard case with one magazine. We would have preferred two magazines. The Taylor’s also has a small spur hammer, fine vertical rear slide serrations, and straight mainspring housing like the M1911, but it uses a longer grip-safety spur like a M1911A1. The thumb safety is larger than originals, too. The trigger face is serrated to stop slippage during recoil, and the hammer spur is nicely checkered. The flat mainspring housing is serrated for a more sure grip.

The Taylor’s frame was similar to a M1911’s; notice there was no relief cut in the frame behind the trigger.

The sights are similar to originals with a thin rounded-post front sight and a tiny notch rear sight dovetailed into the slide. Compared to more combat sights, these sights are minuscule. It took 21 pounds of effort to retract the slide. The ejection port was slightly lowered, but it was not flared like modern 1911s. The one steel magazine that came with the Taylor’s had a modern bumper pad and held eight rounds. Original M1911s and M1911A1s used seven-round magazines. The magazine is made by ACT-MAG and has eight witness holes. This magazine was very easy to load even to the eighth round. While the magazine did not look original due to the bumper, it functioned well and was easier to slam home during a reload compared to the magazines without a bumper pad.

During the Failure Drill, we found the Taylor’s was fast to shoot and easy to control. On all the pistols, a textured front grip strap would be best, and we missed that modern feature. Turning to accuracy testing, we found the sights to be very small and difficult to use. Still, the Taylor’s proved to be a tight shooter, with a best group that measured 1.35 inches with the Armscor 230-grain ball ammo. The hot Hornady defense load gave a best group of 1.52 inches. On average, across all ammos tested, the Taylor’s shot 2-inch groups. We thought that was impressive, especially with the small sights and 6.9-pound trigger-pull weight.

Our Team Said: The Taylor’s is unique due to the M1911 style frame. Accuracy was very good. We’d swap the grips for classic double-diamond-style wood grips, and we might swap out the flat mainspring housing to one with a lanyard loop to make it a more period-correct piece.

45 ACP Range Data

To collect accuracy data, we fired five-shot groups from a bench using a rest. Distance: 25 yards with open sights. We recorded velocities using a ProChrono digital chronograph set 15 feet from the muzzle.
Hornady Critical Duty 220-grain FlexLockRock Island GI Standard FSSDS Imports (Tisas) 1911 A1 US ArmySpringfield Armory 1911 Mil-SpecTaylor’s & Co. Full Size A1 1911
Average Velocity1004 fps1015 fps1020 fps1028 fps
Muzzle Energy492 ft.-lbs.503 ft.-lbs.508 ft.-lbs.516 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group2.15 in.2.02 in.2.06 in.1.52 in.
Average Group2.20 in.2.33 in.2.16 in.2.07 in.
Armscor 230-grain FMJRock Island GI Standard FSSDS Imports (Tisas) 1911 A1 US ArmySpringfield Armory 1911 Mil-SpecTaylor’s & Co. Full Size A1 1911
Average Velocity881 fps880 fps889 fps887 fps
Muzzle Energy396 ft.-lbs.396 ft.-lbs.404 ft.-lbs.402 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group2.65 in.1.60 in.2.25 in.1.35 in.
Average Group2.77 in.1.68 in.2.28 in.1.80 in.
Remington UMC 180-grain FMJRock Island GI Standard FSSDS Imports (Tisas) 1911 A1 US ArmySpringfield Armory 1911 Mil-SpecTaylor’s & Co. Full Size A1 1911
Average Velocity1017 fps1039 fps1027 fps1038 fps
Muzzle Energy413 ft.-lbs.432 ft.-lbs.422 ft.-lbs.431 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group1.79 in.0.98 in.1.24 in.1.80 in.
Average Group1.85 in.1.12 in.1.53 in.1.96 in.


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