Colt Gold Cup

Browning’s 1911 has been around a long time and plenty of references are available, as well as misinformation and misinterpretation. This is especially true with the Colt Gold Cup.

by RK Campbell

Colt’s Gold Cup is primarily a target pistol for American Conventional Pistol and National Match Course events under National Rifle Association and Civilian Marksmanship Program rules. There are differences between it and other 1911 pistols you’ll encounter but you don’t have to be a historical researcher or Colt firearms production expert to work with Gold Cups. Lets look at a few of the pieces of history and practical actions that need to be taken.

The National Matches held annually at Camp Perry since 1907 were the impetus for improved Colt pistols. Service pistol matches severely challenged the 1911. I have fired a number of original circa 1920s pistols with some in fine shape and others worn. The average 1911 of that era is good for five shots into five inches at 25 yards with Winchester USA 230 grain ball. Some will do a little better but others are worse. The pistols were usually sighted for a six o’clock hold at 25 yards. With a trigger compression of six to eight pounds, the 1911 was not possessed of fine accuracy. The 1911A1 was a slight improvement. The National Match pistol changed that.

Military shooting team gunsmiths addressed the shortcomings of the 1911A1.

Read more in our March 2013 issue. Back issues are available.

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