Cimarron 1911-A1 45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

November 1st, 2010


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Checkered walnut grips.





Cimarron Firearms of Fredericksburg, Texas has just introduced their 1911 A1 45 ACP auto pistol. At almost 100 years old, the 1911 design is more popular than ever, and gun makers are introducing new versions almost every month now. Since John Browning designed that beautiful pistol, many more-modern pistol designs have come and gone, most of them very good, but each new pistol to hit the dealer’s shelves has to compete with the good old slab-sided 1911 for a piece of the market. As good as many new pistols are, none have been invented yet than can best the 1911. It is powerful, yet easily controlled. The 1911 is easy to shoot, and easy o shoot well. The 45 ACP 1911 is as safe as any pistol ever built, and throws America’s favorite centerfire auto pistol cartridge. Eventually, it seems that everyone wants at least one 1911 pistol, but the market is flush with different versions, and today’s shooter just has to decide which one best suits his or her needs.

Cimarron Firearms has been a leader in replica guns of the Old West for many years, selling some very well-finished Italian replicas of Colts, Remingtons, Sharps, and Winchesters that are a cut above the ordinary Italian imports in fit and finish. Now, Cimarron is importing a very good 1911-A1 replica, and it is the subject of this piece. The Cimarron 1911-A1 shown here is a full-sized, all-steel pistol, finished in polished blue with walnut grip panels: the classic 1911.

Upon opening the hard plastic case and wiping away the oil, the first impression of the Cimarron 1911 is very similar to that of handling a vintage commercial Colt. The Cimarron is highly-polished to a mirror finish, as were the commercial Colt pistols from decades ago. However, unlike an old Colt 1911, the Cimarron functions reliably with every type of modern hollowpoint ammunition. There are touches of both the old and the new on the Cimarron 1911-A1 pistol. There is a lanyard loop on the mainspring housing, yet right in front of that, a modern polymer base pad on the bottom of the eight-shot magazine. The frame, trigger, and slide are of the 1911 style, but the thumb safety is a later version. Like the rest of the pistol, the mainspring housing is highly-polished blued steel, and even the grip screws are highly-polished. The barrel is throated for reliability, and the ejection port opened up for better ejection of the empty cases. The hammer is of the original spur type, and is very easy to thumb-cock. There is no modern firing pin safety as is found on Series 80 Colts and other modernized 1911 pistols. The traditional grip safety is of original style, and functions perfectly. The thumb safety is for right-handed shooters only, but an ambidextrous unit can be easily added, if necessary. The sights are typical old Colt style, with the front staked in, as were the original 1911 sights. The slide wears original-style patent dates, with the Cimarron mounted rider logo. The markings are all very tastefully done. The Philippine manufacture marking is on the bottom of the frame, just ahead of the trigger guard. The checkered walnut grip panels have the classic double-diamond pattern, and while fully checkered, are smoother than most, and not abrasive at all.

Critical specifications are listed in the chart below. Weight is listed in ounces. Linear measurements are listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed as pounds of pressure. Height includes sights and magazine base.

Chambering 45 ACP
Weight with empty magazine 38.4 oz.
Trigger Pull 4.6 lbs.
Barrel Length 5.03"
Barrel Diameter 0.574"
Overall Height 5.73"
Overall Length 8.5"
Slide Thickness 0.905"
Grip Thickness 1.29"
Trigger Reach 2.66"
Magazine Capacity 8 rounds
Magazines Supplied 1

I tested for velocity with my chronograph set at twelve feet from the muzzle, and an air temperature of fifty-eight degrees Fahrenheit; a beautiful sunny Fall day in Tennessee. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level. Velocities are listed in the chart below, and are listed in feet-per-second (fps). FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint. DPX is an homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet. Glaser is a specialty pre-fragmented bullet inside a copper alloy jacket. PB is Pow’RBall. EPR and AF are high performance specialty bullets as loaded by Extreme Shock Ammunition. LWSC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter bullet. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Cor-Bon JHP 200 1119
Cor-Bon JHP 165 1219
Cor-Bon JHP 230 927.3
Cor-Bon DPB 185 1018
Cor-Bon PB 165 1244
Cor-Bon Glaser 145 1236
Stryker FMJ 230 747
Buffalo Bore JHP 230 988.1
Buffalo Bore FMJ 230 967
Handload LWSC 200 997
Extreme Shock EPR 185 1168
Extreme Shock AF 125 1414
WCC 1911 Ball FMJ 230 792.1

The Cimarron 1911-A1 was tested for accuracy at a distance of twenty-five yards. The weapon was secured into my Ransom Master Series machine rest, firing five-shot groups with several different types of ammunition. Functioning was perfect. No failures to feed, fire, or eject were experienced with any ammunition tested. Accuracy went from good to great, as the shooting progressed. The accuracy improved as the bore got a bit of “seasoning”, and the Cimarron was very accurate with most ammo tested. I was expecting average accuracy from the weapon, but was surprised to find that accuracy was better than the average 1911 pistol, and reflects the Cimarron’s excellent fit and finish. The Cimarron did especially well with Cor-Bon 200 grain JHP, which is one of my favorites for social work and for medium-sized game, such as Southern whitetail deer.

The Cimarron 1911-A1 shown here is their beautifully-polished version, which is priced very reasonably. MSRP on this one, as of this writing, is only $838 US. There is also a Parkerized version which sells for $182 less. However, firearms seldom sell for full suggested retail, so check with your local Cimarron dealer for the price in your area.

To locate a Cimarron dealer near you, click HERE.

Jeff Quinn

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Cimarron 1911-A1 45 semi-auto pistol.



Eight-shot magazine.



Sights are original 1911 GI-style.