During WWII, Inland Manufacturing, a division of GM, was tasked with manufacturing M1 Carbines for the war effort. After the war, Inland went back to manufacturing car parts, and was eventually shut down in 1989.
The new Inland Manufacturing opened in Dayton in 2013 for the purpose of manufacturing firearms related to its namesake in the USA, not far from the WWII-era Inland plant, which was demolished in 2014. The Inland website pays tribute to the original company, and describes Inland’s history from WWII to the present.
It made sense that the first guns manufactured by Inland were M1 Carbines, which now include six variants. An M37 Trench shotgun has also been recently introduced.
While Inland never manufactured a .45 ACP 1911A1 pistol in WWII, it only seemed fitting that the modern company with its storied name would undertake production of WWII-style 1911A1s in addition to its M1 Carbines.
While the Inland 1911A1 Government is not an exact copy of a WWII 1911A1, it is darn close, and the improvements in manufacturing methods (CNC machining) have given the consumer an excellent retro/replica version of the wartime 1911A1 pistol with 21st Century combat capabilities—all at a reasonable price.
Testing at the Gun Range
I took the 1911A1 Government to the test range along with a WWII-era Colt 1911A1 for comparison. The ammo I used for the testing was SIG Sauer (www.sigsauer.com ) Elite 230-grain RNL practice ammo; 185-grain V-Crown load, which has a listed muzzle velocity of 995 feet per second and which yields 407 FPE; and the 230-grain V-Crown with a muzzle velocity of 830 feet per second and 352 FPE.
Before I describe the shooting test results, let me describe the Inland Government Model in a bit more detail. While the overall appearance is that of a wartime 1911A1, there are differences that are not 100% GI. Don’t worry too much about the differences, because the trigger is the only thing that stands out as not being true to the original. The Inland has a modern, long-style trigger rather than the short trigger of the military 1911A1.
While the Inland Government features a Parkerized steel frame and slide, the sights, slide release, magazine release button, grips safety, curved backstrap, lanyard ring, hammer, thumb safety, pins, and screws are blued. I didn’t notice the blued parts under artificial light. At the range, under bright sunlight, was where I noticed the blued parts. The grips are GI brown plastic and true to form. One blued magazine is included.
The left side of the slide is marked with the original 1911 patent dates, along with “Inland 1911 A1 Government Model.” Unlike my comparison Colt, the front sight has fine serrations, which help to pick up the sights in bright light. And, unlike some competitive models, there are no white dots on the sights to ruin the look. While the barrel is blued, the chamber area has been left in the white.
All in all, the Inland variations from an original 1911A1 are minor, and make the Government Model a bit more retro than replica, which is fine. Inland has designed this pistol to provide all the feel of an original, which it does, and to be a great shooter and defensive pistol, which it is.
Back to the Gun Range Test
During the range test, I wore a set of Walker’s Razor electronic hearing protectors (www.gsmoutdoors.com). If you aren’t using electronic hearing protection, it is time that you did. The Razor ear protectors derive their name from their slim profile. The two AAA batteries that power the Razor are inserted through an exterior door, and the muffs are controlled via a recessed volume control knob, which so far has prevented accidental activation when carried in my range bag. The omni-directional microphones are metal and recessed, without foam covers that can be worn off. Finally there is an external jack for piping in music or phone calls. I have used the Walker Razor muff during several visits to the range, and they’ve worked perfectly, cancelling out gunshot noise at the exact right moment. With an MSRP of $69.95, they make a great addition to the shooting kit.
The Inland Government model functioned with all three test loads right out of the box. During the first few magazines, empty cases tended to bounce off my head, but as the test progressed, the ejection pattern settled in and shells were flung to my right and behind me. At 30 feet, the Inland produced groups in the 2-3 inch range. My shooting buddy and I both noticed that the Inland’s recoil tended to feel like a smooth shove when firing 230-grain bullets (both with the ball loads and V-Crown Ammo), while the original Colt was more abrupt and less gentle. All groups landed right to the point of aim. Of the two defensive loads, we both found the 230-grain V-Crown was preferable to the 185-grain V-Crown, which produced a bit more blast and was less gentle in terms of recoil. Neither of us experienced hammer bite from the stock grip safety and wide GI hammer spur with any load.
I used the 230-grain V-Crown ammo for the 100 yard test. Due to the angle of the sun, it was difficult to pick up the front sight, even with the serrations. Despite that, I managed to drop five of seven rounds in the center torso of the silhouette target, with one round in the paper off to the left of the silhouette. A called flyer landed off the target. That’s excellent performance from a bare-bones military-style pistol.
I came away extremely impressed with the Inland 1911A1 Government Model. In addition to the great retro look, it is extremely reliable and is certainly a capable defensive piece. With an MSRP of $749.00, it is much more affordable than most 1911s currently available. Learn more at www.inland-mfg.com.