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 MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW

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Modelgun Perfectionist
Modelgun Perfectionist

Number of posts : 1823
Location / Country : Poland
Registration date : 2009-03-03

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Empty
PostSubject: MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW   MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Icon_minitimeWed May 18, 2011 7:04 pm

There's few pistols that are as well-known as the iconic Colt 1911.
It is 2011 now and this design celebrates its hundreth anniversary.

Colt Model 1911 was designed in early 1900s by John Browning. It was one of pistols chambered in .45 that entered tests by US Army, and won the competition, then entered service in 1911. I will not bother you with history and variant details, as these are readily available from a variety of sources.

Wikipedia information about Colt 1911:

Online encyclopaedia for Colt 1911:

Some more information from

Colt 1911 is one of the most widely produced modelguns. These were released by MGC, CMC, Hobby Fix, Rokken, Elan and Kokusai in metal, as early as in 1960s. Plastic (ABS and HW) models were also released by MGC, Suzuki, Marushin, Western Arms, Elan, CAW and recently also by Tanio Koba. It is very difficult to enumerate all variants, ranging from M1911, M1911A1, Series 70, Series 80, Combat Commander, National Match, V10, V12, FBI, MEU, Kimbers and dozens of custom releases. Some of them were chambered in .38, some were dummy only (Hobby Fix or other early metal ones), most are cap-firing (MGC and Marushin among the modern ones).

These models are often called "GM" from "Government", with a subsequent number to mark specific series, such as "GM-5". Based on information from Tanio Koba these generations were designed in the following years: GM-1 1966, GM-2 1977, GM-3 1978, GM-4 1979, GM-5 1981, GM-5/6 1983. Development by MGC stopped at that stage, but Tanio Koba returned there with his GM-7 series, even if they are quite different from the previous ones.

Colt 1911 was the first modelgun I've ever bought. It was easy for me to choose a variant - I already had an airsoft Colt 1911 MEU that I liked a lot, and a cap-firing Colt 1911 MEU was just available at (sadly closed by now)
In case you wonder what a MEU is, here's the origin. Their life begun as hand-selected standard Colt M1911A1s. These were gutted, deburred, and prepared for the additional use by the USMC Precision Weapon Section. Changes are in: grip safety, hammer, two-sided thumb safety, triggers, high-visibility sights, Barsto barrels, Pachmayr rubber grips, front serrations, and improved stainless steel magazines made by Wilson Combat.

My MGC Colt 1911 MEU was a brand new model, released in 2005 under SNM (Shin Nihon Mokei) brand.

Aftermarket parts for this model are numerous, including cosmetical parts such as grips, as well as sets for operating dummy cartridges or even triple-cap cartridges. Spare part availability is fairly good due to very large production numbers of MGC Colt 1911, even if unfortunately MGC is no longer here to produce new ones.

I did not know what accessories I would need, so at the same I also ordered real-look cartridges, and a dummy cartridge set (all by Mulberry Field) to save on shipping.

Box is simple, made of a cardboard top part and a styrofoam bottom part. The top is dark, with a generic "GM Custom Series", "Semiautomatic modelgun with CP blowback system", "Plastic modelgun" marking and stickers that clarify the variant: "MEU Trust Model" and material "Heavyweight". While box is marked "MGC", sticker is "SNM". There are also warnings and "SPG" sticker confirming that this is a certified safe plastic toy.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-10-10

Inside there was a registration (?) postcard, a green leaflet with spare part pricing for MEU Trust variant, as well as generic manual for "Colt MkIV/Series 70 Govermnent" and "Colt Combat Commander". Manual contains spare parts prices for two generic models, a diagram, as well as picture guide for usage, cleaning and disassembly.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-11-10

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-20-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-21-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-22-10

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-23-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-24-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-25-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-26-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-27-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-28-10

Cutouts in styrofoam contain model with magazine, as well as cartridges, box of caps, and a box of accessories: two tiny hex keys (for detonator pin and other parts), cartridge loading tool, two cotton-tipped sticks for cleaning (a sample, I guess) plus a few parts added by (I suppose): spare o-rings and steel wool for treating scratches on cartridges.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-12-10

Veeeery satisfying for me :-) It looks just as a Colt 1911 should - mostly black, except for a silver trigger and stainless steel magazine slightly peeking from the grip. It's fairly heavy even without any cartridges loaded - both slide and frame are from HW material.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-30-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-31-10

Slide is marked "PROFESSIONAL CAL.45" on the left, "SPRINGFIELD ARMORY" and their logo on the right. There are slide serrations both near back and near front - this is typical for MEU late variant.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-32-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-36-11

Sights are metal and simple, dove-tailed and held by grub screws. You can only adjust them left/right.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-38-10

Hammer is metal, hollow, not circular, again - typical for MEU late variant.

Barrel is made of HW, it has a vertical steel insert to prevent modifications. Chamber is marked "NOWLIN 45 ACP". Detonator pin is pushed into the barrel from the chamber side, it goes between four positioning strips. It is held in place by a grub screw under the barrel.
Barrels from other Colt 1911 models should fit, provided they are from the same series - I successfully used others marked "BARSTO 45 ACP", "SA 45 AUTO", but a barrel from Series 70 model is different enough to not fit my model.

Frame is unmarked on the left, but you will find here most of the manipulators: slide catch, safety switch and magazine release button. Slide catch doubles as a disassembly lever. Safety works only when hammer is cocked - move safety up into the notch in the slide to block the trigger. Magazine release works as usual for that type - push to remove magazine from the grip.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-33-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-39-10

Right side of the frame also features a safety switch - not all Colt 1911s have it. Frame is marked "SPRINGFIELD ARMORY GENSEO IL.USA CRG 1648" near the grip, and "CAL.45" closer to the front. I'm not sure if "CRG 1648" is supposed to be a serial number of some sort. All markings are cut in the material, a bit unevenly - see the pictures to see what I mean.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-36-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-35-10

Back of the frame features grip safety - you have to squeeze it against the grip, otherwise a spring leaf inside the grip will block the trigger. At the bottom of the grip there is also a hook for attaching a leash.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-34-10

This model has original Pachmayr Signature Combat Style grips installed, same as the original MEU. They are rubber, black, with a golden Pachmayr logo on a medalion. Two screws on each side hold them to the frame.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-37-10

This model came with a silver, stainless steel magazine that has a plastic follower, and a thick plastic bumper at the bottom. Bumper is a feature of MEU variant.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-51-10

Over the years I discovered that stainless steel magazine is the most resistant to corrosion from cap residue. While other types of magazines (coated black or in fancy finish) become reddish or loose their finish, this one just lasts and lasts after a mere wipe after firing.

Capacity is 7 cartridges.

MEU variant is designed to use CP-HW cartridges of .45 caliber. The unscrew into top and bottom parts. There is a piece that goes into the bottom part, then you insert a 7mm cap, followed by a firing pin with a rubber o-ring.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-50-10

Original cartridges are uniform in colour and do not have any marking.

I also have Mulberry Field cartridges with a more realistic colour of the "bullet", silver insert, "45 AUTO WIN" marking at the bottom, and a slightly different shape of a firing pin - it's triangular, not square. Other than that they function the same. See there:

The third type of cartridge is a special one, made by FJC. It is a triple-cap cartridge that requires a special detonator pin (supplied in the set). See there:

The fourth type of cartridge I have is a dummy one, made by Mulberry Field. It can be cycled in the modelgun without detonating any caps. Cartridges have spring-loaded "primers" to reduce stress on firing pin in the slide. Dummy cartridges require replacing detonator pin in the barrel with a special one that helps to hold dummy cartridge in correct position - otherwise either slide will not close, or cartridge will fall off its place. You can adjust correct depth by screwing this element in&out.

Load cartridges with caps, put them in the magazine, load magazine in the grip.
Rack the slide to introduce the first cartridge in the chamber. Make sure the safety is off and push grip firmly to disable grip safety.
Point model in a safe direction, keeping in mind that cartridges fly out to the right, slightly to the front, about two meters away from the model.

Squeeze the trigger and enjoy the loud MGC noise :-))) Repeat until magazine is empty and slide locks back.

After firing remember to clean thoroughly model (especially barrel, slide and top of the magazine) and cartridges.

Take a look here for illustrations and description how a 1911 parts work inside:

When I got the model I had no idea that there were any problems with modelguns ;-)
It was very expensive, but it was made to be fun, right? I proceeded to fire it almost daily for some time :-)
Over the years I hit two problems with my model.

The first one was that after about 50 shots the firing pin in the barrel got deformed and misaligned. As a result it hit cartridges off-center, deforming detonator pin inside the cartridges, making them swell and block inside the cartridge. Result: blowback was very weak due to increased friction, plenty of jams and feedingproblems.
Solution: replace firing pin in the barrel, replace pins in the cartridges.

The second problem was that after about 150 shots the HW barrel just broke while shooting. This is a very common problem for this model, you can find a thread below. There seem to be two reasons for that: HW material is much more brittle than ABS, and MEU barrel has

As well as my own thread for that problem, where barrel breakage resulted in damage to frame, slide and extractor too:

Extractor is made not of steel, but of a weak metal and it does break sometimes due to stress:

Regardless of these problems I think that MGC Colt 1911 is a very satisfying model.

Basic disassembly
Disassembly is different than in real Colt 1911. Instead of turning bushing and removing return spring first, you do it only after removing the slide, because spring plug is not held by bushing, but by its collar.

Follow these steps:
- remove magazine
- make sure there is no cartridge in the chamber
- pull the slide back until disassembly notch aligns with slide stop
- push out slide stop
- remove slide to the front
- remove return spring with guide rod and plunger. Guide rod in MEU model is the short version, so there is no problem with that.
- twist and remove bushing
- pull out barrel through the front of the slide, making sure that link is pushed so it does not interfere.

To remove firing pin unscrew a little grub screw under the barrel, then pull out the pin from the barrel.

This is enough for cleaning and basic maintenance.

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-40-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-41-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-42-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-43-10
MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Gm-44-10

Assembly follows reverse steps, the only hard part is putting slide stop back - almost every Colt 1911 owner has scratch marks on frame and/or slide Wink

Unless you need to repair the model there should be no need for further disassembly of the frame or for removing the firing pin block from the slide.

MGC has a reputation for excellent working models, and this Colt 1911 is one of them.
It has a satisfying weight and shape and firing mechanisms works just right.
I would definitely buy it again! even knowing about the problems I encountered so far.
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Modelgun Master
Modelgun Master

Number of posts : 389
Age : 50
Location / Country : France
Registration date : 2011-01-31

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Empty
PostSubject: Re: MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW   MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Icon_minitimeThu May 19, 2011 10:19 am

great review Smootik!

I don't know why but I think you want to make a contest with me about reviews, no? who will do the greatest number of reviews?

No it's a joke of course.

Anyway, is it brand new your 2 reviews or used?
Where do you get them??

Thanks and bravo


Edit: Sorry these are models purchased long ago...sorry I did not read well.
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Modelgun Perfectionist
Modelgun Perfectionist

Number of posts : 1823
Location / Country : Poland
Registration date : 2009-03-03

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Empty
PostSubject: Re: MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW   MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Icon_minitimeThu May 19, 2011 10:53 am

Not exactly a contest, but your reviews motivated me to complete mines - a very good thing!

MGC 1911 is my oldest modelgun, bought new in 2006 from modelguns-worldwide.
TK 1911 was second-hand in excellent shape, bought last year thanks to shazhib.
I have one more 1911 model, an MGC dummy metal version bought locally. It will get a review, too.
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Modelgun Master
Modelgun Master

Number of posts : 389
Age : 50
Location / Country : France
Registration date : 2011-01-31

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Empty
PostSubject: Re: MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW   MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Icon_minitimeThu May 19, 2011 11:00 am

In my case, I don't like the 1911 Colt. I don't know why. I prefer the Beretta M9 for example.
You speak about the website model gun worldwide, I am sad because I discovered Model guns too late to know this great website. I don't think it will come back...


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Modelgun Perfectionist
Modelgun Perfectionist

Number of posts : 1823
Location / Country : Poland
Registration date : 2009-03-03

MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Empty
PostSubject: Re: MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW   MGC Colt 1911 MEU, HW Icon_minitimeThu May 19, 2011 11:50 am

Colt 1911 vs Beretta 90 series seems to be like Coca-cola vs Pepsi-cola ;-)
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