Watch the exclusive video of the Auto-Ordnance 1911PKZSE below!

The 1911 was made to take abuse as much as give it out in real-world combat, where a pistol had to be immune to dust, sand, mud and even rust from lack of maintenance. The tolerances of the GI-issued M1911A1s were loose for a reason. Today we are spoiled—not that I’m complaining—with accurate, tight-fitting pistols that feature extended beavertail grip safeties, mag wells, Picatinny rails, large sights, Cerakote finishes, lowered and flared ejection ports and a slew of other enhancements that make operating a 1911-style pistol more comfortable and more effective. A number of manufacturers build GI-style M1911- and M1911A1-style pistols, albeit with modern upgrades for today’s shooters.

RELATED STORY: The History and Legacy of the 1911 Pistol

The Auto-Ordnance 1911PKZSE is pretty darn close to an original World War II-era GI M1911A1 with features like an arched mainspring housing with lanyard loop, a period-correct thumb safety (which is more of a small nub), a checkered spur hammer, a small grip safety, small fixed sights and checkered brown plastic grips. Like the original, it comes with a seven-round magazine.

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The roll marks on the sides of the slide and frame—“Model 1911A1 U.S. Army”—deviate from original mil-spec specimens, but only a die-hard collector would care. The value in these GI-style pistols, and the 1911PKZSE in particular, is the ability to shoot these pistols a lot and not worry about decreasing the value of an original.

RELATED STORY: 13 1911 Pistols Under $800 For Home Defense and Range Training

When it came down to performance during our COMBAT HANDGUNS testing, Winchester 230-grain FMJ’s printed 1.8-inch groups at 15 yards. My 185-grain SWC handloads came in with a close second at 2.3 inches.

To read the full review, check out the November 2015 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS. To purchase or subscribe, visit

For more information about Auto-Ordnance, visit, or call 508-795-3919.

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