I eat and breathe the 1911, and have been fascinated by the pistol for more than 40 years.
The firearm illustrated isn’t a pistol, but it is a 1911, something of a contradiction. Among the 1911s I own, this one is a real fun gun.
While there is always a possible use for personal defense or small game, I think the Iver Johnson 1911A1 carbine is simply a fun gun, even an oddity, and makes for a great conversation piece.
Note: A word on legal issues. I am no expert, but I will tell you this, don’t put a stock on a pistol and don’t put a shorter barrel in a pistol-caliber carbine, period.
The Iver Johnson is a shoulder-stocked factory carbine, not a stocked pistol. A specially-designed mainspring housing mates to a shoulder stock to create this carbine.
SAM of the Philippines supplies the re-branded Iver Johnson. The carbine is nicely finished and the sights are larger than GI types. The grips have the famous Iver Johnson Owl Head logo.
The 16.25-inch barrel generates a big gain in velocity over the five-inch barrel pistol without increased recoil. Most 800 fps .45 ACP loads, as an example, perk up to over 1,000 fps.
Faster loads are even faster with some 185-grain JHP loads breaking 1,125 fps in the carbine. I can see 200 grains at 1,100 fps without any problem — near 10mm Auto ballistics.
I don’t think it was an easy task to convince a carbine with a swinging barrel link and barrel bushing to operate reliably, but the 1911 carbine works well.
All standard 1911 magazines worked well, locking in place and feeding.
I was pleased with performance of lead SWC and RNL loads. Factory hardball 230-grain FMJ loads also did well.
Firing from a benchrest, the carbine is capable of a two to three-inch group at 25 yards, all we may ask.
Getting a grip is a bit complicated, even cramped for some hands, but it can be done with practice. Remember, the lower part of the grip is taken up by a stock attachment.
The stock seems rigid enough, but I would not stress it over much. The 19-inch length of pull is what you make of it. It works OK for most of us. Fast shooting and tracking on targets is fun.
At four pounds and with a few more ounces when fully-loaded, the Iver Johnson carbine doesn’t recoil very much.
When firing, the sights are closer to the eye than with a pistol and this makes for good accuracy potential.
Among the most accurate combinations is a hard-cast 200-grain SWC over enough Titegroup powder for 1,100 fps (899 fps in a pistol).
There was one fly in the ointment. The carbine does not feed hollowpoints, at least not all hollowpoint ammunition. Some hung on the feed ramp.
While I consider the piece primarily for recreation, I like to be able to use a wide range of ammunition.
After managing to work up excellent cycle reliability with the long barrel and a standard operating action, you would think feed reliability would have been addressed.
It is what it is, and this is true to the GI gun in most ways — including the feed ramp’s original less-than-optimal design.
The Iver Johnson 1911A1 carbine offers a lot of fun, good conversation, and is much easier to shoot well than a pistol.
As for serious use, many long guns are not safe to keep fully-loaded at home ready. This .45 is.
It is fast into action and a shooter that struggles with a pistol may get good hits quickly with this carbine.
Standard ammunition develops more energy in the Iver Johnson carbine’s 16.25-inch barrel.
Chances are, I have only scratched the surface of this firearm’s potential.
1911A1 Carbine Specifications:
|Model||1911A1 Carbine (IJ01RIFLE)|
|Sights||Improved Fixed Sights|
|Twist Rate||1:16″ RH, 6 Grooves|
|Trigger Pull||4.9 lbs|
|Overall Length||35 Inches|
|Slide Width||0/92 Inches|
|Capacity||8+1 Rounds (Also Accepts All Other 1911 Magazines)|
Have you ever fired the Iver Johnson 1911A1 Carbine? Tell us what you thought in the comments below!