The Holy Grail of 1911s: Taking a look at the Singer 1911A1
By Jacki Billings
This Singer 1911A1 recently sold for over $400,000 at auction. (Photo: Guns.com)
Considered one of the rarer vintage firearms still in circulation, the Singer 1911A1 is often synonymous with “Holy Grail.” When on the auction block, these guns sale for hundreds of thousands of dollars, a truly unique antique. What makes these firearms so special, especially in a sea of 1911s.
The Singer 1911A’s story begins in 1925 when Singer – best known for producing sewing machines – dabbled in firearm production. Approached by the U.S. Army, Singer was asked to conduct a study on the feasibility of mass producing 1911s for the military. Singer’s study concluded that it could support as many as 25,000 handguns in a single month. Based on the findings, the Ordnance Department awarded Singer a production study in 1939, allowing them to research and tweak production methods in order to jump into firearms production.
The following year, Educational Order W-ORD-396 was granted to Singer Manufacturing sending the company into full production of the 1911A1. The overarching goal was to reach a production speed of 100 guns per hour. The initial contract was to test the ability of Singer to churn out the pistols. The initial contract called for