The Valtro Model 1998A1

By Sam Bruno

Illustration courtesy of Valtro, Inc.

Two years ago a friend of my mind who owns a sporting goods store specializing in firearms, showed me a Valtro 1998A1, a .45 ACP caliber 1911 style pistol that he said it was the best that he had come across both in terms of cost ($1350.00 Canadian) and quality. This gun is built to the specifications of John Jardine, a noted American pistolsmith, and manufactured by Valtro in Italy.

If I had any doubts they were quickly put to rest, especially when I took one out to the range and proceeded to print 4 and 5 shot groups 0.5 inch to 1 inch center to center at 25 yards. I was shooting a handload using Lasercast 200 grain LSWC bullets, 5.6 grains of Winchester 231 powder and Federal primers in Winchester cases. Guess what? I now own it. I have put over 1000 rounds through this pistol and it continues to shoot as accurately as the day I took it out of the box.

The Valtro is a "near custom" production pistol patterned after the Colt 1911A1 pistol. It is available only in .45 ACP caliber. It features a blued finish and checkered walnut grip panels, and a long list of the usual "custom combat" features. All parts are precision fit. Other finishes are optional, as are tritium night sights. The general specifications are as follows.

  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Weight: 40 ounces
  • Length: 8.75 ounces
  • Width: 1.29 inches
  • Height: 5 inches
  • Barrel length: 5 inches
  • Trigger pull: 3.5-4 pounds
  • Magazine capacity: 8 (plus 1 in chamber)
  • Accuracy: sub 3 inch groups at 50 yards

The Valtro comes with all the goodies that a $2500.00 (U.S.) Wilson or Para would have cost. Go to this WebSite to see the features: One thing that my Valtro .45 can do seems to amaze my fellow shooters. I can put an empty .45 ACP case in a magazine, stick the magazine in the gun, drop the slide, and it will pick-up and feed the case without any damage to the case. How many 1911s will do that?

Mr. John Jardine, the man who designed this pistol, made sure that the tolerances were tight yet the pistol functions flawlessly. There's lots of attention spent on detail, the one I have has no machine marks anywhere on in the inside of the frame or slide, and the pistol has been de-horned. There is a custom barrel, a tuned extractor, the solid barrel bushing is hand fitted, and the feed ramp has been polished and aligned to feed anything from SWC to Hollowpoint bullets. The external finish is excellent. I have been pulling mine in out of my holster now for just over a year and a half and there are no visible signs of wear on the pistol. The Model 1998A1 is shipped in a fitted plastic case and includes cleaning accessories. I could go on for hours, however seeing is believing. Check out a Valtro pistol.

Note: This article can also be found on the Product Reviews page.

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Copyright 2003, 2016 by Sam Bruno and/or All rights reserved.