Article about: The grip safety is definately a replacement, it's the long 1911A1 style so it's from 1924 at the earliest. The narrow hammer was introduced in WW2, though by then the guns were parked. Might
A couple months ago, a coworker and I were talking and I mentioned my interest in all items military. He mentioned his father collected military firearms and after his father passed, he auctioned off all of them with the exception of one piece. He described it to me and I quickly identified it as an M1911 or M1911A1 (now I believe it to be a combination of both). He mentioned he was looking to sell it and I quickly jumped on the opportunity.
In any case, after selling off all of the items from a previous hobby (comic books), I was able to use part of the proceeds to purchase the gun.
It came with one magazine and an original box of WWII era military issue ammo. I looked up the serial number (207XXX) and determined it was manufactured in 1917. I assumed all the parts were period original.
After getting the piece home, I disassembled it for cleaning, added some gun oil, and put it in a display case which I have previoulsy posted on the forum.
Last night I decided to take some photos of it with my new camera and after some research online, now believe parts have been replaced. The frame appears to be the only piece original to the gun. Below are the items I suspect to have been replaced and the reasons why. I assume this was done most likely for use during WWII and I would suspect for Korea as well. If you could confirm my suspicions, I would appreciate it.
Post WWI Parts
Slide – Based on location of Rampant Colt
Hammer - Narrow-spur hammer
Thumb Safety – 1944 style
Grips – 1920 - 1930 manufacture
Barrel – Interlaced “HP” mark
Grip Safety – Elongated spur
Magazine – Manufactured by Little
Overall, I’m happy with the piece. While I would prefer all original WWI parts, it adds history to the gun even though it may decrease the value. I never intend on selling it and believe I got a good deal considering. I know you can request a report from Colt on the history of the gun. Can anyone tell me how detailed the report is and what if any fee is associated with it?
Thanks in advance!
P.S. The idiot mark from the take down pin was there before I purchased it. I don't want anyone to think that that was my doing!!
Gotta admit that I do not understand or have knowledge about Colt 1911īs, but just wanted to tell you something about your attitude, and THIS is how it is done. You sit, read and wonder - and may be even think how would I forge it
This kind of attitude is not too common or better to say - seldom seen. Keep up this attitude, I spares money and your ass when you do not have to kick it after making foolish deals. One thing what made me wonder, was the finnish of the surface, but we gotta note that all Colt 1911īs I have ever seen come from the russian order and were marked with stamp Aliski Zakaz ( English Order). These were captured from russians in 1918 in Finland. So it is possible that cause they are made after british requirements, they were moore smoothly finished - much better that modern commercial guns.
P.S. The idiot mark - we call it same in Finland - many Colt 1911īs and FN GP35īs carry it - in Finland - that makes us....
Brian, I believe Svaaka was actually making a compliment. I have to admit in my first read of his post, I thought he was blasting me as well!
Svaaka, I'm not sure if you are implying the bluing (finish) on the gun is not original or has been reapplied post military use? If so, I am pretty confident it is as it's consistent with other M1911's I have examined. Please correct me if I am wrong, though, or if there is something you have seen on other US issue 1911's that is leading you in another direction.
As I previously said, I'm happy with the gun and am confident all parts are original US military issue. I would just like confirmation on when during it's service time the parts were replaced.
Well I really was saying a polite comliment - as finn - sometimes even after 30 years of speaking english my expressions in english can be odd
About the bluening. I understand that most militaryarms - selfloadingautomaticpistols - were not polished so well as those intended to commercial markets - so I wondered If this state of finnish is the "real" or as it should be in WW I -time Colt 1911? This is because I have see are those quite rare Angliskii Zakaz-stamped guns, meaning in Finland. They are really like made for commercial market with high shuin and no cracks under bluening. Stamp is placed exatly the same area as US PROPERTY stamp in your gun and with cyrillic text.
Again sorry by bad language I did not have any meaning to be unpolite.
No worries at all, Svaaka! I appreciate your input!
Oh, and your English is just fine! It's just that in the US, we see the word “attitude” and automatically assume it has a negative connotation.
In any case, it is quite possible that this could have been re-blued, especially considering the slide and frame match so well. I wonder however if this was done during WWII or Korea. What isn't as noticeable in the photos is that there is quite a bit of holster wear at the muzzle on both the frame and slide. I assume this happened after it last saw service.
I think the only thing that will confirm this is the service record from Colt.
Nice gun - I espescially like that it's still blued instead of parked!
Colt factory letter's aren't a service record - what they'll tell you is when it was shipped from the factory, in what configuration, where it was sent and how many guns were in the shipment. I wouldn't generally get one for a military gun - you're just going to end up spending $100 US to find out it was part of a large shipment to the US military. You can look up the date of manufacture from the serial number (yours was made in 1918).
Thanks, Nyles. I'll pass on the Colt Factory letter, then. I was under the assumption it would provide more details, such as when it was issued for military use and similar details. Not worth the money!
I estimated the production year as 1917, but could be mistaken!
With regards to it retaining its original bluing, this subject is a little confusing to me. I understand the military would parkerize them as this helped preserve the gun. When did this become a standard practice, or was it ever? Obviously parts have been replaced on mine, including the slide which appears to be WWII era. However the slide and frame are both blued. Why would they not have parkerized the entire gun when replacing these parts? The thumb safety however appears to be parkerized, which I assume means it was pulled off a gun that was also parkerized, or the safety was parkerized during production before being added to this piece as a replacement part.
Should I have any concerns about anything on this gun being repaired/refurbished using post military parts or practices?
Any help you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks!
The rampant Colt was moved around 1918, which is right about when your gun was made. The Model of 1911 on the slide became M1911A1 on the frame in 1938, so your slide is older than that for sure. I would actually suspect your slide is original, but the only way to be sure is to check the serial number under the firing pin stop.
It's true that most WW2-era 1911 rebuilds are parkerised, and it's unusual to see the parked parts on a blued gun. It's possible that the pistol wasn't refinished because it didn't need it, or it's possible that the parts were replaced after it left military service. I couldn't say for sure either way, best thing to do would be to post it on a specialist 1911 collectors forum and get their opinion.
So it's possible everything is original 1918 production with the exception of the barrell (interlaced HP mark) and thumb safety? I used http://www.coolgunsite.com for my research. They seem to know their 1911's, but I guess I should do more research as based on the information they provided, the hammer and grip safety have also been replaced. I can't imagine an extensive rebuild such as this without parkerization, but could be mistaken.
I'll for sure post it on a 1911 collector’s forum as I'm sure they will be able to give me a definitive answer. Thanks for your input!