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Seal 07-14-2009 08:02 AM

old 1911
My great grandmother(88) still has my great grandfather's m1911a1 he brought back after serving in wwii. Would I be in the wrong to take this piece of family history to the range? Will it be safe to shoot after a thorough cleaning? It's been stored away in my her bedside drawer chambered and ready to go for who knows how long. It was her home defense weapon, but my dad recently gave her a walther p22 to keep assuming it would be much easier for her to handle. The only thing I would change about the gun is those old transparent grips.

Gojubrian 07-14-2009 09:05 AM

Love to see a pic of that ol' thing.

I's run a few cycles with snap caps and do a general function check. If everything works well I'd say it is a shooter.

UnderFire 07-14-2009 10:06 AM

I'm curious, what make is it? +1 on the pics also.
I would inspect it thoroughly during the cleaning you mentioned,
may have to change some parts. Check the inside of the barrel
for rust. Be cautious since it's been out of service for so many years.
I believe it would honor your Grandfather to put it back in service.

CA357 07-14-2009 02:16 PM

Unless it's pristine and never been fired, I'd shoot it. But go through it first and clean and lubricate it. If you have any doubts or questions about condition, take it to a gunsmith before firing it.

It's probable that it will be a great shooter with direct family history for you. But, safety first.

It may be quite valuable, depending on the manufacturer, date of manufacture and condition. I suggest you post some good photos here and define the condition as well as you can. It's conceivable that it may be almost too valuable to shoot.
Black out or otherwise obscure the last two digits of the serial number for your privacy.

If you need more information, members here will direct you to excellent sources.

Franciscomv 07-14-2009 03:00 PM

I think you got some pretty good advice so far.

-Check that it isn't some rare collectible.

-Check that everything is in proper working order (or have a gunsmith do it).

-Shoot the crap out of it.

Dillinger 07-14-2009 05:14 PM

I would agree with CA357. If the weapon was a service piece, and saw mud/blood/dirt/grime/etc - then it's probably lost it's collector value, but would still serve you well as a fine piece of historical mastery.

I would definitely have the weapon checked by a semi-pro or pro gunsmith just to make sure. For all you know the firing pin has been removed to transport back to the states as a non functioning weapon and it was forgot to put back in. :confused: Seen it once before in the shop is the only reason I bring it up.

Otherwise the weapon is probably as solid as it was the day it was issued. They didn't have MIM parts back then and the craftsmanship was pretty damn good.

I'd love to see some pictures as well. :D


Seal 07-14-2009 08:09 PM

I feel like I could give it an ok cleaning, but I think I'm going the route of the gunsmith so he can check for other dangers.

According to my grandmother it has been shot a few times since it returned to the USA all those years ago, but not in about 30 years since my grandfather passed away in '79. I think i lack the skills and knowledge to service a gun that hasn't been shot in so long.

I don't have any pictures of it, but my aunt is there visiting now so I'll give her a ring and see if she'll snap some for me. If not it might be a week or so before i head up to the kentuck.

thanks for all the replies

CA357 07-14-2009 10:58 PM

You're most welcome. Post pics when you can. :cool:

sbc1320 07-17-2009 12:56 PM

You would do it honor to shoot it, that's what it was made to do. I would just give it a little cleaning and oiling, making sure nothing is obstructing the barrel and then fire at will. Nothing the matter with it being in storage for 30 years.

UnderFire 07-18-2009 04:20 AM


Originally Posted by sbc1320 (Post 129946)
Nothing the matter with it being in storage for 30 years.

Without regular maintenance there is.

Seal, get it looked at. ;)

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