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Old 02-06-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
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Default Questions about Colt M1911?

i came across a colt 1911 today. the guys asking $850. it looks to be a military colt but i am having trouble identifying it. the slide is darker than the frame, so assume its newer than the frame. the frame is marked "United States Property"
the serial # "14499XX" there is no "No." before the sn# and is does not have "M1911 US Army" stamp as ive seen in pictures, but i they were earlyer models.
Any help idendifying would be appreciated! is it a desent price for this gun?
is it real or a fake?

also everything i read all the colt Sn#'s stop in 1945, is this true? so if i come across a military colt its certain it WWII or earlyer?

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Old 02-06-2011, 07:49 PM   #2
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Any way to post a picture? The price would also indicate that it is either an incredible deal or a parts gun. As you describe it, it sounds more like a parts gun than an all original model.

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Old 02-06-2011, 07:57 PM   #3
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I'd pass for now. Odds are with more research you'll be ready for the next one that comes along. Unless you have a real good reason, why pay that much for a Franken45 that's hard to ID. But to be honest I'm not up to speed on military 1911s and others here are. So maybe someone else can help get you up to speed quick.

But I do have a similar story...

I bought my first Luger cheap in a pawn shop almost 40 years ago. Then I started researching. As you'd expect it had DWM and Mauser parts from two world wars. As I got up to speed I realized it was a WWI DWM frame and toggle assembly from different pistols and a receiver and barrel from a 1938 Mauser. It had parts from about 13 different Lugers!

The good news though it was cheap and whoever threw it together did a good job, it shot great the first time I took it out and still is a shooter today. I kept it and have thousands of rounds down the barrel and only one part ever broke, a $1 toggle pin. But I was lucky to get a shooter for the early '70s shooter price of about $150. (It could have been a nonfunctioning pile of junk.) About 25 years later I did buy an all matching 1941 byf Luger but by then I knew enough not to walk away from that deal.

Anyway, $850 is too much for a "shooter" so I'd wait unless someone else can ID it as worth the money.

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Old 02-06-2011, 09:25 PM   #4
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Military models had stamps showing it belonged to the military. Commercial models had a "C" before the S/N in the early years.

Pics would certainly help (inspection marks, etc...)

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Old 02-07-2011, 01:57 AM   #5
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I don't think the gun is a Colt. It may have a Colt slide but the receiver was one of the 30,000 built by Ithaca in 1943.

My guess is the gun is an Arsenal Rebuild.

From the Sight site: "Government armorers had one and only one concern: to get guns back into service. They didn’t care about gun collectors. One of the great assets of the M1911 pistols – total parts interchangeability – becomes a real trap for collectors of government issue pistols. A Remington Rand slide will fit on a Springfield Armory frame just fine.

One final note: just because a gun is an arsenal rebuild, doesn’t mean it isn’t collectible. These guns are rich in history. They may not have the high price tag of a pristine Remington-UMC, but they represent a moment in time when the nation was in peril and these old warhorses answered the call."


Unless the gun is exceptional, or the owner has some providence, I'm not sure it's worth $850, IMHO.

It should be easy to determine, here are the arsenal rebuild stamps used:

AA = Augusta Arsenal
AN = Anniston Arsenal
BA = Benecia Arsenal
MR = Mt Rainer Ordinance Depot
OG = Ogden Arsenal
RA = Raritan Arsenal
RIA = Rock Island Arsenal
RRA = Red River Arsenal
SA = Springfield Arsenal
SAA = San Antonio Arsenal
And here are some samples of arsenal rebuild stamps and a complete M1911-M1911A1 Marking decoder:
arsenal-rebuild-marks-aa.jpg   arsenal-rebuild-marks-ria.jpg   arsenal-rebuild-marks-aa1.jpg   inspectors.jpg  
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:49 AM   #6
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Wow, amazing post Cane! I kinda thought you'd point us in the right direction, as usual.

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Old 02-07-2011, 04:55 AM   #7
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Excellent info, thanks Cane.

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Old 02-07-2011, 03:05 PM   #8
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thanks for the info cane. looks like ill pass on this one. i wish it had the "M1911A1 US Army" stamp. im in no real hurry to get my 1911. i just never know with this guy, he just sells and trades guns on the corner, and always had different stuff. im glad i have people to ask now... i did get a killer deal on my Medsua from him though.

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Old 02-07-2011, 05:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trez View Post
thanks for the info cane. looks like ill pass on this one. i wish it had the "M1911A1 US Army" stamp. im in no real hurry to get my 1911. i just never know with this guy, he just sells and trades guns on the corner, and always had different stuff. im glad i have people to ask now... i did get a killer deal on my Medsua from him though.
Two items to follow up with;
  1. Again, from the sightm1911.com: "When a pistol became worn or was damaged, they were repaired or refurbished at U.S. arsenals and service depots. This began in the 20’s soon after the pistols were initially issued. During WWII, large numbers of M1911 pistols produced during WWI were refinished and reconditioned. These can be easily identified because they were parkerized and given bakelite grips. There were no parkerized M1911 pistols issued. They were all blued originally and they had walnut grips. M1911A1 pistols were parkerized originally and had bakelite grips. Also, there were no M1911 or M1911A1 G.I. pistols produced with nickel finishes. So right away, if your serial number says it’s a 1918 Colt, and it has a parkerized finish, you know that you have an arsenal rebuild. If it is a G.I. pistol and has a nickel finish, it is not original and the collector value is severely diminished. The last new Colt M1911A1 pistols were purchased in 1945, but the pistols served another 37 years. Needless to say, a lot of repair and refurbishing needed to be done." (cane; emphasis added) By the early 1990s, most M1911A1s had been replaced by the M9. This means from 1945 to January 14, 1985 there were NO new service pistols added to the US arsenal. ALL service pistols were either repaired by armorers or sent in for arsenal rebuild. That is a big portion of the population of M1911's being sought by collectors today. Be Aware when you shop for that old warrior! Do what Trez did; come here and ask the question.
  2. The Medusa is a very interesting revolver. If any members dont know this multi-caliber handgun visit Trez's thread; http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f16/medusa-model-47-a-37082/#post424903 I'm on a constant look-out for one of these unique revolvers. It's kinda like a "poor-man's" Korth.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:49 PM   #10
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Default Korth - Rich man's Medusa.

"The Medusa is a very interesting revolver. If any members dont know this multi-caliber handgun visit Trez's thread; http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f...82/#post424903 I'm on a constant look-out for one of these unique revolvers. It's kinda like a "poor-man's" Korth. "
Actually, Korth admitted we made a better revolver than they did at the IWA Show in Germany.

~Jonathan

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