Inherited Colt .45 auto

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by batai37, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. batai37

    batai37 New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm new here, and fairly new to firearms in general. I recently inherited a Colt .45 from my father. I believe it's the one he carried in Korea, and is a government model. It's also apparently a match model. If anyone might be able to give me some clues about the age and/or history of this firearm, would you like me to post some pics of it? TIA...
     
  2. Tex in Maine

    Tex in Maine New Member

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    yes pics would be a big help in identification.
     

  3. hillbilly68

    hillbilly68 New Member

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    What a great piece of history that is getting passed down. If our guys here can't ID it, no one can. Dump some pics and the serial number (just the first four numbers) on the forum and they will get after it for you.
    regards
     
  4. batai37

    batai37 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I found a site where you could look up the manufacture date by serial number, and according to that it was made in 1917. But it has "National Match Colt Automatic Calibre .45" on the slide, which I understand weren't introduced until the '30s. Possibly a conversion? It is stamped "Government Model" and has Pachmayr Signature Model grips on it. It doesn't have adjustable sights on it.

    The first 4 numbers of the serial are 1630. Advice on caring for this weapon would be appreciated also! I hope the pic below helps.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Doctor K

    Doctor K New Member

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    Beautiful condition. Take care of it!

    Doc
     
  6. batai37

    batai37 New Member

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    Well as far as I can gather, it's a 1911A1, circa 1930's. Anyone else have an opinion/suggestion? Particularly regarding care...I did find one site that recommended complete disassembly and oiling periodically, but of course I've never done it.
     
  7. Pat-inCO

    Pat-inCO New Member

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    First thing to do, is get a copy of "The Colt .45 Automatic - a shop manual" (volume 1) by Jerry Kuhnhausen. $30 to $45 depending on where you get it. That will give you 100% correct advise on "care and feeding" yours.

    He doesn't go into ammunition but the manual is worth every penny of the price.
     
  8. batai37

    batai37 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies!

    Did anyone have any luck on searching based on the serial? Or did I get it basically right?
     
  9. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    Does the serial number have any letters before or after the numbers?
    How many numbers are there?

    Colt military range for 1944 1609529-2244803
    Colt commercial, including first model National Match
    for 1932 C161000-C164800---According to my reference the National Match
    wasn't introduced until 1933!
     
  10. batai37

    batai37 New Member

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    Yes, it's a commercial National Match model in the serial number range of those made in '32 according to the sources I've found, so your reference to the National Match model not being introduced until 1933 is interesting. It is stamped "National Match Model" on the right side (not shown in the pic), and has the Colt insignia.

    I learned to field strip it today, and ordered Kunhausen's book. It was well-oiled...the old man obviously took good care of it. I have yet to find a place to shoot it though...I might have a gunsmith around here completely disassemble it and make sure it's in good working order before I pop off some rounds with it.

    I also noticed that the rear sight is offset slightly to the left of center...would that be because he was left-handed? He also had a bad eye (right I believe), so could this also be to accommodate his good eye?

    Thanks again!
     
  11. batai37

    batai37 New Member

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    OK solution to the mystery of the contradictory dates: the frame was made in '32, but the original slide was replaced with the national match slide later. Apparently, this particular pistol was intended primarily for target shooting (duh!).

    I talked to a dealer/gunsmith today, and it's in fine shape...but he said the ammunition that's intended to be used in it...180 grain wad cutters...is a little hard to find sometimes, although he was able to locate a retailer online that carries it. According to him, to use it with heavier loads would probably necessitate switching out the recoil spring with a heavier duty one.

    Anyway, he was of the general opinion that considering the value of the weapon, it was better off left alone as a collector piece rather than something you could go out and shoot on a regular basis.