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Need 1911 information... What do I have?


rlowery78

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Not looking to sell or seek a price, but would like some information on this 1911 Colt, and some guidance as to what "should be" done with it.

 

First the story... This handgun was given to me as a gift from my father-in-law. He had acquired the gun from a friends gun shop who had passed away suddenly and this was found in the shop in a brown paper bag (I believe this is how the story went...)

 

Anyway, with no paperwork as required by the laws of his home state, and it was my birthday, I was given this 1911. It is in very rough shape, it does however function properly, and fire accurately...My best guess is it was produced between the 1940's and 1960's... based on the serial number, however it does not look like a proper colt serial number... 28XXXX-? (6 digits followed by a dash and an unrecognizable marking...a C or ?)

 

20131019_072020.jpg?psid=1

 

Also note the #4 on the trigger guard.

 

The slide on the right side is stamped, Colt's Pt. F. A. MFG. CO. Hartford Conn. U.S.A.

 

20131019_072301.jpg?psid=1

 

the left side markings and also note the "Y" on the trigger guard.

 

Beyond not knowing for sure what I have, I am also not sure how to proceed with this 1911. I would like to "restore" it or have it restored if that is the direction I should go. However, if this gun has been abused to the point of no return, should I just create a nice functioning 1911 to carry and enjoy? Refinish, barrel, trigger work etc...

 

Thanks for any help and or education you all may be able to provide me!

 

 

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Hold on to that pistol... Check this out and run the serial number thru here: http://www.coltsmfg.com/customerservices/serialnumberlookup.aspx ... I think (...i dont know for sure....) your pistol could be a 1918 vintage commercial model...

Take a look here for some additional info: http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/colt-pre-war-automatics/

 

Another thing is that it looks to have (...from the picture...) a straight backstrap... If it does, my guess on the vintage is right... I think (...i dont know for sure...) that the colt backstraps were straight until 1926... By the way, the "correct name" for the backstrap is the "mainspring housing"... It forms the lower half of the back of the grip...

 

The grips are not original; but that's a nothin.. The originals were plain double diamond walnuts (...i think...) without medallions...

 

Havin said all that; the one thing that bothers me about this one is that there is no "government model" stamped above the S/N; and no "C" to start the S/N...  Ya usually see that on the colts.... The down side is that it could be a "put together" (... orphaned slide and orphaned frame; think springfield slide, colt frame, etc here...)... There were lots of 'em done that way...

 

Anyway, it's a neat old pistol with a great story to boot... Ive got a much less nice put together military that i've left "as is"..I think they are too nice to shoot, so mine stays in honored retirement...They are a great piece of history...

 

Maybe some other colt students will chime in... I'm interested in their opinions too...

 

enjoy!!

leroy

Edited by leroy
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If I run the serial number on Colt's website, I get a production year of 1959...However as you pointed out the frame isn't marked properly (from what I have read) to be a Colt... or am I mistaken? the "-" (dash) preceding the C is throwing me off a bit.

 

Thanks for the page link Steelharp! 

 

I also have a "flat" and smooth main spring housing that came with the "brown bag" - Which makes it more convincing to me that this might be a "parts gun". 

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" He had acquired the gun from a friends gun shop who had passed away suddenly and this was found in the shop in a brown paper bag."


My grandfather had a gun just like that one, this one may be it. My cousins took it when he died (2005) and sold it. Colt made some none working guns that looked just like the real thing but had a plugged barrel and a non working firing pin. The entire upper could be replaced making it a working firearm and that is what he did. My great uncle stole it from the Army, it wasn't as accountable as working firearms and gave it to my grandfather. He said the guns were used for training and sometimes ceremonies. I once found an article on them, I'll see if I can find it again.
Never mind, yours actually has a colt slide. The "US Government would have been stamped on the frame. Makes me think the frame may actually be from a different gun but with Colt grips.

I have to question why it is in a paper bag, if it were. Makes me wonder if he knew it was hot and this was a throw down gun.
A lot of scenarios, someone may have dropped it off to have work done.

And those are the same grips his had. Do me a favor and post a picture of the thumb safety, his had a different thumb safety from all the other ones I have ever seen in my life. Edited by Patton
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rl: 

 

....If I run the serial number on Colt's website, I get a production year of 1959...However as you pointed out the frame isn't marked properly (from what I have read) to be a Colt... or am I mistaken? the "-" (dash) preceding the C is throwing me off a bit. ....

The frame marking (...lack of the "government model" inscription above the s/n...) is givin me trouble too... The "C" could have well been an armory remark for repairs at the factory; but i dont know that for sure...  The fact that the gun is blue and looks as sharp around the stamping leads me to believe it's a commerical model; or a real old military (...the very first ones were blue...)...I'm not too much of a colt 1911 student... We need some real "expert opinions" on this one... I do thrust these guys at Cherry's Fine Guns:  http://www.cherrys.com/

 

I would recommend that ya send them a bunch of pictures and they can probably tell ya exactly what it is; and give ya a ballpark value... My intuition is still that the value will pleasantly suprize ya...  Any colt before the seventies is a pretty valuable commodity... Ya probably be pleasantly surprized at the value of the "put togethers" as well...

 

PS: Try running the s/n without the "c" and see what ya get... I got a production date of 1918 that way....

 

leroy

Edited by leroy
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" He had acquired the gun from a friends gun shop who had passed away suddenly and this was found in the shop in a brown paper bag."


My grandfather had a gun just like that one, this one may be it. My cousins took it when he died (2005) and sold it. Colt made some none working guns that looked just like the real thing but had a plugged barrel and a non working firing pin. The entire upper could be replaced making it a working firearm and that is what he did. My great uncle stole it from the Army, it wasn't as accountable as working firearms and gave it to my grandfather. He said the guns were used for training and sometimes ceremonies. I once found an article on them, I'll see if I can find it again.
Never mind, yours actually has a colt slide. The "US Government would have been stamped on the frame. Makes me think the frame may actually be from a different gun but with Colt grips.

I have to question why it is in a paper bag, if it were. Makes me wonder if he knew it was hot and this was a throw down gun.
A lot of scenarios, someone may have dropped it off to have work done.

And those are the same grips his had. Do me a favor and post a picture of the thumb safety, his had a different thumb safety from all the other ones I have ever seen in my life.


I'll try to do that...I obtained this pistol much earlier than 2005. It came ftom a state that required handgun registration and a permit to purchase... one of those "blue" states...

Anyway... it was speculated that it was imported instate but couldn't be registered due to its age and lack of information from the shop owner. ...since Tennessee is s touch more conservative I was gifted this pistol...

My father-in-law is a guy who thinks it neat to keep and shoot his firearms... I have been able to shoot some truely great firearms thanks to him. My favorite was a springfield 50-70 that was almost 120 years old. He loaded those cartridges with black powder and it was a joy to see abd shoot that old vet.

Back to my 1911... is there a reputable dealer in Knoxville that could help me get a better idea of what this guy is. Again not interested in s sale but an education.

Thank you all for the help...

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

  • Like 1
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rl:  Just saw this...

 

.....Back to my 1911... is there a reputable dealer in Knoxville that could help me get a better idea of what this guy is. Again not interested in s sale but an education. ...

Not that i know of or would trust...  Sadly... 

 

Ya might talk to Bob at Predator (...the ar guys...)... He might have some thoughts on it... He has seen lots of handguns...

 

leroy

Edited by leroy
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  • 2 weeks later...

1911... brown paper bag... I know that it's not uncommon for folks to break down a 1911 and realize that they don't know how to get the thing back together.  I myself had to do the walk of shame into a gun shop on my first 1911 carrying a bag'o'gun to get someone to help me reassemble it on my first try...

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