Most Excellent. Good Find.
Finally acquired this gun the other day.
An exception to nearly all the rules; yet an all original WWII pistol. This "double stamped" pistol has the lowest serial number of any known.
This pistol was shipped out of sequential order, 18 October 1943, in a shipment of 1000 pistols (859104-916328) to Augusta Arsenal. The vast majority of Ithaca pistols in the 861xxx serial range shipped six months prior in April 1943.
This pistol is rather unique. It has all the features of an late 1943 production pistol...except the serial number is 861980!
Ithaca started production at serial number 856405. Ithaca pistols produced up to ca. 890,000 were Du-Lite blue over a sandblasted surface. Early Ithaca pistols used checkered small parts. The parts on this pistol are serrated. There were about 5 different styles of "P" proofs used on Ithaca pistols throughout production. Normally, an 861xxx serial number pistol would have a type 1 "P" proof. The "P" proofs on this pistol match perfectly and they appear to be the same type used late-1943 to mid-1944.
The serial numbers on early Du-Lite blue Ithaca pistols were applied prior to finish. The serial number on this pistol was applied after original Parkerized finish and shows some bare and displaced metal. This pistol also has matching flaming bombs on the slide and receiver. This pistol also has the Ithaca symbol on the left side trigger bow that was not used until about serial number 900000.
Interestingly, this pistol also has a slide with the M1911A1 model marking on the right side. There were two serial ranges where these (spare) slides were used on complete pistols shipped from the factory. Pistols in those serial ranges use different style "P" proofs than this pistol. It is unknown why this serial number was used as late in production as it was, but I suspect pistol 861980 did not originally ship early in production and the number was used on a pistol completed and accepted later. There may have been a receiver manufactured earlier that was scrapped, and this receiver simply used the same serial number. You will notice there are other pistols in the same case in the 1st known "double stamp" range.
The "FJA" final inspection on this pistol is a later style mark, too. Early production Ithaca pistols in the 861000 serial range had a smaller, horizontally applied final inspection. The FJA on this pistol is larger and struck diagonally on the receiver to accommodate the larger die. The only early style small part I see used on this pistol is the hammer. The hammer is Du-Lite blue and has the scant checkering pattern. All other small parts are serrated and Parkerized.
The Springfield Armory production M1911A1 barrel in this pistol has perfectly matching wear patterns to those on the breech face of the slide and on the receiver where the lugs strike upon firing. This barrel has a tiny Crossed Cannons marking on the right side lug, near the front of the lug. These barrels show up in some original 1943 Remington Rand pistols, too.
There are no conflicting wear patterns, indicating the pistol has never been fired with a different barrel. Stocks are small ring (later production) Keyes Fibre. Normally, an early production Ithaca pistol in the 861xxx serial range would have no ring Keyes Fibre stocks.
This pistol is, IMO, pretty neat...and the only one known.
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Most Excellent. Good Find.
ei8ht of 9ine
Retired TV Guy
-------------------------------------Wanted Police or Agency Marked Colt Hammerless
It is almost like some assembler thought, "I'll really screw with those guys who are collecting these pistols seventy years in the future!"
Nice. Thanks for sharing...always interesting.
Outstanding find Scott. Thanks for posting that, it is very interesting to say the least. Congrats on a great find.
Very cool Ithaca, & great photos, thanks for sharing.