1911 lend lease guns-positive or negative?
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    1911 lend lease guns-positive or negative?

    I didn't want to hijack the other thread on the British marked 1911 and valuation. So, does the British proof marks add value or not? One of the 1911 pages, the author says they decrease value. Reason I'm asking is a guy wants to sell me his proof marked 1911 and I want to make a well thought offer (I love the martial 1911's). Thanks.
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    Just one opinion, but to me the higher the condition the less it affects the value. During the time the Lend-Lease 1911A1 pistols were being sold through ads in the gun magazines some were still as new in the original shipping boxes. These would command a high price, but a well worn L-L used as Bubba's truck gun would have virtually no collector value.

    For many years no one wanted the M1 Rifles that were Lend-Leased to England and brought back for commercial sale. Finally collectors began to realize that these were some of the few original M1 Rifles from the early days of WWII, and the price increased dramatically.

    Condition for condition they won't bring what a non L-L 1911A1 will.

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    Every LL pistol I have is just about virtually new condition because that's the way they came back into the U.S. The commercial proofs don't really bother me on pistols like that because that's just part of their history. But as Johnny said, once you start seeing any wear on the guns, my interest drops off pretty quickly because all that wear is from commercial use. When they get so much wear, they're no more valuable to me than as a shooter.

    For an advanced collector, there are specific serial ranges where the LL pistols show up in great numbers. If you're collecting serial ranges and all sub-variations, then I think the right LL pistol is desirable. They are part of the WWII pistol story.

    Some of the rarer variations of LL pistols bring pretty significant premiums when they have condition...like the Canadian and Russian pistols.

    As a side note, for years many collectors have insisted that only the pistols marked RELEASED BRITISH GOVT. 1952 could be proven to be lend lease. They claimed the pistols may have gone overseas anytime before the proofs were applied...and that the commercial proofs alone didn't establish a pistol was lend leased.

    I've got two Ithaca pistols that were in the same late 1944 shipment to England. One is marked with the 1952 release date; the other isn't. That pretty well shoots down that theory, and pretty well confirms LL pistols were simply not all released in 1952.
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    Also, there is never any explanation of where the as new British proofed 1911A1's came from if they are not Lend-Lease. Again just my opinion, but I have a feeling that it only took a short while to figure out that all the extra markings like the release date required in the proofing process just wasn't needed.

    The first of the Lend-Lease M1 Rifles that were released for commercial sale were proofed on the chamber. This required that the wood be removed for applying the stamps (some are partially under the lower hand guard. It appears it did not take long for the proof house to figure out that the proofs could be applied toward the end of the barrel without removing it from the wood.



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    Cool

    Being a bit of a cynic , I think unmarked guns bring more money because of the BS stories that can be attached. Kinda hard to say that a 'relative' US vet was issued/carried/brought back a British-proofed 1911.

    Hitting gun shows and shops for over 40yrs , I've head some wild tales about the history of certain guns for sale..
    Last edited by mkk41; 09-15-2019 at 12:12 PM.
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    One of the things that I've noticed about L-L pistols is that if they are like new or in unissued condition, they bring nearly the same as non L-L pistols. But if they are used and have been shot with corrosive ammo then they are extremely hard to sell. The same goes for guns that are mismatched, almost impossible to sell. I personally have avoided investing in them. Most people trying to sell them think they are worth more than a standard gun. Personally, I think if they aren't used they sat out the war in a box somewhere. I prefer weapons that were probably carried by American GI's. But ultimately it's whatever floats your boat.
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    There are plenty of pistols without British commercial proofs that sat out the war here in U.S. that have ended up being Bubba's truck gun and picked up their "honest wear" and "battle scars" after the fact. Additionally, there are boatloads of non-proofed pistols that were used training troops for decades.

    Lend lease pistols at least made the trip across the pond somewhere and were most likely in a war zone during the war. The commercial proofs serve as evidence to that.
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    I think that the British proof marks add a certain uniqueness unrivalled elsewhere. Instead of just accepting that the original factory production 1911's & 1911A1's are good enough for issue to the US Army (etc) & them, these bozos had to test & mark them as acceptable.
    Be it a rather ubiquitous law or some goofy rule, they stamped the LL stuff. Then after both wars they went broke & disarmed.
    How foolish. Then in 1997 they gave Hong Kong to the Chi-coms. The Brits are toast, they cannot even get the hell out of the Euro-fascist syndicate. Sad.
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    The British proofs were not applied to the Lend-Lease weapons unless they were released for commercial sale after the war. Any other U.S. firearm, military or commercial, had to be proofed before it could be sold commercially in England. The British military weapons were the same in that they had to be proofed before being sold on the commercial market.

    If a country has a reciprocal gun proof law with England their firearms don't have to be proofed in England before being sold. The U.S. does not have a gun proof law.
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    Proof marks are part of a gun's history. A purist may not like them but it makes the piece unique. It may not complete the story to a particular gun but adds something more.

    At Springfield Armory Museum there is a 1873 Springfield Trapdoor Carbine documented as being a 7th Cavalry gun taken by the Indians after the Custer massacre and recovered by Cavalry several months later. It has been decorated by the Indians with colorful embellishments which wasn't unusual. While that's not the same as foreign proof marks it is at least somewhat analogous. It adds to the history of the gun and certainly makes it even more special than otherwise.
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