We have a 1911 Colt Armyissue gun that has been in our family for years. It has never been fired.
We were hoping someone could tell us more about it and possibly give us a ballpark of its value.
The serial is #64,xxx.
Thank you for your time and looking!
The Blue Book maxes out the value with 98% original condition.
That's listed at $5,000. That will be low today.
The book says that a 100% mint version can be double or triple that amount.
A genuine unfired version would bring much more than that in todays market. Buyers are paying large amounts for USGI firearms, and this is driving prices UP.
When you have a gun like this, the only way to arrive at a good take on price is to have an expert evaluate it and assign an educated value.
You insurance company often has expert firearms appraisers available who can look at it, and you can probably ask the Colt Collector's Association to recommend one to you. Check their web site for contact info.
What can add to the value is whatever information you have on it's provenance. If there's any papers or documents available, or if you can write up and have notarized whatever is known about the past history and how you came to have it, that could add value.
Dfariswheel and SCone, thank you for the valuable information. Dfariswheel, I appreciate your advice. I will contact Colt Collector's Association and see who they recommend for an evaluation/appraisal. Also, we didn't even have it listed with our insurance company--but that will be taken care of now! Thank you again for all of your help!!
jarred, do yourself a favor and contact Scott Gahimer. He is a nationally,and internationally,recognized expert listed in ALL the books that are worthwhile. [email protected]. Check out his collectors site at www.M1911info.com He is honest, expert and a Christian Gentleman.Additionally,you can contact him by phone almost anytime at:317-392-4995. I am not a partner in his business,nor do I derive a commission or finders fee. He is, simply the most expert,descent man in the business and I call him friend.. You won't be sorry, invest in the phone call if you don't want to join the collectors site. If he charges you for anything it will be well worth it cost with such a high end pistol as you appear to have. Good luck. and God Bless, Nick
It is either the best example of that serial range on earth, or..... it is a well done restoration. Only a hands on inspection or much, much better pictures will tell the truth. I agree that on that gun, send it to Scott G. for appraisal. If correct, it is in the $10,000+ range easy. One thing I don't like in the existing pictures is the lack of contrasting and deeper color on the small parts............ What I see that I do like is the Colt Rampant Colt symbol and the US Property look to be struck proud over the finished blue.
Do yourself a favor, like the others have said, send the pistol to Scott. Pay the fee for his expertise. You have a very nice pistol. Scott's word is accepted. If he says the pistol is correct and original, it will make your pistol worth top dollar. Top dollar is good!!!
Nick (Smokey04), Thank you for the the information on Scott Gahimer. I will call him tomorrow and post his advice. I truly appreciate your help! Everyone has been so friendly on this forum! God bless!
CJS57, I truly believe that this gun is original (that's what my family has always maintained). If anyone is interested, I just took some photos with my super macro lens to get more details. The links are below. Any feedback is welcome.
Revised! Jarred, In my view your Colt 1911 is not original! Great pictures though! But they show the serial number is pantographed so that is the nail in the coffin. Should be stamped numbers. No need to send it to Scott G. now. You don't want to know what he will say.
In my not so expert opinion that gun is original finish.
if i had 10-15 k to use as i pleased i would offer it to buy it
those pictures are sensational
post it in GB on the ask the experts forum . there are some colt experts to look at the pictures, they will be honest
Thanks everyone for the comments. I contacted Scott Gahimer and have an appointment in a about 10 days to have the pistol checked out. I'll be sure to post his findings. Again, thanks for all of the information and opinions!
OK, my secret to taking great close-up pictures is an old and little known lens that was designed for dental photography. It is called a 'Lester A. Dine.' It's macro capabilities are amazing. I could fill the whole screen with a fly... literally. I use it with my Nikon D300 and my backup D80.
I just did a browse on eBay and found a few between $400-$500. A good tripod is necessary.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
I pride myself on being able to spot a refinish. Yet, none of the usual clues to a refinish are present on this gun. However, the finish texture is too coarse for a gun in this serial number range. That suggests a refinish, but the markings (except for the serial number) still show displaced metal that normally is removed in a refinish.
I suspect a Turnbull-quality restoration. However, Turnbull knows the proper texture of finish for a gun in this serial number range and would not have applied such a coarse finish. He also would not have used a later hammer, unless that was on the gun when it came to him and a proper hammer could not be located. I am told that Turnbull has dies to duplicate original markings, so that might explain the crisp markings, but I still cannot imagine that Turnbull would have applied such a coarse finish.
A totally unsubstantiated and speculative explanation might be that the frame was serial-numbered and then not finished and completed until far out of serial number sequence, which would explain the later finish and hammer. That also does not explain the odd appearance of the serial number.
I will be most interested to learn the opinion of the appraiser.