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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought this gun this week. At first glance I was certain it was an all original Colt. The finish was definitely factory Colt. Then upon close inspection I noticed the US PROPERTY marking was partially missing. I have never seen one with the marking partially missing. It is usually quite strong. I disassembled the gun and found the serial number on the bottom of the slide which was strange. After some google searching I found this Note posted below. I am thinking this must be one of the US guns refinished at that time. What do you think? Note the sharp crisp edges and straight lines. The feed ramp is polished bright. A US military gun from this serial number range should have been a "Black Colt". This for certain a very nice Colt commercial finish.

In part of the year 1920 some Commercial Government Model pistols had a serial number on the slide underside in front of the disconnector well as well as on the receiver. This practice only lasted a few months and the slide serial number was moved to underneath the firing pin stop plate. Some military pistols brought back by returning WWI vets were apparently sent to Colts for refinishing in that small time slot, and while refinishing, Colts applied their military serial number underneath the slide as was their standard practice for those months. Reference Charles Clawsons “Colt .45 Service pistols”.

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I bought this gun this week. At first glance I was certain it was an all original Colt. The finish was definitely factory Colt. Then upon close inspection I noticed the US PROPERTY marking was partially missing. I have never seen one with the marking partially missing. It is usually quite strong. I disassembled the gun and found the serial number on the bottom of the slide which was strange. After some google searching I found this Note posted below. I am thinking this must be one of the US guns refinished at that time. What do you think? Note the sharp crisp edges and straight lines. The feed ramp is polished bright. A US military gun from this serial number range should have been a "Black Colt". This for certain a very nice Colt commercial finish.

In part of the year 1920 some Commercial Government Model pistols had a serial number on the slide underside in front of the disconnector well as well as on the receiver. This practice only lasted a few months and the slide serial number was moved to underneath the firing pin stop plate. Some military pistols brought back by returning WWI vets were apparently sent to Colts for refinishing in that small time slot, and while refinishing, Colts applied their military serial number underneath the slide as was their standard practice for those months. Reference Charles Clawsons “Colt .45 Service pistols”.

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Mikebiker,

Where (what page) in the Clawson "COLT .45 SERVICE PISTOLS" is the reference you cite? And, what is the mark at the top of the right side trigger guard?

It was common for COLT to refurbish/refinish individually owned Pistols (commercial or military). COLT would normally use the practices/finishes they were using on Commercial Pistols at the time of the refinish/repair. Some believe, it was common for COLT to stamp the serial number on the bottom of the slide and (bottom of) the barrel chamber if they were to be used with the repair. Also, COLT normally marked repaired/overhauled Pistols with a repair mark on the trigger guard.

Clawson covers the Slide Serial Numbering on page 48 in his COLT .45 GOVERNMENT MODELS under item number 7. And, on page 134 (bottom of 2nd paragraph) in his COLT .45 SERVICE PISTOLS (Third Edition) he states: "All or most of the military pistols returned to Colt for repair were individually owned. Government-owned firearms were not returned to Colt except under special circumstances." And, same paragraph considering the COLT "VP" mark: "Weapons without that mark which were subsequently reconditioned at Colt were stamped with a "VP" mark after repairs were completed and the firearm inspected."

Best Regards,
 

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The pistol has been refinished. Based on the late receiver, I suspect the slide is not original to the gun, too. Those slides were originally used in the early-mid 3xxxxx range. With the slide serial numbered as it is, the pistol may have been sent back to the factory to be refinished (by an individual; not the military.)

Edit: Here is a Colt factory rework that was done sometime after WWI. Notice the "K' mark on the right side trigger guard. The slide is not numbered on this pistol...but for some reason it does has two rampant colts. :) Perhaps it was an earlier slide and the slide address had to be re-applied during the refinishing process? I can't imagine adding another rampant colt behind the cocking serrations if the slide address was still good.





 

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Discussion Starter #7
It may be the lighting but, when compared with the roll marks on the slide, the serial number and USP look like they may have been panographed.
It is not panographed. My camera has a hard time getting good pictures of markings. They often come out looking a bit odd. The serial number and US Property have been polished a a good bit making them shallow compared to the rest of the markings.

The right trigger guard has a K like the one in Scott's picture above. Not the best picture of it but when viewed in person it is the same stamping.

What kind of value would this gun have? While obviously not a correct gun it is very attractive and can be verified as a Colt refinish.

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Does the "K" stamp mean it was sent back to the factory and re-worked?
824tsv,

Yes, according to Clawson, it does signify a COLT repair mark. ("K - With serifs, the most common repair/overhaul mark.")

Best Regards,

P.S. For those interested, see the bottom of page 134 and top of 135 (COLT .45 SERVICE PISTOLS [Third Edition]) for explanations of the "K" and "&" repair marks.
 

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The only mark on the barrel is a P in front of the bottom lug.
It seems the barrel has been replaced as well. @ Scott, I have never seen a 2 Pony on a slide before. Why would a Colt repair add a rear pony for?
 

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It seems the barrel has been replaced as well. @ Scott, I have never seen a 2 Pony on a slide before. Why would a Colt repair add a rear pony for?
I don't think they added the rampant colt at the rear. I suspect the slide on the pistol was from an earlier pistol with the rampant colt in the rear...and when colt reworked the pistol, during polishing the colt slide address was so weak they had to re-apply it. The roll dies they had were the later ones with the rampant colt in the middle.

I could be wrong, but that seems the most plausible reason why there are two rampant colts on the slide. If the slide is original, and they did add the rampant colt at the rear...well, I have no idea why they would do that.
 

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Here's some examples of other repair/refurbished Pistols.

A GM (C 499X) that originally shipped to Major J. A. Shepton in February 1914, that has a numbered slide and barrel, without a repair mark. And, a "VP" marked 1918 (originally a M1911).

In some cases the GM barrel (and other parts) helps date the re-work.

Here's five pictures of the GM.

 

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