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1911A1 Rem Rand WWII Parkerizing Question

4428 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Long Spur Hollow
Hi Guys,
After reading an earlier post on 1911A1 colors...I thought I would start a new thread with my examples and questions. Thanks in advance.

I have a pair of WWII Rem Rand 45's that show a distinct variation in the color or tint of the parkerizing (one is a normal grey/green and the other a darker grey/black) and was hoping to get some opinions on whether or not these look original and if they are - is this a normal (batch to batch) color variation?

The picture below shows them both together -top gun is a 1943 and the lower one is a 1945

The following two pictures show the s/n of each. While it does not show as well in these pictures - the stamped numbers on both guns are equally sharp and burnished (like they should) relative to the other markings...which in my opinion is indicative of an original finish gun.

Color variation in parkerizing aside - both guns appear to be; 100% correct, unfired, and have never hade a screw driver put to them. I have the shipping boxes for both as well. I am looking forward to feedback and critique.

Thanks again.
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I have one just like your bottom one. 1944 was the first year for the Duluth finish. There is information on this I will try to find it and link it on this page

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The other finish is Du-lite blue hope this helps .

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Your 1.5 million range Remington Rand was produced in May of 1944, and your 2.4 million in June of 1945.

The late Remington Rands had a very light colored phosphate finish, and on most the slide will be a shade darker than the receiver.

Up until slightly over serial number 1 million the Remington Rands were finished in Du-Lite blue over a sandblasted finish, and have a blue/gray appearance. Your 1.5 million pistol almost has the appearance of Du-Lite blue, but is too late. Does the feed ramp show the original polish?

Would you mind showing he boxes?

This is a December of 1942 Remington Rand in the original Du-Lite blue finish.

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JohnnyP - You must have more accurate information than me. My 1943 date came from the book by J.C. Harrison - US Pistols & Revolvers 1909 -1945. On page 93 he states that s/n range 1,471,431 to 1,609,528 were 1943. My 1501819 falls in the first 1/3 of this range. Perhaps Harrison was off by 12 months!?

Picture of feed ramp on 1501819 is below. It has raw unfinished polished metal for the ramp. Both ramps appear the same with the earlier gun being a bit more shiny.

Pictures of boxes are also below.

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Sorry for upsidedown picture. it was correct in photobucket

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The upside down box is an original and the type I would expect to see with the 2.4 million pistol, but the other box is a repro.

Can't tell anything from the photo of the feed ramp.

And yes, Harrison's book has mistakes. Both Clawson and Meadows show production in 1944.
Thanks JohnnyP...I figured the one box looked "too new" to be old. The guy I got the box and the 45 from - said that he had them since the early to mid 1980's. Were reproduction boxes very prevelant back then? Does anyone know - When did the repros start showing up?

I do not care as much about the boxes as I do the the two 45's...and I am still very interested in what others have to say about the variations of the color of the finish on the two subject guns, and also opinions on originality of their parkerized finish.
These boxes did start showing up in the late 1980's - you could buy them through 'The Shotgun News' - purported to be originals.

The difference was that at that time, they were priced around $20.

A lot of M1911A1s were being 'repatriated' from China and other places that we gave war materiel to during WWII, and an awful lot of lightly-struck importer's stamps were removed neatly before re-finishing.

Drove a buddy of mine bat-crap crazy...
Here is an example of a typical two-tone 1945 Remington Rand 1911-A1. This one has original and deep proofs and acceptance markings that are correctly stamped on top of the finish.

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This is one of the late Remington Rands with the lighter gray phosphate finish. Several of the late RR's in factory original condition and in the original shipping boxes were sold through the NRA/DCM in the March 1962 time frame. The small parts are normally darker due to their heat treatment affecting the color of the phosphate finish.

Added the lid to the box.

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I was hoping to get an opinion from several of you on how the s/n's on both of the guns in my first post in this thread look to you.

I feel that because the s/n's are much sharper and crisper than the other stampings, and have a burnished look to them with "streched" parkerizing or raw metal at botton - it is pretty conclusive that the guns likely still have their original finish. Am I missing something? Do you guys concur?

The previous statement is easy for me to accept on the lighter colored 1945 gun...but I am in conflict with this opinion on the darker 1944 gun. Any explanations or theories?

Mike, I don't know if this (below in bold print) will help. I found it on the internet and I recall reading the same thing years ago when I owned many parkerized 45 autos. I have always found that rubbing linseed oil on parkerized finishes toughens the finish (acts as a binder) and ultimately gives them a greenish tint.

Zinc phosphating results in a non-reflective, light- to medium-gray finish. Manganese phosphating produces a medium- to dark-gray or black finish. Iron phosphating produces a black or dark gray finish similar to manganese phosphating. The grain size of the zinc phosphating is usually the smallest among the three processes, providing a more appealing cosmetic appearance in many applications. Many firearms that are Parkerized turn to a light greenish-gray color within a few years, as the coating ages, with the protective coating remaining intact. Cosmoline, especially, interacting with Parkerizing, can cause the greenish-gray patina to develop on firearms that are stored in armories. This is considered desirable and attractive by firearms enthusiasts.
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That is really great information...and a possible explanation why the 1944 gun is darker. It could in fact be a function of both the ingredients (and ratios) of the parkerize coating, as well as how it was stored.

Anyone else?
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