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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Hello,

I just recently picked up these old 1911's that I dated to 1917 & 1918. They are in great shape for their age and I would like to keep them that way.

I have never had guns this old and am not sure what the best way to take care of them is. I keep the revolvers looking good with massive amounts of Eezox, which seems to work really well. I am nervous to break these down and clean them wrong or put the wrong stuff in. I also have no idea what they are worth, but I'm hoping it's alot. Doesn't matter too much, because it will be my kids having the chance to sell them first!

Any ideas on how to keep them intact and looking great?


Also, I've been trying to sort out my magazine box and have these old mags that aren't attached to any guns. Any way of finding out info on these mags?

Thanks!!!!
 

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The "C" is Checkmate, and the "M" is Metalform, both Colt subcontractors. I don't know about the others.

Buck
 

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The top two magazines are aftermarket. The magazine a 1917 and 1918 manufactured Colt Model 1911 would have been issued with would have been a two tone plain base. 1915 was the last year the Model 1911 was shipped with lanyard loop magazines.

This is a Model 1911 shipped in late 1918. I just use a good preservative oil to protect it.


 

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This is the evolution of the magazine for the Colt .45 military pistol.

The first magazine is the exposed base which was used to approximately serial number 4500. The second is the "Keyhole" with a relief cut in the back to give the magazine more spring and help prevent cracking, and was used to approximately serial number 40,000. The third is the standard lanyard loop magazine and was used to serial number serial number 125566. The fourth is the non-lanyard loop magazine used to 1939, and the full blue which was used to the end of production.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tidbits. The guns came with magazines that have the lanyard loops. I figured they were original, but now I know. I have several actually of the old magazined with lanyard loops. Your 1911 looks great! What did the original look like?The checkmate and metal form are good too. I'm definitely learning a lot on this forum. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I'm still researching these guns more and have been polishing them up. I have a few more questions for the 1911 experts in the house. Is there any significance to these markings?

Thanks
Automotive tire Auto part Rim Metal Firearm Gun Trigger Gun accessory Gun barrel Product Auto part Metal
 

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In the first picture is the inspectors stamp GHS, Gilbert H Stewart. From serial number 101,500 to 230,000

The eagle head and number replaced personalized monograms From serial number 300,000 until the end of WW1 production in 1919

Very nice USGI's
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In the first picture is the inspectors stamp GHS, Gilbert H Stewart. From serial number 101,500 to 230,000The eagle head and number replaced personalized monograms From serial number 300,000 until the end of WW1 production in 1919Very nice USGI's
I'll say it again. Thanks and I love this site! I'm finishing up the 4th old 1911 now in the gun room.
 

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Major Gilbert H. Stewart and later Major John M. Gibert were in charge of inspection and acceptance of firearms for Springfield Armory. They had inspectors assigned to the plants producing the firearms that did the actual inspection and acceptance. In May of 1918 the inspection and acceptance procedures were streamlined and each individual inspector was issued their stamp with the eagle head letter/number identifying them.

The H on top of your receiver is the initial of Frank Hosmer. He was a civilian inspector, and his initials on the top of the receiver, back of slide, and chamber area of barrel indicate they passed his provisional inspection. The S indicates the receiver was initially made for a commercial (Sales) pistol, but was transferred to the military contract. The R indicates an inspection at some time during the production.

This is the eagle head inspection/acceptance mark on the Model 1911 shown above. The late Model 1911's had a less than durable finish and tended to flake with use. On this one the blueing flaked off the serial number and inspection mark as they were stamped after the pistol was finished.

 

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Forgot to add a photo of the back of the "Keyhole" magazine in the original post of the Model 1911 magazines. Colt was having a hard time getting the tempering correct, and this was an interim measure until they got the tempering correct. Even then, some of the magazines still split on the back right where the angle is.

 

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Did Colt put the serial numbers on the slide as well? In other words, is there a way to tell if the slide belons with an exact frame? Please forgive me if Im hijacking the thread. Looking at these pics got me to thinking about my 1917 1911 and was curious.
 

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Did Colt put the serial numbers on the slide as well? In other words, is there a way to tell if the slide belons with an exact frame? Please forgive me if Im hijacking the thread. Looking at these pics got me to thinking about my 1917 1911 and was curious.
Not on the Model 1911, and while there are no positive ways to identify a slide as being original to a receiver there are ways to tell if the slide is of the correct type. This includes the patent dates, location and type of rampant colt, slide machining, the style lettering, and even the location of the right side slide markings.

Colt did not number the slides to the receivers until serial number 710001, and discontinued this practice just short of the 1.14 million serial number range.
 
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