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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, ladies and gents. What do I have here? It's an extended mag for a Colt 1911 in 38 super. Bottom is stamped "38 auto". Looks factory, with the crimped base and it's high quality. Here's a link to a pic of the Colt experimental 1911 that was full auto, from back in the 1940s: Full auto Colt 1911? The picture is all the way down the bottom of the page. Look at the bottom of the mag that's inserted into the FA 38 super and compare it to mine. What do y'all think? BTW, the mag fits pretty well into my series 90 Colt, as pictured. A little tight, but it clicks home.
 

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I don't think it's the SAME mag but very similar, and I think it is a Colt Mag. Thanks for the pictures and the link...cool :cool:
 

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looking at your pics my initial thought was no way that your mag is factory colt, but then i checked the pic at the bottom of the page from the link you supplied and although i have no way of knowing if the mag in that pic is legit i have to say that yours looks the same.

if you can't take it apart you can soak it some solvent and blow it clean with a high pressure air hose.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't think it's the SAME mag but very similar, and I think it is a Colt Mag. Thanks for the pictures and the link...cool :cool:
Thanks for your comment. The bluing even looks right for the period doesn't it? Figure, according to the thread referenced to, the FA 1911 was experimented with in 1940, that would put it in the time range that Colt was making their semi-auto mags full blue (not two-toned) with a crimped base.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
looking at your pics my initial thought was no way that your mag is factory colt, but then i checked the pic at the bottom of the page from the link you supplied and although i have no way of knowing if the mag in that pic is legit i have to say that yours looks the same.

if you can't take it apart you can soak it some solvent and blow it clean with a high pressure air hose.
Here's another link to The Firearm Blog: The Firearm Blog » Colt M1911 machine pistols Second pic down. Apparently the gun was a Swartz conversion patented in 1936 and tested by the Army in 1940. I wonder if anyone at Colt would talk to me or take a look at some pics?
 

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In the 1920s and 30s Monarch Arms of Los Angeles made a kit for the Government model in both 45 ACP and 38 Super. It consisted of a high capacity extended magazine (which I suspect is what you have), detachable shoulder stock, and foregrip. They also made a Woodsman kit that consisted only of a detachable shoulder stock. All fell victim to the National Firearms Act. I have some period advertisements for the government model and once owned a kit for the Woodsman in the original box. I will post photos when I dig them out and find time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
In the 1920s and 30s Monarch Arms of Los Angeles made a kit for the Government model in both 45 ACP and 38 Super. It consisted of a high capacity extended magazine (which I suspect is what you have), detachable shoulder stock, and foregrip. They also made a Woodsman kit that consisted only of a detachable shoulder stock. All fell victim to the National Firearms Act. I have some period advertisements for the government model and once owned a kit for the Woodsman in the original box. I will post photos when I dig them out and find time.
Thanks. I would appreciate the pics very much!
Ryan
 

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Bob,

I'd like to see those pictures too. I have two of these magazines--one in .38 Super and one in .45 ACP. The base plate markings on mine are consistent with standard Colt markings of the period. In addition, the .45 magazine is two tone.

Regards,
Kevin Williams


 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bob,

I'd like to see those pictures too. I have two of these magazines--one in .38 Super and one in .45 ACP. The base plate markings on mine are consistent with standard Colt markings of the period. In addition, the .45 magazine is two tone.

Regards,
Kevin Williams


Kev, could you post a pic of the base plate markings on your 38 super mag? I'd like to compare to mine.
 

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The base plate of my .38 Super magazine is completely unmarked. The one Sheldon shows in his book is two tone like my .45 magazine. Colt tried several times to get the Ordnance Dept interested in shoulder stocks, long magazines, selective fire, etc. There were some prototypes made in 1917 and again in 1940. The configurations were unique and the Super .38 pistols were also presented to the FBI to try to interest them. Some of the fully automatic pistols made by Hyman Lebman of San Antonio used modified Star magazines (the curved ones) but AFAIK all the Colt magazines were straight. Triple K also made some straight extended mags after WWII that look very similar to the Colt magazines. The Monarch magazines were obviously straight as well.

Bob, I've never loaded my magazine so I don't know. The .45 and the .38 are exactly the same length so the different ODs of the cartridges would account for 19 (.45) vs. 23 (.38).

Regards,
Kevin Williams
 

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Discussion Starter #15
[QUOTEThe one Sheldon shows in his book is two tone like my .45 magazine.][/QUOTE]

Kwill, I'm not familiar with Sheldon's book. Is that the Colt experimental 38 super? Also, I noticed your 38 super mag has a little "nub" at about where the base plate would be on a normal 8 round mag, just like mine...

And for everybody, what's the general consensus on my 38 super mag? Factory-made, Monarch, or Triple K? Personally, what makes me think maybe factory is the way the base is crimped, the high quality of the construction, and the color of the blue, and the "nub" mentioned above (if we're assuming that Kwill's mag is factory). What might make me think non-factory is the unevenness of the base plate markings, and also the squarish "locator" hole (I don't know what it's called) on the right side of the mag near the top (next to the third round hole down) is kind of crude, not quite rectangle.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
One more thing. I just went to clean the mag. I compressed the spring at about the third hole and got the follower to fall away to the top of the mag, but I'm having trouble getting it out of the mag. Should the follower just "fall out" of the mag? Or be able to be pulled out easily?
 

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I don't know if you mag was made by Colt. I can't be sure my is. But I AM sure that the markings on yours were not done by Colt. Here's a couple of scans that may be of interest.


 

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Doug Sheldon's 38 super book, page 48, says the experimental FA 38s had 20 round magazines. The one he pictures has 19 observation holes, plus room for one more round at the top: apparently 20 round capacity.

rlee's 38 has 23 holes. Apparently 23 round capacity, the same as the Monarch.

Kevin's 38 has 25 holes. Does that mean 25 round capacity? Can both of you measure the length of your 38 mag for capacity comparison purposes? Kevin, are your 38 and 45 the same length?

Kevin's 45 has 18 holes, plus room for one more round at the top. Apparently 19 round capacity, the same as the Monarch, but two-tone like the Colt and Colt consistent base plate markings.

The full auto Colt super 38 pictured on the gunboards link referenced by rlee, hereafter known as FA 38, is different from both Kevin's and rlee's in that the holes on the right side extend closer to the bottom of mag. Don't know how many holes.

Conclusions:
FA 38, rlee's 38, Kevin's 38, and Sheldon's 38 are all different. Monarch 38 is different from Kevin 38, Sheldon 38, and FA 38. It may or may not be identical to rlee's 38. My guess is yes.
FA 45, Monarch 45, and Kevin's 45 may or may not be identical. Not enough information to tell.
 
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