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My father was a 1911 fan, he recently passed and I have been going through his gun related items, I found this bag of what I thought was old GI grips but they are all left sides only, anyone know why they have numbers painted on them and why only the left side and no rights? https://imgur.com/OHBtkUz https://imgur.com/OnmFcfC
 

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Those were rack numbers, and the numbered stocks were probably changed out to stocks without numbers. You have a mixture of Keyes with and without reinforcing rings, a few Colts, and one Colt hollow back.
 

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Like Johnny said, rack numbers. All the small arms had rack numbers. It made it easier to draw your weapon from the arms room, One unit gave us cards with our rack numbers, when the gun was out they put the card in it's place.
 

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Rack numbers were often used on military rifles, shotguns, and pistols to make it faster to find your assigned weapon.
Instead of having to look at small serial numbers until you found your weapon, you could look for the much larger and easily seen rack number.
 

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Just to add a little more detail to what others have said already, Here is a photo of my old weapons card issued to me in the mid-70's when I was a member of the 16th Infantry. I blocked out a portion of my serial number as it is my social security number. In my case, my issue weapon was the M16A1. The #16 was painted on the rifle stock so it could be easily seen by the arms room clerk walking up and down the row of weapons in the arms room. If I were issued my rifle, I handed in the card and it was placed in the empty spot on the rack.Kim
 

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