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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I am new to this forum, found it looking for info on Colt model 1909s. I found one for sale today in a local shop. Serial number was in the 46000 range, had RAC inspector stamps, nice correct smooth grips, and about 95% blue. US Property marked under the barrel. The lanyard ring is intact.
Unfortunately the finish is obviously a reblue. It is a nice finish (that I would guess might be a rearsenal job, maybe?). From my research I gather I need to look closely to see if it has been converted to .45 ACP.
What would a fair value be on such an example? I collect broadly, my focus (to use the term loosely) is WW I and WW II small arms. I have found that arsenal refinishing hurts collectors values much more for some types of arms than others. I do not currently own any Colt revolvers. Is a refinished example standard for these 90 year old warhorses or does this create a "shooter" with little collector value?
Thanks for any enlightenment.
Tim
 

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Hi Tim:

Welcome to the Forum. Lot's of good guys and good info here.


The Model of 1909 Revolver is an interesting piece. As a stop-gap weapon it probably has not gotten the attention it deserves, but I see that changing somewhat.

In my experience, a good refinish of unknown origin puts the gun at about 60% of the value of an un-refinished gun in otherwise equal condition. (I am excluding factory re-finishes that are documentable such as the S&Ws, and arsenal re-finishes which typically are marked as having gone through the rebuild prcess.) I don't think that necessarily places it into the shooter category, but I do see collector interest in such refinished guns dropping off dramatically. My personal view would be to pass on such a gun until I could afford an original unrefinished example, but everyone views these things differently and there is no 'right and wrong' on this subject.

It sounds like you have a nice gun. Enjoy it.

Charlie Flick

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, that is just the kind of info I am looking for. I do not actually own this gun, for once I decided to research before I bought. The revolver is ticketed at $350. What markings would I look for to see if this is an arsenal refinish? Would it still be worth that kind of money for an undocumented reblue? Based on what I see at FL gunshows it is rare to find any US martial handgun for this kind of money but I really don't have a grasp on Colt revolver values at all.
 

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I haven't seen many like ordnanceguy's Model 1909 myself. That is a primo revolver. This model is a little pricey and a 50% finish on one would probably bring $500-$600.

It's all subjective on finishes. The $350 is a good price but you have to be satisfied with a refinished military gun.

I own a couple of older Winchester rifles and one was reblued when I bought it 20 years ago for a song. Good news is I own an 1892 cheap, bad news is I own a refinished rifle. I'm not entirely satisfied with it either because of that.

I'd rather have a rough or thinning finish on an original gun, especially on military guns.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Reddogge,
If it was refinished by the military it is all the same to me, just part of its history. Otherwise, it does detract somewhat. Any idea what markings to look for that indicate an arsenal refurb on these revolvers?

Thanks,
Tim
 

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I too would pass on anything not original, unless you are just looking for a type piece and do not care about originality.

The M1909 is the rarest of all military Colt cartridge handguns. Murphy in his New Service book reports that the number of Models 1909 may be a low as 13,000 and no higher that 18,303. That is rare by other military cartridge revolver standards, and even by commercial standards. The high-polish commercial grade finish on a prime example like OG's is something to behold, and you will not get that with a refinish.

Just think, the M1909 was the last military revolver before the semi-automatic pistol took over. It is chambered for one of the most famous cartridges ever. After the M1847 Walker, it is the most powerful American military handgun ever (along with the SAA of course). It is the rarest cartrdige military revolver. A good example is desireable for any Colt collection. Wait for a better one.
 

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Tim; since you said you focus loosely on military small arms,I guess you'd better "pass" on the refinished 1909-BUT-that is a helluva good price for a Colt New Service!

I have been dealing in New Services for years,and am mostly a shooter,and ANY new Service,that is in decent shape,and that includes nice reblues,that you can get for under $500 these days,is rare. All too many,especially the 1917's, have been "messed with".

But,be prepared to spend in excess of $1500 for an original 1909 in the shape of the one pictured. As was menioned,they are RARE-and many of the Army models were left behind in the Phillipines for their troops, Many have lived hard lives.

A few were converted to .45 acp,and I have seen 2 that were done at an arsenal-but they were parkerized. The Navy kept their 1909s the longest,some remaining in the ships small arms lockers for 30-40 years or more.(along with Krag rifles!)

So if you want a "shooter",that $350 is a helluva buy,IMO, Plus the gun has original stocks,markings and even the lanyard ring.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for your input. I believe I will go back on Monday, take a closer look, and probably try to work my best deal on the Colt. I sure appreciate the information.

Thanks,
Tim
 

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You're not going to get hurt at $350 . Buy it and enjoy . If you find a nicer one later , you can upgrade . /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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Thats a good price for a shooter, but in my long experience horsetrading handguns, most 'arsenal refinishes' are ballyhoo on the part of the seller and/or wishful thinking on the part of the buyer
 

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I agree with most of the responses here. However, perhaps most important, is the PRICE. For $350.00, a 1909 NS shooter in nearly ANY condition would be an excellent value. The last 1909 I saw was refinished and had a price tag of over $1,000.00 so in my opinion, I'd buy it. If for nothing else, your investment is certainly recoverable, just for parts alone! Cheers.

Lefty
 
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