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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have this Colt "United States Property" marked 1911 dated from 1937.
Serial number: 7117xx

The finish is pretty good with even wearing. The most wear is on the front strap as you can see in the pic.

I'm just wondering what it's worth nowadays. I'd like to know more about this pistol.

 

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While the slide has Model of 1911 U.S. ARMY, it is actually a Model 1911A1. Incorrect drawings were furnished, as the model designation was suppose to be on the receiver rather than on the slide, and was suppose to be M 1911A1 U.S. ARMY.

That is a tough pistol to find, but your picture is too dark to tell much about it. The slide should be serial numbered under the firing pin stop plate, and if original to the pistol will match the receiver. The grips are incorrect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Johnny, thanks for the added info. I know the grips are incorrect and would love to replace them with "period correct" grips. Can you point me in the right direction where I can get the correct grips ? Thanks.

I will take better photos.
 

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Quite rare indeed! Per Clawson, your pistol predated the Coltrock plastic stocks adopted in 1940, it would have shipped with full-checkered walnut stocks.

As you probably know, your pistol was part of the 3rd order of 1937 and was specifically ordered for the Navy.

As one of 2,349 pistols produced in 1937, it is one of the rarest M1911A1's of all.

Does the slide and frame serial number match? Original finish?

Happy collecting.

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ray,
I believe the finish to be original. I will post better pics.

I would have to take the slide apart to verify the matched serial numbers.

To my surprise, this pistol is all original minus the grip panels. I was surprised to learn the rarity of the pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, now my interest is peaked ! I really don't know much about 1911's so I'm gaining a lot of knowledge here.

I took some good pics last night and will post them later today (I'm at work now). How do I take the slide apart to verify the serial number that's behind the firing pin stop ? I do hope the finish is original as well.

If those numbers match and the finish is original, I'll need to find the correct grip panels.
 

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All you need to do is lock the slide to the rear and push in the firing pin with something round like a small dowel and slide the firing pin stop down until it comes out. Be careful not to let the firing pin shoot out and hit you in the eye as it is under spring pressure from the firing pin spring. hope that helps.

Reinstall it by pushing in the firing pin enough to allow the stop to clear the end of the firing pin and then push it up into place and the firing pin will snap back into the hole in the stop. Watch out that the extractor does not rotate and block the stop when you rein set it. If it does, just rotate it until the firing pin stop slide up into place.
 

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As to the grips/stocks, the originals will have 28 rows of diamonds between the screw holes. There are a lot of 30/32 row stocks floating around that came out of the National Match program. Be sure you get the correct stocks.

The slide doesn't have to be taken apart to see the serial number. Lock the slide back, push the firing pin in, and slide the stop plate down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Fellas, thanks for the replies. I'm still excited learning that it's a pretty rare pistol and that it's numbers matching. Being the slide was reblued, I can live with that and it's diminished value. I picked this up in 2007 and never paid it too much mind until recently. It's been oiled and sitting in my safe ever since 2007.

I'm going to get the correct grips for it and hold onto it for my Son. Perhaps I'll look for another 1911 in the WWI or WWII era.

I also have a 1911 dated 1948. I would like to start another thread about that one and supply lots of pics for you guys to see. It looks exceptionally nice so perhaps it too was "refinished" (purchased from the same seller).
I'll let you guys decide.
 

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What a shame on the refinished slide. It cuts the value by 75%, maybe more, and moves it out of "collector" class into "shooter" class. The fact that the original pistol was rare does not mean much now.

Does your 1948 pistol exhibit the same uneven surfaces, rounded edges, too shiny finish and "pulled" lettering as the slide on the M1911A1? If so, you do not need Forum members to decide. It too has been refinished. By the way, you 1948 pistol cannot be a "Model of 1911" (the last Model of 1911 was made in about 1923 or so). It has to be a commercial Government Model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What a shame on the refinished slide. It cuts the value by 75%, maybe more, and moves it out of "collector" class into "shooter" class. The fact that the original pistol was rare does not mean much now.

Does your 1948 pistol exhibit the same uneven surfaces, rounded edges, too shiny finish and "pulled" lettering as the slide on the M1911A1? If so, you do not need Forum members to decide. It too has been refinished. By the way, you 1948 pistol cannot be a "Model of 1911" (the last Model of 1911 was made in about 1923 or so). It has to be a commercial Government Model.
You're right, the 1948 is not a "Model of 1911"...I simply refer to all Colt 45's "1911".

As for the 1937 model, I'm going to have it appraised.
 
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