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You should try to get your money back. Seriously. It started life as a WWI vintage M1911 (circa 1918) but has been hard buffed, plated and, worst of all, the markings removed, including the original serial number. That means that it is legally contraband and is a felony to own. It is a legal liability. Sorry to be brutal but thems the facts.
 

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Looking at the frame, it is an older 1911 (perhaps civil model) because on the rear of the trigger; the system is cut straight - unlike a 1939 or 1940 which had indented frame cut behind the trigger, the trigger is longer than the WWII version and the front sight is smaller - the rear main spring housing does not have a lanyard loop as a military version would have (unless it was removed), there does not appear to be a "United States Property" roll stamp on the left frame in front of the slide stop - I didn't see an inspection stamp behind the left side of the trigger just above the magazine release. The Rampant "Colt" seems to be on the left slide in between the markings for paten and colt's Pt F.A. MFG Co. stamp - but most importantly none of these guns were nickel plated from the factory and was done after-market. At the time era (1911 - 1940) a lot of people would remove the "U.S. Property" from the guns - The serial number if it started with a "C" would indicate it is not military, but civilian. If you are planning on buying this one, don't pay too much for it!

My two cents worth...
 

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Serial Number: 1818 according to Colt site:

"Year of Manufacture

1912

Model

MODEL 1911 MILITARY"

Provided that is all of the serial number. I agree that it is questionable because of all the wear and tear this gun has been through, and assuming the serial number has not been obliviated, but is 1818, it would fit for the manner in which the gun is manufactured.

Still, I think there are better versions of this gun out there, unless the buyer got it for $20.00!
 

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I believe the "1818" is in the wrong place. It should be farther forward on the dust cover and preceded by "No" for a military pistol or in a different place entirely for a "C" prefix Government Model serial number.
 

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This is the reason $20 is not a good deal. You might use this to get your money back, or otherwise tell the seller you are taking it to the ATF.

§ 478.34 Removed, obliterated, or altered serial number.
No person shall knowingly transport, ship, or receive in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered, or possess or receive any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered and has, at any time, been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
[T.D. ATF-313, 56 FR 32508, July 17, 1991]
 

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While a part of you is absorbing this information, there's likely a part saying 'But What If They're WRONG?'.

We're not...

That the seller may be no more familiar than you with regard to .45s isn't your problem - it's his, since he knowingly sold it off 'his' FFL, so the prudent thing for him to do is to refund your money and turn it in to the BATF office, because if you turn it in, that opens up a whole new can of worms for him.

You've been given good advice from guys who know this field - following it would be a good idea.
 

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Is owning that piece of contraband worth the risk of spending ten years as a guest of the government making small rocks out of big ones? I don't think so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
While a part of you is absorbing this information, there's likely a part saying 'But What If They're WRONG?'.

We're not...

That the seller may be no more familiar than you with regard to .45s isn't your problem - it's his, since he knowingly sold it off 'his' FFL, so the prudent thing for him to do is to refund your money and turn it in to the BATF office, because if you turn it in, that opens up a whole new can of worms for him.

You've been given good advice from guys who know this field - following it would be a good idea.
While a part of you is absorbing this information, there's likely a part saying 'But What If They're WRONG?'.

We're not...

That the seller may be no more familiar than you with regard to .45s isn't your problem - it's his, since he knowingly sold it off 'his' FFL, so the prudent thing for him to do is to refund your money and turn it in to the BATF office, because if you turn it in, that opens up a whole new can of worms for him.

You've been given good advice from guys who know this field - following it would be a good idea.
So I had it on layaway for 100$ at a pawn shop. Went back this morning and they refused to refund me. They claim the serial number is 1818.
I’ll likely eat the cost, but I’d like to stick the ATF on them in return. Any guidance here?
 

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It would be a violation of state law as well. Dropping a dime to the state boys might find it interesting as well.
 
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It has an altered serial number. The 1818 is obviously added by someone that didn't know where it went originally, or that if it was commercial it would have a C prefix to the serial number, or a No. prefix if military. The seller knows something is wrong or he would refund your down payment. He wants to get rid of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So I had it on layaway for 100$ at a pawn shop. Went back this morning and they refused to refund me. They claim the serial number is 1818.
I’ll likely eat the cost, but I’d like to stick the ATF on them in return. Any guidance here?
Call the local BATF - ask them about the piece and show them the information you've gathered.

You 'should' see a gleam in someone's eye...
[/QUOT
Call the local BATF - ask them about the piece and show them the information you've gathered.

You 'should' see a gleam in someone's eye...
Called the local ATF. They agreed and a certain pawn shop will be getting a surprise visit soon.
 

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Wow that pawn shop is a great example of how not run a shop (and may be closed down soon because of it).

The sad thing is if they had brought it in to the ATF themselves there is at least a chance the ATF would have restored the serial number or allowed you to have the original number restamped on the gun (even seemingly gone serial numbers can be recovered with forensic methods),in some rare cases the ATF will assign a new number and in even in the worst case of being required to simply surrender it they would only be out what ever they paid for the pistol.
 
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