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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Colt 45 auto with the frame serial number of 618603. The slide is a much later one that is probably Vietnam era. The gun is parkerized and the frame has cut-outs behind the trigger on both sides like the 1911A1's have. Is it likely or unlikely that the Government modified frames from that serial number range to have the 1911A1 configuration?
 

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Serial number 618603 is a Model 1911 number. Ordnance toyed with the idea of converting the 1911 receivers to 1911A1 configuration, but decided against it. Occasionally a rebuild from Anniston Army Depot will show up with the finger cutouts, but it was not officially done.

Along the same lines, the WWII Remington 03-A4 Sniper rifle receivers were still marked 03-A3, supposedly so the receiver could also be used on a standard 03-A3 rifle. A few of the sniper rifles have shown up with the 3 in A3 obliterated and a 4 stamped in it's place. I always figured that someone at a rebuild facility took it upon themselves to correct the marking, and not done officially.

When the so called "Transition" pistol came out in 1924 it was to be an "improved" Model 1911. In 1926, Ordnance decided that the pistol would be a 1911A1, and that any pistol under serial number 700,000 would remain a 1911, and any pistol above serial number 700,000 would be a 1911A1. Model 1911 production ended at serial number 629,500 in 1919.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JohnnyP: Wouldn't an Anniston Army Depot (or any other depot rebuild) have an arsenal marking? Mine has no such marking. My pistol appears to be one that may have been 'built up' to a 1911A1 configuration for some purpose. The machining is not 'on a par' with other 1911A1's I have seen (like the one you pictured), and it is Parkerized. Also, as I stated before, it has a much later slide. The obvious conclusion would be that it is a gun that was made up from parts, but the finger cut-outs leaves questions. Even if it is a 'made up' pistol, I would like to know where/why the finger cut-outs were done. If an army depot did some without marking them, your explanation is sound. Thanks
 

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I had a WWI (1917) M1911 that was first rebuilt by RIA, and then by Anniston Army Depot (1975).

It had been milled for the finger reliefs on the frame, and was essentially an M1911A1.

It came to me with a S&W barrel and a 1960's Colt QAP slide - with that odd, light grey Parkerizing and a set of Keyes plastic grips.

I figure that the machining for the finger reliefs was done during the Depression, to keep a reasonably-sized workforce gainfully employed at the Arsenals.
 

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Not all arsenal rebuilds were marked, but the Anniston pistols I have seen that were modified were. Over the years I have seen a few Model 1911 receivers with the finger cutouts added with varying degrees of skill. Most appeared to be Bubba added.

As far as I know, no other Model 1911's with the finger cutouts added have shown up from rebuild facilities other than Anniston, and they are all marked with ANAD and the date. Since Ordnance nixed the idea, I feel that someone at Anniston took it upon themselves to modify the Model 1911's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
JohnnyP: I just received Scott Meadows' book on semi-auto military pistols from 1920-1945. In it he has some light discussion on the conversion of 1911's to 1911A1's. I think he shows pictures of a couple in the 5XX,XXX range. I think he said that Springfield may have had some involvement. He even has pictures of a very early 1911 that was converted.
I just skimmed the book, so I will read it over more carefully.
My gun seems to have a lot in common with the gun dogface6 described above. Mine does not appear to be the work of Bubba.
 

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As noted in my previous post, there was some deliberation about adding finger cutouts, but it was decided not to do it. Virtually all experimentation projects involving the Model 1911 came out of Springfield Armory. These ranged from fully automatic pistols to silencers to experimental sights. Examples of some of these still exist.

If the cutouts were done on a milling machine there is no reason that they couldn't be as good as those on original pistols.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
JohnnyP: Are you saying that since my gun has no arsenal markings that the finger cut-outs were either not done by the government or it was unofficially done by the government?
 

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Without something indicating where the cutouts were done the chances are greater that they were not done by Ordnance. Since there was no order to put finger cutouts in the 1911 receivers, it appears that the ANAD pistols so modified were done unofficially. I don't believe I have ever seen another 1911 with the cutouts identified by any rebuild marking.
 
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