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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Does anyone know what the barrel markings for a 16’ commercial should be. I have read mixed reviews. Some saying it should be in the white at hood area with just a P on top like a 15’, other have said no markings except a t in front of lug underneath. Maybe both are correct depending when in 16’ it was made.
I have one that is just in the white at the hood as both 15’ and 16’ should but no P on top but does what appears to have “t” stuck underneath in front of the lug. I also notice to the bottom side lug of mine what appears to be a P in a circle though hard to tell because it’s in the blued area and close to the lug so it’s hard ro see. If anyone has any they know are correct int the 47k range please let me know what yours may have. Appreciate in advance. Btw, if I can I will get some pics up or see if another member would be kind enough to post them if I can’t just won’t be able to get to it for a bit..
 

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1916 commercial and military pistols are rarely seen. 1916 had the lowest number of military M1911 pistol produced of any year. In contrast, 1916 commercial production was huge. However, the vast majority of commercial production was sold overseas...as there was a war going on. Just because the U.S. had not entered the war yet, much of the world had...and Colt provided nearly all their 1916 commercial production to those countries.

Earlier production 1916 GM barrels had the "P" on top of the chamber. Here's one from the C28xxx serial range.


However, by the time your pistol was made, the "P" had been moved to the bottom, forward of the lugs. Here's one in the C48xxx serial range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much Scott! That’s what it looks like but my p isn’t struck as nice and closer to one side of lug and I didn’t know what that other mark in front of the P was but it’s the same one I have. I am very happy to hear this. This is a decent 16’, unmarked non lanyard baseplate mag seem possibly correct as well?
Thank you again!
 

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I can't say for sure what magazine may have been shipped from the factory with your pistol, but that sounds about right. We just don't see a lot of 1916 pistols to say for sure one way or the other. While the last military M1911 shipped with a lanyard loop magazine was No. 125566 at the end of 1915 production, it's possible Colt continued to use lanyard loop magazines with commercial pistols until they were depleted.

Many really nice 1917 commercials I own and have observed had lanyard loop mags with them when acquired, so I've always wondered. So many of the Russian contract pistols I've seen, when still all original, have non-lanyard loop base mags with them. I suspect as many of those pistols were produced and shipped, Colt would have eliminated the loop...simply to save time and labor. But...when that may have happened? I'm not sure. I think it would take a number of pristine pistols in their original boxes coming out of the woodwork to really give us a better picture. And they just aren't that common. Perhaps someone else can provide a better answer?

I think the primary thing is that your magazine be a commercially polished mag, not a military contract. And in the end, I wouldn't pass on a nice original 1916, regardless of what magazine was with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is actually more to this I think pics will help. let me see if I can get some
up after Thanksgiving and give some insite into this 1911, it may be a bit unique in history. Happy thangsgiving all
and look forward to picking up on this thread after and thanks again and hope with all the knowledge here we can piece some
of the history of this particular one together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Btw, thanks for MPD, you and others and Others to tell me to definitely not pass on it, as alone it’s a good 16’. I do appreciate the honesty and helpfulness of the members here.
 

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Flyfishit,

Here are two more 1916 barrels for comparison, the 3rd may be one also. The first C 27K (not my picture). The 2nd from/in C 35K (the only marks on it). The 3rd a loose barrel (a 1911 cut, commercial prepped, barrel, the only marks on it,---it looks like a 1916 cut barrel).

Best Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, iirc it’s closer to the last pic and maybe further off center toward lug maybe even double struck. Can’t recall. I will get it apart and gets some pics soon as I get a chance but it does have that other mark forward of the P in center as far as I remember. Thank you for those pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I took a look. It’s just like Scott’s second pic with the P on bottom in front of lug with the same mark forward of that and like Stan’s second pic or third just more centered. For some reason I thought it wasn’t centered. As far as the mag it’s an unmarked baseplate high polish from what I can tell. I found pics of one that was for sale from what I think is a reputable seller and in all respects it’s exactly like that one. That one for sale was cleaner in areas, but where the flaws were they were bigger and more serious but the overall finish on that one is close but I think a little nicer. I can’t tell in pics but it looks like front strap and msh are worn to gray where as mine is complete full blue finish on front and save vague freckling same in msh. It has some light freckling on one side , the other very clean. After seeing the one for sale and the help of members I am very happy and feel it’s how it left Colt in 1916. Thank you all again for your help.
I need to get pics up so I can tell the other part of what is going on with this gov model but can’t get pics to load because I know the second part is going to demand that to discuss. If anyone wants I may be able to email pics if they can post them. Thanks again and maybe we can get pics up
and bring up the second part of the history on this one.
 
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