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First let me be the first to congratulate you on a very nice early Government Model in the 1911 configuration. As Judge Colt constantly reminds us, this is a Government Model. As the government Model designation does not offer a adequate description to describe the change in style from 1911 to 1911A1 configuration I hope he will allow the description of Government Model in (1911/1911A1)configuration designation as a way to qualify the change. As others will tell you it is not a 1911A1. I believe the Colt on the slide should not be circled during this period. As to value you will need better and more pictures before someone will hazard a guess. The ones on Photo bucket cannot be expanded or increased in size. I may be interested when you establish your asking price.
 

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I believe that somewhere in 1912 they stopped putting the circle around the colt for government models just like they did for the ones sent to the military. Around 20,000 is when they stopped the circle on the military ones. Since the slides were all made together....some went on usgi's and some went on commercials. I believe your slide is correct. I do have a question.....does your grips have 15 or 13 rows of checkering in between the 2 diamonds. As far as price, I would have to leave that up to the more senior guys here. I would be interested in it if you do deide to buy it and of course if I could afford it.

As mike stated you have a fine pistol there.
 

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The pictured gun is not a "1911" or a "1911A1." Those are military designations assigned only to military contract pistols. There is not such thing as a "commercial 1911" or "commercial 1911A1." The pictured gun is a "Government Model" with no reference to any military designation.

No one who answers the phone at Colt is qualified to answer anything beyond the most basic collector questions, and often not even those questions. I believe the circle around the Rampant Colt was phased out early on, but I will leave it to those more knowledgeable than I to comment on exactly when, and whether this example should have the circle or not.
 

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"Since the slides were all made together....some went on usgi's and some went on commercials."

This is not a correct statement. The slides on M1911 (military) pistols were marked MODEL OF 1911 U.S. ARMY on the right side. Depending on the SN range, the finishes were considerably different as well. Having said that, this slide may be correct. The circled logo was used up until about C2200 but slides without the circle around the rampant colt started appearing at about C1400, so there was considerable overlap.
 

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It was my impression from something I read that lead me to believe the early usgi's were as highly polished as the commercial ones. The left side roll marks I believe are the same on both pistols and the only difference is the right side. Polishing would of occurred before applying roll marks and once it was applied on left, the right side roll marks were then applied for what that slide was going to. Maybe I read to much into it....I could be wrong though. I'm sure someone on here would know.
 

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It was my impression from something I read that lead me to believe the early usgi's were as highly polished as the commercial ones. The left side roll marks I believe are the same on both pistols and the only difference is the right side. Polishing would of occurred before applying roll marks and once it was applied on left, the right side roll marks were then applied for what that slide was going to. Maybe I read to much into it....I could be wrong though. I'm sure someone on here would know.
Stampings of the Slide Texts would have been done prior to final prep steps for final Polish and then Blueing. This in order to remove 'raised Metal' around the Characters.

I assume the raised edges would have been removed via Draw Filing...and, from there, to Slides would go on to final Polishing.
 

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Stampings of the Slide Texts would have been done prior to final prep steps for final Polish and then Blueing. This in order to remove 'raised Metal' around the Characters.

I assume the raised edges would have been removed via Draw Filing...and, from there, to Slides would go on to final Polishing.
Well that answers that.... I will have to go back and see what the hell I was thinking while I was reading.
 

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Colt used large wooden polishing wheels at the time. The wheels were faced with leather, and the leather was impregnated with the grade of grit or polish required. Some wheels were contoured for a specific polishing job. These polishing wheels did not round out the screw holes or smear the lettering like the present day buffing wheels. The lettering would have been early enough in production that the raised metal around the lettering would had been removed during the polishing process, and no lettering would have been smeared and no edges rounded off.

The markings were not stamped on but rather were applied with a roll die. A stamp applies all the marking at one time where the roll die rolls it on with only a tiny portion of the die contacting the piece being marked at any one time.
 

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"Roll Stamped"...( is still 'Stamped'...) And yes, is a different method of Stamping, than where all characters are applied at-once by a single Blow or pressing.

I do not know how the raised edges of Stamped or Roll Stamps characters were removed...but, I would not expect them to have been chaffing or scarring and differentially wearing shallow furrows in to Leather covered Polishing Wheels made for 'flat' areas, when two seconds of able draw Filing, would remove the Burrs, and, present a dead flat surface to the Leather Covered Polishing Wheels ( with no prospect of differential wear to their 'flat' surface ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all very much. What picture format would best be use to get a better quality picture that can be expanded or increased in size.
 

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I do not know how the raised edges of Stamped or Roll Stamps characters were removed...
There were successive grits on each of the several wheels used to achieve the final polish. The coarser grits removed the displaced metal and the finer grits created the desired polish texture. There is a good description of the polishing wheels and process in "A Century of Achievement 1836 - 1936."
 

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Some of the "polishing" wheels as described by Johnny P. were coarse enough they threw a shower of sparks in use.
 

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Some of the "polishing" wheels as described by Johnny P. were coarse enough they threw a shower of sparks in use.
The final polishing wheel compound was described as being as fine as talc. Must have been a sight to behold seeing each stage of polishing being completed until that magnificent blue popped.
 

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One possible reason for removing the circle from the Rampant Colt may have been die breakage. This picture illustrates the angle that the roll die contacted the metal, and with that being the only part of the die making contact caused it to be applied deeper than the rest of the die until the more complex part of the die came into contact with the metal. As the die was leaving the other side, it also displays the deeper stamp. This would apply unusual angle and pressures to these two points on the die.

 

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One possible reason for removing the circle from the Rampant Colt may have been die breakage. This picture illustrates the angle that the roll die contacted the metal, and with that being the only part of the die making contact caused it to be applied deeper than the rest of the die until the more complex part of the die came into contact with the metal. As the die was leaving the other side, it also displays the deeper stamp. This would apply unusual angle and pressures to these two points on the die.


That's pretty weird..!

A Roll Die for this style Logo, would ( or should ) have been designed to 'roll' the impression in - the Die face itself would be 'rounded' in one dimension, in order to leave an even impression - and would not leave accentuated displacement at it's entry and exit.

Do all the Encircled Colt Logos on the slides of Automatics, show this effect?
 

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That's pretty weird..!

A Roll Die for this style Logo, would ( or should ) have been designed to 'roll' the impression in - the Die face itself would be 'rounded' in one dimension, in order to leave an even impression - and would not leave accentuated displacement at it's entry and exit.

Do all the Encircled Colt Logos on the slides of Automatics, show this effect?
The same pressure was applied throughout the roll die process. When only the leading edge of the circle touched the slide all pressure was directed on that one point of contact. If it had been a square, the pressure would have been distributed more evenly. As to not leaving accentuated displacement, I can only show you proof in the form of photos that it does.

Here is a pistol some 15,000 serial numbers earlier that shows the same displacement even though the overall depth of the marking is not as deep as the first example I showed. I don't know of any Colt model that shows the same roll die marking abnormality throughout it's production run .

 

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I have 2 1908 Model M's from the era one is a 3 digit and the other a 4 digit serial number, so 1908 and 1909 respectively. Both have circled pony's at the rear of the slide left side. Both show the same characteristics as JohnnyP's. My photographic skills are not up to his standards but under 10 power magnification the uneven pressure ridge is apparent in both.
 
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