I think those are the correct Coltwood grips you have there.
Coltwood grips from the WWII era were also used for the first few years of commercial production of Govt. Models after the war. They were out of use a long time by 1961.
Just to be clear - if you have a 1961 gun, it's a Govt. Model, not a Colt 1911A1. They are not the same guns. The A1A was a military gun and the vast majority of them came with the Coltwood grips with a complete checkering field along all the surfaces and no moulded rampant pony in the grips like your set. The Govt. Model was suspended from production during WWII. It is the commercial .45 and was always referred to as the Govt. Model, before and after the war. My info above about the grips is predicated on your gun being a 1961 Govt. Model, not a Colt 1911A1.
Thanks gentlmen and thank you for setting me straight on the proper terminology. It is a 1961 Government Model (S/N: 289403-C) and NOT a 1911A1. I bought the pistol with wood grips, complete checkering field along all the surfaces and no moulded rampant pony.
Previously a purchased a 1967 Government Model and it came with the Colt Brown Bakelite grips, which the seller told me were original to the pistol. So I figured that if my 67 has the Colt Brown Bakelite grips then so should my 61.
Am I correct? I just want to be certain before I go looking (and pay) top dollar for a set of the Colt Brown Bakelite grips for my 61.
No, in this case the seller is wrong. What you call brown Bakelite grips are only correct for 1911A1 pistols and for maybe 1946-47 (roughly) Govt. Models. After that the plastic grips like in your picture were used until the Govt Model Series 70 came out. Guess what year the Series 70 started? Colt went back to wood grips then, but not the type your gun came with.
To confuse you even more, the wood grips you got with the gun may have some value even if they are incorrect for the gun. Count how many lines per inch the checkering is. Also count how many rows of checkering there are between the screw holes. If the lines per inch are 14 L.P.I. and the row count is 28 between the screw holes the grips may be pre war Colt Govt. Model ones. They were black walnut, stained as well, with no medallions on them. They might not be but if they are pre war Colt Govt. Model grips in good or better condition they are worth good money.
You might want to post a picture of the gun and the grips. It would help us help you.
As I mentioned, the plastic grips in your picture are correct for a Colt Govt. Model from about 1948-1969. No offense to the seller but those wood grips are not correct for either the 1961 or the 1967 Govt. Models you mentioned. Also, that gun may have had a good quality reblue. I don't think that is the original finish, but that is another story.
This gun is a Remington, not a Colt, and the grips are Keyes fiber grips, not Colt grips. His gun is a Remington 1911 A1, and it looks almost identical to a Colt 1911A1. Even though m151's gun is a Remington with Keyes fiber grips and not a Colt with Coltwood grips, they look almost identical. These type of grips were not used for post war Colt Govt. models except for maybe the first two years of post war production. After that, the type of plastic Coltwood grips shown in your pictures were used.
I hope this helps you! I'd suggest using the search feature and typing in various subjects like Coltwood (revolvers will also come up under this subject so be patient), or typing the subject as pre Series 70, Govt. Model, etc., reading a bit in our semi auto forum, and checking out the 1911 Forum: 1911Forum - Powered by vBulletin, under the sub forum USGI/Foreign Millitary and other Vintage 1911s, and the sub forum just called Colt.
There is a lot to learn about these guns and it's difficult to explain all the changes and variations.
Additional questions by you will of course, be answered as best we can. Enjoy!
BTW: you are better off calling Colt's plastic grips Coltwood instead of Bakelite. Bakelite is a very specific plastic. I am not sure that Coltwood is specifically Bakelite. It might be, but it might be another type of plastic.
Notice this Colt gun and the plastic stocks are very similar to the Remington 1911A1 and it's plastic grips in the picture from member m151. These grips were not used for commercial Govt. Models, except for the first couple of years of post war production, certainly not in 1961, 1967, etc.
Thanks again Malysh for the education. I've gained much knowledge in our recent exchanges. I feel confident now that if I want my 61 Gov't Model to have the correct grips - I need to purchase a set of Colt's "Coltwood" brown plastic grips.
I'm curious, what led to your comment on the pistol's finish? Was it the slight coloration difference in the blueing between the slide and receiver? The seller told me he purchased the pistol at an Estate Sale and claims that it's original.
You're welcome, anytime.
I assumed the Coltwood grips with the rampant ponies you posted were your grips? Those are the ones you need for a Govt. Model from about 1948/9-1969.
Unfortunately, that type of grip has a tendency to shrink and warp. Often, the screw holes in the grips won't line up with the screw holes and screw bushings on the gun's grip frame once they have been removed and over time. They are not too hard to find if you decide you want a set. They might run you $30-$50. Don't confuse them with newer Colt plastic grips that look the same but are black. Many owners just took them off and substituted grips they preferred instead of using the Coltwoods.
The reason I think this Govt. Model was refinished is because Colt used a matte finish in the post war era on Govt. Models on the top of the slide and around the bottom of the frame going all around the bottom of the trigger guard and the grip frame. They did the same for revolvers but not as long a time period. Colt called it Dual Tone Bluing. In your pictures, the top of the slide (as much as I can see of it) and the frame appear to be a gloss blue.
I bought the pistol because it was Mfg'd on my birth year (1961). Originally she was going to be a "safe queen," but with it possibly/probably being re-blued, incorrect grips and no box - I'm thinking she just might be a shooter.
With the possible issues with the Coltwood Grips and shooting in mind, I just might get some quality after-market grips (i.e. Pachmayr) and not woory about originality.
Denis, here's some links to Gunbroker auctions showing how the bluing should look on your pre Series 70 Govt. Model. Note the top of the slide, the bottom front of the slide where the recoil spring plug rests, the bottom of the frame going around the trigger guard, and the entire front and back surfaces of the grip frame are dull, matted blue. The sides of the frame and slide (what are called the flats) are finished shiny compared to the matte areas. This is what is called Dual Tone Bluing.
Compare the photos of the Dual Tone bluing vs. the same areas of your gun to determine if yours was refinished. We debate on-line at many gun forums whether certain guns have been refinished or not. Sometimes it's obvious (for a number of reasons), sometimes it's hard to tell. We usually get it right, but not always. There is no substitute for examining a gun in person for determining whether it's been refinished or not.
Here's a much earlier post WWII Govt. Model. Note that this one has the Coltwood grips with no rampant pony logo that were used on 1911A1s during the war and in the very early post war Govt. Model era. Also note that Colt Dual Tone Bluing. Except on the bottom front of the slide where it holds the recoil spring plug. Later, this area would be matte as well. Don't let the aftermarket sights confuse, this is still an early post war Govt. Model. Also note the sticker on the top of the box in picture #2. It states the gun has the new Colt "glare proof grip tested finish". Colt Commercial Government Model made in 1947 : Semi Auto Pistols at GunBroker.com
Here's a 1950 Govt. Model. Note it still has the Coltwood grips with no rampant pony logo. I believe these Coltwoods are too early for this gun, it should have the type with the rampant pony moulded in. Also note the Dual Tone finish is around the bottom front of the slide where the recoil spring plug rests, and the Dual Tone bluing around the areas we've already mentioned gi-18357 Colt Government Model (commerical) 45ACP : Semi Auto Pistols at GunBroker.com
Harrisburg - were you at Spring Carlisle Car Show?
I ask because most "gun guys" are into Classic Cars too - I know I am.
Do you collect, trade or sell Colt 1911's?
I just started collecting about three years ago. I've got the "bug" bad - it's driving my wife crazy
Here's a picture of my 67 Gov't Model (S/N: 309665-C).
Now I know what you mean by the Colt "Dual Tone Bluing" and I'm pretty sure that my 67 has the original finish. Again, thank you for the valuable lesson - I owe you "Big Time!"
The 61 Gov't model we've been discussed is being shipped therefore I haven't had the oppurtunity to examine it in person. As I wrote earlier, I purchased it because I've been looking for Gov't Model that was Mfg'd the year I was born. I've been looking for two years for one as they produced very few (1,850 to be exact) in 1961 for some reason. I paid $1,250, which I thought was a pretty good deal. However, with the possibility of it being "re-blued," not having the original grips and no box - I'm starting to think it was priced correctly. Plus, the seller seems like a real nice guy. I actually found it on the Forum (Want to Sell) http://www.coltforum.com/forums/want-sell/49982-wts-2-colt-1911a1s-early-pre-70s-mn.html
I've got the "bug" sooo bad that I almost bid on one of the GB links you sent me earlier - man - I gotta stop. My wife says, that I'm going through a mid-life crises...I think she's right.....LOL. But after taking a "beating" in the Stock Market, I'd figure I'd put my money in to hard assets that will maintain their value or hopefully appricate over time - plus I love 1911's - I think that they're pieces of art.