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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I'm new to the Colt and this forum. Please forgive my ignorance about the pistol and my attempt to link a picture.

I recently bought this pistol and I'm wondering about it's history and configuration.

The seller told me that this pistol was issued to his grandfather in WW1. He's a co-worker who knows less about guns than I do so I have no reason to doubt his story. The serial number is 558XXX so that seems to match a 1918 production from what I can tell. But, while doing more research, I discovered that it seems to have all the mods to make it an "A1" model.

Before buying, I had a friend who knows about modern 1911s look at it and he could find no evidence of official reworking acording to his copy of the blue book so I'm wondering if these mods could have been done privatly with spare parts or if some other explanation is possible.

Hopefully a picture of it is here
http://photos.yahoo.com/ph/spamit70/slideshow?.dir=%2Fbf33&.src=ph
Push the STOP button or you will be taken to another page after a few seconds.

I'd be happy to detail all stamp marks if that helps narrow down some history on this thing.

Also, I'm wondering if the record from Colt would be worth the effort. I can't find the website right now but I once found a site that offered some kind of record for a fee. I think it was an offical Colt site and the fee was either $20 or $100. Any opinions?

TIA
 

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If the gun is military-marked, it is a Model 1911, not a Model 1911A1. The markings do not show in the fuzzy photograph. If it is military, it should be so marked on the slide, and the frame should have a "United States Property" stamp. If military, there should be an inspector's stamp above the magazine release.

The finish does not look correct, but it is hard to tell for sure from the fuzzy picture. The stocks should be checkered walnut with "diamonds" around the screws. The trigger appears to be a "short" M1911A1 trigger rather than the "long" M1911 trigger that should be on a M1911. The grip safety tang also appears to be the "long" M1911A style rather than the "short" tang found on the M1911, but I could be wrong on that as the picture is so unclear.

That is about all I can offer with only the poor picture and minimal information provided. I would speculate that this is a modified parts pistol, but cannot say for sure.

A factory letter would cost $75 or $100, and probably would not be worth it unless the gun is more original than it appears.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, it's those differences you're pointing out that have me confused.

Let me try my camera phone and see if can get a better pic.

As for markings,
1)"United States Property" above serial number
2)Above magazine release is "Si6" just under some kind of design I can't describe
3)"11" on trigger guard to the left of magazine release.
4)Slide has 4 lines of patent info around Colt logo
5)Slide has "P" on top oriented toward trigger
6)Barrel has "P" and "H" oriented toward right side of pistol
7)Magazine has "R" (possibly "B"?) on the top of the base plate

I know the grips are bogus. I hope to get some nice old ones on Ebay soon.

Thanks for the quick response.

By the way, what do you think might be wrong with the finish?

[image]http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/spamit70/detail?.dir=6199&.dnm=882a.jpg&.src=ph[/image]

Well, that didn't work. Try this
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/spamit70/detail?.dir=6199&.dnm=882a.jpg&.src=ph
 

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Welcome to the Forum.
From the little the picture really tells and what you just listed it sounds like a "refinished" 1911, with a WW II magazine and certainly 'wrong' grips, but "stylish"......

MANY ,early guns , maybe 'brought" home or picked up from a neighbor, have been refinished over the years. If the 'military' did it, then it's an arsenal rework, and will be "marked" as such. All these can be found in most 'military' Colt books ever written.

Yours is just a "shooter" catagory gun, at "least" it's a 'Colt'! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

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All right, here's my take.

You have a martially marked 1911 frame.

It has been upgraded to A1 configuration, probably by the Army.

The marking by the mag release is S16 and an eagle's head.

The slide is 1911A1 Colt. The lack of Model of 1911 on the right side suggests this and the "P" proof in front of the rear sight confirms it.

By chance, have you had the firing pin stop off of the back? There may be a slide SN under there.

Finish would have been park, probably, so the pistol is more than likely refinished.

Brian
 

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The design above the "S16" is likely the Springfield Armory mark.

Does the slide have "Model of 1911" on it?

The finish probably should be brush blue on a 1918 pistol. This pistol does not appear to have that finish, but I am not sure. The "UNITED STATES PROPERTY" mark should be on the left front of the frame on a M1911 and the serial number should be on the right. I am confused by your statement that the property marking is above the serial number. If memory serves, that would be correct for a M1911A1. The other markings appear correct.

I am traveling so do not have access to my Clawson books to check my memory. I will do that Tuesday or Wednesday after I return home. Others may well know without having to look it up, but my interest has always been more commercial so I could be wrong on my military details.
 

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Hey there, Judge. The USP marking moved to above the SN at about No 500000.

Finish doesn't look right to me either.

Brian
 

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PZ93C, thank you for that USP/Serial Number explanation. I did not recall that until you mentioned it. My M1911 is earlier and I knew it has the USP stamp on the left and serial number on the right.

I could not tell from the picture as it appears on my laptop whether the slide is marked or not. I guess others can see it is not marked on the right, thus making it a M1911A1 slide. That pretty much confirms my suspician that this is a parts gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Many, many thanks for the information!

I just took PZ03Z's suggestion and took a look behind the firing pin stop, and there were the numbers! 831XXX. That's a WW2 number right? So it's as I suspected but wanted to confim here. I guess it is a kind of Frankinstein gun. I was hoping for more WW1 authentic but as dant said, at least is it a 1911.

2 more questions if I may...

1) I paid $1250 for it. Does that sound about right? Not that it matters. I just wanted this thing but I'd like to know I didn't waste money.

2) PZ says the finish would have been "park"? How can you tell that from the lousy pictures and what finish do I have now?
 

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sorry ,but for a "refinished" 1911 ,with a 'A1' slide and it looks like it's "blued" to me, by the pictures and the "wrong" grips(unless those grips are 'REAL' ivory) that price is "too much", you did ask.....................

Big difference in "parkerized" and "blued". Yes, there are MANY 'arsenal reworked' WW I , 1911 out there , and they are mostly "correct" as that, but unless you have some better documentation or the parts are "correct" like said above in a book , such as Charles Clawson, you must do your 'homework' or get a 'second opinion, before buying. I saw out in Tulsa this past week-end ,they were ALL "top dollar" and we sell the same thing around here for far less. I recently sold a 'nice' Ithaca, with the papers, for $1100...........................here it is,

 

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All right. Slide is a off of a 1942 1911A1.

Yeah, that price was high. Don't think of it as paying too much. Think of it as buying early. Prices are steadily climbing for USGI handguns.

That second pic almost looks like a phosphate finish. Is your pistol shiny or matte?

Any marks on the right of left side above the trigger guard? AA or RIA?

Lots of good info here, http://www.coolgunsite.com/ . You'll be able to compare the parts on yours and ID them.

If you'd like some USGI WWII grips, http://www.simpsonltd.com/index.php?cPath=60_88 can take care of you. The 15.00 grips would be fine.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ha! "Buying Early"! I guess that's one way of looking on the bright side!

As for your questions. The finish is very flat with slight wear from leather holster (which also came with the gun and is in bad shape from dry rot) and there is "11" stamped onto the left side of the trigger guard.

I'll check out those sites and learn, learn, learn. Thanks.


***Holy Crap! I just looked at CoolGunSite. Too bad I didn't see this stuff before I bought! Oh well. Now I know for next time.***
 

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A flat finish. That's not a bad thing. Many 1911's were rebuilt by unit level armorers with any rebuild marks. There is just no way of telling if yours is one.

BTW- You can go here, http://armscollectors.com/srs/lookup_auto.php , plug in the serial number from the frame or slide and see if they have a record of it. This wouldn't be a complete history, just a recorded moment in the pistols life.

Brian
 
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