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I dropped by a LGS and they had a 1911 which they said lettered to 1914. Bluing is in good shape and very lovely. A part of the rampant pony is just a bit "faded" or soft while the rest of it, and the other lettering, appears crisp. So they think it's original. If not, it's very good. BTW, the LGS handles lots of older firearms. It was apparently customized by a noted gunsmith named Jesse Harpe who did his work mostly in the 30s through the 50s. They had a copy of an article he wrote in the American Rifleman in 1942 about customizing the 1911. There is also a newspaper article describing Mr. Harpe as one of the three best pistol smiths in the country.

Anyway, he set it up as a bullseye gun -- he put on target sights, machined a special bushing and recoil spring plug, flush cut and reverse crowned the barrel, and checkered the MSH. The MSH is arched so is obviously not original from a 1914 pistol. The mag was two-toned (no lanyard ring). The bushing is "signed" by the gunsmith. Trigger was very nice A thread with photos of the article and one of his pistols is here: www.LouderThanWords.us • View topic - Jesse E. Harpe

Asking price is about $1,600. Any opinions?
 

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Well, see if they will allow a Field Strip, and, see if the "HARPE" Stamp appears underneath the Slide and so on, and see if you can get a sense of the Pistol as a whole being a "Harpe" conversion/custom in all it's details.

1911, or, Gov't Model?


I'd be very surprised if the finish was not a re-Blue, either way.


But, if all seems nice, and it is likable, and has the right integrity for being a "HARPE", then, for $1,600.00, one could certainly do worse!
 

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Well, see if they will allow a Field Strip, and, see if the "HARPE" Stamp appears underneath the Slide and so on, and see if you can get a sense of the Pistol as a whole being a "Harpe" conversion/custom in all it's details.
I'm sure they will. They did mention the stamp underneath the slide as something he did on his later work which leads me to believe it may not be on this gun. At any rate, I'll probably just have to go with my gut. Thanks.
 

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I usually not like 'Hardballer' or Target re-dos of the 1911 or Gov't Model when swuch involved pre-WWII Pistols, but, if it was some really well thought of Gunsmith who had specialized in it, and the work is tasteful for what it is, it seems to me it would be redeemed and could be fun to own or to compete with now and then.

If he did not stamp as many places earlier in his Career, then, yeahh, just sort of get a feel for the whole, cram in a little more research if you can, and see what your Gut says.
 
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