I recently picked up a 1909 New service S/N 356XX in .45 Colt. it has the U.S. Army stamping and such. It also has "RAC" And "FB" stamped on it BTW the bluing is around 70 or 75 %. Paid $550 Good? Bad? or SoSo?
thanks in advance
I agree with Bob! Very good price for an original 1909! Most of these guns were "well used" despite their supposedly "limited time" in the service until replaced(?)by the 1911s,1917s etc. Very interesting write up on the N.S. in a Handguns Annual,by Chuck Karwan about 10 years ago. Navy 1909s were discovered in the small arms locker of some ships,along with Krags AFTER W.W.II!!! Bud
Thanks for the help guys,also picked up a DS NIB while I was there for $350.00. The dealer said it was about 12 yrs old, and the previous owner bought it and put in his safe! Heck it was still in the plastic and had the registration with it. What are they going for around your areas? by the way the shop The guns came from does a lot of business on the Net so PM me if you would like there number. Thanks again.
It's probable that you have a mis-matched gun. RAC and FB are inspector marks. Both Rinaldo A. Carr and Frank Baker were inspectors for Colt firearms, but typically original 1909's will have one or the other's stamp - not both.
You didn't say where the marks were, but 1909's should have inspector marks in at least 3 places... on the bottom of the grips, in the upper left portion of the right side of the frame, and on the rear under-side of the barrel. I'm betting that you have either a set of replacement grips or a replaced barrel.
All this is not to say that you didn't do well on your purchase. These guns, while not rare, are a little on the uncommon side. I think only about 20,000 were ever made. They came out in 1909 and were replaced by the .45 automatic in 1912 so their service life was limited. However, since most were shipped to the Phillipines the tropical environment means that a lot of them you see were rust-pitted and have been re-finished. They were the last PRIMARY revolver the military ever issued.
They will chamber and fire the .45 Long Colt cartridge safely, but they are actually chambered for the military cartridge of 1909 which had a larger rim diameter than .45 Long Colt. You'll notice this when you try to eject the empty brass. Unless you point the barrel straight up so that gravity can assist, the extractor will often override the rims of fired .45 LC cases and some cases may fail to extract.
[This message has been edited by Robert W. Simms (edited 06-19-2004).]