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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to know more about my pistols history, how can I use the serial number for this ?
All I know that it was built in 1966 and somewhen brought to Germany.

And on many pictures here parts of the serial numbers are blackened - why ??
 

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Blackened or X'd out in part or whole because most don't like to disclose that information in an open forum for a variety of reasons, both real and perceived.

While not in any way the only source of information on a particular Colt's historic past...a likely starting point is to get a Colt Archive Letter:


At least it adds both provenance and value when sold...

.
 

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I'd like to know more about my pistols history, how can I use the serial number for this ?
All I know that it was built in 1966 and somewhen brought to Germany.

And on many pictures here parts of the serial numbers are blackened - why ??
What make and model? What serial range, such as 134,xxx?
 

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It's a Colt Government 1911 Model .45 ACP pre-series '70 - serial number "304476 -C" built in 1966.
You can request a Colt Archive letter on your pistol which will tell you the configuration your pistol was shipped, when it shipped from the factory and where it shipped to. There is however a cost for the Archive letter ( I believe $100 U.S.).
 

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More like it was an imported piece and so-marked when it was sold in Germany in accordance with German Proof laws.

These were sold through dealers, as well as through the various Rod and Gun Clubs on the bases there.

European proof marks don't exactly enhance the value of the piece - ask the guys who own Pythons originating from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My 1911 was brought to Germany by a guy who moved from the US to Germany. When he passed by his family gave all his weapons to a gun dealer.
I bought it but the dealer was not allowed to give me any information about the pre-owner.
 

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More like it was an imported piece and so-marked when it was sold in Germany in accordance with German Proof laws.

These were sold through dealers, as well as through the various Rod and Gun Clubs on the bases there.

European proof marks don't exactly enhance the value of the piece - ask the guys who own Pythons originating from there.
Over here proof marks have nothing to do with the value of the piece. It confirms that the fire arm is legaly bought, all functions are proofed, ballistic tested and all details are registered by the german fire arms authorities.
 

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Germany has a gun proof law, so to be sold legally it has to be proofed and they are all that way. In the U.S. it was something added after the pistol was manufactured, and lessens the value.

Same with the thousands of Model 1911A1 pistols shipped to England as Lend-Lease in WWII. They had to be proofed before they could be sold commercially after WWII, and the proof marks affects their value, but not as much as it once did.

Same with the U.S. M1 Rifles Lend-Leased to England. They also had to be proofed once they were released for commercial sale, and collectors shunned them because of the proofs. Once the collectors realized that they were original condition early rifles the prices went up dramatically, but not as much as an early rifle in the same condition but without the proofs.
 

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When it comes to Garands there is a fairly active bunch of collectors who seek out those M1 rifles with British markings as a collectible of their own. Many are in excellent condition and otherwise original as the Brits didn't issue them. It's also common for them to have a band of red paint on them as it signified non-standard British ammunition was used for them.

Those in unaltered condition outside of British proof marks serve as a standard of what parts are original during specific times of production as a guide.
 

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More like it was an imported piece and so-marked when it was sold in Germany in accordance with German Proof laws.

These were sold through dealers, as well as through the various Rod and Gun Clubs on the bases there.

European proof marks don't exactly enhance the value of the piece - ask the guys who own Pythons originating from there.
I have a new/unfired in the box CZ-75 that was purchased on an Army base (by a service member) in '87 or '88 with no German markings. Would this Czech semi-auto have been considered to be a non-import?

Randy
 

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If the red bands didn't wear off, most were taken off shortly after sale in the U.S.

Most of the British L-L M1 Rifles came back in unfired condition and accumulated any wear after sold in the U.S., but I haven't found a collector yet that will take one over a non-proofed rifle from the same era.
 

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Your point is well taken...I'm just saying there's a group of M1 collectors that have gone after the Lend-Lease examples for their uniqueness...originality and not least...lower cost.
 

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I have a new/unfired in the box CZ-75 that was purchased on an Army base (by a service member) in '87 or '88 with no German markings. Would this Czech semi-auto have been considered to be a non-import?

Randy
The proofs had nothing to do with it being an import other than it had to be proofed before being sold commercially. Germany has a gun proof law, and all guns made or sold in Germany must go through a proof house before they can be sold commercially.

Same with the British Lend-Lease small arms of WWII. They were not proofed until they were released bu the British government for commercial sale.

England had a reciprocal gun proof law that allowed a foreign made commercial firearm to be imported into England without proofing if it came from a country that had a gun proof law recognized by England and also recognized Englands gun proof law. The U.S. has no gun proof law.
 

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When collectors realized that the L-L M1 Rifles were original early rifles, they all looked at them differently.
 
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