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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Y'all,

First of all I would like to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS morning and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I have in my possession a Colt with what appears to me to be a 1911A1 frame with the serial number "466894R" stamped on it, and a somewhat early 1911 slide. There is a name scratched into the slide and the pistol contains a mixture of different era's parts. I have attached photographs of the pistol which were made by one of the people at the gun shop where my wife found this pistol which she purchased with an inspection/return option. I really would like to know what the experts think of this pistol. Was it damaged and returned to Colt for repair and Colt deemed the frame too far gone to repair and simply replaced it sometime after 1924 with a 1911A1 frame and assorted newer parts? Or, is it a fantasy piece with a weird serial number suffix?

I have done a little digging and read the comments on the link below – posted on the 1911 forum by the same gentleman from the gun shop. Please see the photographs below and know I am happy to make any additional photographs as requested to help in determining what exactly this is. I look forward to any and all comments.

Link to 1911 Forum post:

https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=886946&highlight=

Take Care!
Tom
[email protected]

Colt 1911 466894R-05.JPG Colt 1911 466894R-04.JPG Colt 1911 466894R-03.JPG Colt 1911 466894R-02.JPG Colt 1911 466894R-01.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to you both for the comments! It is really an interesting pistol.

That said, I am hoping to determine if this pistol was indeed re-worked by Colt and is therefore a known rare example, or if it is simply a mixmaster. I have a couple of days to decide to either keep this pistol, or trade it for another collectible weapon. I look forward to any thoughts.

Thanks!
Tom
[email protected]
 

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This may assist you:

From the Joe Poyer book , pg. 306;

Colt is known to have provided replacement receivers using the serial number of the original receiver with "R" stamped after the serial number.
 

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Hi, Tom.

It's been a while since we last spoke. I own the pistol shown in Clawson's book. There are some differences I would note.

The "C" prefix was used on my pistol, and the "R" is significantly larger on your pistol. You've got a mixture of parts from different periods, both earlier and much later.

The biggest issue, however, that causes me to question it being done by Colt is the fact that the slide is not serial numbered. My pistol has a factory-numbered slide...and that was a standard practice at Colt. In fact, Colt made a big deal out of ensuring slides were properly matched and numbered. There is a whole section covering this in the 1937 Colt publication A Century of Achievement.

That raises a red flag to me, and I think it calls into question the serial number itself. This may be a cased where the "books" have provided just enough information for someone to use in the wrong way. BTW, the information in Poyer's book most likely based, or at least partially based on the information and image in Clawson's book.

Edit: Photos added.


 

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Although I can't prove it one way or the other, my gut feeling is your pistol is just a mixmaster. I would personally shy away from paying for the story that this is a Colt factory replacement. Buyer beware.
I would buy it as a shooter and try to get further provenance and proof.
 

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Do you think there is any chance that this may have started out as a 38 Super frame, and had other parts (and stamp) added at a later date?
 

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After reading some replies from the link to the other forum...

I've examined dozens of humped-up fakes with italicized serial numbers applied in a "professional" manner by someone other than the Colt factory. What makes no sense to me is if this were a legitimate replacement frame, where is the correct upper and other parts? I would assume someone would have had the M1911 upper and other parts to assemble the pistol. Otherwise, why go to the trouble of a replacement receiver? Makes no sense.

Photos don't really enable me to determine whether finish is original. I don't know if anyone has even commented on the stocks, or noticed that they are aftermarket fantasy stocks. IF this were a legitimate replacement receiver, how can anyone justify so many things not adding up on this pistol?

IF this is a humped-up fake replacement receiver, then everything adds up. Do the math.

The first thing one would have to do is determine if the receiver is truly factory original Colt finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Y'all,

I truly appreciate and value everybody's input. I personally had strong doubts about the authenticity of this pistol. I did, however, want to hear from others more experienced with 1911 collecting than I. Based on this thread and my gut feeling, I believe I will return this pistol and choose another firearm from the gun shop in question. To reiterate, I feel this to be a respected and reputable gun shop with whom I've dealt many times. They sold this pistol to my wife as a Christmas gift for me with the understanding I might return it. I will let you know what happens, and what I wind up getting instead.

Take Care!
Tom
[email protected]
 

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Hi, Tom.

It's been a while since we last spoke. I own the pistol shown in Clawson's book. There are some differences I would note.

The "C" prefix was used on my pistol, and the "R" is significantly larger on your pistol. You've got a mixture of parts from different periods, both earlier and much later.

The biggest issue, however, that causes me to question it being done by Colt is the fact that the slide is not serial numbered. My pistol has a factory-numbered slide...and that was a standard practice at Colt. In fact, Colt made a big deal out of ensuring slides were properly matched and numbered. There is a whole section covering this in the 1937 Colt publication A Century of Achievement.

That raises a red flag to me, and I think it calls into question the serial number itself. This may be a cased where the "books" have provided just enough information for someone to use in the wrong way. BTW, the information in Poyer's book most likely based, or at least partially based on the information and image in Clawson's book.

Edit: Photos added.


I'm just curious, were the slides always s/n marked in the position that you show on yours? I have an extremely clean A1 commercial model s/n C138566 (1924 production) that does not exhibit the s/n there. Would Colt have placed it anywhere else? The patina of the entire gun matches, and the slide is a nice tight fit with close tolerances everywhere.
Thanks -- Randy
 

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The first Colt I saw with the replacement receiver with R suffix was also a 1911 serial number, and did not have the C prefix. It came into a Mississippi show in totally brown condition, but this was before any of the books on the 1911/1911A1/GM Colt had been published. Didn't know what it was at the time.
 

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I'm just curious, were the slides always s/n marked in the position that you show on yours? I have an extremely clean A1 commercial model s/n C138566 (1924 production) that does not exhibit the s/n there. Would Colt have placed it anywhere else? The patina of the entire gun matches, and the slide is a nice tight fit with close tolerances everywhere.
Thanks -- Randy
No. The serial numbers on slides were first placed on the bottom of the slide. Clawson states Colt began numbering slides in late 1920, at ca. s/n C127570.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Y'all,

To follow up, I returned the Colt 1911 pistol in question. The shop took it back with no trouble whatsoever. Instead, I wound up taking home a 1978 production 6" Colt Diamondback that is unfired new in the box with paperwork and the Colt screwdriver. I am quite happy. The guys at the store still feel this particular 1911 to be a righteous and rare pistol that they will be able to sell quickly.

Thanks for everyone's opinion and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Take Care!
Tom
[email protected]
 
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