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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I acquired this pistol at a gun show about 15 years ago for $300. The grips were new WWII plastic and all parts had correct markings for a late 1918 "Black Finish" pistol.The markings and corners are all sharp and there is no evidence of wear or of having been fired. The barrel and all internal parts have correct markings and are also new. The only thing that puzzles me is the finish. It is a blotchy black, fairly smooth parkerized finish with no Arsenal refinishing stamps. I talked to Charles Clawson by phone and he said not all WWII reworked 1911's were Arsenal stamped. The dealer related the "story" that during WWII, two GI's were unpacking 1911's for general issue. When this pistol was encountered it was liberated and sent home.
Anyone run into anything like this ?
 

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It seems the property mark has been removed. I would guess the it was parked after liberation to replace the finish removed when it was filed. I have one like it except the finish is worn and the internals are worn.
 

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The property stamp was moved from the left side to the right in 1918 between SNs 500,000 and 510,000. Depending on the SN of the Black Army, it may or may not have been removed.
It does look Parkerized, although I'm no expert on finishes.
It also has a lanyard-loop magazine, which in itself is worth something.
JT
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Property mark is indeed on the right side of the frame, right above the serial # 5346XX. I know what buffed guns look like and this one has never been buffed or shot. Is it possible that a new 1911 was merely parkerized ?
 

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You might want to post this query on the M1911 Forum. Here's a link.
web page

The slide looks wrong to me because the Colt logo was moved from the rear of the serrations to the center of the slide between the stamps about SN 275,000.
JT
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have seen 1911 frames assembled in 1918 with Property Stamps on the left side. It would also not be unusual for slides with the Rampart Colt emblem on the rear of the slide to still be in pulled inventory in 1918.This sort of mixed transition parts has always been common in the firearms industry.
 

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Not seeing any rebuild stamps, I suspect someone Parkerized this pistol without polishing in order to cover a well-worn but unpitted finish. (Note the mismatch in color on the frame and slide.) No Models 1911 were ever Parkerized (not even all Models 1911A1 are Parkerized). The replacement "diamond" stocks were probably added at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
[ QUOTE ]
Not seeing any rebuild stamps, I suspect someone Parkerized this pistol without polishing in order to cover a well-worn but unpitted finish. (Note the mismatch in color on the frame and slide.) No Models 1911 were ever Parkerized (not even all Models 1911A1 are Parkerized). The replacement "diamond" stocks were probably added at the same time.

[/ QUOTE ]
Charles Clawson the well known 1911 author talked to me on the phone and as stated above said not all reworked 1911's had Arsenal stamps.
As I said previously the pistol came with WWII plastic grips. I added the diamond grips. I completely disassembled the pistol and it's not to hard to detect wear and if it had been fired, especially around the firing pin hole, etc. The parkerizing was not done internally and those parts show no wear - hammer, disconnector, sear, barrel, etc. I don't mean to belabor this point but the pistol was unfired with absolutely no wear. You can't hide wear with any applied finish. I also detect no color differences between frame and slide. The finish is absolutely smooth with a blotchy "parkerized" look.
 

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for what it's worth, it does not look like a gov't park' to me. if i had to guess, i'd say some civillian park'd it. it's true that not all arsenal rebuilds were arsenal marked but this gun just doesn't "look" right. it's too gray...and, of course, the stocks are replacements. just MHO...
 

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Having been doing refinishing on guns for over 30 years, I too would venture a guessas it being later 'parkerized', certainly NOT any after WW I, "black finish"
The finish on the gun pictured, is zinc phosphate (can be any shade of gray , the green is usually caused by storage in 'cosmoline' and in fact can be 'doctored' to replicate a "stored" WW II gun.
The picture shows the variations of the coloration in the parts that are 'heat treated' (hardened) they will tend to be 'darker'.
As for the "inside, the frame and slide would have gotten 'parkerized' at the same time, this is NOT an added on coating or surface treatment, it is the ENTIRE part.
No some of the lockwork parts would NOT have been done and if they were, would have been polished and fitted and 'required'.

As for the Springfield inspectors mark on the frame, tends to lead me to believe this gun should have been originally 'blued', per that vintage. Parkerizing was done to any and most arsenal rebuilds, marked or not.......

Still a very nice gun and worth a good deal by todays standards.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
[ QUOTE ]
Having been doing refinishing on guns for over 30 years, I too would venture a guessas it being later 'parkerized', certainly NOT any after WW I, "black finish"
The finish on the gun pictured, is zinc phosphate (can be any shade of gray , the green is usually caused by storage in 'cosmoline' and in fact can be 'doctored' to replicate a "stored" WW II gun.
The picture shows the variations of the coloration in the parts that are 'heat treated' (hardened) they will tend to be 'darker'.
As for the "inside, the frame and slide would have gotten 'parkerized' at the same time, this is NOT an added on coating or surface treatment, it is the ENTIRE part.
No some of the lockwork parts would NOT have been done and if they were, would have been polished and fitted and 'required'.

As for the Springfield inspectors mark on the frame, tends to lead me to believe this gun should have been originally 'blued', per that vintage. Parkerizing was done to any and most arsenal rebuilds, marked or not.......

Still a very nice gun and worth a good deal by todays standards.;)

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The inside of the frame and slide have the "parkerized/phosphate" finish. I am not implying the finish is original. I am wondering if the pistol was refinished and fitted the WWII plastic grips during WWII.
The finish is very similar to the smooth original finish on my Remington 1903-A3. During WWII many "unissued" blue 1911's were merely refinished. I saved the WWII mag and plastic grips and replaced them with authentic new grips and mag.
 

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I was replying to your original (first) post and the second sentence that said all the parts and markings were the same as the 1918 'black finish'....that's all.
As the others and myself have said it is not unusual for any WWII guns to appear as yours and the grips you got on it, the plastic ones , could have been put on then , when re-done or at any other time.
They redone LOTS of guns after the war, in time for Korea also, so it continued, for both 'conflicts'.
Plus again or still , for the DCM program and the Camp Perry /NRA sales.
Seems I recall recently where they issued 250 1911's(WW II production) out of storage and sent to Iraq.........interesting, so anything is possible.
 

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Okay, the innards have the original military style parkerized finish, and the outside has this black, blotchy finish, right? Well, any refinishing should have affected inside and outside equally, so I'm wondering if this gun was sometime exposed to heat or chemicals that affected the exterior color but not the interior.
 

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In my opinion, the "blotchy" finish is either caused by improper preparation of the surface by a "home Parkerizer," or poor storage of an unmarked WWI rebuild. I believe the former is more likely.
 
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