Ithaca 1911 questions.


September 23, 2006, 07:53 PM
i recently came across an Ithaca 1911 at my gunshop for $500. i know nothing of 1911s, except i've always wanted one. what i can say is it is used (obviouly), and used hard. i'd say the finish was 60%ish. the sights were not original, someone put adjustables on it. also, the grip saftey/beavertail and grips were not original. the trigger felt great to me, but i'm used to DA pistols. that's all i could tell about it, having never even fired a 1911 before.

the shop owner (who i trust) said it had some feeding problems with the 2 mags that come with it, but he tried some of his personal mags and it worked "fine", if not accuratly. he said if it had stock parts, he would have an $800 price tag on it, at least. he didn't know when it was made, but assured me it was ww2 era. (which i will confirm if/before i purchase it.)

i intened to get a new springfield G.I. sometime in the near future. they seem to be going for right around $500. so there is the whole "brand new gun for the same price" thing. also, i would be able to use a new gun for Home Defense, if necessary (not that i don't have many other options for that), based soley one appearance, i would not feel comfortable using the ithaca for that role.

on the other hand, the nostalgia factor plays pretty high with me. i have a ww2 era Ithaca M37 (a matching trench gun and 1911 could only be described as awsome) and a Feb. '42 springfield M1 garand hanging on my wall already. this gun would only be used for punching paper and hanging on my wall.

so, on with the questions-

1)would you say this gun is worth the price?

2)what other things should i check out on it?

3)how much money would it take to return this gun, based on what i said was changed, to at least "cosmetecally" stock.

4)in your opinion, what should i do, go with the new springfield, to be used as a target, self defense, home defense gun or the old ithica, rebuild it to stock to be used as a strictly target/nostalgia gun.?

man, this post got long in a hurry. thanks for your time!

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September 23, 2006, 08:39 PM
First, go to D.Kamm's M1911 webpage ( to learn what to check for on a GI M1911.

Next, go to my page ( to learn how to check a used 1911 in general.

Finally, decide whether the historical significance of an actual WWII M1911 is what you want. Yes, this is a WWII pistol, and likely a Korean conflict pistol and a 'Nam pistol too.

If you are going to be popping hundreds of rounds down range every month, then get the Springfield GI45. If you see yourself as more of an occasional 1911 shooter, then $500 is not a bad price for a shooter quality mix master Ithaca 1911.

If the rear sight dovetail is not redone, a GI rear sight can be had. The front sight might be more difficult, but it too can be had. The grips can be found at Simpson Ltd ( The grip safety can be found on ebay occasionally, or find someone who is beavertailing a Sistema.

The M1911 will likely only feed ball ammo reliably. The GI45 will feed JHP. Buy a shotgun for home defense.

September 23, 2006, 09:19 PM
xavier, thanks for the quick reply. those links will be very helpful.

Buy a shotgun for home defense.
i would, but i think it would just prove to my wife that i'm nuts when i try to justify my 9th pump shotgun to her. "come on babe, just 4 more and it's an even dozen! No? well don't come crying to me when the pheasants make their move for world domination":evil:

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