1911 help!


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RonBernert
May 27, 2010, 11:30 AM
Yesterday I was handed a 1911 that an 89-year old would like to sell.. It is a pre-war "model of the 1911 US Army" gun with no "Property of.." markings. It is in excellent condition, fit and finish is fantastic, 5-digit serial number, wood grips with the Colt logo, original magazine... Here's the rub- Someone, some time ago had it nickel plated. It is a very nice nickel plating job, not a bit coming off, the top of the slide is satin nickel so you can actually shoot it, and not a scratch in the finish to be seen.... He told me he has owned it "since he came back" from WW2. It was apparently plated before he bought it, or he bought it and had it plated, he can't remember.. I have made him an offer but I want to know what a fair offer would be from people who may know better..
Remember that this is a 95% gun, no box, but nickel plated. Thanks for the help!

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Trebor
May 27, 2010, 12:35 PM
If it's been refinished it's no longer a 95% gun. The nickel might be 95%, but that's not the original finish.

No clue as to the current value, except to say it's not as high as if it hadn't been refinished in the past. Still probably worth picking up though, as a shooter.

RonBernert
May 27, 2010, 01:14 PM
I know, I know.. what I was meaning is that the nickel job is really nice. I looked on Gunbroker and saw another like it but the finish was no where near the smoothness and obvious quality but had the "property of" stamp sell for $1700.00. That is WAY higher than what I offered.. Could it be that this is actually worth that much?

rondog
May 27, 2010, 01:25 PM
Not in my opinion. The US Property rollmark has been removed, and it's nickel plated? I don't care how shiny it is, it's no longer a collectable, it's just a tacky-looking shooter now. $500 tops from me. Any serious 1911 collector wouldn't look twice at it.

RonBernert
May 27, 2010, 02:06 PM
I don't think it's worth that, either.. I offered $350.00. I think that's what it's worth. I'll let my offer stand. It's a friend-of-a-friend deal, so I'll retract my offer before I'll insult them. But I think $350.00 is a fair offer..

rklessdriver
May 27, 2010, 03:13 PM
A nickled 1911 only has value as a shooter and even then not much - since COLT didn't start heat treating slides until 1927 and then only certain areas....

Honestly it's worthless to a collector, unless they wanted one to shoot until the slide cracked.

Some unknowing person who thinks a .45 is a .45 would probally pay $500-$600 or maybe more.... then be disapointed and bash COLT as "junk" when the slide cracked after he shot uncle Bob's hyper velocity, bear killer re-loads out of it....

I will usually buy these butchered war relics (of course when the price is not too much) if just to save them from such idiotic shenanigans. When I can get them reasonable $$$ wise, then I'll try to at least preserve what's left of it. It's not the guns fault that their short sighted owners didn't know it could someday have been a very valuable peice of history.

DO NOT feel like your insulting anyone with that offer. It's YOUR $$$$ and it's HIS gun. You should offer what you think it's worth to you. If he dosen't agree - no worries.

Will

bigfatdave
May 27, 2010, 05:23 PM
It's not the guns fault that their short sighted owners didn't know it could someday have been a very valuable piece of history. Very true, at one time the country was lousy with the things and who expects something issued from the government will ever be a collector's item?

I'd agree that the gun has little value to a collector, but Id note that collector's value has little to do with intrinsic value anyway ... so offer a fair price and explain why the gun is now in the "shooting value" category and not the "antique/relic value" category politely ... maybe the guy wouldn't be happy to send the gun off to live in a crushed-velvet presentation case anyway, I know I would be a little sad to send off a gun to such a fate.

RonBernert
May 28, 2010, 10:01 AM
Thanks for the input. Funny you say crushed velvet case, Bigfatdave.. When the gun was handed to me, it was in a Crown Royal bag.... I'll continue to offer him the $350.00, otherwise he can keep it and try to sell it to another... Thanks again!! R

NMGonzo
May 28, 2010, 10:29 AM
I don't think it's worth that, either.. I offered $350.00. I think that's what it's worth. I'll let my offer stand. It's a friend-of-a-friend deal, so I'll retract my offer before I'll insult them. But I think $350.00 is a fair offer..

$350 seems to me like a good offer.

Stick to it and bag it.

How many pistols of that vintage can you buy for $350?

Go and get it.

rondog
May 28, 2010, 12:22 PM
For $350, I'd be on it like a horny chimp!

ol' scratch
May 28, 2010, 05:15 PM
This is a $500 dollar pistol TOPS. It should make a great shooter, but it isn't a collectable. I might purchase it over a new 1911 for the curiousity factor and the fact that I can't afford to purchase one from that era right now.

rcmodel
May 28, 2010, 05:34 PM
Without knowing who did the chrome plating, I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

If it was done by a knowledgeable gun plater, fine.

If it was done by Bubba's Bumper & Harley muffler shop, it could be suffering from Hydrogen Embrittlement, and is an accident waiting to happen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_embrittlement

rc

rmfnla
May 28, 2010, 05:53 PM
Odds are good it was plated before any of us were born.

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