Help with old Ithaca 1911 authentication


September 16, 2010, 02:20 AM
Sorry I don't have any pics because the gun in question is at my local gun shop and I'm trying to determine if it's worth the money to buy it.

I'm trying to authenticate an Ithaca 1911. The parkerizing is extremely nice, almost too nice but there is a little holster wear. All of the lettering is white and the "United States Property" stamp is still pretty clear but it looks like someone tried to scratch it out but didn't try very hard. The trigger is fantastic and it almost feels like it's been worked on but it's definitely the original trigger.

Everything looks correct on this gun however the high quality of the parkerizing amkes me wonder if it's been refinished and I can't find any images of old Ithaca 1911's with white lettering.

At the same time the white lettering makes me wonder if the finish is original. If someone refinished the gun I would assume that the lettering would be parkerized over as well.

Any suggestions? They want $1,100 for it and it comes with the original leather US marked holster as well.

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September 16, 2010, 07:50 AM
Chances are it has been reparkerized. Also, thats fairly cheap for a correct gun. If its the gun shop in Santa Fe, I was there while visiting a couple months ago. Seemed like standup guys in there and they should give you some pointers. One thing to make sure of is that the serial nr is an Ithaca, as opposed to Colt or Remington Rand so that it matches the slide. I bought an Ithace some years ago and later found I had a Rem-Rand lower. Get a book on WW2 1911's and you'll get some pics. Also search the internet and you'll find some pics.

Jim Watson
September 16, 2010, 09:40 AM
Not my main game, I look stuff up at instead of buying the expensive reference books serious collectors go by.

When you say "white lettering" do you mean bare steel where a stamp has cut through finish or are the roll marks colored with white paint? You should see neither. Some of the inspection marks were stamped through the finish but the main roll marks were done before finishing and certainly before refinish. The Army did not decorate guns with paint.

There is a lot to know about surplus guns now that the collectors have jacked the prices up this high.

September 16, 2010, 10:48 AM
you sure the white lettering is not from rubbing a white grease pencil over the stampings?

September 16, 2010, 01:49 PM
The white lettering is definitely paint, and I still can't find any images online of Ithaca 1911's with white painted lettering.

The guys at the shop seem to think it might have been refinished but the guy who has the gun on consignment swore to them that it's the way he got it ten years ago. However who's to say that it wasn't refinished when he bought it.

I'll take a closer look at the frame next time I go it, but I'm pretty sure it's an Ithaca. I had a Remington Rand/Colt slide mix match for a long time so I'll see how the frame compares to the Rand frame I had.

Even if it has been refinished is $1,100 a good price? If I were to make an offer on it what would be a fair price for a refinished Ithaca providing it's all correct?

Jim Watson
September 16, 2010, 01:56 PM
Do you have the serial number?

September 16, 2010, 02:12 PM
I'll get the serial number today.

I did find this on GB, it appears to have the white painted letters the same as the one I'm looking.....

Jim Watson
September 16, 2010, 02:16 PM
Some of those pictures look like the "paint" might be reflections from side lighting.

Any road, paint in the markings is NOT milspec.

September 16, 2010, 04:36 PM
Hey guys, thanks for all the help so far.

Well I went back to the shop and I took a closer look at the gun. It is without question an Ithaca slide on a Remington Rand frame. It's got the RR proof on the side which I completely missed the first time I looked at it.

September 16, 2010, 08:05 PM
I'll defer to the experts, but some years ago, my small Dept received 4 1911's from a military arsenal, and two of them had white paint,(or something white), in the letters and the numbers. I have one of them, a Rem.Rand, that has all the numbers white

September 17, 2010, 01:35 PM
It's got the RR proof on the side

R-R and Ithaca frames will both be marked "FJA". There are a few others clues that will help to differentiate between the two manufacturers, but the serial number will be a dead giveaway. In other words, it might still be an Ithaca, but we need the serial number or detailed pics of the frame to say for sure. Also, as has already been said, white highlighting was never applied by the military or the manufacturer (rack numbers might have been painted on, though). It's typically done by collectors of photographers to make the markings more visible.



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