1911 questions. WW1 gun, want to establish value, help?


January 12, 2012, 02:54 PM
Hey all,
I have limited knowledge of WW1 1911's. With that said I am looking for a little help in establishing a value for a friend's pistol. It is in the 102xxx serial number range and appears to be Arsenal rebuilt in Augusta? The original owner or borrower tried to scratch out the Government property stamp but did not damage it badly and it just appears to be scratched and not ground. On the frame and grip area he or another owner apparently scratched in a social security number. Very lightly done as well. Otherwise the pistol is in very, very nice condition. It includes what I believe to be an original magazine with a lanyard loop on the mag base. Any ideas how to establish a value? Cabelas in Maine offered him $1000 dollars and said they would love to give more but the SS scratched in the frame hurts value. The Appraiser, buyer there said the meager attempt at scratching out the government property stamp was no big deal. What next? He wants to get as much as possible but they would not tell him what they estimated value at. Help and thanks, Wikidoki

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January 12, 2012, 04:16 PM
The 102XXX SN puts it as a 1915 Springfield Armory.

You say it has poss been to Agusta Arsenal?? Does it have the AA mark on the right side above the trigger??

If so that reduces the value, but the slide and frame are orginal Springfield and a smiple field strip would identify if the barrel and slide stop still are.

The attempted removal of the USP mark and engraved SSN really destroyed what was a VERY valuable collector piece.

An unaltered all ORGINAL - Springfield 1911 is easily worth $5,000 in the condition your pics show.... minus the buggered up grip screws its value could have been much higher.

With the AA mark it's a $1100-$1200 gun IMO.

Your friends that is pictured with the damage to the USP mark and SSN engraved..... IMO your darn lucky to get an offer of $1000.

Just the laynard loop tells you nothing about the mag. Orginal Springfield magazines are easily identifiable by the "folded over" base. One of those alone is worth $200-maybe a bit more depending on condition.

January 12, 2012, 05:02 PM
Thanks Will, I appreciate the information. I do not find an AA on the pistol. I was perusing some sites reference the stampings behind the trigger guard in the photo and at the back of the slide. Its highly likely that I dont know what I am talking about. I will look over the magazine a little more carefully. Another friend with much more knowledge of 1911's said he was positive that it was a Springfield magazine and was as excited about the mag as he was of the gun. He is in the same ballpark as you were. The stampings I speak of are visible in the photo I took of the gun today. Are those a Springfield stamp or stamps indicating an arsenal refinish? I know that the buggering done cause significant issues but it was done long ago by someone trying to make it "their own". Sad but I dont think they were concerned about value obviously. The bore is very, very nice fyi. Thank you very much for your information.


January 12, 2012, 08:27 PM
Those 2 "flaming bomb" stamps (1) behind the trigger guard and (1) on the back of the slide are Springfield Armory Ordance bomb acceptance stamps. They are orginal, correct and are in the proper places for an orginal SA 1911.

They do NOT signify a rebuild. Rebuild stamps would be "AA", "SA" and "RIA".

On and early pistol like your friends, most all of the small parts (like the slide stop, saftey, and grip saftey) should be stamped on the backsides with a "S". The barrel should have an "S" stamp on the left lower lug.

I know finding the decipering good info from bad on the internet can be hard. This 2 links below have the correct info with decent pics so you can compare:



It's unfortunatly true that a long time ago people did not see the (future) value in these pistols. They were just old military surplus and many were ruined like your friends.

It's still a cool gun as is. I hesitate to say this because I hate to see people do this.... but, 99% of the parts are not buggered up and would be worth a mint to a collector trying restore a lesser condition Springfield. If you buddy is tying to get every last cent out of it, there's $$$ to be made by parting it out on the 1911 forum.


January 13, 2012, 10:40 AM
Understand straight up that those old war horses aren't really good shooters. The slides are soft, and don't hold up well to a lot of use. Shoot it enough to verify function, and limit it to the occasional magazine or two to celebrate your grandfather's birthday or the anniversary of D-Day.

January 13, 2012, 11:03 AM
Not to hijack.....but I see your Adv. for North Jersey Range and the name......Maybe you need to check some local forums here in NJ as that place is getting very very bad reviews.....thought you'd might want to know.

January 13, 2012, 02:41 PM
Thats good advice. Again, that is what he is trying to do. He has no connection to it and is liquidating the things he just doesnt need. I will list it in the for sale section I think and see what happens. I appreciate the help in this endeavor.

Wiki (tim)

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