Colt 1911


March 30, 2012, 07:15 PM
I have been wanting to pick up an old Colt 1911 or 1911A1, but just never could find one I could aford.
Today started off like most other Fridays for me. Being that it's my day off I got out of the house around 8am and headed over to the Waffle House. After breakfast I headed on down to one of the pawn shops. The first shop didn't have anything that cought my eye so, I headed down the road to the next shop. I shot the bull a little ( I like to talk ) and then started looking at guns. They didn't have much in the way of surplus weapons, just two No.4s that had been sporterized and another Mauser that had been hacked up. :cuss: My friend that works there asked if I had looked at the Colt 1911 that they had gotten in. I asked if it was a 1911 or an A1. He said that it was a 1911 and it had been spray painted black.
The guy that ownes the shop likes to put high dollar on his Colts, but I had not looked at a 1911 in some time and asked to see it.
It was US property marked and the parts looked to be correct other then the black rubber Houge grips. I asked if I could take it apart and was told to go for it. So I field stripped it and everything looked good. It appeared that someone had spray painted black paint on the gun without taking it apart. There was no paint under the slide release.
Then I looked at the tag and was shocked. :what: About a year ago they had a US 1911A1 in the case that had almost no finish on it, priced at $999.95. What shocked me was the price on the tag was only $799.95.
Well the squirrel in my head started running around. :uhoh:
I just sent off my income tax for 2011 and paid most of my bills. I had a little spending money, also had some overtime pay coming in on my next paycheck.
The squirrel in my head was telling me to do my pawn shop math and buy the gun. Well, the force was with the squirrel and I had to give it a try.
I offered $500 for the gun. the guy said he would go run it by the boss. I knew the answer before he walked away with the gun. When he came back he said that the boss said no way. So I waited a little and asked what would he take for the gun. He came back from the office and said $650. He said that someone had offered them $650 and the boss turned it down, because he didn't like the guy so much. I had the money, but didn't want to be without extra for a week or two. I asked my friend if he would let me put it on layaway and he said yes. :D Most often they never cut the cost on items put on layaway.
Now I was more then willing to spend the money on the gun, but the Squirrel in my head was telling me to push a little harder to get a better price. So I asked my friend to make sure that we were on the same track with the price. I said to him. " Now that is going to be $650 out the door even on layaway." He thought about it and then said. "OK" That put the gun at $593.61 before tax.
I put $100 down and plan to have it out with in two weeks. :D

Oh! the SN# is 463024 which puts it being made in 1918.

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March 30, 2012, 07:51 PM
Good job Gunny! Hope it functions well (or with minimal tweaking), if so you have a new friend for life. I'd assume you see it as a shooter what with the Earl Scheib job and all.

March 30, 2012, 11:23 PM
Well done, Gunny.

March 31, 2012, 01:10 AM
Everyone knows that Gunnies are the right hand of God. Thats the only reason he found it.:neener: That felt kinda good, I've never talked back to a Gunny before......Your don't live near Oklahoma do ya? If so I take it all back.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Outstanding Gunny. USMC 84-88, 03walkalot.

el Godfather
March 31, 2012, 06:33 AM
Which of modern ammo is UNSAFE in it?

March 31, 2012, 11:30 AM
surjimmy Look out your back window. :evil:

el Godfather Any of the +P ammo would be hard on the gun.
I only plan to shoot standard ball and target loads in it.

Ed Wagner
March 31, 2012, 08:35 PM
Gunny is it coming to Schutzenfest?

March 31, 2012, 08:45 PM
The slide is NOT hardened on that gun and ANY ammo will be hard on it.

There is no way to tell how many rounds have been put thru it already - So it's a total crap shoot as to WHEN the slide will crack.

March 31, 2012, 08:52 PM
Still fire my 1911......1918 today, no problems.....runs like the tax man is after him.

March 31, 2012, 10:57 PM
Well..maybe I guess, but my Model of 1905 Smith target revolver with a 1910 manufacture date doesn't have heat treating either and it still digests .38 spl wadcutters without complaint. I know thats not the same as a 1911, just sayin'...

April 1, 2012, 10:18 AM
Gunny is it coming to Schutzenfest?

Ed I plan on having it there along with my Colt 1917. They will both be out for anyone that wants to shoot them.

April 1, 2012, 10:23 AM
Here is Matt shooting the 1917 at Schutzenfest 2011.
He tried really hard to shoot up all those reloads in that gallon ziploc bag. :)

April 11, 2012, 05:49 PM
I picked up the Colt today, and got them to knock another $30 off the price. :D
I took pics as soon as I got home.
You can see that someone spray painted it black without taking it apart. The paint flakes off pretty and should not be hard to remove.

April 11, 2012, 05:50 PM
Now it's time to start the clean up. First I will clean and remove the paint. The rust is very minor and will be adressed after the paint has been removed.

April 12, 2012, 05:23 PM
I'd love to see it cleaned up but before you get it too clean I'm curious ...

Smoke/soot the barrel and slide engagement and assemble , cycle a few times and see the result .
Most if not all the original GI matching No.'s pieces that have come my way had fairly complete lock up and engagement . I get to soot the pieces w/ an acetylene flame but a Bic lighter or candle flame works as well . Any questions ? I'm sure one or more of the local tuners can explain better .


April 12, 2012, 08:27 PM
I cleaned it up last night.

I had someone on another forum tell me that it was just a mixmaster Colt and was only worth about $400. :neener:
Some people just don't do their homework. This one is correct other then the black paint and Houge grips.
It is what collectors call a Black Army Colt 1911.
Here is a little info on it.

I took it out to the rangr today and put 50 round of Speer 230gr FMJ through it. The pistol shoots great.

April 14, 2012, 02:03 AM
I went to my work bench and started looking through my parts cabinet. And look at what I found.

YES! An old set of GI 1911 grips. Woo Hoo!!!!

I cleaned then up.

Put some Tom's 1/3 Mix on them.

and then put them on the gun.

Peter M. Eick
April 14, 2012, 04:54 PM

Looks like mine but I have to switch the hammer back to the original. At some point the original hammer was taken out and I have it but I need to test it before I swap it back to original form.

I was going to make up some real light 200 grn lead rounds to shoot out of mine. I want to commemorate some of my grandfathers battles in WW1. I really regret not asking him more about it before he passed.

I was told to be quite careful shooting them. The early 1918 slides and frames are poorly to not heat treated so you can beat them up quickly with standard pressure ball ammo. This is why I am going to custom load some light loads and use them sparingly.

April 14, 2012, 06:17 PM
Great looking pistol.
Your's has the UNITED STATES PROPERTY marking over serial number. This practice started around serial number 500,000 which puts it made in 1919.

April 14, 2012, 08:18 PM
Here ya go Gunny, picked this up at a local GS 1918.

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