Colt 1911 without rampant colt emblem


August 9, 2012, 10:43 PM
I have what appears to be an authentic Colt 1911 pistol that has a serial # of C88975 which was manufactured in 1917 based upon the #. One thing leads me to question that it is a real Colt is that it is missing the rampant colt emblem on the slide. Did Colt make any 1911's without the emblem? How can I determine if this is a genuine Colt 1911?

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Jim Watson
August 9, 2012, 10:54 PM
Well, you could post some pictures and we could talk about it.

August 9, 2012, 11:36 PM
There are several reasons why the Colt emblem may not be there. You could have a mix-master pistol with a Colt frame and a slide from another manufacturers, or the pistols could have been refinished during it's lifetime and the pony could have been polished into non-existence.

As Jim said, photos of the gun in question would be a big help.

August 10, 2012, 08:52 AM
I just added some pics of the 1911.

August 10, 2012, 11:39 AM
Youir pistol would have been manufactured in 1917. It appears to have been refinished and buffed in the process. The markings on both sides of the slide appear to be correct for the time period except for the missing rampart colt emblem.

August 10, 2012, 11:53 AM
How can you tell that it has been refinished?

August 10, 2012, 12:39 PM
The second photo shows what appears to be circular polishing marks, the letters are less distinct and the bluing is somewhat purple- it could be the nature of the photos. I corrected my post to state it appears to be refinished.

August 10, 2012, 01:05 PM
It appears to be refinished. At some point the gun was reblued by an aftermarket blueing outfit. In the process it was over polished some, the normally clear and sharp lines around the edges of the gun and around the stamping were rounded. The tone of the blueing is also off from standard Colt blue of the period. You can also see the polishing marks or at least what looks like them in the pic.

You may want to drop by the one or more of the 1911 forums and see pics there of military 1911s from the same time frame.

This will lesson the value of the gun some. But does not effect it as a shooter.


August 10, 2012, 01:12 PM
That was my original thought as well based upon the depth of the bluing that is on the gun and the lack of the Colt emblem but there aren't any circular marks or anything that I can see that points to it being buffed out, filed, polished, etc. The purple color in the 2nd photo is from WD40 residue and handprints.

I am still leaning towards the gun being refinished but can anyone answer the question about Colt manufacturing any guns without the Rampant Colt emblem?

Are there any sure-fire methods to determine if the piece has been refinished?

Jim K
August 10, 2012, 02:39 PM
At that time, the pony would have been on the left rear of the slide, not in the center. Those were pretty lightly stamped (hand stamped using a jig) and the marking was probably removed in the polishing when the gun was reblued. (It was heavily polished and reblued; there is no doubt about that.)

Note that the gun is a Government Model, a commercial gun, not a military contract pistol, so researchers will have to be sure to get the right data for comparison.

Just FWIW and FYI (don't you just love those initials?) on the reblue. Look at the grips. They have not been refinished and show the obvious use and wear of the gun before it was polished and reblued. Also, the gun shows the rounded corners, dished markings and blurred lines almost always seen on reblued guns, especially those that were heavily rusted prior to being polished. Anyone wanting to buy a gun like that and is suspicious should ask to remove the grips. Polishers very rarely bother to work on the areas under the grips or inside the magazine well, and quite often signs of deep pitting will be in evidence in those areas.


August 10, 2012, 02:46 PM
Thank you for all of your comments and input. It looks like I have a good 1911 shooter to take to the range!

August 10, 2012, 04:12 PM
Interesting but in the full photo the slide looks too long, likely just an illusion from the angle of the pic.

A quick look at the book "Colt .45 Government Models (Commercial Series)" by Clawson shows the following:

The slide from this period should have a Colt pony on it. In this case where the patent dates are justified on the left side of the slide, the pony should be on the left rear of the slide adjacent to the hammer. It therefore may have been polished off. A close look under different lighting might show traces of it there.

The pony would not have been in a circle. In late 1917 the emblem was moved to the center of the patent dates and at the same time the type of the markings was changed, meaning the style of the type face.. This gun has the earlier type.

Note also that the hammer is wrong for guns of this period. It should be the wide hammer. This one is a WWII type hammer first use to cut down on production time during the war and common ever since. So the hammer was swapped out at some point.

It also looks from the pics that we can see the pitting under the bluing where the repolish could not get it out.


August 11, 2012, 09:29 AM
Is that a horse I see at 800% zoom?

August 11, 2012, 02:04 PM
Certainly could be. In good light it should be visible to the eyeball or with a magnifying glass.


August 11, 2012, 04:09 PM
I had one very similar to that. Mine was made in 1920. I do not recall ever seeing a Rampant Colt on the slide. If it hadn't been stolen :cuss: I could go look at it. ( ) To my knowledge, the one I had had never been refinished.

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