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Need price info on Colt 1911A1 US gov model

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by RemoW, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. RemoW

    RemoW Member

    Hi all,

    Just picked up a Colt 1911 from a friend. The gun is in 90 - 95 % condition. All original, the only problem I saw is mild pitting in the barrel.

    I am not a 1911 guy. I am considering trading or selling it to fuel other projects. Can any of you colts guys give me idea what it is worth? SN is 81XXXX. What little I have dug up indicates that it was built in 1942-1943.

    Pictures to follow as soon as I figure out how.

    Can someone add that to the faq???



    Attached Files:

  2. RemoW

    RemoW Member

    The other side...

    This is the other side.

    Attached Files:

  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    To be more specific I need more information on the serial number, but according to my reference Colt produced (among others) 55,100 guns serial numbered from 801001 to 856100 in 1941.

    I911-A1 USGI pistols have become collector's items and are priced accordingly. As a rule (sometimes broken) Colt's draw more money then those made by other contractors. If the pistol is entirely original the minor pitting in the barrel shouldn't matter much.

    I'll let someone else give you a price range, as they're going up faster then I can keep track of, but in general I'd say it's worth is in the low thousands.
  4. cerberus

    cerberus member

    My guess

    Would be anywhere from $500 to $600 A lot depends on how many others are in the market where your located and how badly someone is wanting to sell.
  5. stans

    stans Well-Known Member

    I am thinking this one will bring quite a bit more, if it is all original. I'm thinking closer to $1000, maybe a touch more, at least for the ones I have seen around here.
  6. RemoW

    RemoW Member


    It appears all original. The sn: 814XXX.
    Does that help.

    The gun is in great shape for a weapon that has been around since 1942-43...

  7. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    That serial number should place it in early 1941 which is PRE-war!

    As near as I can tell from the pics it looks to be original finish.
    If so, the bidding should start about $1250 and go UP from there.

    That $500 tp $600 comment was surely in jest.
  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Well now I've got a conflict in information.

    According to one reference Colt made a shipment to: Commanding Officer, Springfield Armory, Springfield Mass. consisting of 4,300 pistols, serial numbered between 813000 to 821000 on Sept. 4, 1942.

    Another sourse says, as I said before, 1941. The difference could be important because all other things being equal, a pre-war gun is worth more because relatively few were made between 1919 and 1941.

    I tend to think the 1942 date is more likely to be correct, but only the Colt company can say for sure. A factory letter will confirm the date, but it may also cost a $100.00 or so.

    This is one reason that if you post a serial number, post all of it except the last two numbers. That will protect the gun's identity while giving a researcher all of the information they need.

    Another possible source of information is the Government Inspector's stamp. This will usually consist of two or three capital letters - sometimes but not always inclosed in a square. For example: W.B. inclosed in a square, or G.H.D. not inclosed. The mark is stamped somewhere on the frame, often behind the trigger guard. As various inspectors inspected at different times the mark will give a ball-park figure as to when the gun was made.
  9. C-5Driver

    C-5Driver Member

    His picture of the left side looks like it has a partial boxed W.B. under the slide stop...

    John Holbrook(sp?) may be a good source of information for you. He's had a lot of these pistols pass through his hands over the years. Hangs out on the 1911 forum over at CSP (jouster.com)
  10. RemoW

    RemoW Member

    Great info

    the first 4 digits are 8147xx. Thanks for the heads up on how to post the SN correctly.

    The gun does have a stamp that is a W under the slide release. Would that make it a WWII weapon?

    The gun is in it original finish. I bet it has had less then 200 rounds through it. I also checked the slide, the numbers match. This gun is all original.

    From the info I have gotten so far I really want a collector to have it. I would die knowing this weapon was butchered.

  11. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    I was going by Fuff comments about the 1941 date. I stopped double checking him a long time ago. But since reading his last post I have found two sources that also state 1942.

    However www.coltautos.com shows some photos of Colt #802736 and states;
    This would lead one to believe that it is in fact a pre-war pistol that was in inventory but wasn't shipped until 1942.

    So for real value we need to determine originality.
    Is this gun blued or parkerized? From the photos the finish looks sorta dark. Parkerization began with #729,993. But many 1941 pistols were blued.

    One way to determine if the finish is original is to look at the feed ramp. It should be bare metal. The feed ramp was machined after finishing. If the pistol has been refinished the ramp will probably match the frame finish.

    If the pistol still has the original slide the serial number will be underneath the firing pin stop.

    If the pistol is 100% original, in the condition indicated by the photos I still think the value will be $1000+

    C-5Driver the WB inspectors mark indicated Waldemar Broberg who was one of the Colt inspector for the pre-war/early war years.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2004
  12. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...which is PRE-war..." Um, W.W. II started 1 Sept., 1939. Not 7 Dec. 1941.
    I've seen issue Colts on-line that the guy wanted around 2 grand. Whether or not it sold for that, who knows?
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member


    I am well aware that World War Two started in September 1939 in Europe. Some would say it started in Asia when Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931. However so far as military weapons procurement by the United States is concerned it started on December 8, 1941 when Franklin Roosevelt declared war on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor the day before.

    End of history lesson.
  14. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member


    You're right. There is a lot of conflict between serial number dates and actual delivery during this time period. The only way to be sure is a factory letter, and in this case the gun is (potentially) valuable enough to justify the expense.

    I suspect the “W†mark may be part of “W.B†– Col. Waldemar S. Bomberg, who inspected 1911-A! pistols at Colt during 1941- 42 in the approximate serial number range of 750500 through 860500. Interesting, but it won’t help date this particular gun.

    I agree that the piece is worth at least $1,000.00 in today's market, probably more.
  15. ThorOdinson

    ThorOdinson Member

    "According to one reference Colt made a shipment to: Commanding Officer, Springfield Armory, Springfield Mass. consisting of 4,300 pistols, serial numbered between 813000 to 821000 on Sept. 4, 1942."

    I hit this site after doing a search for "Commanding Officer's Model". FYI I have one and it is nowhere close to WWII. It is SS, grip length the same but slide shorted. Colt told me it was one of 600 ordered up by a distributer in Colorado.

    Most confuse "Commanding Officer's Model" (Stamped on side of slide) with the Commander. I've owned those. This baby is ALL SS--no alloy crap. Now if I could just find another Colt SS mag I would be happy (standard 7 rounds). Many other makers--one with a cap on the bottom (Novak??) and it holds 8. Nice all SS mag with "Colt 45 Auto" and the horse logo would be nice.

    BTW--Colt says despite its name it was never a Government Issue weapon.

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