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1911 Manufacturer Question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Welding Rod, Feb 27, 2013.

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  1. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    Who was the primary manufacturer of 1911s and 1911A1s?

    The reason I ask is I was looking at a poster on the NRA store website and it shows Springfield Armory as a 1911 manufacturer and Remington Rand (I believe) as a 1911A1 manufacturer.

    Here is a link to the poster: http://www.nrastore.com/nrastore/ProductDetail.aspx?c=5&p=HO%2024688

    I thought Colt was the big gun for both - no?
     
  2. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    Ithaca Arms Co. made large number of 1911s during WWII and got some kind of excellence award from the government for it but that is all I can recall now.
     
  3. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    (From wikipedia)

    "World War II and the years leading up to it created a great demand. During the war, about 1.9 million units were procured by the U.S. Government for all forces, production being undertaken by several manufacturers, including Remington Rand (900,000 produced), Colt (400,000), Ithaca Gun Company (400,000), Union Switch & Signal (50,000), and Singer (500). So many were produced that after 1945 the government did not order any new pistols, and simply used existing parts inventories to "arsenal refinish" guns when necessary. This pistol was favored by US military personnel.[13] Singer produced pistols in particular are highly prized collectibles, commanding high prices even in poor condition.[14]"

    When I hit my unit in Germany in 1992, we still had 87 1911A1s as sidearms. Most were Ithacas, all had been extensively rebuilt. (Or needed it.)
     
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Both Springfield Arsenal and Remington Arms Company produced 1911s, and nice examples command a premium.

    Remington Rand...a typewriter manufacturer...became the supplier of 1911A1s, producing and delivering more pistols than the other four combined. By mid-1944, the Rand was not only a bit better pistol that the Colt, but it was about 5 bucks cheaper, costing the government a whopping $52.50 a copy.

    Of the five WW2 contractors, only two were actual gun manufacturers.
    Ithaca and Colt.
     
  5. tuj

    tuj Member

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    Singer, the sewing machine company, made 1911's as well.
     
  6. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Yep. 500 of'em. Very high collector demand and prices reflect it. Not many original Singers left. I've only seen two.

    Next in line is Union Switch & Signal out of Swissvale Pa. 55,000 made, and probably half that many originals remaining. Their prices are climbing like an FA18.
     
  7. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    We still had 1911s in our arms room until late 92 when I was stationed in Germany. I don't recall seeing any of the more rare ones in the arms room.
     
  8. Auto426

    Auto426 Member

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    It's important to note that this is not the Springfield Armory that we know today that makes 1911's, M1A's, and imports the XD models. This was the original government run Springfield Armory that was shut down in 1968.
     
  9. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    In '92 we had a guy leave his gear wedged in the nook under the turret of the tank, and someone traversed it and twisted his old Ithaca in half. He freaked out, because he knew he would have to pay for it. Until we looked up the actual value of a 1911A1 manufactured in WWII and repeatedly reconditioned, we charged him.......$58.
     
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    When the M1911 was adopted in 1911, the government was concerned about placing all the eggs of pistol production in one basket, Colt. So the contract with Colt required that Colt provide drawings and assistance in tooling up Springfield Armory for pistol production. The Springfield Armory guns (not the current company, as noted) differ from the Colt production only in the markings and in one small detail - the front sight is milled as part of the slide, where in the Colt (and every other subsequent manufacturer) it is a separate part.

    In the runup to WWI, the space at Springfield being used for pistol production was desperately needed for increased rifle production, and production of the 1911 was discontinued. That was the last time any service pistol was made by a United States government arsenal.

    Jim
     
  11. rtz

    rtz Member

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    What year or whereabouts did the Government start to surplus these pistols? How did they go about it? I always hear stories about in the 1970's these pistols being common on the tables of gun shows(and cheap?).
     
  12. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Not sure when or how much they did. A lot of them came home with servicemen. In '92, when we turned ours in, I made a lot of phone calls to find out how I could buy a dozen frames to rebuild, they told me it wasn't going to happen, they would all be shredded and scrapped.
     
  13. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    Post Korea War, late 50's early 60's via the DCM (todays CMP). Stopped as a result of the 68 GCA.
    NRA Members filled out request, sent in $$, shipped to your door. Cost was what? $20-30? IIRC my Dad's cost $25 or so and I forked over some BDay money to "particpate" in the buy in '63. Bought an '03, an M1 Carbine and a Garand in the same fashion each year after my BDay with some of the money I was given by Grandparents.

    sigh
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    And he got screwed.

    As noted, the DCM was selling surplus 1911's for $19.95 to civilians 30 years before that.

    I bought one from the DCM in 1962 or 1963 that was in far better condition then the one I was issued by the U.S. Army in 1968!

    I never did quite understand all that.

    rc
     
  15. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Probably. But it's a heck of a lot less than he THOUGHT he was going to have to tell his wife he was getting docked. :)
     
  16. otasan56

    otasan56 Member

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    Remington Rand made a million and a half, I think.
     
  17. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    USN 1972-1978 I carried a M1911A1 on POOW Duty, I always
    checked what manufacturer had produced the gun(s) before
    holstering it. they ( small arms locker on board two different
    destroyuers 24 M1911A1s ) were all Ithaca or Remingtton Rand.

    Randall
     
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