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A 99% singer 1911A1 for sale!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by tark, Nov 14, 2017.

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  1. tark

    tark Member

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    Cowabunga, 1911 fans!! The rarest, most valuable 1911A1 known to exist is up for sale at the Rock Island Auction Company. It is A Singer, # S800221, and it has a complete history to accompany it. It was issued to a Lt. Charles H. Clark, U.S.N. Obviously he never used it. It is 99% and has three extra magazines. It has the high polish finish typical of the 500 Singers that were manufactured before the Government decided that the pistols were too well built and too pretty. The talents of the Singer MFG. CO. were put to better use.

    I would post a pic out of the catalog, but that isn't legal, so if you want to see the most valuable 1911A1 in existence, go to the R.I.A. website and have a look. Lot # 2446

    If you're interested in buying it ....better sell the house, the car, and your left leg...It is estimated to go for $160,000 - $ 240,000.. :what::what::what:
     
  2. tark

    tark Member

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    OOPS! It appears that Mr. Clark wasn't issued the pistol, he recovered it from a B-24 crash in 1943. Gotta wonder how it survived a plane crash in such pristine condition.
     
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  3. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    At 50,000 dollars I would think the North American Arms would be the rarest. I think only about 10 were made. In an aircraft crash not every thing is destroyed, If a large aircraft such as the B-29 made a crash landing , most of the aircraft would be intact. Even when a aircraft is destroyed tools and, parts and so forth survive, I have 1 1911 that was recovered from an crashed helicopter ( listed as lost in combat ) .
     
  4. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    That must be a hell of a good holster it was sitting in.
     
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  5. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    It is not surprising that the gun was in a crash and that it was in good condition. "Crashes" come in all forms. While most were killed in that crash, the tailgunner only had minor injuries, and he wasn't even in a holster.

    Here is the link, since one was not included above...
    http://rockislandauction.com/detail/50/1524/singer-1911a1#detail
     
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  6. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    The tail gunner wasn't in a holster?
     
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  7. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    :D Nice
     
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  8. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Well, that's one version. The other is that the Singer Company was given a contract to figure out how to build them in mass quantities - and when they turned over the results to the Army, it was with the expressed ability to make 25,000 a month. They were given a contract and implied in it was to try to increase production to 100 an hour.

    They failed. Those pretty guns couldn't get off the lines fast enough, and the whole shebang shut down. Many parts were scrapped outright. Tooling and prints were given to Remington Rand - who then demonstrated they could do it, along with Ithaca. Singer went on to other things.

    Singer is really an example of "those who can't, teach, and those who can (Remington Rand), do." They failed to perform, crank out shooters in the tens of thousands monthly. Those 500 are all that survived meeting Army standards. A promise that turned out to be hype.

    Yet collectors are gonna collect. If the gun that was supposed to shoot JFK ever came up on the market I suspect it would be overpriced, too.
     
  9. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Sounds like stolen property to me...I am surprised Uncle Sam doesn't want his cut or the whole pie....lol
     
  10. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    That's the joke.
     
  11. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    CHICKEN FEED!
     
  12. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Ah. I don't like to joke about dead airmen, that must be why I didn't get it.
     
  13. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    The airman in question wasn't dead.

    And if you read memoirs of WWII vets, especially the aviators, you will find a preponderance of gallows humor as a way of dealing with death.
     
  14. Wisco

    Wisco member

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    Gosh, that looks like the perfect platform for a custom build!
     
  15. tark

    tark Member

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    Blasphemer! Infidel dog! May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits!!!:cuss:

    Actually, I am sure it would make a fine custom build. :what:
     
  16. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Dangit! I'm too late to the thread. It's sold (and for a paltry $166,750!)
     
  17. tark

    tark Member

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    Not quite correct. Singer was given an educational order for 500 pistols, in April, 1940, which they completed and turned over to the government in late December 1941. After pearl harbor the government offered a contract for 15,000 more pistols, WHICH THE SINGER COMPANY ITSELF TURNED DOWN. The board of directors felt the company's talents were put to better use making artillery fire control mechanisms and similar equipment.

    Singer never failed to reach the goal of 100 guns per hour because they never tried. They never accepted the governments offer and the gun was never put into actual production.

    Some of their tooling went to Remington, who still had a sour taste in their mouth from their WWI 1911 production, which had parts interchangeability problems. They were too busy making rifles, anyway, They turned the tooling over to their typewriter division, who in 1927 had merged with Rand Kardex and Powers Accounting to form Remington Rand Corp.

    The five hundred pistols on hand were given to the Air Force, which probably explains why most of the surviving Singers are in such good shape. Pilots don't shoot pistols very often.
    Never was a promise, wasn't any hype. The 500 weren't survivors, they were the entire production run, albeit a very small one. And they are the best wartime 1911s ever made. Their level of fit and finish were far above what was needed. I've held one at an auction preview at R.I.A.C. a couple of years back. It looked and felt a lot like a pre-war commercial Colt.

    As an interesting aside, Harrington and Richardson was also given an educational order for 1911s but they were going through bankruptcy and only produced around 20 pistols. I wonder if any of them survived?? If any did, think what they would be worth?? Surely, they are the rarest of all 1911s.....
     
  18. tark

    tark Member

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    OK, I admit I'm kinda dumb, explain the joke to me...

    The auction hasn't happened yet.
     
  19. tark

    tark Member

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    Now I understand......that Singer and the one coming up next month are the SAME GUN. :what: S800221. Whoever bought it last time must have decided he didn't actually want it, or perhaps he passed away.
     
  20. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    The link above shows it sold
     
  21. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    That history is not quite accurate. The WWI era pistols were made by Remington-UMC, the gun company. The WWII pistols were made by Remington Rand, which by that time had no connection with Remington Arms/Remington-UMC and prior to that contract was not involved in the manufacture of guns.of any kind.

    The following is a general comment and NOT a reference to any specific M1911A1 pistol. Of all the rare and semi-rare M1911A1 pistols, the Singer is the most often counterfeited. (The North American is rarer, but seems to be less faked, probably because it is so rare that a buyer would be very careful.) I have seen a couple of good Singers, but I have also seen at least a half dozen fake Singers, ranging from the very good to atrocious. I won't even try to list the things to look for, just raise a note of caution before shelling out big bucks for one. I have read that all were issued to the USAAF, and the ones I have seen traced seem to bear that out. If so, it is probably coincidence - there just happened to be Singers on hand when a USAAF requisition came in. I know of no special USAAF markings.

    There was no mystery about Singer's involvement; they had offered to make pistols and other war material. While the guns were quite satisfactory, Army Ordnance decided that Singer's precision manufacturing experience would be wasted on pistols, a relatively crude product. Singer ultimately made other items, mainly precision fuses, fire control mechanisms and the like, all of which required a much higher degree of precision than pistols. Anyone doubting that is welcome to compare a sewing machine to a pistol and see the difference. Plus sewing machines were themselves critical to the war effort, with millions of service men and women to be issued clothing, bedding, tents, etc., not to mention canvas goods, parachutes, and so forth. .

    Jim
     
  22. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    That history is not quite accurate. The WWI era pistols were made by Remington-UMC, the gun company. The WWII pistols were made by Remington Rand, which by that time had no connection with Remington Arms/Remington-UMC and prior to that contract was not involved in the manufacture of guns.of any kind.

    The following is a general comment and NOT a reference to any specific M1911A1 pistol. Of all the rare and semi-rare M1911A1 pistols, the Singer is the most often counterfeited. (The North American is rarer, but seems to be less faked, probably because it is so rare that a buyer would be very careful.) I have seen a couple of good Singers, but I have also seen at least a half dozen fake Singers, ranging from the very good to atrocious. I won't even try to list the things to look for, just raise a note of caution before shelling out big bucks for one. I have read that all were issued to the USAAF, and the ones I have seen traced seem to bear that out. If so, it is probably coincidence - there just happened to be Singers on hand when a USAAF requisition came in. I know of no special USAAF markings.

    There was no mystery about Singer's involvement; they had offered to make pistols and other war material. While the guns were quite satisfactory, Army Ordnance decided that Singer's precision manufacturing experience would be wasted on pistols, a relatively crude product. Singer ultimately made other items, mainly precision fuses, fire control mechanisms and the like, all of which required a much higher degree of precision than pistols. Anyone doubting that is welcome to compare a sewing machine to a pistol and see the difference. Plus sewing machines were themselves critical to the war effort, with millions of service men and women to be issued clothing, bedding, tents, etc., not to mention canvas goods, parachutes, and so forth. .

    Jim
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm wondering how a WWII 1911A1 qualifies as a C&R handgun?
     
  24. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    Or maybe his wife found the receipt and shot him with it
     
  25. tark

    tark Member

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    Quite possible!! Didn't think of that one. :confused: Have been doing research on the pistol. Some sources say the government made the decision to not have Singer make pistols....and some say the decision was made by Singer.
    Any firearm more than 50 years old qualifies as a C&R. This includes fully automatic weapons that fall under the National Firearms Act of 1934. There are several Class III weapons coming up in the December auction at R.I.A.C. that are classified as "Curio and Relics"
     
  26. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I made no joke about dead airmen.

    Let me explain. It was queried as to how the gun could survive a crash in such good condition. I commented that the tail gunner escaped with only minor injuries and he wasn't even in a holster, which it would be expected that the gun would have been in at the time of the crash. If the tailgunner could get out in good condition, then it is likely that other things could as well. Plane crashes are very interesting phenomena whereby there may be tremendous destruction in on part of the plane but things remain in surprisingly good shape in another part. Just because the plan crashed does not mean that everything has been destroyed.

    The gun very well may have been in stowed gear, likely in its holster, and exceptionally well protected, relatively speaking. Note that the gun was NOT noted being removed from an airman.

    Airmen were killed in the crash, all but 1, but I made no joke about the dead. Even so, as noted by AltDave, there is a preponderance of gallows humor in the annals of military aviation.
     
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