Colt 1911 DEA marked "1 of 1000"?

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Badger Arms

Jan 1, 2003
Harnett County, NC
My cousin has a Colt that is marked, "Colt 1 of 1000" forward of the ejection port and the left side is marked "Custom Colt" & "GOVT. 45 -AUTO-". The serial number is DEA04xx. I'll upload pictures. Condition is unfired. Not sure if he has the box or what type of box, but he does have the manual. My questions are:

1) Is this a series 80 gun?
2) Who makes the sights; are they Millett?
3) What is the history of the gun. He was told that it was designed for a possible contract with the DEA.
4) I have seen DEA Commemorative, gold-inlayed, and in a wood box... this is not that but are they related?
5) What is the value? I don't mean insurance value, I mean if he were to put it on GunBroker or GunsAmerica today, what would somebody likely pay for it?

Thanks in advance. I know guns, but I don't know 1911's.


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Call Colt Manufacturing (not Colt Defense) and ask about the gun. You'll need to provide them with the serial number.

Likely this is a part of a DEA commemorative run put out by the Colt Custom Shop rather than a contract run for the DEA.

Well, after over an hour on hold, I got in touch with a very nice lady with limited information. Best I can figure, they serialized 450 guns (not 1,000 despite the name) for the 20th anniversary of the DEA which would have been in 1993. Despite this, the gun came up as having a 1996 mfg date. I have seen the 20th anniversary guns and those are in walnut cases with gold inlay. I suspect that this gun (sold in a regular plastic case and cardboard slip-cover) was an over-run and they were just getting rid of the frames.

That's the best I can find. If anybody has another DEA0xxx serialized gun or knows of a picture of one, I'd like to see it.
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