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My 1911 restoration story

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by critter, Jul 27, 2012.

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  1. critter

    critter Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    southeast AR
    AJAX22, I really loved your story of restoration of the dug up 1911 relic.

    So as not to hijack your thread, here is my story of the 1911.

    In the early 1950's, I was just a lad. I had an aunt/uncle whose house burned to the ground. Their old inlaws had moved in with them along with all their trappings and the house, loft was FULL of STUFF. Made a nice, HOT fire!

    There was an Ithica GI 1911 cocked, locked and loaded with a full magazine in a leather holster on the fireplace mantle.

    A 'certain young lad' (me!) found the remains after the fire had cooled. When the round in the chamber cooked off, the slide had retracted and jammed back. the gun was across the room and under the remains of a bed. All the rest of the rounds in the mag had cooked off and pooched the mag body out of the grip frame holes.

    I had another uncle who had just gotten out of the army. He helped me dismantle the gun. We had to beat the remains of the mag back into the grip frame just to extract it. Surface was well blackened, all springs were completely limp, etc.

    I kept the gun for many years as a keepsake. THEN, I got the idea of refurbishing it. Found a buddy with a well stocked 'used parts box'. Put in a barrel, firing pin, all springs, mag, grips. It looked like crap but was still a 1911.

    Held it around a BIG white oak tree-----and shot it! Of course, it rattled like a bag of doorknobs, but it WORKED! I shot it some, and it was 100% reliable but not very accurate. It was evident that it was quite soft and was wearing, battering quite a bit. Found a guy who wanted it a lot worse than I did.

    I haven't yet gotten over the allure of the 1911, still own a nice stable of them and have owned many more. That one, however, still holds a 'soft spot' in my heart. It was my 'ruination'!
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