My dad's stolen 1911 is back home

C-grunt

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Phoenix Az
Back in the mid 2000s my father purchased a Kimber Stainless Gold Match II. He shot it every week. One day it stopped running reliably. He had a well known local 1911 smith fully tune up and rebuild the gun and it ran amazing for many years and over 25k rounds since. We spent many days at the range together and the Kimber was his constant companion. In 2017 my father's house was burglarized and it was the only thing stolen. We believe it was the meth addict schizo neighbor but never had any evidence. A couple years later my father died. The pistol was recently recovered and returned to me yesterday. This was the condition I got it in.

20240214_110456 by chase, on Flickr




Yesterday I spent about 30 minutes with CLP and a brush and was able to knock the worst off.

20240215_092234 by chase, on Flickr

20240215_092243 by chase, on Flickr

20240215_092304 by chase, on Flickr

20240215_092252 by chase, on Flickr




Today I did a full detail strip and went after the rust spots with oil and some fine steel wool. It definitely doesn't look pristine but It never was a safe queen. I am beyond the moon that I got this 1911 back in my hands. When my father passed away this gun was the only thing he owned that I really wanted. Im taking it to the range this weekend.

20240215_103113 by chase, on Flickr

20240215_114115 by chase, on Flickr

20240215_114126 by chase, on Flickr

20240215_114150 by chase, on Flickr

20240215_114133 by chase, on Flickr
 
I love it when a sentimental gun finds its way home. I have a handful that went walkabout as my grandfather lay dying at the rest home. They made their way back to grandma and when I went to take them in she told me to keep them. It’s a great feeling to touch and use a sentimental item, even more so one that was lost and has been found.
 
First, please accept my sympathies concerning the loss of your father. It's wonderful that you had him for the time and memories you shared; and thank you for sharing them with us. Second, really happy to hear about this one finding its way home after so many years. Third, you might want to consider getting some "bronze wool" -- it will be easier on the stainless and with a little very fine jeweler's rouge -- green and white -- and a medium to soft felt tip on a relative low speed hand tool like a Dreimal, you'll have it looking even better. Once again, thanks for sharing and congrats on the great memories and good outcome.
 
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You are extremely fortunate to have gotten it back. Great story and thanks for sharing. Enjoy it and your memories.
 
Sorry to hear about your dad , but I am glad that you got his pistol back . You did a great job cleaning it up . I hope it still shoots as good as you remember it did .
 
Those blemishes are part of the gun's history. I wouldn't want it to be pristine. I'm sure you'll think of your dad every time you take it out to shoot.

The damage could be worse. I had a G19 stolen in 2014. Got a call one month later stating that it had been recovered in the next county to the south. When I contacted them, I was told their DA wouldn't release the gun until after the trial. It was in possession of some drug dealers. When they tried to pull them over my gun was thrown out the window wrapped in a T-Shirt. LE were able to recover it.

It took 8 years to get my gun back and they had engraved the case number on the slide. They wrote it on the magazine with a sharpie. Fortunately, the coating Glock uses is pretty darn tough. The number is barely visible, I had the gun back 2 days before I noticed it. You really have to have it in bright light to see it. I can't get it to even show up in a photo. I even got back the ammo in that was in the magazine. It was still sealed in an evidence box, which I kept along with documentation. Because of the history I'm thinking that will be one my kids will be glad to get when I'm gone.

Can't prove it, but I'm 99% sure a local 17-year-old meth head stole it and either sold or traded it for drugs to the guys in the other county. He was caught doing the same thing only a few weeks after my gun was taken and sent to prison. He got out on probation after 3 years and the same week he got out he came through our neighborhood and broke into a dozen cars. He ripped the canvas top off my Jeep and took a pocketknife. He won't be getting out any time soon, if ever. They gave him a break the 1st time because of his age.
 
Glad you got it back. I know that I'd hate to lose my mom's Single Six. It was her only firearm, and probably her prized possession. I gave it to her about 8 years before she passed away. We spent many hours in the yard shooting with it, and she even carried it occasionally in her purse (with ccdw license).
 
That is absolutely amazing! I am so happy that the journey ended with a trip back home.

It definitely has some character but still looks great.

I hope you enjoy your trip to the range and the gun shoots as good as you remember.
 
Back in the mid 2000s my father purchased a Kimber Stainless Gold Match II. He shot it every week. One day it stopped running reliably. He had a well known local 1911 smith fully tune up and rebuild the gun and it ran amazing for many years and over 25k rounds since. We spent many days at the range together and the Kimber was his constant companion. In 2017 my father's house was burglarized and it was the only thing stolen. We believe it was the meth addict schizo neighbor but never had any evidence. A couple years later my father died. The pistol was recently recovered and returned to me yesterday. This was the condition I got it in.
Any details on how it was recovered and who from?
 
Any details on how it was recovered and who from?

A guy got arrested on a traffic stop and had it.

My sister and I are about 99 percent sure my dad's meth head neighbor did the original burglary of his house but never had any proof. The guy thst was found with the gun said he purchased it a couple years prior. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. But I'd bet good money he wasn't the burglar.
 
Great story. Maybe it deserves a complete professional refinishing job to the pristine conditions, including the sights. I think there is a product made by Evapo-Rust to remove the rust from the stainless steel but you have to remove the sights and any other blued part from the slide and the frame. That product will remove the rust but, if the steel underneath is corroded, it can't obviously fill the pitting.
 
Awesome! I am glad it found its way back home. I would be tempted to leave the finish as-is. As a reminder of its journey and return.
 
Not many people ever get back stolen firearms, so it's really great that you got your dad's Kimber back!
 
My oldest grandson forgot to lock his truck at a motel in Dallas, TX a few years ago. I can understand why having to wrestle two unruly little kids. Next morning his Springfield was missing. He reported it and over a year later later got a phone call from the DA's office in San Antone saying they had recovered it and would return it to him. It was simple. They sent to our SO and they called him to come pick it up. It looked exactly like it did when it went missing except it had no magazine. He was lucky with getting a thief that took good care of what he stole or the person he sold it to and guessed the mag went missing in the hands of the police.
 
Great story. Maybe it deserves a complete professional refinishing job to the pristine conditions, including the sights. I think there is a product made by Evapo-Rust to remove the rust from the stainless steel but you have to remove the sights and any other blued part from the slide and the frame. That product will remove the rust but, if the steel underneath is corroded, it can't obviously fill the pitting.

Im actually looking to get it refinished. Going back and forth between nitriding or cerakote.
 
Really glad you got your dad's gun back though it would have been better if it would have found it's way home while he could still enjoy it.

Cerakote does a good job and is pretty durable, but likely won't resemble the original factory finish.
If it works, leave it be. You'll never sell it right? The cosmetics wouldn't bother me in the least and gives it some provenance in a weird way.
 
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