PDA

View Full Version : Working on a very early 1911. A few questions. *Picts*


sammy
04-11-2012, 7:57 AM
So my uncle asked me to look over a 57xxx 1911 he has had since the 40's. The gun came from a pilot (not sure which service) and it has the orignal leather drop leg holster. The gun is perfect with a few scuffs on the bluing.

So first question, I can't figure out how to disassemble the magazine. It has a loop on the bottom and and I see no way to get it apart.

Second is it has a blued flat mainspring housing with a similar loop as the magazine. The spring feels very strong but is much shorter than the Wulf replacement.

Thanks all, Sammy

Ura
04-11-2012, 8:22 AM
http://www.m1911.org/stripin1.htm
If you want to disassemble an M-1911 magazine, insert three or four rounds in the magazine. Then insert a pin (possibly the hammer strut) thru one of the magazine hole's, below the follower, in order to keep the mag spring down. Remove the rounds from the magazine and turn the mag upside down and shake it until the follower falls off. Remove the pin that holds the spring in and remove it.

littlejake
04-11-2012, 8:50 AM
Those loops you refer to are lanyard loops. Common to mil pistols -- but useless. Sounds like you have a flat 1911 MSH (not the arched 1911A1 housing.)

Does it have a short trigger and is the frame scalloped just to the rear of the trigger. A1's have those features.

That serial number indicates a Colt made in 1918 near the end of WWI. Should have a "Black Army" finish.

Geologyjohn
04-11-2012, 11:56 AM
re: "...made in 1918..."
Not true. A Colt made 1911 pistol with a serial number in the 50,000 range was made towards the end of 1913. You probably misread the posting and believed that it was made in the 500,000 serial range, in which case you would be correct.

Sammy, how much of the pistol is still original 1913 construction? As an example, look at the left side of the slide. Is the most recent patent date 1911, or 1913? Around serial number 84,000, the 1913 parent date gets added to the slides. All Colt-manufactured 1911 and 1911a1's military pistols made after that serial number will have the 1913 date if they still have their original slides. It has been common for folks to have one of these pistols with a low number pistol frame, but a slide made from a more recent pistol. If you could post photos, that would help us (and make this a more interesting thread). Also, is the finish on your pistol blued or parkerized (indicating the it was refinished at some point)? Geologyjohn

PolishMike
04-11-2012, 11:58 AM
Just realize every scratch and part you change is decreasing the value significantly.

Geologyjohn
04-11-2012, 12:01 PM
ps, I just noticed that you originally posted that it has a blued finish (hopefully original finish). It just shows that I too don't read these posts carefully enough :).

littlejake
04-11-2012, 1:19 PM
re: "...made in 1918..."
Not true. A Colt made 1911 pistol with a serial number in the 50,000 range was made towards the end of 1913. You probably misread the posting and believed that it was made in the 500,000 serial range, in which case you would be correct.

I did exactly that --- my bad.

brassburnz
04-11-2012, 2:07 PM
Sammy,

The Colt has more value as a collectible than a shooter. Don't do anything to it. Don't try to disassemble the gun or the magazine. If you want a shooter, you can get a top tier 1911 after you sell the Colt.

Over the years I've seen more old guns ruined by well intentioned owners who want to "fix up" their old guns. I remember walking into a gun store as a customer takes out a a first generation Colt Single Action Army to show off. He didn't like the faded blue finish on the gun, so he had it redone in some kind of black coating. If he had not done anything to it, it would have been easily worth $5,000. Not it was worth less than a grand.

I saw a guy with a Colt pocket .25 auto that had scrubbed off the "funny looking purple finish" with steel wool. He liked it much better now because it was a "shiney silver color". His mint $2,000 Colt was now worth a couple of hundred bucks.

Go look at similar Colt 1911's on gunbroker.com or auctionarms.com and see how much it is worth. Please don't do anything to it.

Here's a link to a Colt 1911 from 1913. The guy is asking $14,000

http://www.gunauction.com/buy/10275255/pistols-for-sale/colt-colt-1911-2c-made-1913-2c-about-mint-2c-rig

sammy
04-11-2012, 2:27 PM
Thanks everyone for the help. The only work that has ever been done is an accurized barrel. My uncle has the orignal barrel that he is wants to have put back in the gun. Here she is after a detail strip. What do you think it is worth?

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x183/carcrazysammy/070.jpg
http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x183/carcrazysammy/071.jpg
http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x183/carcrazysammy/072.jpg

Ura
04-11-2012, 4:37 PM
Model 1911 (1913-1915 mfg.) Add to Collection
View Historic Prices
Grading
100% 98% 95% 90% 80% 70% 60%
N/A $5,000 $4,500 $4,000 $3,500 $2,000 $1,500
Add 100% for the first 114 pistols with oversize "United States Property" marking.
Add 75% for pistols in the ser. no. range 115-2,400.
If You decide to sell, I would love to buy it of You

sammy
04-11-2012, 4:50 PM
Model 1911 (1913-1915 mfg.) Add to Collection
View Historic Prices
Grading
100% 98% 95% 90% 80% 70% 60%
N/A $5,000 $4,500 $4,000 $3,500 $2,000 $1,500
Add 100% for the first 114 pistols with oversize "United States Property" marking.
Add 75% for pistols in the ser. no. range 115-2,400.
If You decide to sell, I would love to buy it of You

Thanks,

It is not mine and I would never sell it but thanks!! I am going to have a very difficult time giving it back. :( It ws a pleasure to clean it up though.

Moress
04-11-2012, 5:06 PM
Thanks,

It is not mine and I would never sell it but thanks!! I am going to have a very difficult time giving it back. :( It ws a pleasure to clean it up though.

Reminds me of the M1 my step Gandpa brought back from WW2, he landed on the beaches with it on D-Day and brought it back with him somehow. Never bother to ask how lol.

The rifle was a Winchester that had been exposed to time for years. Before he passed he let me have it since neither of his sons were into guns. I planned on cleaning it up and restoring it. Well a week after getting it home, I get a call from his eldest son and he wanted the rifle for himself. Being it was his oldest legitimate son, I couldn't say no, so back it went. Boy was I sad to see it go. :(

Geologyjohn
04-11-2012, 7:40 PM
Hi Sammy. I got a question, from your photos I can see that the slide has the 1913 patent date on it. What I can't read is the serial number in your next photo. However, you said that it was "57XXX". From the "For Collectors Only" series, "The Model 1911 and Model 1911A1 Military and Commercial Pistols" by Joe Poyer (2008), it states on page 316 para. 3, "At serial #83,856, the 1913 patent date was added to the patent block on the left side." This would indicate that your uncles 1911 slide should be mated with a pistol frame having a serial number 83,856 or higher. Can you double check the serial number on your uncles pistol for us? By the way, based on your photos, its in superb condition. A real beauty! Geologyjohn.

Geologyjohn
04-11-2012, 7:49 PM
Here's another observation, the Rampant Colt logo on your uncles slide is located between the patent dates and the Colt address. You can clearly see that on your first photo. That too would not be correct for a low number pistol (eg. 57XXX). I once again quote from the same book. This time p. 317, 1st para. "Starting at circa serial #'s 275,001 and 285,000 through the end of production, the rampant colt only was stamped on the left side of the slide between the patent and address blocks." So I gotta ask, are you sure about that early serial number that you quoted? Can you double check for us? Geologyjohn

Geologyjohn
04-11-2012, 7:51 PM
Ura, I like those prices that you quoted (post #10). What book, and especially what publish date is this book? The "Blue Book of Gun values"? Thanks, John

Geologyjohn
04-11-2012, 8:04 PM
One more observation (but w/o the book chapter and verse jive), the rear sight shown on this pistol (best seen in Photo #3) is called a "Type 2" sight. They make their first appearance on 1911 Military Colt slides circa serial number 62,000.

bruceflinch
04-12-2012, 7:18 AM
Sammy, I'm hurt you didn't call me to fondle this pistol...;)

Beautiful Specimen!

sammy
04-12-2012, 7:47 AM
Ok,

Got some more info on it. It turns out the origmal slide got a crack in it. Where I am not sure. I should have it next week some time. He found a replacement in the 50's that matched the gun's finish.

That sucks. The frame is a 57,xxx but the slide is not. Oh well, flush about half the value down the toilet. I will half to see what the orignal slide looks like. The crack is said to be very small.

Hey Bruce,

I might head over to USI today this afternoon. PM me if interested.

Sammy

Geologyjohn
04-12-2012, 11:06 AM
I have been told many times over the years that it is fairly common for early 1911 slides and frames to develop cracks. I don't know why?

Sammy, PM sent.

johnthomas
04-12-2012, 11:27 AM
Just realize every scratch and part you change is decreasing the value significantly.

Changing parts only decreases the value if you permanently alter the gun to make the new parts fit and get rid of the old parts. Any change you make that can be reversed with the original parts will not devalue the gun. I hear this often with old war rifles, just keep the old parts.

Ura
04-12-2012, 12:20 PM
Ura, I like those prices that you quoted (post #10). What book, and especially what publish date is this book? The "Blue Book of Gun values"? Thanks, John
https://store.bluebookinc.com/home/default.aspx

Geologyjohn
04-12-2012, 1:15 PM
Thanks Ura. I must buy that book.

Ura
04-12-2012, 3:59 PM
Thanks Ura. I must buy that book. It's actually subscription

Geologyjohn
04-12-2012, 8:52 PM
Naw, it also exists as a real (hard copy) book. I had a guy show that same edition of the Blue book to me last week at the Reno show.