Rare CANADIAN Colt 1911-A1 WWII British Lend Lease .45 ACP – 1943 – C&R OK

Sold For: $4,251

Make: Colt

Model: 1911-A1, British Lend Lease, Canadian Contract

Serial Number: 934715

Year of Manufacture: 1943

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Single Action, Semi Auto Pistol

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “Patented Apr. 20. 1897. Sept. 9. 1902. / Dec. 19. 1905. Feb. 14. 1911. Aug. 19. 1913./ Rampant Colt logo / Colt’s Pt. F.A. Mfg. Co. / Hartford, Ct. U.S.A.” There is a Canadian Broad Arrow in a C on the left rear of the slide. The top of the slide is a “P” a British Proof mark and “Not English Made”. The barrel, as visible through the ejection port is marked with three British Proof Marks (Please see detailed photos of these). The right side of the frame is marked with the Springfield crossed cannons, an “8V” proof, “United States Property / No. 934715” and “Not English Made”. There is another proof mark behind the trigger on the right side (please see photos.) The right side trigger guard bow is marked “41”. The left side of the frame is marked “G.H.D.” / “p” and with another Canadian Broad Arrow in a “C”. The top of the frame, under the slide is marked “G”. The underside of the slide is marked “0”. The left side of the barrel at the lug is marked “Colt 45 Auto” and the lug is marked “P”. The underside is marked “F” and “G”. The rear of the slide, under the firing pin stop, is numbered “934 / 715”. This is a very well-marked, all correctly marked, Canadian 1911.

Barrel Length: 5″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a fixed blade. The rear sight is a dovetail set notch.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered brown plastic, with large reinforcement rings. The checkering is sharp and there is little wear at all to the panels. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no mentionable erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 90% of its metal finish. There is slight marking to the fragile matte surface, especially on the top of the slide and underside at the dust cover. The British marks are crisp and several are absolutely over the finish. The finish has only barely begun to age and there is general and light edge wear. There is no pitting or erosion, and except for a few surface rubs, this is about the highest condition Canadian 1911-A1 we have ever seen. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Excellent condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this handgun.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: One unmarked blued magazine is included.

Our Assessment: This is a rare gun, one of 1,515 Canadian Lend Lease Colt 1911-A1’s, properly marked and in about as sharp of condition as could ever be asked for. These are a well-known segment of 1911 collecting, and no Colt or 1911 collection is complete without one. There is an interesting discussion of these guns here: http://coolgunsite.com/images/1911/1943Colt/1943Colt1911A1.htm

“Pistols in this serial range (From about serial #930000 to about serial #940000) are often seen with commercial marked (apparently leftovers) slides or commercially marked receivers (marked “S” for “sales” on the top of the receiver). Also in this serial number range all of the known 1,515 Canadian “Lend-Lease” pistols. These Canadian pistols can only be identified by their “Broad Arrow enclosed in a “C” mark” that was applied to the Left rear of the slide and to the left of the receiver above the magazine release. To make things even more interesting, most of the Canadian pistols were returned to England after the war, and due to British proof laws, they were proof marked on the receiver, slide, and barrel with normal British proofs at the time they were disposed of. Therefore a normal Canadian 1911A1 pistol will have both the broad arrow-C marks on the receiver and slide, but will have the normal British proofs as well. Not all of the Canadian Lend Lease pistols were returned to England after the war as some were apparently used in Canadian prisons and possibly elsewhere. These Canadian prison pistols received the “Broad Arrow enclosed in a “C” mark” but did not receive any of the normal British proofs.

Several years ago the Canadian Government decided to get rid of their “Evil Handguns” by selling them to the “Yanks” and about 6 Canadian property marked M1911A1 pistols were sold at auction in the USA. These pistols were all described as 70% original finish with property numbers electric penciled in the right side of the slide. (The plot thickens!) Several months later a Canadian Lend Lease pistol appeared in the catalog of a well-known, nationally advertised Southern California dealer of US military pistols. The pistol differed from normal Canadian Lend Lease pistols in that it did not have the normal British proofs. Its serial number was IDENTICAL to one of the pistols sold at the auction a few months earlier. However the Southern California dealer described the pistol as having 99+% original finish and had the original shipping box. If only the Monarch Butterfly could match the miraculous metamorphous of this pistol?

Our pistol has no such irregularities and is exactly as it should be.

Rare CANADIAN Colt 1911-A1 WWII British Lend Lease .45 ACP - 1943 - C&R OK
Rare CANADIAN Colt 1911-A1 WWII British Lend Lease .45 ACP – 1943 – C&R OK