WWII Ithaca British Lend-Lease US Ithaca M1911A1 .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol 1943 C&R

Sold For: $3000.01

LSB#: 201215FH31

Make: Ithaca Gun Co.

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 1256723

Year of Manufacture: 1943 (Pg. 394 of Clawson’s “Colt .45 Service Pistols”)

Caliber: .45 A.C.P.

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “ITHACA GUN CO., INC. / ITHACA, N.Y.”. The left of the frame below the magazine release and the top of the slide in front of the rear sight are marked with a “P” acceptance proof. The left side of the frame above the magazine release is marked “FJA” (Frank J. Atwood Lt. Col., Sub-Inspector for Ithaca, Remington Rand and Union Switch), the right behind the grip has an Ordnance mark. The right side of the frame is also marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / NO. 1256723” and “M1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”. The rear face of the slide under the firing pin plate is marked with a small flaming bomb Ordnance mark. The left of the trigger guard has an Ithaca cross inspection mark, the right has “0”. The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P”, the right “HS”. The barrel’s chamber has “BV”, “BP” and “NP” in crowned circles. The top-right of the slide behind the ejection port has “NOT ENGLISH MAKE” and “BV” in crowned circle, the right flat has “RELEASED / BRITISH GOVT. 1952” in front of the serrations. The right of the frame has “BV” in crowned circle, “NOT ENGLISH MAKE”, and crossed swords with “DB / 3”.

Barrel Length: 5”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short blade fixed to the slide. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed into the slide.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered brown plastic with reinforcement rings around the screws and reinforcement ribs on the inside. The grips have minor handling wear with only a few scattered minor nicks and scuffs. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is generally sharp. Overall, the grips are in about Fine-plus condition.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore, but there is a spot of stubborn fouling, maybe leading, in the bottom-left groove just in front of the chamber.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 91% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges. There are scattered spots of finish wear, most along the top of the slide. There are a few scattered minor nicks, scuffs and scratches with an “idiot mark” under the slide stop. There is a more notable nick in the frontstrap. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear except for the Ordnance wheel on the right of the frame. Overall, this pistol is in about Very Good-plus condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp. There is light play between the slide and frame. This pistol has manual and grip safeties. We have not fired this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a single 7-round magazine marked “L” on the top of the floorplate. The magazine has light operational wear, intact feed lips and a strong spring, in about Very Good condition.

Our Assessment: As was the case in the previous Great War, the outset of WWII found many nations starved for small arms, procuring just about anything they could get their hands on to arm their troops. Prior to the United State’s entry to WWII, there were various methods of supplying the Allies with defense products while maintaining neutrality, the final being the Lend-Lease Act which permitted the sale, lending and leasing of defense equipment to Allied nations by the U.S. government. This Ithaca 1911A1’s British proof markings indicate that it is one that was sold to the British government under the Lend-Lease Act in 1943, later to be sold out of service in 1952. This Lend-Lease example is in Very Good-plus condition with 91% of its parkerized finish remaining. The bore is nice and its mechanics are strong. This would still make a great shooter, but with this pistol’s history it will also be of great interest to Colt and WWII collectors. Please see our photos and good luck!

WWII Ithaca British Lend-Lease US M1911A1 .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol 1943 C&R
WWII Ithaca British Lend-Lease US M1911A1 .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol 1943 C&R