WWI Colt Frame Remington UMC Slide Model of 1911 U.S. Army .45 ACP 1913 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2153

LSB#: 210312DW07

Make: Colt Frame, Remington UMC Slide

Model: Model of 1911 U.S. Army

Serial Number: 56215

Year of Manufacture: 1913 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “PATENTED DEC.19.1905 / FEB.14.1911.AUG.19,1913. / COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO.”, “REMINGTON / UMC” in circle, and “MANUFACTURED BY / REMINGTON ARMS UMC CO. INC. / BRIDGEPORT, CONN. U.S.A.”. The rear of the slide is marked “E” above the firing pin plate. The right of the slide is marked “MODEL OF 1911 / U.S. ARMY CALIBER .45”. The left of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY” on the dust cover, “WGP” monogram in circle (Walter G. Penfield Maj.) behind the trigger. The right of the frame is marked “No 56215” above the trigger. The top of the frame is marked “H” and “R” at the disconnector. The barrel’s left link-lug is marked “P” and the left of the barrel is marked “COLT 45 AUTO” above the lug (WWII-era production).

Barrel Length: 5”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a rounded blade fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a “U”-notch dovetailed into the rear of the slide.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut panels with smooth diamonds around the grip screws. There are 13+/-1 checkers between the points of the diamonds on each panel (appropriate for UMC), the relief cuts for both at their bottom-rear corners closely fit the mainspring housing pin. The grips have some scattered compressed checkers, most notable on the right panel, with some light nicks and scuffs in the diamonds. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Refinished, likely arsenal refurbished. The slide is not original to the frame.

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is scattered light erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 70% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is scattered finish wear, most notable in the grip areas and on the top of the slide. There are scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is wear on the left of the frame below the slide release, under the finish. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in about Very Good condition as refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp and the slide has light-moderate play on the frame. 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 one 7-round magazine with the top portion finished in the white, the bottom blued, a lanyard loop on the floorplate and a “keyhole” cut in the spine at the top. The magazine is a reproduction. The magazine has minor operational wear, intact feed lips and a strong spring, in about Fine-Excellent condition.

Our Assessment: The outbreak of The Great War saw every major European power scrambling for any and all arms they could lay their hands on. This demand caused the expansion of military arms production in America, despite not having entered the war. In addition to expanding their existing facilities, Remington UMC made entirely new factories in New Jersey and Vermont just to supply ammunition to the Russians and French, respectively. In 1915, Remington completed what was, at the time, the largest factory complex in the entire United States, a 1.6 million square foot factory spread over 75 acres solely to supply the Russian Empire with M1891 rifles and bayonets. As Russia descended into revolution, America entered the war, and the facility was turned over to producing Browning .50 caliber machine guns, flare pistols, and Model 1911 pistols. Bringing 1911 production online was easier said than done as Colt apparently didn’t have any drawings for the design, and never did supply Remington with sets of master gauges. Colt supplied a first set of drawings, but they only included nominal dimensions with no indication of tolerances. A second set of drawings was supplied later, and found to have 430 discrepancies when compared with the first set! Remington proceeded to find five military issue Colt 1911s which had satisfactory parts interchangeability and produced their own drawings by measuring every part and setting the nominal measurements as the average and the tolerances as the extremes. This is certainly not the ideal method of starting production, but Colt wasn’t helping and there was a war on! Remington UMC had originally received a contract for 150,000 pistols, later increased to 500,000 in March 1918. At this time, it was thought that the war could go on for years, the Germans launched Operation Michael in the same month this order was increased. Instead, the Germans were pushed back to the Hindenburg line, that line was breached, and the Armistice was signed in November. The result was that Remington UMC produced only 21,676 Model 1911 pistols. The manufacturing equipment was transferred to Springfield Armory, and was later distributed to various manufacturers during WWII to produce 1911A1 pistols. This example of a WWI era 1911 has a Remington UMC slide on a 1913 produced Colt frame. It appears to have seen service, having a parkerized finish, some later-era replacement parts including the barrel. Given the small quantity produced, any Remington UMC 1911 components are desirable, and this example of a pistol which possibly served in both World Wars will make a nice addition to a collection. Please see our pictures and good luck in your bidding!

WWI Colt Frame Remington UMC Slide Model of 1911 U.S. Army .45 ACP 1913 C&R
WWI Colt Frame Remington UMC Slide Model of 1911 U.S. Army .45 ACP 1913 C&R