WWII Union Switch & Signal US&S USS 1911-A1 Military Pistol, MFD 1943 C&R

SOLD FOR: $4525

LSB#: 210420MS09

Make: Union Switch & Signal Co.

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 1062093

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

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked with a “USS” monogram logo and “U.S. & S. CO. / SWISSVALE, PA. U.S.A.”. The left of the frame below the magazine release is marked with a “P” acceptance proof, there is another “P” on the top-left of the slide above the serrations (US&S originally did not mark their pistols with “P” acceptance marks due to erroneous drawings, the “P” on the slide was first marked off-center to the left and then later was moved to the proper location). The left side of the frame above the magazine release is marked with circled “R.C.D.”. The right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 1062093”, “M 1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”. The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P”, the right is marked “HS”. The top of the floorplate toe is marked “R”.

Barrel Length: 5”

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

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered brown plastic with reinforcement rings around the screws and reinforcement ribs on the inside. The grips have minor handling wear with a few light marks, most on the right panel. The checkering is generally sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Refinished

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

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 98% of its current metal finish. The balance is mostly in minor operational wear. Some polishing is evident in the right-front of the trigger guard and in the trigger relief cuts on each side of the frame. There are two spots on the bottom of the dust cover which have a plum hue. Visible inside the dust cover is more notable discoloration and evidence that these are holes which were filled, welded and polished. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Fine condition as refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp. There is barely perceptible 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. The magazine has minor operational wear and some minor erosion under the finish with intact feed lips and a strong spring, in about Very Good-Fine condition as refinished.

Our Assessment: The 1911 and 1911-A1 pistols served the military of the United States from 1911 to 1985, through two World Wars and the Korean and Vietnam wars. They gained a reputation as a reliable handgun with plenty of stopping power, and are held in high regard by those who have used them. As in the Great War, production demands of WWII required many manufacturers to produce military equipment for the war effort. While much of the small arms production was performed by arms manufacturers, there were also contracts that went out to other firms. As the name suggests, Union Switch & Signal Co. produced switches and signaling equipment for railroads. They received a contract to produce 200,000 1911-A1 pistols, though the contract would be shortened with only 55,000 delivered to the government. This makes the US&S 1911-A1s the second rarest of all the manufacturers, behind only Singer who developed the educational material to allow non-firearms manufacturers to swiftly tool up to produce 1911 pistols. This example has been refinished, so it looks great, retaining about 98% of its new blue finish. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion, indicating that this should make for a good shooter. It appears that at some point there were two holes drilled in the bottom of the dust cover, but it has been quite well restored. This pistol may garner interest from the collectors of WWI and WWII pistols, and 1911s in particular, especially with the great bore and minor wear. Please see our photos and good luck!

WWII Union Switch & Signal US&S USS 1911-A1 Military Pistol, MFD 1943 C&R
WWII Union Switch & Signal US&S USS 1911-A1 Military Pistol, MFD 1943 C&R