WWI Springfield Armory 1911 U.S. Army .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, 1915 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2211

LSB#: 210927MB08

Make: Springfield Armory

Model: 1911

Serial Number: 120552

Year of Manufacture: 1915

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “PATENTED APR.20,1897 / SEPT.9,1902. DEC.19,1905.FEB.14,1911 / COLTS PT. F.A. MFG. CO.”, “SPRINGFIELD ARMORY / U.S.A.” and with a Flaming Bomb proof at the rear. The left of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY” and at the magazine release with a Flaming Bomb proof. The right side of the frame is marked “No 120552”. The right side of the slide is marked with an American Eagle Springfield logo and “MODEL OF 1911. U.S. ARMY.”. The bottom of the slide is marked “0”. The right left link lug is marked “P”, there are no other markings on the barrel. It is not clear what period of production or manufacturer this barrel marking indicates. The following parts have a small “S” marked on them: Firing Pin Plate, Mainspring Housing, Hammer, Slide Stop, Grip Safety, Trigger, Magazine Catch, Barrel Bushing, and Extractor.

Barrel Length: 5”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a rounded blade integral to the slide. The rear sight is a flat-top “U”-notch dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. Each corner has a 0.06″ radius, typical of Springfield produced rear sights.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut “Double Diamond” grips. The grips show light handling wear. There are a few tool marks marks in the smooth diamonds. The checkering has some scattered light nicks and compressions, but is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Refinished, possibly Arsenal Refurbished, some parts are not original to the gun.

Bore Condition: The bore is semi with sharp rifling. There is very minor erosion scattered in the bore, mostly just discoloration from oxidation with a smooth surface.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 85% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges. The most notable finish loss is handling wear in the grip areas. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches, most notable on the sides of the dust cover and above the left slide serrations. There is light wear on the sides of the frame from the grips. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, the “PATENTED” and American eagle markings are incomplete. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition as refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp and the slide has little play to 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 a leather flap holster which is either very dark brown or worn black and a single 7-round magazine. The holster is marked on the back with “U.S. / GRATON & KNIGHT CO. / 1943” and on the flap with “US” in oval. The holster shows scattered wear and discoloration with verdigris at its metal parts and intact stitching. The magazine has been refinished with a lanyard loop on the floorplate, a blue finish in the bottom with the top portion in the white, copper plating at the top-rear, and the body of the magazine folded over on each side across the bottom of the floorplate. The magazine has scattered wear and some minor erosion under the finish, intact feed lips and a strong spring.

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. Its design came from John Moses Browning with initial production by Colt. When the pistol was first adopted by the U.S. Army, an agreement was reached that US Arsenals could produce the pistol, but only after orders of at least 50,000 pistols had been received by Colt. The United States immediately ordered 50,000 pistols and set to work on a plan to produce the new model at Springfield Armory. Oddly, Colt actually didn’t have manufacturing drawings, so Springfield had to take 20 Colt production pistols, measure all of their parts, and average the dimensions of the 20 examples to arrive at their nominal dimensions, with the extremes of the measurements used for tolerances. Production would actually begin in 1914, but with the US entry into WWI becoming imminent, production ceased in 1917 in order to focus on rifle production. A total of 25,767 Model 1911 pistols were made by Springfield and they had some interesting features to differentiate them from Colt’s production. The front sights were integral to the slide, rather than a separate part staked in place, the rear sights had a slightly different radius at their corners, and the markings were of course different. This is a Springfield Armory Model 1911 pistol made in 1915, after the start of WWI, but before the US had joined in. Some small parts and the barrel have been replaced, but the slide, frame and several of the small parts bear Springfield markings. The pistol is in Very Good condition as refinished with about 85% of its new finish remaining, a nice bore and strong mechanics. The Springfield made 1911s are always collectible, and this would be a great addition to a collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

WWI Springfield Armory 1911 U.S. Army .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, 1915 C&R
WWI Springfield Armory 1911 U.S. Army .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, 1915 C&R