Marlin Ballard Pacific No. 5 .38-55 Long Case 30″ Single Shot Rifle Antique

SOLD FOR: $2255

LSB#: 210927MB09

Make: Colt

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 790361

Year of Manufacture: 1942 (

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. AUG.19,1913”, rampant colt, and “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.”, the top of the slide is marked “P”. The left of the frame below the magazine release is marked with a “P” acceptance proof, the left side of the frame above the magazine release is marked with “W.B.” in box. The right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 790361” and “M1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”. The rear face of the slide, under the firing pin plate, is marked “790 / 363” (being off by only one digit, it is not clear if this is a replaced part or an error during assembly at the factory). The left of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in triangle and “8”, the right is marked “84”. The top of the frame is marked “8” and “G” at the disconnector. The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P” and the left of the barrel is marked “COLT 45 AUTO” above the lug, the bottom of the barrel is marked “G” in front of the lugs.

Barrel Length: 5”

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

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered brown Coltwood plastic without reinforcement ribs on the inside but with reinforcing rings around the grip screws. There are mold number markings on the inside. The grips have minor handling wear with only a few scattered small marks. The checkering is generally sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-plus condition.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Likely Arsenal Refurbished. There is media blasting in the markings, but we could not find a good reference as to whether or not media blasting was performed by Colt before or after markings were applied. The correct parts and almost-serial-matching slide may indicate that the finish is original. Please see our photos.

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with sharp rifling. There is some light erosion in the bore, mostly in the grooves.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 85% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. There is some scattered minor finish wear with more notable handling wear in the grip areas and operational wear on the barrel as well as the slide forward of the dust cover. The worn grip areas show some minor discoloration from oxidation. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches including an “idiot mark” under the slide stop. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-plus 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 in a two-piece cardboard craft box with hand-written label and a single 7-round magazine. The magazine’s floorplate is marked “L” on the top and “C-L” on the bottom, indicating production by M.S. Little for Colt. The magazine shows light-moderate operational wear, some surface oxidation, its floorplate is bent down slightly at the toe, the feed lips are intact and the spring is strong.

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. This example was produced by Colt in 1942 as the design saw some tweaks and changes. This pistol was made just after the switch to parkerized finishing but has a fairly early Coltwood grip style without reinforcement ribs. It has the earlier-style rounded front sight which would be replaced with a serrated, ramped rear face and a “U”-notch rear sight which would be replaced by square notches. The hammer has the original wide-spur which would soon be replaced by a spur of the same width as the body. The slide stop, thumb safety and mainspring housing are all checkered, each of which would eventually be serrated. In all, this is a great example of a mid-1942 production Colt M1911A1. It was produced when the slides were still serialized and this pistol’s slide has just one digit different from the frame’s serial number, 790363 rather than 790361. Given how close the two are, it would be quite the coincidence for a collector to have just found a slide so close, making it plausible that this was a factory error. The pistol is in Very Good-plus condition, retaining about 85% of its current metal finish, a decent bore and strong mechanics. It will make a nice addition to a Colt or WWII small arms collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

WWII U.S. Colt Model 1911-A1 M1911A1 .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, MFD 1942 C&R
WWII U.S. Colt Model 1911-A1 M1911A1 .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, MFD 1942 C&R