WWI Remington UMC Model of 1911 US Army .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, 1918 C&R
SOLD FOR: $3250
Make: Remington UMC
Model: Model of 1911 U.S. Army
Serial Number: 543
Year of Manufacture: 1918
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, “E.E.C.” and eagle’s head over “E1” behind the trigger. The right of the frame is marked “NO 543” above the trigger. The top of the chamber is marked “P”. The bottom of the mainspring housing is marked “E”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “E”.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short, 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. The grips have light-moderate handling wear with scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is compressed in some areas, but is generally well defined. Overall, the grips are in about Good-Plus condition. The screw bushings are fastened well in the frame.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original Frame, Refinished Slide & Barrel
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is well defined. There is light erosion and some minor pitting scattered through the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 90% of its metal finish. There is light thinning at the leading edges. The dust cover shows some minor scuffs and the back strap shows finish loss with a faint patina. The slide shows some minor nicks under the finish. There are a few dings on either side of the frame near the slide release. The screw heads are lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in about Very Good-Fine condition as partially refinished.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp and the slide has light 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 two-toned 7-round magazine. The magazine has scattered light wear in about fine 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 Remington UMC 1911 is from early in production, serial 543. It has the early-style two-line marking on the right of the slide as well as proper inspection marks on both the slide and frame. Given the small quantity produced, any Remington UMC 1911 would make a great addition to a 1911 collection. This one will take a prized place in a collection. Please see our pictures and good luck in your bidding!