WWII US Ithaca Model 1911A1 1911-A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1943 C&R

SOLD FOR: $3425

LSB#: 220308RY001

Make: Ithaca

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 1446468

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

Caliber: .45 A.C.P.

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto fed by Removable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “ITHACA GUN CO., INC. / ITHACA, N.Y.”. The left of the frame behind the magazine release and the top of the slide in front of the rear sight are marked with a “P” acceptance proof. The left side of the frame above the magazine release is marked “FJA” (Frank J. Atwood Lt. Col., Sub-Inspector for Ithaca, Remington Rand and Union Switch). The right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 1446468”, “M1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”, and at the rear there is an Ordnance mark. The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P”, the right “HS” (High Standard, used on most Ithaca mid-1943 to end of production). The right front bow of the trigger guard is marked “3”. The left front bow of the trigger guard is marked with an Ithaca proof mark. There is a partial flaming bomb mark on the inside of the dust cover at the rear.

Barrel Length: 5”

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

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered brown plastic with reinforcement rings around the screws and reinforcement ribs on the inside. The grips have a few scattered light nicks and scuffs, there are a few light tool marks in the reinforcement rings around the screws. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine condition.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Refinished, possibly Arsenal Refurbished, but there are no Arsenal markings.

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

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 96% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges and most corners. There are some scattered minor nicks and scratches with a light “idiot mark” under the slide stop on the left of the frame. The grip areas show some minor handling wear. On the frontstrap there is an odd lump. There is nothing corresponding with this lump on the interior of the magazine well at this location, so it appears to be from improper machining, polishing or from the forging. The action shows minor operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are generally clear, but the Ordnance wheel is incomplete (as is common). Overall, this pistol is in about Fine condition as refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is minor 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: Included is a single 7-round blued magazine, marked “R” on the top of the floorplate. The magazine has minor operational wear, 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. As was the case in the First World War, the demands of the U.S. Military in the Second would require expansion of production of arms beyond the ability of individual companies and factories besides Colt’s were selected to produce 1911A1 pistols during the war.

Prior to the United States entering the war, the Singer Sewing Machine company was tasked with an “Educational Order”, creating detailed instructions on how a factory could produce 1911-A1 pistols. This plan included the required tools, measurements, finishing processes, everything soup to nuts. With America’s entry into the war, this production study was provided to the Remington Rand typewriter company, Union Switch & Signal, and to Ithaca Gun Company. While Union Switch & Signal would soon move on to manufacturing other military devices, Remington Rand and Ithaca would build hundreds of thousands of pistols along with Colt until the end of the war.

This example was made by Ithaca in 1943. It is in about Fine condition as refinished, retaining the vast majority of its new parkerized finish, a great bore, and strong mechanics. It is something of an interesting piece as there is a lump in the frontstrap, but by all appearances this is how it left the Ithaca factory. Without any corresponding depression inside the magazine well, this is the result of additional material which was either left when the frame was machined and polished, or was the result of a forging which had extra material at this location. The employees of Ithaca can hardly be blamed for missing something like this, there was a war on! Any M1911A1 in this condition would be worth adding to a collection, but this distinctive example will certainly make a nice conversation piece among those who study WWII production pistols. Please see our photos and good luck!

WWII US Ithaca Model 1911A1 1911-A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1943 C&R
WWII US Ithaca Model 1911A1 1911-A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1943 C&R