Custom WWI U.S. Colt Model of 1911 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1918 C&R
SOLD FOR: $1575
Model: Custom Model of 1911 U.S. Army
Serial Number: 323075
Year of Manufacture: 1918 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto fed by Removable Magazine
Markings: The right of the frame is marked “No 323075″, the left has an eagle’s head over “S13” behind the trigger. The top of the frame is marked “G”, “H” and “I” or “1” at the disconnector. The barrel’s left link-lug is marked “P”, the right “HS” (WWII era). The preceding markings appear original to their parts. The following markings have been re-cut or are not genuine. The left of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY” on the dust cover, flaming bomb above and behind the trigger and “WB” at the magazine release, the right of the frame has a crossed cannon Ordnance mark at the rear. The right side of the slide is marked “MODEL OF 1911. U.S. ARMY”, the left side of the slide is marked “PATENTED APR.20,1897. SEPT.9,1902 / DEC.19,1905. FEB.14,1911. AUG. 19, 1913”, “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.” and behind the slide with a rampant colt logo, the top has a “P” in front of the rear sight. The rear of the slide is marked “H” (vertical, no serifs) above the firing pin plate, under the plate is “30 / 75”. The top of the chamber is marked “P” and “H” (vertical, no serifs).
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short blade with a serrated, ramped rear face fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered wood with smooth diamonds around the grip screws. The right panel has a short, thin crack at the top edge near the rear and another below the bottom screw hole which does not extend to the bottom edge. The left panel has a crack across the bottom screw hole which extends to the bottom edge. Otherwise, the grips have only light handling marks. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition as not original to the gun and would rate Excellent but for the cracks.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Refinished. The slide is a post-1936 slide which has been re-marked (based on disconnector cut), due to the lack of original markings the origin of the slide is not clear. The barrel is a WWII-era replacement which has had WWI-era markings applied to the chamber. Some other small parts hvae been replaced, most notably the hammer.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is well defined. There is light-moderate erosion and minor pitting scattered through the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 75% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. The frame has minor surface oxidation in the grip areas and on the sides of the dust cover. There is some minor erosion under the finish and the bottom-right grip screw bushing has been brazed in place, suggesting the threads are stripped. The slide’s finish is thin and light with some discoloration above the left flat. There are some scattered light nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, most are re-cut or are not genuine. Overall, this pistol is in Good-plus condition as refinished and customized.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. It has both a manual and grip safety and the trigger pull is crisp. The slide has little play to the frame. We did not fire 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 two-tone magazine. The magazine has light 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. The design was the end-result of a series of developments by famous gun designer John Browning, starting with the Model 1900. The advances made by Browning were revolutionary at the time, and were so successful that they are considered commonplace today. Browning not only developed first a pivoting and then a tilting barrel to allow for a locked system, he developed the concept of “the slide”, which is now synonymous with semi-automatic handguns. This is a customized Colt 1911 pistol made on a WWI era frame produced in 1918. It has been equipped with later-era slide and barrel which have been marked with WWI-style markings. This will make an interesting addition to a collection and could be further restored to more completely approximate a WWI-era Model of 1911, or could make for a fun shooter. Please see our photos and good luck!