WWI Colt Model of 1911 U.S. Army .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1918 C&R

Sold for $1285.00

Model: 1911

Serial Number: 263522

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 263522?. 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 an incomplete rampant colt logo. The rear of the slide is marked “H” (vertical, no serifs) above the firing pin plate, under the plate is an upside-down “2”. The left side of the frame is marked behind the trigger with “JMG” monogram. The top of the frame is marked “8” to the right and in front of the feed ramp, “H” in front of the disconnector, “M” to the right, and “G” behind. The bottom of the barrel is marked “P” and “K” ” in front of the link lugs.

Barrel Length: 5”

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

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut with smooth diamonds around the grip screws. The grips have scattered light nicks and scuffs with general light handling wear, more notable toward the bottom. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Chrome

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is light-moderate erosion scattered through the bore.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 87% of its metal finish. The finish has some wear at edges and in the grip areas. The worn areas show slight discoloration. There are scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches, most not through the finish. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. The “US PROPERTY” marking has been removed. Overall, this pistol is in about Very Good condition as refinished.

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 magazine. The magazine was originally two-tone, it is now blued. The magazine shows operational wear with intact feed lips and a strong spring. Also included is a Colt Archives letter which confirms that this pistol was shipped April 4, 1918 to Springfield Armory as one of 3,500 guns of the same type in the shipment.

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 U. S. Government marked Colt 1911 pistol made toward the end of WWI in 1918. The pistol has been refinished with a durable chrome plating and shows signs of use since the new finish was applied. Most of the markings are in good shape, though the US Property marking has been removed, a common practice when it was believed that it was illegal to own material so marked. This is a neat old 1911 that will be a nice addition to any collection.