WWI Remington UMC Model of 1911 US Army .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, 1919 C&R

Sold for $2789.01

Make: Remington UMC

Model: Model of 1911 U.S. Army

Serial Number: 16052

Year of Manufacture: 1919

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 “E28” behind the trigger. The right of the frame is marked “NO 16052” above the trigger. The right of the trigger guard is marked “16”, the left “E”. The left barrel lug is marked “S” and “P”.

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 WWII-vintage two-piece checkered brown synthetic Keyes Fibre panels with reinforcing rings around the screws and reinforcement ribs on the interior. The grips have minor handling wear with only a few nicks and scuffs. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition as not original to the gun.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The lands are mostly bright, the grooves are light gray. The rifling is sharp. There is some scattered light erosion in the bore, mostly in the grooves.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 95% of its current metal finish. The finish is generally strong throughout with thinning at most edges and some minor handling wear in the grip areas. There are some scattered light nicks, most notable are under the finish, and a few light scratches. There is scattered minor surface erosion under the finish, mostly blending well with the sandblast surface-prep. The action shows light operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are generally clear with the exception of the Eagle’s head acceptance mark which is shallow and faint. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-plus condition as refinished.

Mechanics: The bushing does not allow clearance for the recoil spring plug when turned to the position for removal of the plug, however the retaining lug does have clearance for the plug when turned to the disassembly position. Otherwise, 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 7-round magazine with the top portion finished in the white, the bottom blued. The magazine has some scattered minor surface oxidation, light operational wear, a crack at the rear of the right feed lip, and a strong spring.

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 1919. 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 1919. 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. This example has been refinished, but looks quite nice with parkerizing set off by WWII-era grips. With the limited production of the Remington UMC 1911s, it will make a nice addition to a collection. Please see our pictures and good luck in your bidding!