WWII U.S. Union Switch & Signal US&S 1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1943 C&R

SOLD FOR: $4530.98

LSB#: 220923MS003

Make: Union Switch & Signal Co.

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 1070375

Year of Manufacture: 1943

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked with a “USS” monogram logo and “U.S. & S. CO. / SWISSVALE, PA. U.S.A.”. The left of the frame below the magazine release is marked with a “P” acceptance proof. The left side of the frame above the magazine release is marked with circled “R.C.D.”, this marking is shallow and incomplete. The right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 1070375”, “M 1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”. The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P”, the right is marked “HS”.

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 two-piece checkered brown plastic with reinforcement rings around the screws and reinforcement ribs on the inside. Each panel has a mold number marking in the relieved area with a star (Keyes Fiber Co.). The grips have light handling wear with some scattered light nicks and scuffs. There are light tool marks in the reinforcement rings. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is sharp. There is scattered light erosion and stubborn fouling in the bore, mostly in the grooves.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 96% of its current metal finish. The fronstrap has been coarsely checkered. The finish is thinning at some leading edges. There are a few scattered minor nicks and scratches with wear under the slide stop on the left of the frame. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, the RCD marking is shallow and incomplete. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-Fine condition as refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp. 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: This pistol comes with a single 7-round Kimber magazine.

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 in the Great War, production demands of WWII required many manufacturers to produce military equipment for the war effort. While much of the small arms production was performed by arms manufacturers, there were also contracts that went out to other firms.

As the name suggests, Union Switch & Signal Co. produced switches and signaling equipment for railroads. They received a contract to produce 200,000 1911-A1 pistols, though the contract would be shortened with only 55,000 delivered to the government. This makes the US&S 1911-A1s the second rarest of all the manufacturers, behind only Singer who developed the educational material to allow non-firearms manufacturers to swiftly tool up to produce 1911 pistols. It is believed that when the drawings were originally delivered to US&S, the “P” proof mark on the slide was not included, leading to the early production US&S pistols, such as this one, not having the mark at all. When this was discovered, Ordnance requested that the marking be added to the pistol, but it appears that the location was not clear, with interim production guns having the marking notably left of center. The later production pistols had the marking in the same location as other makers.

This pistol is in Very Good-Fine condition as refinished with 96% of its new parkerized finish remaining. The frontstrap is coarsely checkered, but the gun otherwise appears to have proper parts. The finish is generally strong throughout, the bore is shootable and the mechanics are still strong. This pistol should garner some interest from the collectors of WWI and WWII pistols, and 1911s in particular, but should also still make for a fun shooter. Please see our photos and good luck!

WWII U.S. Union Switch & Signal US&S 1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1943 C&R
WWII U.S. Union Switch & Signal US&S 1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1943 C&R