WWII U.S. Colt Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1943 C&R

SOLD FOR: $3425

LSB#: 220906PG295

Make: Colt

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 1102367

Year of Manufacture: 1943 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “PATENTED APR.20,1897. SEPT.9,1902 / DEC.19,1905. FEB.14,1911. AUG.19,1913”, rampant colt, and “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.”, the top of the slide is marked “P”. 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 “G.H.D”. The right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 1102367” and “M1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”, it is also marked with the Springfield crossed cannons behind the grip but it is faint as is common. The rear face of the slide, under the firing pin plate, is marked “1102 / 367”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in triangle and “K”, the right is marked “70”. The top of the frame is marked “Y”, and “G”. at the disconnector. The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P” and the left of the barrel is marked “COLT 45 AUTO” above the lug, the bottom of the barrel is marked “F” in front of the lugs. The right of the frame and the slide each have a broad arrow inside of a “C” (see Our Assessment) scribed in electric pencil through the finish.

Barrel Length: 5”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short, serrated ramped blade 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 “Coltwood” plastic with large reinforcement rings around the grip screws and reinforcement ribs on the interior. The grips have only a few scattered minor marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-Excellent condition.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Original

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

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 97% of its metal finish. The finish is generally strong throughout. There are a few light marks on the chin of the slide. There are only a few other scattered minor marks and minor operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Fine-plus condition.

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 magazine, marked “L” on the floorplate.

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 example was produced by Colt in 1943 as the design saw some tweaks and changes. This pistol was made after the switch to parkerized finishing and retains about 97% of its finish. It has the later-style ramped front sight which replaced the earlier rounded blade and a square notch rear sight which replaced the “U”-notches. The hammer has the original wide-spur which would soon be replaced by a spur of the same width as the body. The slide stop, thumb safety and mainspring housing are all checkered, each of which would eventually be serrated. The grips are the third type of Colt plastic grips with large reinforcement rings and reinforcement ribs on the interior. In all, this is a great example of a 1943 production Colt M1911A1. It was produced when the slides were still serialized, so it’s nice for the collectors to know that the slide is original to the frame.

There is also something of a mystery in the markings. The slide and frame each have a “C” surrounding a broad arrow which is typically found on pistols which went to Canada during Lend-Lease. These markings, however, are through the finish and have been applied with electric pencil, rather than stamped as we have seen on other examples. The pistol’s serial number is also outside of the range in which the Canadian guns are typically found. It’s not clear if this is an anomalous Canadian pistol or if the markings are spurious.

Otherwise, the pistol is in Fine-plus condition, retaining about 97% of its metal finish, a great bore and strong mechanics. It will make a nice addition to a Colt or WWII small arms collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

WWII U.S. Colt Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1943 C&R
WWII U.S. Colt Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1943 C&R