WWII Colt U.S. Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Military Semi-Automatic Pistol 1941 C&R

SOLD FOR: $3275

LSB#: 221107WM001

Make: Colt

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 727769

Year of Manufacture: 1941 (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 rear face of the slide is marked “727 / 769” under the firing pin plate. The left of the frame below the magazine release is marked with a “P” acceptance proof, the left side of the frame below the slide stop is marked with “R.S.” in box. The right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 727769” and “M1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in triangle and “T”, the right is marked “69”. The top of the frame is marked “G” and “R.S.” in box at the disconnector (the “R.S.” marking is double-struck, once deeply and one shallow and incomplete). The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P”, the bottom of the barrel has an incomplete inspection mark and the left above the lug is marked “COLT 45 AUTO”. The magazine floorplate is marked “R” on the top.

Barrel Length: 5”

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

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered brown “Coltwood” plastic with reinforcement rings around the grip screws but without reinforcement ribs on the interior. The interior of the grips have mold-number markings. The grips have no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Excellent condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The lands are mostly bright, the grooves are gray. The rifling is sharp. There is scattered light erosion in the bore, mostly in the grooves. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 6 out of 10.

Many military and C&R eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide. For example, the U.S. used  corrosive ammunition throughout WWII. The U.S. military did not begin to phase out corrosive-primed ammunition until the 1950’s.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 97% of its current metal finish. The new finish is generally strong throughout with a little bit of minor oxidation in the right-side slide serrations and minor handling marks. There are infrequent small spots of minor erosion under the finish. The action shows faint operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Fine-Excellent 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 total of two 7-round magazines, one WWII-era and one more modern vintage commercial magazine. The WWII magazine has minor operational wear, scattered light surface oxidation, intact feed lips and a strong spring. The commercial magazine has faint operational wear, infrequent minor oxidation, intact feed lips and a strong spring. Also included is a Colt Archive letter which notes that this pistol shipped to Springfield Armory on April 30, 1941 as one of 2,500 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. Since their introduction, the 1911 has seen a number of design changes, most minor, but the 1911-A1 introduced the arched mainspring housing, shorter trigger, and relief cuts behind the trigger on the frame. During 1941, Colt also transitioned from their original blued finish to a more durable, though less attractive, parkerized finish.

This example was produced by Colt in 1941, as the “Arsenal of Democracy” was gearing up, but before the United States had officially entered the war. The pistol was made just before parkerized finish was introduced and has been quite skillfully refinished, with about 97% of its new deep blue and well preserved markings. It is a nice example of a 1941 vintage gun, with proper grips, sights, and even a serial-matching slide. The pistol is in Fine-Excellent condition as refinished with a very shootable bore and strong mechanics. It will make a good addition to a Colt or WWII small arms collection, especially for those who want a representative example of each iteration of the design. Of course, it could still prove to be a nice shooter, too. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

WWII Colt U.S. Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Military Semi-Automatic Pistol 1941 C&R
WWII Colt U.S. Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Military Semi-Automatic Pistol 1941 C&R