WWII US Ithaca Model 1911A1 1911-A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1945 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2550

LSB#: 230109CW007

Make: Ithaca

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 2639798

Year of Manufacture: 1945 (Pg. 394 of Clawson’s “Colt .45 Service Pistols”)

Caliber: .45 A.C.P.

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto fed by Removable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “ITHACA GUN CO., INC / ITHACA, N.Y.”. The left of the frame behind the magazine release and the top of the slide in front of the rear sight are marked with a “P” acceptance proof. The left side of the frame above the magazine release is marked “FJA” (Frank J. Atwood Lt. Col., Sub-Inspector for Ithaca, Remington Rand and Union Switch). The right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 2639798”, “M1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”, and at the rear there is an incomplete Ordnance mark (as is common). The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “S” and “P” (Springfield Armory, likely a field replacement). The right front bow of the trigger guard is marked “7”. The left front bow of the trigger guard is marked with an Ithaca proof mark.

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 post-war replacement checkered brown plastic panels with reinforcement ribs on the interior and reinforcement rings around the grip screws. The grips have minor handling wear with only a few minor marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-plus condition as not original to the gun.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Refinished, likely arsenal refurbished.

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is some light erosion and minor pitting 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 92% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. There are some scattered minor nicks and scratches. There is an “idiot mark” under the slide stop on the left of the frame. There is infrequent minor wear, including some concealed by the grips when installed. There are infrequent spots of minor erosion under the finish, most notable on the right of the slide at the top edge of the flat toward the frontThe action shows light operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, but the Ordnance wheel and some inspection marks are incomplete (as is common). Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-plus condition as refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is barely perceptible 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: Included is a single 7-round magazine marked “G” on the top of the floorplate, spot-welded down the spine (General Shaver). The magazine has light-moderate operational wear with infrequent minor surface oxidation, intact feed lips and a strong spring.

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 was the case in the First World War, the demands of the U.S. Military in the Second would require expansion of production of arms beyond the ability of individual companies and factories besides Colt’s were selected to produce 1911A1 pistols during the war. Prior to the United States entering the war, the Singer Sewing Machine company was tasked with an “Educational Order”, creating detailed instructions on how a factory could produce 1911-A1 pistols. This plan included the required tools, measurements, finishing processes, everything soup to nuts. With America’s entry into the war, this production study was provided to the Remington Rand typewriter company, Union Switch & Signal, and to Ithaca Gun Company.

This example was made by Ithaca in 1945. It is in Very Good-plus condition as refinished, retaining much of its new parkerized finish, a decent bore, and strong mechanics. This pistol would be a good addition to a collection and should also make for a fun shooter. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

WWII US Ithaca Model 1911A1 1911-A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1945 C&R
WWII US Ithaca Model 1911A1 1911-A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1945 C&R