WWII US Ithaca Gun Co 1911A1 1911-A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol 1943 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2526

LSB#: 230109GY010

Make: Ithaca

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 1215866

Year of Manufacture: 1943 (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 1215866”, “M1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”, and at the rear there is an Ordnance mark. The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P”, the right “HS” (High Standard, used on most Ithaca mid-1943 to end of production). The right front bow of the trigger guard is marked “5”. The left front bow of the trigger guard is marked with an Ithaca proof mark. There is a partial flaming bomb mark on the inside of the dust cover at the rear. There is another flaming bomb on the rear face of the slide under the firing pin plate.

Barrel Length: 5”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short blade with a ramped rear face fixed to the slide. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed into the slide.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered brown Keyes Fibre panels. The right panel has reinforcement rings around the screws while the left does not, both have reinforcement ribs on the inside. The grips have some light nicks and scuffs. There are tool marks in the reinforcement rings around the screws on the right panel. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition as at least partially not original to the gun.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Refinished, possibly Arsenal Refurbished, but there are no Arsenal markings.

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore, but there is some stubborn copper fouling. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 9 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 90% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. There are some scattered light nicks and scratches, including some under the finish. There are a few spots of minor oxidation on the top and left of the slide. There is a light “idiot mark” under the slide stop on the left of the frame. The grip areas show some minor handling wear. The action shows light operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, but the Ordnance wheel is incomplete (as is common). Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition as refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is light-moderate 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 total of two 7-round magazines and an M3-pattern leather shoulder holster. One magazine is blued, marked “S” on the top of the floorplate. The other magazine has been parkerized, marked “L” on top of the floorplate and “C-L” on the bottom. Both show minor wear, intact feed lips and strong springs. The holster is marked “US” in oval on the top and “U.S. / ENGER-KRESS” on the back. The holster shows scattered light wear and verdigris at the metal parts with intact stitching.

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. While Union Switch & Signal would soon move on to manufacturing other military devices, Remington Rand and Ithaca would build hundreds of thousands of pistols along with Colt until the end of the war.

This example was made by Ithaca in 1943. It is in Very Good condition as refinished, retaining about 90% of its new parkerized finish, a nice bore, and strong mechanics. The pistol comes with a pair of magazines as well as an M3-pattern shoulder holster. Any M1911A1 would be worth adding to a collection, and this example will certainly make a nice addition to a collection of 1911s or WWII-era small arms. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

WWII US Ithaca Gun Co 1911A1 1911-A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol 1943 C&R
WWII US Ithaca Gun Co 1911A1 1911-A1 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol 1943 C&R