WWI Colt Model of 1911 U.S. Army .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1918 C&R
SOLD FOR: $2625
Serial Number: 351584
Year of Manufacture: 1918 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The right of the frame is marked “No 351584?, the left is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY”. The right side of the slide is marked “MODEL OF 1911. U.S. ARMY”. The left side of the slide is marked “PATENTED APR.20,1897. SEPT.9,1902 / DEC.19,1905. FEB.14,1911. AUG. 19, 1913”, with a rampant colt and “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.”. The rear of the slide is marked “H” (vertical, no serifs). The left side of the frame is marked behind the trigger with eagle’s head over “S15”. The top of the frame is marked “8” to the right and in front of the feed ramp, “H” and “A” in front of the disconnector, and “G” behind. The top of the chamber is marked with “H” and “P”, the bottom in front of the link lug is marked “5”.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The pistol is mounted with a “U”-notched rear sight dovetailed into the slide and a short rounded blade front sight fixed to the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut with smooth diamonds around the grip screws. The grips have minor handling wear with only a few light marks and some light tool marks in the diamonds around the grip screws. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright and the rifling is sharp. There is infrequent minor erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 9 out of 10.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 85% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. Most of the balance is handling wear in the grip areas. There is some other scattered more minor wear and some spots where it appears surface oxidation was cleaned away. There are some minor nicks and scratches. There is a light “idiot mark” 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 clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. It has both a manual and grip safety and the trigger pull is crisp. The slide has nominal play to the frame. We did not fire 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 a WWI-vintage American Pin Company (marked “A”) and the other a post-WWII 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. 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 is a U. S. Government marked Colt 1911 pistol made toward the end of WWI in 1918. The pistol is in Very Good condition, retaining about 85% of its late war bluing, sometimes referred to as a “Black Army” finish, due to its darker and more matte coloring than the early Colt bluing. It is an interesting example as it has the left-side US Property marking and was produced before the introduction of the “Heart” shaped cuts on the frame under the grip panels. The pistol has light wear, appearing to have seen service, but still in remarkable condition given its age. This should make a nice addition for the 1911 collector and should still make for a good shooter. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California -Bud