SOLD FOR: $3440.55
Serial Number: 871119
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 rear face of the slide is marked “871 / 119” 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 “G.H.D”. The right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 871119”, “M1911 A1 U.S. ARMY” and behind the grip with a crossed cannon Ordnance wheel. The left of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in triangle and “M”, the right is marked “99”. The top of the frame is marked “S” at the disconnector. The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P”, the bottom of the barrel is marked “G” and the left above the lug is marked “COLT 45 AUTO”. The magazine floorplate is marked “L” 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 large reinforcement rings around the grip screws and with reinforcement ribs on the interior. The interior of the grips have mold-number markings where the ribs cross. The grips have minor handling wear with some light marks in the reinforcement rings. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light-moderate erosion and some minor pitting in the bore. 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 80% of its metal finish. There is some scattered minor finish wear. The balance mostly in handling wear in the grip areas and edge-thinning. There are some light nicks and scratches including a minor “idiot mark” under the slide stop on the left of the frame. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good 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.
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. In addition to these inter-war changes, Colt began finishing the guns by parkerizing them, a more durable finish than the original bluing.
This example was produced by Colt in 1943, after the United States had officially entered the war and was bending its considerable industrial might to the war effort. It is a nice example of a 1943 as well, with proper grips, sights, original finish and even a serial-matching slide. The pistol is in Very Good condition, retaining about 80% of its metal finish, a decent 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 decent shooter, too. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud