Colt 1911A1 1911-A1 British Lend-Lease .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, 1943 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2925

LSB#: 230726SH020

Make: Colt

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 1136644

Year of Manufacture: 1943

Caliber: .45 A.C.P.

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. 911. AUG. 19. 1913”, with a rampant colt and “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.”, the top is marked “P” in front of the rear sight, the rear face is marked “1136 / 644” 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 above the magazine release is marked “G.H.D.”, the right behind the grip has an Ordnance mark. The right side of the frame is also marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 1136644” and “M1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”. The left of the trigger guard has an Colt verified proof and “R”, the right has “74”. The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P”, the left of the barrel above the lug is marked “COLT 45 AUTO”, the bottom of the barrel is marked “F” in front of the lug. The barrel’s chamber, the right of the frame and the right of the slide have Birmingham commercial proof marks (1959).

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 Coltwood brown plastic with large reinforcement rings around the screws and reinforcement ribs on the inside. The grips have light handling wear with only a few light nicks and scuffs, mostly in the right panel. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is light erosion scattered through the bore, mostly in the grooves. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 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.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 95% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges. There are some scattered minor nicks and small scratches. The action shows light 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-Fine condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp. 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: This pistol comes with a single 7-round magazine marked “R” on the top of the floorplate and “C-R” on the bottom.

Our Assessment: As was the case in the previous Great War, the outset of WWII found many nations starved for small arms, procuring just about anything they could get their hands on to arm their troops. Prior to the United State’s entry to WWII, there were various methods of supplying the Allies with defense products while maintaining neutrality, the final being the Lend-Lease Act which permitted the sale, lending and leasing of defense equipment to Allied nations by the U.S. government.

This Colt 1911A1’s British proof markings indicate that it is one that was sold to the British government under the Lend-Lease Act in 1943, later to be sold out of service in 1959 when commercial proof marks were applied. This Lend-Lease example is in Very Good-Fine condition, appearing to have seen responsible use, but having some erosion in the bore consistent with the use of corrosive ammunition. The mechanics are still strong and much of the original parkerized finish remains. With this pistol’s history it will be of great interest to Colt and WWII collectors, but may also prove to be a fun shooter. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Colt 1911A1 1911-A1 British Lend-Lease .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, 1943 C&R
Colt 1911A1 1911-A1 British Lend-Lease .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, 1943 C&R