SOLD FOR: $4,335
Make: Union Switch & Signal Co.
Serial Number: 1084091
Year of Manufacture: 1943
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked with a “USS” monogram logo and “U.S. & S. CO. / SWISSVALE, PA. U.S.A.”. The left of the frame below the magazine release is marked with a “P” acceptance proof, there is another “P” on the top of the slide in front of the rear sight. The left side of the frame above the magazine release is marked with circled “R.C.D.”. The right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 1084091”, “M 1911 A1 U.S. ARMY” and “SA” (Springfield Armory refurbish marking). The left link-lug of the barrel is marked “P”, the right is marked “HS”.
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 two-piece checkered brown synthetic panels with reinforcement ribs on the inside and large reinforcement rings around the screws. The grips have light handling wear with some nicks and scuffing. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Arsenal Refurbished
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is some scattered minor erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates about 8 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 75% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There are fairly evenly scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is some more notable wear around the slide stop from mis-assembly. There is wear consistent with handling and holster use, the left slide flat has a patch of more notable wear at the markings. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, the RCD marking on the left of the frame is shallow and incomplete. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition as arsenal refurbished.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp. There is very 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 in a tan plastic CMP branded case with a CMP Certificate of Authenticity and single 7-round magazine (post-war).
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 in the Great War, production demands of WWII required many manufacturers to produce military equipment for the war effort. While much of the small arms production was performed by arms manufacturers, there were also contracts that went out to other firms.
As the name suggests, Union Switch & Signal Co. produced switches and signaling equipment for railroads. They received a contract to produce 200,000 1911-A1 pistols, though the contract would be shortened with only 55,000 delivered to the government. This makes the US&S 1911-A1s the second rarest of all the manufacturers, behind only Singer who developed the educational material to allow non-firearms manufacturers to swiftly tool up to produce 1911 pistols. It is believed that when the drawings were originally delivered to US&S, the “P” proof mark on the slide was not included, leading to the early production US&S pistols not having the mark at all. When this was discovered, Ordnance requested that the marking be added to the pistol, but it appears that the location was not clear, with interim production guns having the marking notably left of center. The later production pistols, such as this one, had the marking in the same location as other makers.
This example has been through a post-war arsenal refurbishment by Springfield Armory, but retains a US&S slide and frame. It’s not clear if they’re original to one another or were matched up during refurbishment, but the odds of a mix-master getting both US&S slide and frame are pretty slim. It stayed in US inventory for some time, being sold to the public by the Civilian Marksmanship Program in December of 2020 as a Service Grade. It is in Very Good condition, retaining about 75% of its new parkerized metal finish, a good bore, and strong mechanics. With its CMP case and paperwork, this would be a nice addition to a collection, especially for those who missed out on the CMP’s release of these pistols. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud