USMC Colt Model of 1911 U.S. Army .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1916 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2,604

LSB#: 231108DM028

Make: Colt

Model: 1911

Serial Number: 151393

Year of Manufacture: The serial number would typically indicate production in 1917. Multiple sources indicate that this serial number shipped November 27, 1916 to the United States Marine Corps in Philadelphia, PA.

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the dust cover is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY”, the right of the frame is marked “No 151393″. 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”, “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.” and behind the serrations with a rampant colt. The rear of the slide is marked “H” (vertical, no serif) above the firing pin plate. The left side of the frame is marked behind the trigger with a “GHS” in circle. The top of the frame is marked “H”, “H” and “U’ at the disconnector. The top of the chamber hood is “P” and “H”.

Barrel Length: 5”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a round blade fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a “U”-notch sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered wood with smooth diamonds around the screws and an Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem on each panel. The grips have no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Excellent condition as not original to the gun.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is scattered light erosion and minor pitting in the bore. 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 98% of its current metal finish. The new finish is generally strong throughout. There is infrequent minor erosion under the finish. There are a few scattered tiny nicks and minor scuffs. The “GHS” marking is struck through the finish, indicating that it has been re-applied. The screw heads are lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Fine condition as refinished.

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 single 7-round magazine and a custom display case.

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 an example of a 1911 that is quite the find for collectors as it is a documented United States Marine Corps pistol, one of 9,950 shipped to the USMC between May, 1912 and December, 1918. Marine Corps 1911s did not receive any special markings, and about half of them were not shipped sequentially. This example is from a shipment of 600 pistols shipped November 27, 1916. The serial number is in line with 1917 production, but the shipping date for this group of 600 pistols is found in references such as Clawson, Meadows and on Colt Archives letters we have seen from other pistols in the shipment.

Most USMC 1911s saw extensive service and they are frequently found having been arsenal refurbished. This example has been restored, retaining nearly all of its new blued finish, and has been equipped with custom grips which have the USMC’s Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem on each panel. This USMC 1911 is sure to take a prized place in even some advanced collections. Please see our photos and good luck!

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