SOLD FOR: $13,090

#43 of 50 Ithaca Gun Co. IG-Number 1911A1 .45 ACP Semi Automatic Presentation Pistol

Make: Ithaca Gun Co.

Model: M1911A1 Presentation

Serial Number: I.G. 43

Year of Manufacture: 1945

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Semi Auto Pistol

Barrel Length: 5″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the slide, the rear sight is a square notch dovetailed to the rear of the slide.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece early Keyes Fibre checkered brown plastic with reinforcement ribs on the interior, but no reinforcement rings around the screws. The grips have minor handling wear with only a few light marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-plus condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: We have not had the opportunity to inspect other examples from the IG-serial number series. The serial marking is cut through the finish, which would indicate Original. There is some irregularity in the polishing, see Our Assessment.

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 96% of its metal finish. The finish is generally strong with some light operational wear and handling marks. There is some irregular polishing under the finish, most notable behind the trigger on the right and around the top of the left grip(see Our Assessment). The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Fine condition.

Mechanics: The action functions properly. The slide has minor play to the frame. The trigger is crisp. We did not fire this gun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes in a custom display case with a single magazine marked “L” on the floorplate, and a letter from a previous owner. Dated 9/30/87, the letter reads: “In the 1940’s I was employed by United engineering in New York. United had a contract to do metal bluing and parkerizing for Ithaca Gun. Through my contacts at Ithaca, I was able to purchase a 1911A1 pistol s/n I.G.43 after the war. This pistol was known as a gunsmith’s model.”

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.During the inter-war years, the design was further refined with an arched mainspring housing, relief-cuts behind the shortened trigger and some minor changes to other small parts, resulting in the 1911A1. This new model would be the US sidearm during WWII, and saw production by a few different companies. As in the previous World War, Colt and American Arsenals were not able to produce everything that would be required for this war, and production would be contracted to a typewriter company, Remington Rand, a company which made switches and signals for railroads, Union Switch & Signal, and one firearms manufacturer, Ithaca Gun Co.At the end of the war, contracts for 1911A1 pistols were canceled, but most manufacturers still had parts on hand. Some were purchased back by the Government, Colt used many of their parts for commercial production, and Ithaca put together fifty pistols as presentation guns gifted to company officials and other special figures. The pistols were numbered from 1-50 with an “I.G.” prefix for Ithaca Gun. This pistol, number 43, was apparently purchased by an employee of United engineering who refers to it as a “gunsmith’s model”. This may explain the irregular polishing seen on the frame as well as the “P” proof mark on the slide, which would not be typical of a presentation gun. It is possible that this example was not deemed suitable for presentation and so was sold to a lesser-known individual who did have a hand in the wartime production process. In any case, it is a Rare piece and an interesting part of the story of Ithaca’s participation in the war effort. Please see our photos and good luck!