Model: Government Model 1911
Serial Number: C34081
Year of Manufacture: 1916
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.14.1911. AUG.19.1913”. “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.” and with the Rampant Colt logo at the rear. The right side of the slide is marked “COLT AUTOMATIC / CALIBRE 45”. The right side of the frame is marked “GOVERNMENT MODEL / C34081”. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and at the rear with “e”. The barrel at the port is marked “HP” (with the right leg of the H and the left leg of the P sharing the same line), on the left side of the lug with “6” and on the underside of the barrel in front of the lug with an inspection mark. (This would appear to be a WWII era Colt barrel.) The left side of the barrel lug is marked “6”. The top of the frame in front of the hammer is marked “S” and “e”.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The pistol is mounted with a “U” notched rear sight dovetailed into the slide and a short rounded blade front sight fixed to the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut with smooth diamonds at the grip screws that are dark with oil staining. There is a small tool mark in the upper left diamond and a few tiny dings in the lower left diamond. The checkering in the left grip shows light to moderate wear with a long marred area at the front of the grip. The checkering in the right grip shows light wear with no mars. The grips rate in about Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: This pistol has a blued finish.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp but thin. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 68% of its metal finish. There are spots of pinprick surface erosion on the top of the slide near the muzzle and on the mainspring housing. There is surface loss on the mainspring housing and thinning on the slide, grip safety, front strap and the edges of the frame. There are light handling marks scattered over the slide with scratches on the left side of the frame from the slide release. There is also an area of small dings and scratches at the top of the grip safety and a spot of tiny dings on the front surface of the barrel bushing. . The slide release serrations are sharp with a few tiny dings in the serrations on the left side. The safety knurling is sharp. The slide release and magazine release knurling shows light wear on their outer edges. The hammer knurling also shows light wear but there is moderate to heavy wear in the center of the barrel bushing knurling. The markings are clear with raised edges on the proof mark and Rampant Colt logo. The lower left grip screw is disfigured. Overall, this pistol rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. It has both a manual and grip safety and the trigger pull is crisp. The slide is tight to the frame. We did not fire this pistol. The pistol has a lanyard ring on the bottom of the mainspring housing.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with one blued 7 round magazine, a letter from Colt and a brown leather top flap holster. The magazine has a lanyard ring in the center of the floorplate. It is unmarked and the top half is “In The White” while the bottom half is blued. It shows thinning, a several handling marks and a few spots of erosion. There is thinning on the edges of the floorplate and on the lanyard ring. It is in about Very Good condition. The letter Colt indicates the pistol was shipped on March 28, 1916 to Krakauer, Zork and Moye Company in El Paso, Texas as part of a shipment of 15 guns. Krakauer, Zork and Moye was a leading wholesale hardware dealer in the Southwest, with a branch in Mexico. The holster is made from a single piece of leather that is folded over at the front and sewn along the back edge with straw colored stitching. The rear of the holster is folded over to form the top flap with is secured to the outside of the holster with a painted steel stud on the holster. There is a single wide belt loop on the back of the holster marked “1308D / 45”. The holster shows thinning on the front edge of the top flap, oil staining in spots, several handling marks and a few scrape marks in the top flap. The holster is in about Very Good condition.
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. This is a commercial Colt 1911 Government Model pistol made in 1916 in the middle of WWI and shipped to a wholesale hardware dealer in El Paso, Texas. The pistol is in about Very Good condition, with about 68% of its metal finish remaining. There are spots of pinprick surface erosion on the top front of the slide and on the mainspring housing. There is surface loss on the mainspring housing and thinning on the slide, grip safety, front strap and the edges of the frame, with light handling marks scattered over the slide. The grips are double diamond checkered walnut. There is a tool mark in the top left diamond and a few tiny dings in the bottom left. The checkering shows light to wear with a large mar at the front of the left grip. The bore is bright with sharp but thin rifling. The pre-war and wartime commercial Colt 1911’s are highly collectable because of their better fit and finish, and the older they get, the more desirable they become. This one was made during the middle of WWI and appears to have had its barrel replaced with a WWII era Colt barrel (from the HP marking at the port). This is probably going to affect its value to the collectors, but we think it will still be priced far beyond what the shooters are willing to pay. If it gets away from the collectors, a shooter will find that it is great for home protection and can be shot in the Wild Bunch side match competitions at SASS clubs.