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  #1  
Old 01-08-2003, 01:47 AM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Available reference material and other useful information for new collectors




Books and written works:

Collectors Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols, Models of 1911 and 1911A1 Enlarged and revised edition 2003 By Charles W. Clawson. This book is the required text for any serious collectors of M1911/M1911A1 pistols, and is a subset of the larger more comprehensive text below, but contains most of the information needed to become an instant expert on these fine pistols. This book is now out of print but can often be found online (eBay, Amazon, etc.).

Colt .45 Service Pistols, Models of 1911 and 1911A1 There are two printings of this book, 1991 and the updated 1993 By Charles W. Clawson. This book is the required text for any serious collectors of M1911/M1911A1 pistols, and contains most of the information needed to become an expert on these fine pistols. This book is out of print, however it is occasionally found on some of the On-Line Auctions. It also might be found through some of the Out of Print book sellers.

Colt .45 Government Models, Commercial Series 1996 By Charles W. Clawson. This book is the required text for any serious collectors of Government Models This book is out of print, however it is occasionally found on some of the On-Line Auctions. It also might be found through some of the Out of Print book sellers.

U.S. Military Automatic Pistols, 1894 - 1920 by Edward S. Meadows. This excellent book covers only the M1911 pistol. No substantial information or data is presented about the M1911A1, yet the quality of presentation and new information provided on the M1911 makes this book indispensable to the collector. It is written in a different format than the books by Clawson, but presents most of the relevant information contained in Clawson's books on the M1911. This book is out of print, however it is occasionally found on some of the On-Line Auctions. It also might be found through some of the Out of Print book sellers.

The Government Models by William H.D. Goddard. This book contains a number of excellent pictures as well as a fairly extensive list of selected shipping records. The information and data presented in this book is otherwise rather thin, sparse, and rather dated. In print.

The Model 1911 and Model 1911A1 Military and Commercial Pistols by Joe Poyer, published by North Cape Publications (www.northcapepubs.com). A thick soft-cover collector's guide covering most military and commercial variations of the Colt 1911-type pistol, with primary focus being on the USGI guns. In print.

The Standard Catalog of Military Firearms 2nd edition - 2004
Published by Krause Publications - Ned Schwing, 2002
ISBN 0-87341-997-9 The Standard Catalog of Military Firearms is a yearly price guide loaded with tons of useful information on everything from Model 1911s used by the U.S. and foreign armies to fully automatic machine guns. This publication covers arms produced as early as 1870 to present and represents arms from most major countries. The book is published by Krause Publications, is softbound, and has over 340 pages of information, prices, and photos. The model M1911 and M1911A1 section is edited by Karl Karash, well known collector and historian on the subject. You can order this book by following this link. MSRP $24.95 on sale at $17.49 save 30%
http://coolgunsite.com/bookstore/bookstore.htm

There are also two documents written by Karl Karash that can be downloaded off the "Collectors Guide" page on my site that are good reading for the beginner.

Websites:
http://www.coolgunsite.com
Ty Moore's excellent reference site, featuring a gallery of pistols from different eras as well as identification of parts and markings.
EDIT: As of 9/2014 the site appears to have been taken down, but for the moment these is still an archived version that can be found here: https://web.archive.org/web/20140629...olgunsite.com/

http://www.model1911a1.com
Oliver De Gravelle's site which deals specifically with WW2-era M1911A1 pistols, featuring ID of magazines and grips.

http://www.m1911info.com
Scott Gahimer's new website which goes into much greater detail than the two websites above, and includes a resource to help with buying and selling. Membership required to activate all features.

http://www.coltautos.com
Sam Lisker's site which deals with classic Colt automatic pistols of the 20th Century, including the 1911/1911A1 and commercial models.

Hope this helps.
__________________
Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.

Last edited by dsk; 10-27-2014 at 08:31 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-28-2005, 03:16 PM
kxk kxk is offline
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Update

Update on the availability of Charles Clawson’s “Collector’s Guide to Colt .45
Service Pistols, Models 1911 and 1911A1”

My supplies of the individual books as well as the $135 package* are completely
gone. The only remaining Clawson Collector’s Guides I have are in 4 sets, (These four sets are the only
remaining Collector's Guides.)
(The price per set is $390 ppd) each set consisting of the following 4 items:

Charles Clawson's Clawson's "Collectors guide to Colt .45
Service Pistols, Models 1911 and 1911A1" Third edition,
Hardback, 146 pages, Out of print, but currently selling
from the ebay scalpers for $260

Joe Poyer's "The Model 1911 and Model 1911A1 Military and
Commercial Pistols" It is softbound, 544 pages, and contains
lots of pictures. In Print, selling for about $35.

Colt .45 Government Models, Commercial Series 1996 By
Charles W. Clawson. This book is the required text for any
serious collectors of Government Models. This book is out of
print, and now sells for about $250 from the ebay scalpers

My picture CD containing over 5000 picture of mostly original 1911/1911A1 pistols.
Most collectors consider my CD to be a very handy compliment
to Clawson’s Collector’s Guide.

The scalper prices will probably continue to rise now that my supply is gone. Please contact me at: [email protected] to reserve one of the remaining sets.

For those who want to become knowledgeable about this great hobby, but don’t want to spend the required $ for Clawson’s books (At least right away, because you will eventually have Clawson’s books if you stick with it,) Poyer’s book at about $35 is a lot better than a sharp stick in the eye. (I can provide Poyer’s book with my CD for $50 Postpaid.)
Good luck and good collecting. Best Karl
__________________
Best KXK

Last edited by dsk; 05-14-2013 at 04:03 PM.
  #3  
Old 08-02-2011, 01:50 AM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Useful information for new collectors.....

For the benefit of those new to the 1911 design and who often ask "what's the difference?", the following image will serve as a rough guide. As noted in the picture not all the changes were immediate, but it will help to know approximately when given changes were introduced. For example, if you encounter a pistol with an M1911 frame (identified by the lack of finger clearance cuts and by proper markings) and it has been parkerized then you can be sure it isn't the original finish, as these pistols were all originally blued.



One other little factoid, the official name for the US military-issue pistol was "Pistol, Automatic, Caliber .45, Model of 1911" or "Pistol, Automatic, Caliber .45, M1911A1". These names were assigned by the US military and only applied to their weapons. Pistols made by Colt that were intended for commercial sales were called the "Government Model", "Commander Model", "Super .38", or "National Match". Today, calling all pistols of this type "1911s" regardless of manufacturer or vintage is nothing more than a recent trend, and it has nothing to do with the proper nomenclature for these weapons. Therefore, when somebody asks "is my new Kimber a 1911 or a 1911A1?" it means nothing, as it isn't a military-issue pistol and is simply whatever the manufacturer chooses to call it. Merely having a long trigger and/or an arched mainspring housing doesn't change what it is, or make it either an M1911 or an M1911A1. Strictly speaking it is neither. Modern production pistols are at best merely "1911 type" or "1911 pattern" handguns, and are called 1911s in the same way that all of the various Kalashnikov-type weapons are generically called "AK" rifles by most shooters, even though the only true AK rifles were the select-fire variants made in the former Soviet Union for their military.
__________________
Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.

Last edited by dsk; 12-17-2011 at 01:19 AM.
  #4  
Old 12-17-2011, 01:17 AM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Serial numbers

For a list of serial numbers giving the aproximate year of production, please follow this link to Ty's excellent USGI pistols website:

http://www.coolgunsite.com/pistols/c...production.htm
__________________
Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.
  #5  
Old 03-22-2012, 11:56 PM
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Altered, defaced and/or removed serial numbers

The subject of illegally altered serial numbers comes up with alarming frequency on this forum. Usually it's in the form of a pistol somebody recently bought or inherited, and the original serial number is noted to have been removed and/or a new one stamped in its place. The following copy of a reply letter sent to Kevin Williams (kwill) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms clarifying the matter explains the legal ramifications best:





The typical excuse for these pistols, particularly ones completely lacking a serial number are that they were "lunchbox" guns (implying that the unfinished weapon or its components were smuggled out of the factory in some worker's lunchbox). While some lunchbox guns are known to exist, it doesn't justify the many thousands of pistols floating around without a serial number. Security at government weapons factories was tight even during peacetime, and during wartime you can bet that every worker was searched for contraband before and after their shift to prevent enemy agents from sneaking anything in or out. While nothing is impossible you should view any claims that a weapon was a "lunchbox" pistol with a heathy dose of skepticsm.

In addition, much attention has been given recently to an auction for a Colt revolver formerly belonging to the infamous Bonnie Parker of "Bonnie & Clyde" fame. Prior to sale ATF was notified that the weapon had an obliterated serial number, but due to the historical significance of the firearm an exception was given and a new serial number applied. Please note the language from the following press release located at http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/20...compliant.html :

Quote:
Special Agents from the ATF Manchester Office examined the revolver and contacted the ATF Firearms Technology Branch, ATF's technical authority for firearms and their determination under federal laws. The Firearms Technology Branch was able to determine that the Parker revolver was originally manufactured with serial numbers, thereby making the revolver non-complaint under federal law.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 requires firearm manufacturers to place serial numbers on firearms and made firearms with removed, obliterated or altered serial numbers illegal to possess.
In a nutshell, pistols that have had the original factory serial number altered, defaced, or removed are illegal to own, and should be avoided like the Plague. Don't count on the seller of such an item to know what it is he or she is selling, for not everyone is a 1911 collector who can tell what the original SN on a particular 1911 should look like. There are a lot of these kinds of pistols out there, and the buyer must know what he/she is getting or else run the risk of losing money and/or running afoul of the law. Do your research, ask the right questions, and look before you leap!
__________________
Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.

Last edited by dsk; 02-13-2014 at 02:42 AM. Reason: updated info
  #6  
Old 05-16-2012, 08:29 PM
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Sgt. York Discovery website

Here's an interesting website dedicated to an expedition to find the exact spot where Sgt. (then Cpl.) Alvin York performed the feats that earned him the Medal of Honor during World War One:

http://www.sgtyorkdiscovery.com/
__________________
Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.

Last edited by dsk; 05-16-2012 at 08:53 PM.
  #7  
Old 09-14-2012, 11:41 AM
mpd1978 mpd1978 is online now
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Available reference material and other useful information for new collectors

Compare this Vintage Colt WW2 era shipping container to the fake ones discussed recently.




  #8  
Old 06-15-2014, 12:28 PM
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Hardened slides

Something for new collectors of vintage Colt 1911 pistols to understand is that the early slides on these pistols were not heat treated at all, either because it was thought unwarranted at the time or perhaps no practical means existed to do so. These pre-1925 slides are thus quite soft by today's standards and will easily crack or show wear, peening, or other deformation on a pistol that sees extensive use. Therefore, using a WW1-era pistol as a shooter is not advisable unless it has no collector's value and you don't mind replacing the slide at some point.

Colt began hardening the front 1/3 of the slides in 1925 by heating them up then quenching them in oil (thus the reason why 1925-45 slides often have darkened front ends), and a hardened insert was pressed into the breech face around the firing pin hole. The barrel locking lugs remained unhardened as there was no way to do so without warping the slides. In 1943 the slide stop notch was flame-hardened to resist peening wear, and you can tell those by a bright half-moon shaped ring of color around the notch. Slides that were properly heat treated along their entire length were developed late in WW2, but they didn't replace the older slides until after WW2. Commercial pistols made from approximately 1950 onwards, and post-1950 GI contract slides were all properly heat-treated and thus known as "hard" slides.
__________________
Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.

Last edited by dsk; 06-15-2014 at 06:52 PM.
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