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  #1  
Old 04-28-2012, 02:33 PM
1oddball 1oddball is offline
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WWII Colt 1911A1 Original or not




Question,
I am wondering if a Colt with "RIA" stamped under the serial number on the left side of the frame (without EB or FK anywhere) has merely been inspected by Rock Island Arsenal and not a rebuild? The serial puts it in the beginning of 1945(No 17298xx). With just a bit of reading about arsenal rebuilds...an accompanying EB or FK should be found on the firearm if it has been rebuilt? On this pistol neither of those stamping s can be found.

The serial is also interesting. It has some sort of paint or something to highlight the number. A few flakes have come off and you can clearly see the metal beneath from the stamping...which means it was stamped after the finishing process. Any thoughts...becasue I am NOT an expert...just a grasshopper learning the ropes.
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2012, 02:50 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Colt M1911A1 serial numbers were stamped before the finishing process, not after. The white paint you see is something a lot of folks used to do to better highlight markings when taking pictures or displaying at a show. Nowadays that practice is discouraged because it hides important details in the markings.

You are correct however that the presense of an arsenal rebuild stamp doesn't automatically indicate a refinish. However you'll need to look at the other clues to be able to say, and of course with white gunk inside the markings your job is going to be a lot tougher. I suggest posting some decent pictures here so that others can weigh in with their opinions. Often you can tell whether it's original finish or not just by looking at it.
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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.
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2012, 02:54 PM
KeithNyst KeithNyst is offline
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RIA is the arsenal stamp (Rock Island Arsenal); so it had some work done there. A 1945 Colt with your serial number should have the GHD acceptance mark next to the magazine release. The G.H.D. are the initials for Guy H. Drewry, the Springfield Ordnace District Army Ispector of Ordnance for June 17, 1942 to July 15, 1945.

Last edited by KeithNyst; 04-28-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-28-2012, 02:54 PM
1oddball 1oddball is offline
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Sir, first of all I apologize to have posted in the wrong location. This is my first posting here and I did goof up...sorry for that.

I have a photo but need to figure out how to upload it...lets see if this works.
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  #5  
Old 04-28-2012, 03:02 PM
1oddball 1oddball is offline
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Here is the left side. You can see the GHD and the P stamps as well as a couple of others.
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2012, 03:56 PM
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The pictures aren't the best, but from what I can see there's no reason to believe it isn't the original finish.
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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.
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2012, 04:54 PM
1oddball 1oddball is offline
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Here is another.
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2012, 07:16 PM
oldcanuck oldcanuck is offline
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Looks to be just an inspection, and pass through to me.....
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  #9  
Old 04-28-2012, 08:15 PM
1oddball 1oddball is offline
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So if RIA is the arsenal stamp (Rock Island Arsenal), do you guys feel that this was merely inspected by them and not rebuilt after the war or was it inspected as part of the acceptance during WWII? So is this to be considered original or since RIA is stamped on the frame it is considered a rearsenaled firearm?
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2012, 08:25 PM
1saxman 1saxman is offline
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Well, no. RIA is not the acceptance mark. It means only that the pistol was tuned in for evaluation and was deemed fit for service. Its part of the history of the pistol. Most collectors would not want it there since it will always beg the rebuild question. But for someone wanting to get a good price on what looks to be a great Colt, the RIA is a good thing. It may be original, but there's no way for us to tell if the barrel or any other parts may have been replaced. But it does look like RIA signed off without refinishing. So yes, it does mean the pistol was sent to Rock Island.
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  #11  
Old 04-28-2012, 08:35 PM
oldcanuck oldcanuck is offline
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Regarless of finish and condition... it is no longer original. Unfortuantely your example did not leave the factory with the RIA marking on it.
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  #12  
Old 04-28-2012, 08:39 PM
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While others may think otherwise, personally I feel the RIA stamp has only a minor effect on value given that the Parkerized finish is likely original. It simply was turned in, given a clean bill of health at RIA, stamped, and told to move on. I used to have a 1941 brushed blue Colt that also had RIA's stamp on it, although in my case it also had the FK marking. I had little trouble selling it (and really, really wish I hadn't!).
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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.
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  #13  
Old 04-28-2012, 08:43 PM
Pato1 Pato1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1oddball View Post
So if RIA is the arsenal stamp (Rock Island Arsenal), do you guys feel that this was merely inspected by them and not rebuilt after the war or was it inspected as part of the acceptance during WWII? So is this to be considered original or since RIA is stamped on the frame it is considered a rearsenaled firearm?
The paint or whiteout used to highlight the letters can be removed with acetone or fingernail polish remover. Simply check for evidence of a break in the finish inside the RIA stamp, bright light and some magnification may be in order.
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2012, 08:48 PM
supervel supervel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1oddball View Post
Here is the left side. You can see the GHD and the P stamps as well as a couple of others.
Would some one use the his full name so I don't have to look in my TSMG books again Was it Guy Harvey D?
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  #15  
Old 04-28-2012, 08:52 PM
R DiFlorio R DiFlorio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supervel View Post
Would some one use the his full name so I don't have to look in my TSMG books again Was it Guy Harvey D?
Guy H. Drewry
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  #16  
Old 04-28-2012, 09:45 PM
1oddball 1oddball is offline
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What's the feeling about shooting it? I am not sure if it needs to be a safe queen or not.
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  #17  
Old 04-29-2012, 12:43 AM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Anything with substantial original finish remaining should not be shot. Use the refinished mixmasters for the gun range but save what remains of the original-finish examples.
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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.
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  #18  
Old 04-29-2012, 10:46 AM
1oddball 1oddball is offline
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Understand, she needs to be cleaned up and become a hanger queen.
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  #19  
Old 04-29-2012, 06:16 PM
win40-82 win40-82 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcanuck View Post
Regarless of finish and condition... it is no longer original. Unfortuantely your example did not leave the factory with the RIA marking on it.
I guess you could also say if 3 mags of ammo were fired through it and it left wear marks on the barrel then its no longer original as that's not how it left the factory.
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  #20  
Old 04-29-2012, 06:23 PM
supervel supervel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R DiFlorio View Post
Guy H. Drewry
Do you know what the H. is? Thank You.
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  #21  
Old 04-29-2012, 06:45 PM
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A Google search came up empty. Here he is however if you want to read more about him: http://www.goordnance.army.mil/hof/1...96/drewry.html
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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.
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