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  #1  
Old 12-17-2006, 12:39 PM
oldhoodoo oldhoodoo is offline
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Colt WWI 5 marking HP question




I have closely examined an interlaced HP barrel that was purported to me to be a Colt 1911 barrel however I am having difficulty confirming the "5" marking under the barrel in front of the link. I think the seller was honest as he id'd the barrel as the wrong barrel for the gun at the sale, but his eyes are as old as mine. At quick glance it looks like a 5 but at close inspection I am not so sure. I would argue it looks more like a small captial G.

However, in some ways it looks like the bottom of a hard stuck 5 that is missing the top (either broken die or was angled when struck,
but it also looks like a G which could indicate a fake HP barrel. If a five, the 5 is oriented the opposite of what can be seen at coolgunsite.

The barrel is a black blue, all machining marks appear to be clear although the machining of the chin (I assume this maching removed the chin) and the wear is commensurate with the 1911 1917 I have although the barrel clearly does not match the gun in terms of markings (should be vertical P H). The machining under the barrel where the step was removed(?) is crosswise rather than parallel with the barrel as seen at coolgunsite...I don't know how much this was at the discretion of the machinist. There are traces of the all around step that you see in 1911A1 barrels but I have not seen any 1911 barrels so I don't know if the barrel had the step machined off in the earlier pistols.

If a G it appears smaller than the G on the coolgunsite but but unfortunately a small G is mentioned as also designating 1930-40's government acceptance.
I don't know if this is a small capital G or a g.

If a fake someone went to a lot of work to do it....and it would not have been that hard to dress up a G to look like a 5.

Where all the 5's clearly stamped or is there some variation in the stamping orientation and quality?

I have tried and tried to make accurate pics but my camera/lighting isn't up to the task.

Does anyone have access to any pictures of interlaced HP underbarrel marking and machining other than what is at coolgunsite?

Al
  #2  
Old 12-17-2006, 01:06 PM
hitch1911 hitch1911 is offline
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I believe it is not uncommon to find different markings on the bottom of Colt 1911 barrels. I have had several interlaced HP, vertical HP barrels with markings in front of the lugs and on the lugs.
I presently have an interlaced HP with a G and a C stamped in front of the lugs and a X on the right lug, and a smooth transition step from the chamber area to the barrel.
I believe the presence of a transition step, or lack of a transition step is more important in the evaluation process on these early barrels than any markings on the lugs or the bottom of the barrel in front of the lugs.
  #3  
Old 12-17-2006, 02:48 PM
oldhoodoo oldhoodoo is offline
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As for the transition step, with the barrel upside down you can see the transition line and feel it with your finger as you run over it as you start going up the slope from the barrel to the chamber but its so subtle that you can't catch it with your fingernail.

Could that pretty much describe a proper HP barrel? Most of the black/blue is still on the barrel with on the only significant blue wear where the barrel slides through the collar and on top of the hood and in those areas its on the raised portions as the barrel itself does not appear to have any exterior polish.
  #4  
Old 12-17-2006, 04:22 PM
Joel Babcock Joel Babcock is offline
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Any chance the mark you see in front of the lugs is an ampersand (&)?
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2006, 09:36 PM
oldhoodoo oldhoodoo is offline
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No as to the &. There is a gap in the script so it is either the bottom of a 5 or a small capital G rotated the opposite direction. I have tried again to take pics of the marking....so far no good, but perhaps if I can take it in the daylight I might be able to get sufficient resolution. My main problem is that I don't have
sufficient markings available to compare it to.

Al
  #6  
Old 12-17-2006, 10:10 PM
Johnny Peppers Johnny Peppers is offline
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Barrel

I wouldn't worry too much about the barrel. This is a common leg HP barrel that I have owned since before they knew which barrel went in which pistol, and the marking is a G with another partial strike.

  #7  
Old 12-17-2006, 10:24 PM
Johnny Peppers Johnny Peppers is offline
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Barrel

Here is another common leg HP barrel with a 5 and an R.

  #8  
Old 12-18-2006, 03:27 AM
45Jim 45Jim is offline
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I am sure glad this thread has been posted and answers returned. I have a HP barrel almost identical to Johnny Peppers first photo with a large G and an offset Y. I have always had my doubts that it was an authentic HP barrel due to the large G and confusing that with a later WWII Colt marked G barrel. Thanks Al for posting and hitch1911 and Johnny Peppers for clearing this up. Jim
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2006, 09:26 AM
Johnny Peppers Johnny Peppers is offline
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Barrel Identification

Sometimes we apply a hard and fast rule to barrels where they don't always apply. To declare a barrel fake because it doesn't fit all the rules can at times be a mistake. We assume that 1911 barrels don't have a shoulder where the chamber area transitions into the barrel, and that 1911A1 barrels do. Here is a barrel with a shoulder that should be a 1911A1 barrel if that rule is true.


But, when we look at the chamber we find that it is actually a fairly early production 1911 barrel. Don't reject a barrel simply because one feature doesn't fit that hard and fast rule. Also note that this barrel is stamped with a 5 in front of the lug.


Last edited by Johnny Peppers; 12-18-2006 at 08:02 PM.
  #10  
Old 12-18-2006, 10:53 AM
45Jim 45Jim is offline
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Your Right Johnny. What is throwing alot of people off is that this type of information was not included in Mr. Clawson's book. Maybe at the time of printing some aspects to barrel identification was not known. Stampings on the hood of the barrel and feet were covered but different stampings on bottom side of barrel were not such as 5, &, 7, f, G, g, y, and most likely many other stamps are not discussed. These unknown stamps throw many off when trying to identify a particular barrel when trying to place the barrel in a certain time frame. I know the G did for me. I am very happy right now because that very nice HP with the big G on the bottom has now been elevated out of my scrap pile to my keeper pile.
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2006, 02:00 PM
thorin6 thorin6 is offline
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Another Interlaced HP Barrel

Here is a picture of my interlaced HP barrel. Unfortunately, this sat on its side in a box for a long time has a badly etched area on the upper left side, but the bottom is nice and clean.
It has the G and, perpendicular to the barrel's axis, an S. It has a smooth transition from the barrel to chamber area.

  #12  
Old 12-21-2006, 11:58 AM
oldhoodoo oldhoodoo is offline
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What would help if it 1911 owners would document the underbarrel markings of their pistals and publish what serial range the pistols fall into to determine if there are patterns that might allow for some interpretation and increased knowledge about 1911 barrels and when they were used.
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