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  #1  
Old 09-07-2009, 03:35 PM
foxcolt45 foxcolt45 is offline
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WW1 1911's used in WW11




I looked at a 1911 made in 1919 which had a history (according to owner) of being issued to his father a Master Sergeant in the battle of Okinawa. Does anyone have knowledge of the after war/extended contract weapons being issued in WW11?
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2009, 03:40 PM
THE_DUDE THE_DUDE is offline
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The know the 1911's were arsenal upgraded to A1 configuration sometime between '24-'26. There were also alot of 1911's that were not upgraded and used during WWII in their original WWI configuration. I'm sure someone will be along with the specifics.
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2009, 03:41 PM
Caspian17 Caspian17 is offline
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That is correct but they were modified to A1's if parts were replaced (thanks dsk), remember buy the gun not the story, also move this to the USGI section.

Last edited by Caspian17; 09-07-2009 at 05:58 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2009, 04:10 PM
Agent6-3/8 Agent6-3/8 is offline
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I wouldn't be surprised if a few WWI era 1911's served in the Gulf War. The US government stopped buying 1911's at the end of WWII in 1945. From then until the adoption of the M9 the existing guns were rebuilt as needed.
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2009, 05:11 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Until the contractors came online and M1911A1 production could finally kick into high gear (1943 onwards) the old WW1-era pistols were actually more commonplace. Also, M1911 pistols generally were not "upgraded to 'A1 configuration". Pistols were rebuilt as needed, and parts were replaced only when necessary.
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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.

Last edited by dsk; 09-07-2009 at 05:40 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-07-2009, 05:43 PM
Dart-Swinger Dart-Swinger is offline
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I like to think that this one saw action in both wars

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  #7  
Old 09-07-2009, 06:55 PM
Johnny Peppers Johnny Peppers is offline
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There was no official upgrading of 1911 pistols to 1911A1 configuration. Some 1911's are found with the finger cutouts like the 1911A1, but it is unclear as to whether this was done in the military of after the pistols left the military. The 03-A4 sniper rifle was stamped 03-A3 so that any rifles that were not made into A4 rifles could be used as an A3 after going through rebuild. A few 03-A4 rifles are know where the A3 is X'd out and a A4 is crudely overstamped. More than likely a rebuild facility correcting what they thought was a mistake.
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2009, 01:45 AM
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There really weren't that many M1911A1 pistols purchased by the government prior to WW2. After Pearl Harbor Colt was then kept quite busy making the guns we really needed, like M2 .50 caliber Brownings. The outside contractors were expected to take up most of the slack, but it wasn't until late 1943 that the other guys finally got their ducks all in a row and began to crank out M1911A1 pistols in large quantities. Colt continued to make pistols throughout the war, but their production was hampered by fluctuating requirements and priorities. As a result the older M1911 pistols were pretty much all you were likely to find in the hands of most soldiers armed with a pistol for the first half of the war. Once the US war machine began flooding the front lines with fresh troops and fresh equipment for the invasions of Europe and the Pacific islands then M1911A1 pistols finally started becoming more commonplace. The older M1911 pistols remained in front-line service however, at least through the Korean War. I don't think they were officially listed as obsolete until 1964, but even then some showed up in Vietnam, usually extensively overhauled by that point.
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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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  #9  
Old 09-08-2009, 08:40 PM
foxcolt45 foxcolt45 is offline
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Much thanks, this was the information I was hoping to hear.
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2009, 12:28 PM
Thinman Thinman is offline
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dsk

Saw in your post that the 1911 was officially made obsolete in 1964. Have never heard about that before.

Were the 1911 pistols then supposed to be updated with A1 parts or sent somewhere for war emergency storage? Was there a program of some kind instituted?
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  #11  
Old 09-11-2009, 12:00 AM
oldisbetter oldisbetter is offline
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In the early 1970's, in the USMC, I saw plenty of model 1911's that were pre A1 frames. I can't remember if the grip safety was short or long or if the hammer was wide, but I do remember all the triggers were of the A1 type. I have a feeling that once they were "converted" by an arsenal to the A1 type, they stayed in service until replaced by the Beretta in the 80's.
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  #12  
Old 09-11-2009, 08:18 AM
Johnny Peppers Johnny Peppers is offline
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Ordnance classified the pistols by serial number since they changed the designation of the Transition pistols from 1911 to 1911A1. Any serial number under 700,000 was to be a 1911 and any serial number over 700,000 was a 1911A1. Changing a 1911 part to a 1911A1 part doesn't make the pistol a 1911A1. The pistol is what the receiver is.
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  #13  
Old 09-11-2009, 05:27 PM
ADC ADC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Gahimer View Post
The military made no distinction between the M1911 and the M1911A1 ................................
Informative post. Thanks.
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  #14  
Old 09-11-2009, 06:56 PM
Johnny Peppers Johnny Peppers is offline
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The Improved Model 1911 Automatic Pistol that came out in 1924 remained a 1911 until 1926 when Ordnance decided that it would be known as "Pistol, Automatic, Caliber .45, M1911A1". It was under this approved recommendation that all Model 1911 pistols would have serial numbers under 700,000 and all Model 1911A1 pistols would have serial numbers above 700,000.
There were two recommendations to make a designation difference between the two pistols, and the one not accepted was to rename the 1911 Improved to "Pistol, Automatic, Caliber .45, M1".
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  #15  
Old 09-12-2009, 02:09 AM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Let's be glad they never used that one! There were enough other weapons classified as "M1" as it was.
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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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  #16  
Old 09-12-2009, 12:44 PM
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a bit off topic, but how or why did some of those designations come into being. The date (M1911 or 1903 Springfield) make sense. But, how did they come up with M-1 for the Garand and the Carbine then to M14 and later M16. Were there M-2 through M13 in between?
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  #17  
Old 09-12-2009, 06:37 PM
Colts 45 Colts 45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent6-3/8 View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if a few WWI era 1911's served in the Gulf War. The US government stopped buying 1911's at the end of WWII in 1945. From then until the adoption of the M9 the existing guns were rebuilt as needed.
And later....I got in the KY National Guard in late '94 after being on active duty. That next summer in '95 was my first summer camp. I was with S4 back then and helped run an M9 qual range. This was also a familiarization for the guys issued M9s as we had just received them. Thats right 10 YEARS!! after the official adoption by the Army. It takes awhile for the nasty guard to get the "new" stuff, like M16A2s replacing our M16A1s a year later.

Anyway, thats to lead up to my talking with the Supply Sgt. who'd been around for awhile. He told me specifically that both 1911s and 1911A1s were turned in for those M9s. I can't remember the ratio between the two but there were original 1911s still in service in KY up to the mid '90s.
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  #18  
Old 10-23-2009, 06:48 PM
Col. Colt Col. Colt is offline
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As I recall the "M" designators came about in the 1930's as part of the modernization process going on the the Armed Services at the time. Apparently the year of adoption was not considered to be informative enough, although they carried forward the 'A1, A2, etc, method of identifying change levels. The Air Corps switched form P for Pursuit to F for fighter, but kept the same numerical designations on aircraft, also.

I read something once on the why of all this, and will try to locate it. Anyone else have an authoritative source? It is interesting that the M4 Carbine of today is a direct numerical follow on from the M3 carbine of the 50's! CC
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