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  #1  
Old 08-21-2001, 03:43 PM
dsonyay dsonyay is offline
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Singer 1911




My friend has a Singer made 1911.
Isn't this a rare and possibly valuable pistol? I thought that the serial number was very very low. I only saw it briefly but it looked like a brand new 1911. The frame and slide were all labled Singer.

Does anyone have an idea on possible "ballpark" estimates for these 1911's?

David
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2001, 03:55 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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The Singer Sewing Machine Company accepted a government contract to build 500 M1911A1 pistols just prior to US entry into World War Two. It was a study to see how well a company with absolutely no gunmaking experience could tool up and produce guns for the Armed Forces. After the guns were made Singer accepted another contract to build fire control directors instead.

About 50 or 60 Singers still exist, and the few minty ones are worth upwards of $20-30k. However, because of this many fakes have been fabricated as well, so it is unwise to spend that much on a Singer unless it can be authenticated as being the real thing.

By the way, they were never marked "Singer" anywhere on the gun, only "S. Mfg. Co." on the slide. If your friend's gun actually says "SINGER" then I feel sorry for him!

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 08-21-2001).]
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2001, 04:13 PM
Ty Ty is offline
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Hi David,
As DSK says the fakes are in huge numbers on this gun maker. The only way we could truly help you on value guesses is if we get images of the gun. Other then that I just send people to the Guns Bluebook.
Regards
Ty

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  #4  
Old 08-21-2001, 09:15 PM
Ben Reyes Ben Reyes is offline
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Last edited by Ben Reyes; 07-18-2007 at 03:25 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2001, 01:15 PM
dsonyay dsonyay is offline
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I'll try to get a pic to post. The markings are the correct ones described in the previous post.

Aassuming all the markings were corect and the finish would be about 90-95 percent would it be correct to say the value would be close to 8000 or better?

The .45 was a gift to him I believe, and he actaully knows nothing of these .45's. He knows it's worth some money, but I don't think he understands how valuable it might be. He doesn't shoot it, but I believe he did once or twice when he first got it.

David
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  #6  
Old 08-22-2001, 08:09 PM
Double Naught Spy Double Naught Spy is offline
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It is funny how rare guns may turn up. I inherited a 1917 issue Remmington Rand 1911, not an A1. While the gun is not terribly rare, I have a paper bag of bullets that supposedly came with the gun and the receipt of where it was sold to a far distant relative when he left the military. It was his gun. Also present is the holster, but it is not in great shape, but the gun is 90%+. Combined, the items were sold (decommissioned) in 1927 for less than $30. The name of the relative and description of the items sold, including the serial number, are all on the receipt. I have never shot it, but my brother used to shoot it.

My advice to dsonyay's friend is to carefully field strip the gun or have someone very familiar with vintage guns field strip it and thoroughly clean and re-oil the gun. On some of the old guns, people may take an oil rag to the outside in order to get rid of finger prints and such, but fail to check the inside and so unseen parts may start to deteriorate (rust) without you knowing it. Sometimes, fingerprints get onto parts during assembly and don't manage to get wiped off and if allowed to go untreated, may be a hidden problem.

If it is a Singer in that good of condition, go ahead and buy your friend a few pairs of those dainty curation gloves with which to handle the gun.
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2001, 08:28 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Double Naught Spy-

Not trying to be a picky bastard, but in 1917 the only two 1911 makers were Colt and Springfield Armory. Remington-UMC (the bullet people) made 21,676 1911s in late 1918 to early 1919. Remington Rand was a typewriter company that made 877,751 M1911A1 pistols from late 1942 to mid 1945, a larger number than even what Colt produced (600,000ish) during that period.

Anyway, speaking of cleaning old GI .45s I just received my latest toy today, a Remington Rand in about 95% shape made at the end of '43. My first task was to completely detail strip it and give it a darn good cleaning and inspection. All parts appear original and correct. However the gun was heavily gunked up inside with age-old gum and varnish, so much so that the hammer hardly engaged when cocked! The hammer/sear pins were stuck too when I tried to remove them, being so heavily encrusted with gunk. A thorough scrubbing with Hoppes #9 and spray blasts from brake cleaner made everything squeaky-clean and dry. Then afterwards an equally thorough slathering of gun oil inside and out, reassembly, and she's ready for show n' tell!

And yes, pictures to follow as soon as I get a chance to take some.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2001, 05:08 AM
Redzone Redzone is offline
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dsk i've disagreed with you on this before. But its came up again and you've repeated it. If only 10 to 12% exist explain why. This was developed as a military weapon(duh?). Military spells overbuilt, tested to extreme, held by our men and maybe women in WWII. And continued until we loose one. Ok so we lost the nam. But I don't thik 440 to 450 Singers went down as destoyed or POWs never to return. As I think most M11A1s we're practice weapons by this point. Please explain your numbers guess to me. I've seen the movies and have 1 grandfather alive and one dead who were here or there during the 40s war. And from everything i've gathered I believe at least 70% exist today. But none in over 90%, as they all served in our winning campaign. Please don't be offended as this is pure speculation by both of us. By the way the serial numbers as is probably listed on dsks site are SXXXXX1 through SXXXXX0. Hey I know this far a fact!
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2001, 05:28 AM
Redzone Redzone is offline
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By the way Mr. 19 post dsonyay. The numbers on Singers is S800001 - S800500. Thanks for the sighting and keep us posted. As dsk and ty are the experts. And for you to say you've seen one is as farfetched as me saying I had a hole in one ever. P.S. I believe only 50 or 60 exist now Dana. I see the light now man.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2001, 08:26 AM
Double Naught Spy Double Naught Spy is offline
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dsk, d'oh! I had to go check, but you are absolutely right, Rem UMC.
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  #11  
Old 08-28-2001, 02:08 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Redzone:
dsk i've disagreed with you on this before. But its came up again and you've repeated it. If only 10 to 12% exist explain why.
It's called attrition. I know at least a half-dozen other collectors, and a couple of them own Singers. The 50 or 60 remaining is an educated guess based on the number of known specimens currently in collections around the world. It is very difficult to know for sure exactly how many still exist, especially since so many counterfeits have been made. There are at least ten times as many fakes out there, so it makes it look like there's more Singers still out there than there really is.

Back to the attrition factor. World Wars One and Two, Korea, Vietnam, et al were horrible wastes of both human life and expensive equipment. As I said before, the Singers were mostly distributed to the Air Corps. Think of all the B-17s shot down over Europe. Think of the aircraft shot down at Midway. Think of all the ships sunk by U-Boats in the Atlantic, many of them containing crates of brand-new M1911A1s still in their kraft boxes and wax paper. Think of the terrible meat grinders known as Tarawa, Iwo Jima, and Normandy, where men vanished from the earth in one hellish blast and equipment got blown to smithereens. And of course think of later times in Korea, where weapons and ammunition dumps were purposely blown up to prevent their use by an advancing enemy.

Of the three million GI M1911s and M1911A1s made, the US military only had about 400,000 left in inventory at the time of the Beretta M9's adoption in 1985. While many were sold as surplus to other countries as well as DCM members after WW2, attrition took care of the rest.

As a side note, in late 1943 production of new M1911A1s was dramatically scaled back, with the cancellation of Union Switch & Signal's contract and a reduction in the orders from the other three (Colt, Remington Rand, and Ithaca). The reason for this was the belief that the war would end within a year and that no more pistols would be needed. However, following the Normandy invasion and savage fighting on islands like Tarawa in the Pacific, there was a sudden shortage of pistols once again due to the loss of so much equipment. As a result, orders for new pistols increased once again and never subsided until after VE Day.

Now, consider the odds stacked against 500 Singers made before this hell all started in 1941. As a collector, I have noticed that a large percentage of guns being sold on Auction Arms and Gunbroker were all made near the end of WW2 in 1945. Not too many pre-war guns are being sold these days, at any price.

------------------
D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 08-28-2001).]
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2001, 06:24 PM
SamColtFan SamColtFan is offline
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Hello DSK.....
Good write up on the Singer guns. In almost 20 years of collecting, I have never seen a Singer first hand at a shop or otherwise. I've seen ads for them but never have I actually held one to inspect. It's like looking for the "needle in the haystack" when it comes to Singers. But, the hunt is half the fun isn't it? You're right on about the odds of survival for only 500 Singers. Not very good.
Regards,
Sam
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2001, 07:29 PM
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The only one I've seen is the one John H. owns. He attends the WAC show often and has a really nice display of M1911/M1911A1 pistols. Unfortunately his Singer was acquired really cheap because it went through a house fire. He refinished it and put new grips on it, but between that and having an incorrect hammer it's not much to get excited over. Having been subjected to a house fire it's probably not even safe to shoot anymore.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 08-28-2001).]
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2001, 10:47 PM
Ben Reyes Ben Reyes is offline
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  #15  
Old 08-28-2001, 11:39 PM
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Even if just 100 still survive that isn't a bad haul. Weapons of war typically don't last very long, especially when used on the front lines. The only reason why Garands and Carbines are so plentiful is because so damn many of them were made. A 1 in 5 survival ratio is actually pretty good.

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  #16  
Old 08-29-2001, 04:45 AM
Powderman Powderman is offline
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dsk---

Contact me off list.

Powderman,

[email protected]

from Enumclaw, Warshington
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2001, 11:25 AM
Redzone Redzone is offline
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OK look at it this way then dsk. If your theory is true. The Singers were all practice guns by WWIIs beginning. So they would put more faith in the NIB Colts, US&Ss and so on. I really like your theory and must talk to grandpa before his end. As he was in those foreign country in a fighter at that time. As usual you have demonstrated your vast knowledge. Thanks for the friendly retort.
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  #18  
Old 09-03-2001, 03:03 AM
oldcolt oldcolt is offline
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All I can say is WOW. I had no idea that Singer's were so rare. I kind of feel like Lou Gherig in his final farewell speech to have both held and actually shot one. It didn't seem like such a big deal back in the 80's (although they were rare then too). DSK, you were correct in stating that "Singer" does not appear anywhere on the gun. I didn't know what it was until someone actually told me.

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  #19  
Old 10-05-2001, 12:50 PM
Redzone Redzone is offline
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Singer does'nt appear anywhere on the gun! It appears all over it. S.MFG. CO. ELIZABETH,N.J.U.S.A. on slide, JKC inspector mark below slide release on reciever, serial numbers S800001-S800500 below USP markings, checkering patterns are also manufacturer specific. And only recognizable to the specific manufacturer. So where does'nt one say Singer is the question?
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  #20  
Old 10-06-2001, 11:09 AM
oldcolt oldcolt is offline
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Redzone,
If you look closely at my post the word Singer is in quotation marks. The word Singer does not appear in it's entirety anywhere on the pistol. Granted there are many clues that the well schooled individual can spot. If it says "Singer" it isn't the real thing that is all we are trying to say.

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