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Old 04-26-2012, 01:19 PM
Matt P Matt P is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 149
Colt 1911 5 Digit serial number 1913-1914 manufacture?

I own a Colt 5 digit starting with 17XXX.
I am posting this along with the images in my effort to try and understand what parts I will need to replace in a effort to make it more original to its birth. Yes, I know the "Property of" has been aggressively removed. Yes I know based on this forum the impact on value such an act. Regardless, it may be the only one that may come through my hands, and I am going to hold on for dear life.
So, given that. I humbly ask the experts here on what needs to be replaced to bring it as reasonably back to original as it relates to replaceable parts. Not including frame needs.

Another question I would have would be if Turnball would work on it, should I consider a full restore with the roll stamp put back on the frame?
Based on the damage to the frame, does that make more sense than trying to keep it as original as possible and just replacing the grips (It had none) along with finding a hammer/frame mounted safety/possibly grip safety from that era?
I am guessing at least those three parts are not original.
I have no idea how uncommon this low of serial number would be. Or even if it is considered low.
Would that low of number possibly slightly outweigh in any regard the frame damage?
Should I pay and get the Colt letter showing where it was shipped out to?

Thanks in advance for any and all consideration you may give me...

The barrel hood at the top rear has "H" on it. That appears to be the only marking on it.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:30 PM
oldcolts oldcolts is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North by Northwest
Posts: 468
Without close up pictures, it's hard to tell what parts are correct or not correct. I suspect that it may be more correct than you think.

If it were mine, I probably would just find a set of somewhat worn double diamond grips and a correct mag for it. The cost of a full restoration would go a long ways - if not all the way - towards buying a second pistol that is original and correct.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:12 PM
mpd1978 mpd1978 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 718
Save the $100, it wont tell you anything we cant already tell you. If the serial number is 17855(best I can see it) your pistol was shipped on Jan 7th, 1913 to Benicia Arsenal in California. IMO the pistol is not a rare enough variation to warrent a restoration. Unless you are very emotionally attached to it and money is no object, it wont make any sense to spend 3-4k to restore a pistol that would probably sell for that if original. As suggested above, find a set of well worn double diamond grips and leave it at that. Nothing else really makes sense to me. The USP being ground off is the big killer on your pistol. On the plus side it does have some value in the parts alone, especially the barrel.

Last edited by mpd1978; 04-26-2012 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:16 PM
CJS57 CJS57 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 397
You can have the United States Property marking recut into the metal by a skilled engraver and that will help it some! That and an Ebay pair of worn original grips and you are as good as it gets! Your small parts are good enough, doesn' t matter now if correct or not, and unless all white metal, they will stick out like a sore thumb. Good luck!
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