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  #1  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:02 PM
Harms Way Harms Way is offline
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WHAT TO DO ? 1918 Colt 1911 (opinions welcome)

Have you ever had a firearm you didn't know what direction to go in with... So you just put it away and never come up with a decision ?
Well... That's the the situation I'm in with this Colt. I came by it a while ago in a deal I was extremely happy with. All I did to it was replace the aftermarket grips with reproduction ones.

I pulled it out of the case yesterday and looked it over It was re-Armored sometime in the past at AA, But it looks like the Barrel, Grips and Magazine are the only things appearing to be not original to this pistol... The Serial Number is in the 44,800 range. But with that said, As you will see in the pictures. Somebody buffed the poo out of it and gave it a brilliant re-blue. which has partially compromised portions of the original markings and roll stamps.

This old war horse shoots and feeds well,.. But I am in a quandary as to which way to proceed with this old Colt (or to proceed at all).. So, I'm asking you guys,Which direction would you go ?.... If I restore it, the cost might exceed the value of this piece... If I leave it as is,.. It's basically a shiny shooter...

So,..... What do ya'all think guys ?

Well,... After looking at the pictures. The red material reflected making it look like all the edges were gone. That's not the case. they are actually fairly sharp.And the markings aren't quite as far gone as it looks.













So,... What do you think guys ???
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Last edited by Harms Way; 05-21-2020 at 01:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:14 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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I have seen several of these lately.
Agree, a Turnbull restoration with all the lines trued up and markings refreshed and a sincere refinish would cost as much as a pretty good original.

My idea has been to have them Parkerized so they will LOOK like a regular AA refurb.
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:23 PM
magazineman magazineman is offline
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I'd leave it be.
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  #4  
Old 05-21-2020, 02:26 PM
stevemaury stevemaury is offline
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It's already been reblued at least once and, IMO overpolished.
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2020, 03:03 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is online now
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Leave it be and shoot it more.
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:41 PM
lloydpt lloydpt is offline
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She has had enough cosmetic surgery. Leave her alone.
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2020, 07:46 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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You can't restore it to looking like original without spending a LOT of money... and then it still would not be original. The collector's worth on this one is gone now, and with a WW1-era slide it won't stand up to tens of thousands of rounds either. It's best left as-is and as something to occasionally shoot and think of where it's been for the last century.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-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 at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:07 AM
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RickB RickB is online now
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If you are going to keep shooting it, leave it alone.
If you spend a ton and keep shooting it, you'll have a worn, re-refinished gun, or you might break a part, then have a non-matching part.
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2020, 11:48 AM
1saxman 1saxman is offline
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I believe the frame is late 1918, 448117 and the slide is earlier going by the ball cut.
Whatever, there's no percentage in doing anything to it.
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2020, 12:46 PM
hub1home hub1home is offline
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As others have replied, I would leave it as is. Actually, I like the looks of it!
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  #11  
Old 05-22-2020, 01:54 PM
VetPsychWars VetPsychWars is offline
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I'm in a similar situation with mine, which had its UNITED STATES PROPERTY ground off and a refinish.

I'm going to get it refinished (again) one last time because now I have an HP barrel in it (fits really well) and then, I don't know. Might turn out to be my carry gun. I have a Turnbull-made "Remington-UMC" that I'm going to shoot soon, for the first time, so that can be the practice piece.

I like stock Colt springs, these guns seem to function best with them, and perhaps get a pin kit. Shoot a few magazines through it every so often and remember the past.

Tom
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2020, 03:21 PM
havanajim havanajim is online now
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If it were mine, I'd certainly leave it as is, but..... I'd find a nice .22 upper and use it as a dedicated rim-fire, if you don't already have a .22 1911. The cost of restoring this doesn't seem practical to me. But, then again, what do I know??
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  #13  
Old 05-22-2020, 03:36 PM
jc2721 jc2721 is online now
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Leave it as is and shoot it. If you want a "correct" 1911 be prepared to pay, or wait and hope to get lucky.

You could sell it on an auction site and put the money towards a "better" one but do some homework and know what it is you are looking for, otherwise you might end up with another "bubba" instead of "better."
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  #14  
Old 05-22-2020, 04:23 PM
Uncle Mike Uncle Mike is offline
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Hi, I have a similar pistol. I use it for "Wild Bunch" shooting and it shoots well. If you want a more original piece then save up for one. There is a lot of good advice above, regards, Mike
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2020, 05:40 PM
mkk41 mkk41 is online now
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Metal removed cannot be replaced , and that one has had such a heavy handed buffing , it's probably an ounce lighter.

Leave it as is. Keep fresh springs in it and enjoy.
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  #16  
Old 05-22-2020, 05:58 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
I believe the frame is late 1918, 448117 and the slide is earlier going by the ball cut.
Whatever, there's no percentage in doing anything to it.
I couldn't even see the full serial number, but it's definitely late 1918 judging by the frame contours. The slide is an early 1918 with non-serif rollmarks and no pony between the patent addresses. The pony was at one point behind the slide serrations but it appears to have been completely buffed off.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-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 at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #17  
Old 05-22-2020, 11:55 PM
Harms Way Harms Way is offline
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I guess I should have mentioned, I have several 1911's and 1911-A1's,.. But this one is just one I look at from time to time, Shoot rarely,.. And can never decide what to do with it. So I'm starting to think I might not do much with it, Put it in the safe with it's brothers...And someday (probably when I'm gone... Because I have real bad separation anxiety when it comes to 1911's) It's eventual future owner can come up with it's fate.

Or not, I came up with a brain fart idea today... If I do it, I'll let you know.

Thanks for all the opinions so far...
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  #18  
Old 05-23-2020, 07:41 AM
.45_COLT .45_COLT is online now
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Maybe just throwing some parkerizing over top of that shine would at least make a minor improvement. Shiny tends to highlight imperfection.
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  #19  
Old 05-23-2020, 08:06 AM
1saxman 1saxman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post
I couldn't even see the full serial number, but it's definitely late 1918 judging by the frame contours. The slide is an early 1918 with non-serif rollmarks and no pony between the patent addresses. The pony was at one point behind the slide serrations but it appears to have been completely buffed off.
I couldn't see the second numeral either but there was a space for it. The OP had stated '44,800' but I could see that it was a six-digit starting with 4 and ending with 8117. This makes it 4X8117 which is late 1918. So assuming the OP could see the second numeral and its a 4, that's how I arrived at 448117. but it doesn't matter what the second numeral is, its still a six-digit starting with 4 which is close enough.
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  #20  
Old 05-23-2020, 08:07 AM
1saxman 1saxman is offline
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Originally Posted by .45_COLT View Post
Maybe just throwing some parkerizing over top of that shine would at least make a minor improvement. Shiny tends to highlight imperfection.
That's the cheapest thing to do and at least it would look like a rebuild, particularly with a set of WWII brown plastic grips.
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