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  #1  
Old 03-25-2020, 12:57 AM
aumikeg aumikeg is offline
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Help with my new to me/old 1911

Hello all! Thank you for allowing me to join your forum. I am not new to firearms but new to 1911's. I inherited two recently and I am a changed man. One being a compact Rock Island 1911 which happens to be my favorite (still not sure why I like it so much compared to much more expensive 1911's i have used, but I do), and the other being a 1918 Colt 1911 (topic of this post). Since enjoying these 1911's, I have purchased a Kimber 4" which I absolutely love.

That being said, I need help/advice. I'll be honest, I tried to find answers on here but if you are new the site is quite overwhelming.

The Colt 1911 I have comes up on Colt's website as a 1918 model, which if true, is entirely awesome. The gun, as you can see in the pics I will post below, is in tired shape. It has what I would consider an amazing old crappy patina. What I would like to know is, and for lack of better words: as a steward of this gun, what should I do with it? All of the pics I see online of similar variants show substantial cleaning and polishing. I like this gun the way it is, its beautiful. Should I clean it up and remove the tarnish, or leave it be? That being said, how should I care for it? I don't plan on firing it. I have never owned an antique firearm before, and have no idea what I need do to keep it maintained properly. These may be stupid questions to many, but I don't know the answers. I would love some insight as well as comments on the gun, anything that you see that you think I should know. Thank you so much in advance.
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2020, 10:05 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Poor thing. It shows almost no wear or beating, just neglect.
If I had inherited it, I would treat it as a family heirloom and just oil it heavily and rub it down with a coarse cloth - I like those red shop towels - to remove the loose rust. Kroil is good.
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2020, 10:20 AM
bayoned bayoned is offline
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+1 the above advice.
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2020, 10:38 AM
aumikeg aumikeg is offline
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Thank you for the reply. I have no intentions on selling it, I was just unsure on how to properly maintain it in this condition. Thanks again.
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2020, 10:41 AM
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RickB RickB is offline
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There should be a rollmark indicating "UNITED STATES PROPERTY" on the left side of the frame, but it's not uncommon to find that removed.
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2020, 11:23 AM
deserttrans deserttrans is offline
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As mentioned above, clean it up and cherish the family heirloom.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:12 PM
aumikeg aumikeg is offline
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Thank you for the replies. From what I am gathering, I SHOULD clean it up. I wasn't sure if I was supposed leave it as-is.
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:07 PM
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RickB RickB is offline
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You don't want to leave active rust on the surface, but you also don't want to go to town with abrasives.
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:11 PM
rgold rgold is offline
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Shipped Jan.3,1918 to Ordnance Depot No.6,A.E.F. France, ( via Greenville Piers, N.J. Total guns in shipment, 5,000. This info from Clawson big book.
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:49 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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The internals are likely in a similar condition.

If you can remove the stocks and completely soak the gun, preferably in Kano Kroil for a couple of days first. That would likely do a lot of good.
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2020, 02:47 PM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
If you can remove the stocks and completely soak the gun, preferably in Kano Kroil for a couple of days first. That would likely do a lot of good.
Theres a very good chance the internals look great.

OP, I would immediately remove the grips and oil it up generously. Even some clean fresh synthetic motor oil will do it. Then take some Bronze wool (DO NOT USE STEEL WOOL) and gently rub it down and most of that fine rust will be gone. During the process, the surface will get an orangy color. Thats ok, just wipe it down with a lightly oiled rag and the orange comes right off. After its nice and clean, whatever blue is left on the pistol, will still be there. Lightly oil it to keep rust at bay and clean up and re install the grips. Any time you handle it, you will want to wipe it down and remove any fingerprints (body oils are bad) and store it in a synthetic case or pouch. Never Leather. Post pictures after you clean it up.
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:34 PM
Q Tip Q Tip is offline
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Not sure if this method is recommended, but i strip my old guns and dump them into an ammo can half full of a 50/50 mixture of acetone and transmission fluid and let them soak as long as i can stand it. Sometimes up to a month. Really loosens up the rust and grime. Ive never had it damage as finish yet, be it ww1 black, rust blue, ww2 parkerizing, or even 100 year old Smith and Wesson nickel plate.
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  #13  
Old 03-25-2020, 10:19 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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That could be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M-Peltier View Post
Theres a very good chance the internals look great.
But I would not bet on it.
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  #14  
Old 03-25-2020, 10:59 PM
moleary moleary is offline
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Grips off...Kroil soak everything else for about a week...wipe down...lightly oil...then TAKE PHOTOS AND POST THEM FOR US!!
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2020, 11:36 PM
aumikeg aumikeg is offline
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Thank all of you for all the feedback. I will begin the cleaning process as soon as I can. Unfortunately that brings up another issue. I am not sure who stocks Kano Kroil locally, and I have been unsuccessful so far in sourcing it (open to suggestions). I live in Orange County, Florida, which officially goes on lockdown tomorrow. Amazon says they can have a spray can to me in a week. I currently clean my guns with Ballistol. No idea if that would work for this, old guns are new to me. Should I wait to for the Kroil oil? It makes no difference to me, I will do as all of you suggest. The piece waited this long...
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  #16  
Old 03-26-2020, 01:16 AM
stan2 stan2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aumikeg View Post
Thank all of you for all the feedback. I will begin the cleaning process as soon as I can. Unfortunately that brings up another issue. I am not sure who stocks Kano Kroil locally, and I have been unsuccessful so far in sourcing it (open to suggestions). I live in Orange County, Florida, which officially goes on lockdown tomorrow. Amazon says they can have a spray can to me in a week. I currently clean my guns with Ballistol. No idea if that would work for this, old guns are new to me. Should I wait to for the Kroil oil? It makes no difference to me, I will do as all of you suggest. The piece waited this long...
aumikeg,

Welcome to the Forum !

Some believe Ballistol is a good substitute for Kroil.

Disassemble, apply Ballistol, let the parts soak in Zip-Lock style bags, and then clean as above.

Best Regards,
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  #17  
Old 03-26-2020, 06:28 AM
filson filson is offline
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Our local NAPA carries Kroil. Also, you can contact Kano Labs in Nashville, TN. They will direct ship to your home. I've bought Kroil direct from them for over 20 years.
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  #18  
Old 03-26-2020, 12:49 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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I have been getting it directly from Kano labs as well.

http://www.kanolabs.com/

They have a number of other products that I have using as well. Lately I got some Sili Kroil from them to try out which they claim is just Kroil with Silicone added. I am liking it pretty well as a general gun lube.
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  #19  
Old 03-26-2020, 01:08 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Agree with Stan. If Ballistol is what you have, slather it with Ballistol.
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  #20  
Old 03-26-2020, 05:01 PM
aumikeg aumikeg is offline
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Thanks again for the comments. If everyone was as nice as the people on gun forums the world would be a much better place.

She's in plastic bags soaking in Ballistol. What is the general consensus for soak time? A week?

Last edited by aumikeg; 03-26-2020 at 09:46 PM.
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  #21  
Old 03-26-2020, 06:58 PM
1saxman 1saxman is offline
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Be sure to include the grips in the Ballistol soak - its great for wood. Later, scrub them with a toothbrush to clean out the checkering. You might find a pit behind each rust spot or you might get lucky.
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  #22  
Old 03-26-2020, 07:29 PM
aumikeg aumikeg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
Be sure to include the grips in the Ballistol soak - its great for wood. Later, scrub them with a toothbrush to clean out the checkering. You might find a pit behind each rust spot or you might get lucky.
Wow, thank you! You read my mind.
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  #23  
Old 04-02-2020, 05:31 PM
aumikeg aumikeg is offline
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Hello all. I apologize for the delayed post, things have been crazy lately. I do not think the Ballistol worked like I hoped. Should I leave the gun in its current state or try something else? See pics.
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  #24  
Old 04-03-2020, 06:22 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is online now
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Bronze wool and oil as I mentioned in post #11.
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  #25  
Old 04-03-2020, 07:50 AM
Scott Wilson Scott Wilson is online now
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I think that you have done about as well as can be expected with that pistol, as regards the pitting. If you like the gun, oil it and leave it alone. Any kind of aggressive cleaning/scrubbing with abrasives will not yield much more, especially in the bottom of the pitting and you would run the risk of leaving unsightly and spotty rub patterns.
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