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Old 08-26-2009, 06:34 PM
SurvivalInstUSAF SurvivalInstUSAF is offline
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Help Colt 1911 Date 1918

I need some help with a Government Issue Colt 1911 that has a manufacture date of 1918.

Here is what I know for fact. My great grandfather was in WWI and was wounded on two separate occasions the second time ended up being fatal and he died late in 1918. The U.S. Flag was received by my great grandmother and a few of soldiers that served with my great grandfather presented my grandfather (he was 11 at that time) with a Colt 1911 and US holster (G&K, 1918, A.G.). My grandfather used this 45 every time he went hunting until 1990s when he stopped going hunting because of his age and health (he was in his mid 80s).

He passed this Colt 45 to me when I retired from the Air Force. He told me that the gun has never been worker on and all the parts are the original.
That is all I know about this Colt 1911’s history.

Here is what I can see and find on this gun and what I have found out from a lot of internet searching.

The slide’s markings:
The left slide is marked
PATENTED APR 20, 1897, SEPT, 9, 1902
DEC19, 1905, FEB, 14, 1911AUG, 19, 1913
It has a free running colt (no circle around the colt). Then the markings show.
That is the only marking on the left side of the slide.

The right side has only “MODEL OF 1911, U.S.ARMY”

The frame’s markings in clued:
the left side.
UNITED STATES PROPERY (starting on the front edge.)
The left side of the frame near trigger guard and above the magazine release is a military acceptance stamp of an eagle head S11, no other markings on the left side of the frame.

The right side of the frame only has the serial number No 350XXX between the handle and the slide lock hole.
The barrel is marked with an H and P.
I cannot find any other markings on the outside of this Colt. So I gather it has never been inspect by any armory for repairs of inspection.

The markings that I found when it was disassembled are as follows.

The inside of the slide has the letters N, D, and the number 4.

The only markings on the barrel are the H and P on the top of the barrel.

On the frame around the disconnector hole at the 12 o’clock position is an H, around the 2o’clock position G, at the 4/5 o’clock position R, then at the 6 o’clock position S. That is all I could find on the inside of the frame.
From my research I found out that Colt did commercial transferred to the government. The "S" stamp at the 6 o'clock position from the disconnector hole indicates it was indeed a commercial gun. On a standard 1918 government pistol the position would have a "G". Other marks indicate H=Provisional Ordnance inspector mark, G= Government Issue, and R=Colt inspectors mark.

I am not looking to sell this Colt. It is an outstanding shooting gun, about 50% of the bluing (black) has rubbed off, the grips are original 15 rows of diamonds in between the two larger diamonds, and it has two original two-tone clips, no marking on the clips. The holster is in great shape; it was only used to store this Colt when not being used.

So the question is: what do all of these markings mean? Did I get the correct information for the internet on the few of the markings that I found? What is the value of a Colt like this? And any advice on how to keep this gun in good order. Like: should I get it reblued, replace the grips to keep the original ones from getting marked up, and so on.
Old 08-26-2009, 06:47 PM
1-DAB 1-DAB is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 1,077
i'm sure others who know more will reply shortly, but short answer: leave it alone. don't refinish or replace anything. field strip it and clean it and oil it.

value: hard to say without pix and even then, in person inspection is preferred. do a search for Cabela's gun library, look for 1911 pistols (they are in several areas due to non-standard data entries), find one close to yours and you will get an idea on the retail value.

from what you describe, sounds like an all original 1911. keep it somewhere safe.
Old 08-26-2009, 07:09 PM
Caspian17 Caspian17 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,944
Post some pictures if you could detailing the things you described. The experts here will be able to boggle your mind with info.
Old 08-27-2009, 12:56 AM
SurvivalInstUSAF SurvivalInstUSAF is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 5
here are some photos

Lettering did no show up that great on the inside of the frame and the same is true of the inside of the slide.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:02 AM
SurvivalInstUSAF SurvivalInstUSAF is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 5
Here are the rest

Here are my final photos. Tell me what you think of my Colt.

To correct my first post was told that my 45 finish is becoming a brownishblack patina color and is at about 80 to 85% there. That this is common on 1917 and 1918s because Colt rushed their production and the finshed suffered making these the "Black Army Colt 1911s".

Thanks to everyone that have replied to my posting! (so far)
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by SurvivalInstUSAF; 08-27-2009 at 01:57 AM.
Old 08-27-2009, 06:18 AM
ADC ADC is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Elizabethtown, Pa.
Age: 71
Posts: 2,151
Thanks for posting. I'm not an expert but unless there is something special with this one I would guess somewhere between 2000 and 3000 bucks.

Obviously monetary value isn't its real value to you.

Thanks for posting.
Old 08-27-2009, 06:37 AM
oldcanuck oldcanuck is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 3,547
Being that it has so much family history..... priceless.

The pictures IMO indicate less condition than the estimated 80-85%, and I would agree with 'dsk' at around $1500.- As a comparison, his pictured example would be estimated at around $2200-2500.-
Old 08-27-2009, 12:56 PM
1saxman 1saxman is online now
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Scott; if you are on the sidelines in any deal I'm making, please butt IN!
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