COLT 1911-RUSSIAN ORDER

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by reinhard, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    this 1911 pistol belongs to a friend,asked me to post these pics, he recently purchased this gun and want to know the value of his gun,thanks

    Attached Files:

  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, Reinhard,

    IMHO, not only has the gun been refinished (not very well) but the "English Order" marking is fake. Is the serial number in range C23000-C89000?

    For the reasons above, I hesitate to assign any value, even a guess.

    (Some collectors might see the Munich proofs as detracting from the value; I consider them as making no difference.)

    Jim
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  3. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    Hello Jim, here's a pic of the serial nmbr,my friend wants to sell this gun and I would be the new owner,but I won't take it if it's refinished ,he wants $2500 for it
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  4. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    munich proofmarks ,what does that mean ?
  5. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Besides the refinish (shouldn't it be a higher polish?) the trigger appears to be from a M1911A1.
  6. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    I hope for him that this is not a part gun,,I think you are correct Dean it looks like a 1911 A1 trigger,grips look fishy too
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Deadin is correct, the trigger is wrong, and the ".45 AUTO" barrel is not original. Those were commercial guns, sold out of regular production, so they were highly polished and have the hard black shiny finish standard at the time. If you have any other Colt pistols or revolvers of that period, you can see that type of finish, which was applied with Carbonia blue in a gas oven. They did not have any kind of "wartime" finish at that time. That gun not only shows signs of sanding down and filing, but of some kind of attempt at a Parkerized (phosphate) finish, which those guns did not have. So the gun does not have its original finish, some parts are not original, and (IMHO) the Cyrillic marking is bogus. That makes it not only a poorly refinished gun but a fake.

    The markings on the left side above the trigger guard are German proof marks; the shield with the diamonds is the mark of the Munich proof house (taken from the flag of Bavaria). There are also German proofs on the slide and on the barrel. All that means is that at one time, the gun was sold on the commercial market in postwar (West?) Germany.

    The "English Order" amounted to some 51,000 pistols in the range C23000 to C89000. As you can see, that is 66,000, so there were some 15,000 pistols made at the same time that were sold on the commercial market. If one acquires such a pistol, there is temptation to add a bogus "English Order" marking and increase the value accordingly.

    I am sorry to say this, but I think your friend was "taken"; I hope he didn't pay more than $400 or so, but I suspect he did.

    Jim
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  8. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Reinhard,
    You are right about the grips. They are much too nice a condition when compared to the rest of the gun. I have a set or modern replicas that are similar, even down to the patterened grain showing in them. (I don't recall originals as having much visible grain.)
  9. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    Jim he payed 2500$ for it ,too bad , thank you for your valued opinion
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  10. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Yes, that one is OK. Compare the guns, especially the cyrillic marking and you will see why I called the one you posted a fake. The finish is worn on the collectorfirerarns gun, but even so you can tell the difference. FWIW, I consider $8000 too much for that gun in that condition.

    For a real Russian purchase gun, $2500 would be a steal; as it is, I don't believe it is worth anywhere near that, as I said. One trick the fakers use routinely is to make a gun that is close to an original, then price it a lot lower than the original would bring but still high enough not to be ridiculous.

    If the price had been $8000, your friend would have either been unable to afford it or would have had it appraised. If it had been $100, he would have felt that something had to be wrong with it. The faker hit just the right price, where the buyer says to himself, "If it is real, I made a great deal; if it is not, I haven't lost that much."

    Jim
  12. valbehaved

    valbehaved Member

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    Actually, this gun might have started its life as a real "english order" russian procurement gun.
    The stamp on the left side might be original - but impossible to tell just by the pictures.
    I own a real one, and the only way to tell for sure is to "letter" it. It would say "shipped to Russian goverment" on the letter, if correct.
    Now, about 10 years ago, about 250 of these guns were imported from Russia/Finland/etc by Frankonia company in germany.
    About 50 of these subsequently made their way into US at about $750 each..
    All of them have been redone, buffed, mismatched, etc, but were correct Russian procurement guns and were marked "engl. order" in russian on the left side.
    I have not seen the one with the west german/german markings, but it would be plausible to assume that the ones imported to Germany were stamped with some sort of german import marks. I wonder if KF could be Frankonia import stamp...
    I would invest $120 and "letter" he gun..
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  13. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    the owner of the gun lives in Europe,the so called russian order 1911 guns are free for sale here,no permit is required for this gun, could be the reason for counterfeiting these guns
  14. valbehaved

    valbehaved Member

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    Since the gun is in Europe, it is more likely to be the original Russian contract gun, imported by Frankonia 10-12 years ago. Buffed, modified, reblued,but most likely an original Russian contract gun.
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    My opinion was based on the Cyrillic marking itself, not on the overall appearance of the gun. While it is not as clear as I would like, the letters appear to be out of alignment and not properly shaped for the Cyrillic letters they should be. Reinhard has the gun; if he is satisfied that the marking is correct and that the gun, even though reworked, is genuine, that is may be all that counts, but I was asked my opinion and gave it.

    I still think the marking is fake but it is possible it was "enhanced" by restamping or engraving. I will consider it fake at least until I see more convincing pictures. (One point is that the person who did the marking does not seem to know a Б from a Ъ, and the "3"s (Z's) are not the same.)

    Jim
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  16. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    Jim I will ask the owner if I can take better pictures, usually when you say smoke there is fire,so I am very careful in buying a gun that is cataloged as rare,I read some previous threads considering the fake PPK's,that was frightening
    I will pass on this gun
  17. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    I took a close and long look at the cyrillic writing ,have to say that they differ a lot ,like you said Jim the A is different and the last letter that looks like a B is totally different, or has the russian alphabet more variants of the same letter and is the cyrillic marking done by colt or somewhere else?
  18. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I don't know where or by whom the marking was done (the general assumption is that it was factory, but I know of no proof of that), but I have seen two genuine Russian purchase guns and the marking is in line and neatly done; the two were identical. It may have been rollmarked considering the place it was put, but I think a single line stamp, either hand held or in a jig, would have been OK, as the marking is pretty light.*

    Like other alphabets, there is some variance in letters, but those are different letters, and no Russian would make that mistake. It would be like confusing an "R" and a "P" or an "O" and a "Q"; something a Chinese might do, but no Englishman would.

    *Rollstamps are used where the metal is thin and the required impression is deep enough that a single stamp would distort or bend the metal. A roll stamp applies only one letter or one small part of the marking at a time so as not to bend or warp the metal being stamped.

    Just FWIW, here is a Colt rollstamp showing the face and the side, where it slides onto a heavy shaft.

    Jim

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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  19. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    Jim I am again in your debt for your help,thanks
  20. valbehaved

    valbehaved Member

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    The original cyrillic marking was either rollmarked or handstamped - there is a slight difference in the depth of the strike/roll between the beginning and the end of the inscription. It is fairly light. It also appears to have been done after the blueing was applied.
    I agree,that the certain letter fonts looks slightly different on this particular gun, but one has to take into account the fact that if this gun was buffed, and some of the inscription details could have been lost - for example, I cannot see the serifs clearly at all.
    Again, to know for sure, one would have to letter the gun.
    It would also be interesting to find out if Frankonia kept the list of the serials of the imported guns(I am sure they did).
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