Colt Automatic 45 "Government Model"

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by nhenden, May 21, 2011.

  1. nhenden

    nhenden New Member

    May 21, 2011
    This is a gun of my father's (he is now age 85). Colt Automatic 45 , stamped Government Model Serial #C116915, Horn grips, good condition, nickel plated, all original finish, some scratches but the finish is solid all over. Gun fires well. have copies of old carrying permits from the 1950's & 60's but no other paperwork. any idea of value? Have three magazines.
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  2. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Welcome to the forum.
    Your Dad's gun is a commercial model Colt ('c' in serial number is indicative), the "Blue Book" indicates manufacture in 1919. This source also says this series was made between 1912 and 1925 and 138,532 pieces were made, all of which had a polished blue finish ONLY.
    I suspect, from that info, that your Dad's piece was "refinished/plated" at some time during its life.
    Value will depend upon over all condition and how well the refinishing project was done.
    Collector value of a refinished gun is generally, about 1/2 of what an all original piece will bring.
    Post some pics for proper evaluation.

  3. nhenden

    nhenden New Member

    May 21, 2011
    Thanks for info! Don't know about gun being refinished. My dad had no idea it was that old. He bought it from a co-worker in late 50's-early 60's who was ex-Navy officer. It had been his sidearm. My father thought is was chrome over nickel or nickel plated. I have not taken gun apart but the one pic shows inside bottom. I don't know what signs of refinishing would be? I don't think I see any. Just finished talking to my significant other who says this is 1911 Colt. Should I be on other forum?
    i don't seem to be able to upload pics. Keep getting error msg.
  4. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    If you are getting an error, they are probably too big. Read the limits in the upload page and that will guide you for resizing for here.

  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Today the tendency is to refer to all those guns as "1911" models, but technically only the guns made by or for the U.S. government were designated "Model 1911" or "Model 1911A1". The Colt commercial guns were called the "Government Model". In general, the only difference was in the marking and the finish.

    So you have a Colt Government Model (commercial) made in 1919. The grips are not original. Nickel finish was not offered as an option until 1935.

  6. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Following are pics of Nancy's "Govt. Model".
    From the pics - it shows signs of having been lightly buffed before Nickel (it looks like chrome, to me) plating. The grip panels appear to be hand made from "stag" natural materials. Your Dad must have had big hands, those panels are very thick. I don't know if the "lanyard loop" is original to that gun - anybody know?
    Very nice pictures, BTW. Thanks. (see next post for remainder of pics)



    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  7. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    The rest of the "Gov't Model" pics.



  8. Heretic

    Heretic New Member

    May 20, 2011
    I'm sorry, I had to go get a towel. Did I miss anything?
  9. Danny

    Danny Member

    Oct 8, 2005
    West Va
    I collect these Colts & have a 1917 Government Model also. I must say that looks like it was sent back to the factory for that nice wax job. You have a beautiful Colt there friend & thanks for showing it to us.
    Kind Regards
  10. Hawg

    Hawg Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2011
    It's a beautiful gun. There's only one thing wrong with it................................

    It's not mine!:D
  11. aquablue9081

    aquablue9081 New Member

    May 22, 2011
    Ya i love the gun. Looks like the scrathes have been filled in with nickel though. Dont care would love to have it. I bet it could tell a story or 2.
  12. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2006
    It was a valuable gun, until someone took it to the local bumper chrome shop.
    The gun is chromed (badly.) The magazines were not fully plated. You can see the nickel undercoat around the holes in the magazines.
    BTW, plating doesn't "fill in" scratches.
  13. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    I agree with Bill that the finish is not nickel, but chrome. The gun looks as if it might have been rusted, then someone buffed out the rust and had the gun plated. It would have been a nice, and fairly valuable, gun had someone taken care of it.

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