What's a WWI 1911 Worth?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Blimp Edwards, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    I am interested in owning an original WWI 1911 and I'm trying to get a feel for what I need to save up. I know that I can find them online for asking prices in the $1500-$2500 area. However, I was at the local gun shop and they repeatedly scoffed at online prices, saying they often sell identical guns for substantially less.

    So if I were to maybe forget the online scene and search for an example at a gun show or get lucky and find one at a gun store, or if I do look diligently enough online for that perfect deal, what can one be snagged for? I'm not made of money, so I'd be willing to buy one that is cosmetically flawed, perhaps seriously so, but of course I'd want one that still functions. Can they be had for less than my initial impression, or is that about the gist of it?

    Thanks.

    Dan
  2. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    I have a WWI 1911 and my local dealer ball parked it at 2 grand, and there are a lot of little details that will effect the value, the more corect the higher the value and the incorrect brings thing down fast...
  3. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    Thanks for the input. But how much does condition effect the price? If you had two identical guns, all original, one that looks like new and the other rusted, nicked up, etc...?

    Is there a good online resource for spotting what's original and what isn't, BTW?

    Thanks.

    Dan
  4. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Here's my nicked and rusted 1911 :) its all original minus the spring cap which was missing when I got the gun...... on line resources I am not up on , most of my research came from local family owned gun shops , small shops are a wealth of info the big shops not so much info...




    [​IMG]
  5. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    Thanks for sharing the pic. I'm drooling.

    Dan
  6. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have 2 military 1911s. One is a 1918 colt and the other a 1944 ithica and neither one is worth more than maybe 1200.00 or so.
  7. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    Where did you find them?

    Dan
  8. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The ithaca is original and the colt is not but I am an FFL and have acquired them over the years.
  9. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    An original 1911 Military Colt in 80 to 90 percent condition can easily can run into several thousands of dollars. There are a number of factors involved. Condition, originality of all parts ( Grips, barrels,, magazine, everything ). Just having the wrong grips can drastically reduce the value. The same is true of WWII 1911's, plus the added factor of who manufactured it. ( WWII 1911's were made by Remington Rand, Colt, Ithaca, USS, and Singer ), Singer only made 500 1911's, I have seen one sell for 14,000 dollars. To top off the problems in values, there are the fakes, a few re-cuts of the serial number, a couple of phony markings, and a 700 dollar gun is now a 3000 dollar gun. Fakes are now very common in WWI and WWII era 1911s. Now, the experts can spot the counterfeited guns , but the novice can't until it is too late. My advise to you ( and my advise is only worth what you are paying for it ) is to do your homework before you buy, for starters go to Culvers Shooting Page and start reading all the back post on the 1911 forum, there are some real, big name , experts on that forum incling John Holbrook who specializes in Navy 1911's, It has really gotten to the point in military 1911's " buyer beware "
  10. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    Surely there are reputable dealers that can be trusted?

    Dan
  11. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately dealers can not be experts on every thing. Many times they don't even know that the item they are selling has been altered or does not have the original parts.They are not being dishonest, just ignorant of that specific item. But then again, some of them do know and are just hoping that no one else does. As with early Colt revolvers, it is very much "Buyer beware". You would have better luck with a later 1911, WWII or Korean era, there are a lot of arsenal ( depot rebuilt/repaired ) that have mixed parts ( all proper, just on the wrong gun ) for 5 to 800.
  12. zant

    zant Active Member

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    I buy big truck parts from a guy that is a SERIOUS 1911 collector(has 44 right now),he won't buy a "collector"unlesss he strips it,photos every part and researchs it.He has so that costs in the 100s and 10 that cost over 5k each..........I just buy 1911s and shoot/carry them:)
  13. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    Wow, $500 to $800 for a WWII 1911 is something I can get behind. Otherwise, sounds like I have some research to do. So it's fairly possible to tell if a part's original or not, so long as you know what to look for?

    With my budget, I'd be quite happy with a WWI firearm that had the original slide and frame, even if much of the rest was replaced.

    Dan
  14. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Blimp just go shopping for a dealer you will see quickly that the dealers are not all the same, some are better than others and some are just plain full of BS , you need a good knowledgeable dealer that is willing to help you get what you want and at the same time educate you on firearms once you get that dealer just be a loyal customer and buy buy buy.....

    and btw why a WWI 1911 there all the same I think, except check the mag in my pic I have been told that the half blued and half steel mags are a WWI 1911 thing.
  15. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    Because I appreciate the history I guess, same as anyone. Though surely you're aware that the M1911 is a fair bit different that the later M1911A1? I think it'd be neat to have the original incarnation of the 1911.

    Dan
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