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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    Anyway, I'm generally a sucker for old things. Even when I buy a book, I usually search online for a 1st Edition. Just how I am I guess. I restore vintage cars for a living, so it's part of every day life for me. A WWI pistol would be more a collectible than a weapon used for self-defense or target practice. I've got a couple others for those purposes (even though I'm very new to the handgun scene overall). My finances don't allow it much, but I'm a collector at heart and it's always the older the better for me.

    Dan
  2. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    So these "parts guns" that may have started life as an original WWI era M1911, are they usually advertized as such or do I just need to know what I'm looking at?

    Dan
  3. bobkk

    bobkk Member

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    When I was in Germany if we had orders to go stateside. We could go to Frankfurt and buy a 45 from the Army and bring it home. I didn't buy one. Dumb on my part. That was 50 some years ago.
  4. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You need to know what your looking at. Many times, just having serial numbers will help. You may come across a colt slide and a frame thats marked us property and run the numbers to find the frame is a remington rand. Its actually very common. Sometimes people dont know and sometimes they arent saying....
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, Blimp, the Colt 1900, based on a Browning 1897 patent was the first auto pistol to use a slide, which was Browning's idea, but the FN 1899/1900 pictured is a different gun and does not use a slide. It was a clever design but, AFAIK, a dead end.

    Jim
  6. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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  7. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    "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 "---Blimp Edwards

    You already know the answer....
    Do you want one for nostalgia reasons,
    a collection, ..etc?
    If not, I suggest a more modern arms.....

    edit:
    Phillippines made 1911's are clones, but awesome shooters.
    Today, 1911's are abundant.....and priced from OK
    to WTF......
    only one way to know.....buy a s**tload of them....
    ask Dan....
    If you only want one....take Dan's advice in choosing.
    He is our resident 1911 freak...er, I mean aficianado.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, Blimp,

    My bad. I should have said the FN 1900 does not use the type of slide used on other Browning pistols that is an inverted "U" shape coming down over the whole top of the gun. The 1900 slide is partly inside the frame and uses a separate breechblock held in by screws, unlike the one piece slide/breechblock use on other Browning guns.

    I do note on one site the old myth that a Model 1900 was used to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, starting WWI. Not true. The pistols used by the assassins were Model 1910 Brownings in .380 caliber.

    Jim
  9. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    Gotchya.

    So is there a good resource besides Clawson's Collector's Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols? When you said splurge, I didn't think you meant to the tune of $250. Why is this book so expensive?

    So if I were to show you this gun, what stands out to you? Granted you only have these pictures to work with. http://www.gunsamerica.com/997094428/This_US_ARMY_1911_COL.htm#

    Dan
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Wow! I knew the so-called "big book" was into fancy prices, but if the small (146 pages) book is up that high, I am really astonished.

    That gun pictured looks good to me. My only reservation would be on the grips which look too good and are the wrong color. The barrel seems to have been filed or sanded in some way I have not seen before, partly obliterating the P and H marks, though some at that time were pretty rough.

    Jim
  11. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    That barrel has been wire brushed, there are still some deep pits in it.
  12. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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  13. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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  14. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would do alot of shopping before I spent 2000 on one.
  15. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    The cd for $20 has the whole book on it?

    I just threw that $2000 example out there as a curiosity. I have found some other examples that are tempting at some of the auction sites for under a grand. At that price, even if they turn out not to be a legit WWI era gun it seems like it's still an okay price for a 1911, supposing it shoots.

    Dan
  16. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Pretty much, although it is a pain to find what you are looking for which is why I like the book. I would rather have the big book but it is way expensive so I am content with the small book. Its still a pretty good deal what with the CD the Clawson book and that other book which didnt come with mine.:(. BTW, I got a 1943/44 Ithaca M1911A1 that is a parts gun. It has the correct frame and slide and most of the internals. The only parts on mine that are not Ithaca are the mainspring housing which has 9 ribs (I need a 7 rib) and the right grip which is a Colt. Looks almost like the Keyes grip that came with the Ithaca. With the Clawson book you can look up all those details and know what you got. Mine is in pretty good condition on the outside and the internals look new. I have a few pics in my album either on page one or two. Paid $400 for it with the Pilots shoulder holster and 1943 .45 ball ammo.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  17. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    Wow, that's really a price I can get behind. Where did you find it? Gun show?

    Dan
  18. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I got it from a relatives boyfriend. Neither of us at the time knew anything about that gun so I offered $400 and he jumped at it. After that I got the Clawson book and have been learning mucho stuff about the M1911A1.
  19. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    Nice! Maybe I'll get lucky like that some day.

    Dan
  20. Blimp Edwards

    Blimp Edwards New Member

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    What are your thoughts on this one? An "X" serial number?

    ( dot com link, am I not allowed to mention them? My apologies if so.)

    Dan
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2012
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