WWII Colt 1911 Rebuild ?

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by ysacres, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Wazzu WA
    Broomhandle
    Member
    Posts: 4
    (9/28/02 3:02:54 pm)
    Reply WWII Colt 1911 Rebuild ?
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    Around 15 years ago I picked up a Colt 1911 at a gun show for $300. The pistol appears absolutely new with all original parts, WWII plastic grips and a dark blue mottled parkerized finish. By mottled I mean there are different shades of finish. The serial number places it as being made in late 1918.The barrel was made by Springfield Armory.The internals also show absolutely no wear. There are no arsenal rebuild codes on the pistol.
    Anyone know what I might have ?

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2804
    (9/29/02 8:44:01 am)
    Reply Re: WWII Colt 1911 Rebuild ?
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    Sounds like you've got a parts gun.....or it could be a WWII rebuild. An original WWI M1911 of 1918 vintage would be blued, not parkerized, and have wooden, not plastic, grips.

    I don't understand when you say " a dark blue mottled parkerized finish. By mottled I mean there are different
    shades of finish." A parkerized finish is grey, or greenish, or olive, not blue.

    You also say "The barrel was made by Springfield Armory." Could well be. According to D.B. Bady in "Colt Automatic Pistols"......."After 1920, the Armory was authorized to produce spare parts and replacement parts for the Model 1911 pistol. When the change to Model 1911A1 was made, the Armory tooling for frames, triggers, and mainspring housings became obsolete. After 1925, manufacture was confined to barrels, sears, extractors, and other small parts. In the fiscal year 1927, approximately 17,000 barrels were produced."

    In the early days of WWII, the military reissued all of M1911s still in inventory. In those hectic days, they may have rebuilt many of them with any parts on hand.

    Does it have a flat, or arched, mainspring housing? Can you post a picture?

    Edited by: Xracer at: 9/29/02 10:08:06 am

    Broomhandle
    Member
    Posts: 5
    (9/29/02 11:34:51 am)
    Reply Colt 1911
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    The gun part markings and configuration are all correct for this vintage 1911 pistol. The finish (exterior and interior) are perfect, with no corrosion or polishing. Also, I can't imagine someone reducing the value of a mint condition 1911 by parkerizing it. The finish is more like a heavy black finish and not a coarse phosphate one. I would rather think it was perhaps refinished and equipped with 1911A1 grips during WWII. I have never seen one of the late 1911 "black" finishes but perhaps the finish is original. I called Charles Clawson (Colt .45 Service Pistols) about this pistol when I lived in Fort wayne Indiana. He said my theory was entirely possible and that not all rebuilds were arsenal marked. I do agree that it would take the personal inspection of an expert, such as Clawson to ever know for sure.

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2811
    (9/29/02 5:28:01 pm)
    Reply Re: Colt 1911
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    Hmmmmmm....that's a puzzlement.

    I've never seen a "black" parkerized finish on a WWII M1911A1.

    Anybody else got any ideas?

    boomatic
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 76
    (9/30/02 2:12:18 pm)
    Reply Re: Colt 1911
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    Sounds like a very rare piece. I think the only thing to do is send it directly to me for inclusion in my...uh...museum...yeah, that's it...the Unusual 1911 museum that I am going to open...sometime...soon.

    I promise I will give you credit of ownership...sure...no problem. Xracer and I might even use it in my upcoming Presidential campaign. "1911 .45s for every man woman and child!!!!!!!!!!"

    BTW, welcome Broomhandle...

    My name is Boom-atic, and I am a 1911aholic...


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    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind."
    Thomas Jefferson

    Silver72
    Member
    Posts: 4
    (11/5/02 5:53:01 pm)
    Reply Re: Colt 1911
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    Here is a picture of a 1918 REM-UMC that has been refinished. It was apparently bead blasted to give it a parkerized look but the final finish was a blue rather than the Arsenal brown/green.




    Silver72
    Member
    Posts: 5
    (11/5/02 5:57:29 pm)
    Reply Re: Colt 1911
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    This is a 1918 Colt with most of the original blue. The angle does not show the smooth sides very well. Side by side of the two guns show a distint difference in the texture of the bluing.
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