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Considering first 1911 purchase advice?

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:36 am
by Sharpshooterhawk
I've been hunting for a reasonably priced old 1911 for a while. Usually they go pretty fast or they're a scammer, but this caught my eye recently. Anybody have any thoughts? Is the price reasonable / if I went to examine it, anything I should be aware of?

He states WWI and WWII refurb, but I don't see any uS property stamps on it. ... d-ww2-colt

Re: Considering first 1911 purchase advice?

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:58 am
by patrick_ford
I would advise only purchasing a used military 1911 in person. There are too many variables that could make it a bum deal to do so sight unseen. If you are able to easily go to Washington from Georgia to examine, I am sure you could find a more local, better provenanced piece that would not cost you much more money.

Variables to consider, original finishes vs refinished, re-furbed/replacement parts and functionality. If you plan on shooting the pistol you have to consider: barrel lockup, bushing fit, extractor tuning, magazine condition among other things.

I am not an expert, but I usually hunt for good condition shooters and 1911s can be tricky, especially if they have been overhauled repeatedly by US armorers since WWI.

Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.


Re: Considering first 1911 purchase advice?

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:02 am
by RWS
A general, but not universal, rule of collecting is that a firearm's value is diminished 40% to 50% if it has mis-matched numbers and/or parts, has been refinished, or has an import stamp,

This 1911 appears to have a genuine WW1 frame. Note the "United States Property" mark on the left side of the frame. It also appears to have been buffed vigorously and phosphated. An original finish for a WW1 1911 would typically be blued, and although when WW1 1911's underwent arsenal refurbishment they were usually phosphated, this is NOT a kosher refurb refinishing. The photo of the slide is too dark for me to discern any markings.

Additionally, the barrel is a WW2 High Standard barrel, as would be found in a Remington Rand, Ithaca, or Union Switch & Signal in WW2 1911A1's.

The pistol appears to have a 1911A1 arched mainspring housing, and the trigger also appears to be the short 1911A1 version, not the longer WW1 version.

Without a full detail strip it would be difficult to say with certainty that this was all that would be problematic from a collector's viewpoint, but there are enough issues to take it out of the collector's realm. From the shooter's perspective though it would probably be fine, but I personally would not put more than $700 in it. YMMV.


Re: Considering first 1911 purchase advice?

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:39 am
by Sharpshooterhawk
Thank you all for your your responses. I'm actually in WA right now just about 30 min away from the seller so I could definitely do an in person sale.

I'll give the seller a pm and ask abou the finish as well as some better (lighter) photos showing more details. Probablu also talk pricing to see if he'll play ball and set up the meet.

I'll keep you guys up to date on what happens. Thanks again!

Re: Considering first 1911 purchase advice?

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:13 pm
by Sharpshooterhawk
And the hunt continues... apparently as willing as he is to sell, WA has laws regulating private party sales to only FFL transfers and an FFL cant legally transfer to a non-resident. Oh well. Still thanks for the assist.

Re: Considering first 1911 purchase advice?

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:51 am
by jmbo57
Somewhere you got some bad advice on WA. gun laws. A private sale requires that you only have a background check, most FFL dealers will do it for 20 or 30 dollars. The gun is never transferred to the dealer, and you can do out of state sales. Maybe the owner wasn't that willing to sell after all. The dumb law requiring background checks between private sellers does make it difficult to resell a gun. I ended up getting an 03 License to save state taxes and other BS buying Garands from the CMP.

Re: Considering first 1911 purchase advice?

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:00 pm
by retread12345678
The price is reasonable IF the gun is all GI This gun looks to have buffed refinished
by another party . It might just be the picture. Consider hitting good gunshows.
REBUILT M 1911s are common, and it is possible to get a better gun for about the outlay