Colt Model 1911 (pre-A1) rehab.

This is a discussion on Colt Model 1911 (pre-A1) rehab. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This gun has been in my family since 1918, great-gramps carried it in WW1, then my Grampa in WW2, then my uncle (early 60's) and ...

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Thread: Colt Model 1911 (pre-A1) rehab.

  1. #1
    Member Array Florian's Avatar
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    Colt Model 1911 (pre-A1) rehab.

    This gun has been in my family since 1918, great-gramps carried it in WW1, then my Grampa in WW2, then my uncle (early 60's) and he handed it off to me in the early 90s. By then the gun was trashed...lots of crud in about every orifice and it hadnt been fired in about 35 years...
    I kept it in my closet with my other firearms for 10 or so years...so we're nearing 50 years w/o a firing. As my interest in sidearms spawned, so did my interest in the heritage of this gun. It was produced in 1916 by Colt. It apparantly has seen land, water and air as the Navy, Marines and again Navy (aviation branch) are represented in my family.
    I began with a field strip to see what shape the guts were in and frankly, they were disgusting. The mag spring was encrusted with all sorts of gobbledygook, the slide had a varnish-like substance caked on it and the rest was bad shape.
    I still have some work to do getting the finish just right, but here it is as of today...
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    Would love to see pictures.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    Member Array Florian's Avatar
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    sorry, damn file took forever to upload. BTW, the hollow points have been replaced by 230 gr. FMJ round nosed ammo



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    This is an exciting post. What a great pistol with its long association with your family. Hope you can load photos. I'd be interested in seeing your Colt.

    Best thing you can do for it is a new set of Wolff springs. New springs will go far in minimizing wear and tear, even if you only shoot it a little. The old springs could be saved back for originality.

    I bought myself a 21st birthday present, a circa 1918 Colt 1911 which went on to become the most used 1911 in the collection. That was 30 years ago this year and quite a few thousand rounds. The old guns are tough.

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    Senior Member Array BlackPR's Avatar
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    Careful... You might have a thing of real value there. Scrubbing the Patina off the metal could absolutely destroy the value. Don't refinish or replace or change a thing until you get that gun looked at by a real 1911 nut. Average price for that might start at around $2k, but it depends on a lot of things. It's not uncommon for them to sell at 10 times that amount.

    Of course, you should post lots of pictures here, first. Paying attention to all markings on the frame, bbl, etc.. Take pictures of any magazines as well.
    The facts are indisputable. There is more data supporting the benefits of Conceal Carry than there is supporting global warming. If you choose ignorance, in light of all the evidence, in order to bolster your irrational fear of guns, you are a greater threat to society than any gun owner.

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    Member Array Florian's Avatar
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    I do have the original springs, and have the Wolff mag springs ready for swap....I have put about 150-200 rounds out of it so far....its a great, easy gun to shoot.

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    Very cool. The personal history of the gun makes it all the more valuable IMO.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Senior Member Array BlackPR's Avatar
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    For whatever reason, your picture isn't working.
    The facts are indisputable. There is more data supporting the benefits of Conceal Carry than there is supporting global warming. If you choose ignorance, in light of all the evidence, in order to bolster your irrational fear of guns, you are a greater threat to society than any gun owner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPR View Post
    Careful... You might have a thing of real value there. Scrubbing the Patina off the metal could absolutely destroy the value. Don't refinish or replace or change a thing until you get that gun looked at by a real 1911 nut. Average price for that might start at around $2k, but it depends on a lot of things. It's not uncommon for them to sell at 10 times that amount.

    Of course, you should post lots of pictures here, first. Paying attention to all markings on the frame, bbl, etc.. Take pictures of any magazines as well.
    +1!
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    Member Array Florian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPR View Post
    For whatever reason, your picture isn't working.
    have you tried clicking on the top center of the pic while it loads? worked for me. Its a large file.


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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    My advice is to stop shooting till you know true value of the piece, you probably will never sell, but it is just going to get more valuable. Write colt manufacture and get providance papers.

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    Member Array Florian's Avatar
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    what are providance papers? Some sort of certification of age/model, etc? I guess Im rather noob-ish when it comes to this sort of stuff


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    Senior Member Array BlackPR's Avatar
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    Got the picture to work. The magazine that's half-blued and has the lanyard loop is probably original. The other one was probably added later. If you look at where the bottom of the magazine is attached, the one with the lanyard loop is pinned where the other one appears to be welded. You can verify whether they are both pinned or if I'm right and one is welded.

    The grips appear to be original. At least they're what's supposed to be on there, and this really doesn't appear to be in such terrible shape at all. The finish isn't worn all that badly -- I've certainly seen much worse. It would be nice to see the other side of the gun. There's also markings on the trigger guard, perhaps under the thumb safety (although I don't see any in this pic) and at the rear of the slide above the firing pin stop.

    Those would all be of interest to Colt junkies. Also any marks on the baseplates of the magazines. And, of course, on the bbl and lug.

    Here's my advice: You own a treasure if for nothing else than the family history. You likely own a treasure in terms of dollars and cents as well. Knowing the origin of the gun, and who carried it in which wars and being able to document that (with pictures, paperwork, whatever) makes it even more valuable. This is not a gun to carry, nor is it a range gun. It's valuable artifact.

    Just my $0.02
    The facts are indisputable. There is more data supporting the benefits of Conceal Carry than there is supporting global warming. If you choose ignorance, in light of all the evidence, in order to bolster your irrational fear of guns, you are a greater threat to society than any gun owner.

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    Senior Member Array ICTsnub's Avatar
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    But it is a carry or range gun. If you don't shoot it, it's not a gun.

    Harley rebuilt serial # 1, and refused to start it. If I was W G Davidson, I'd ride it down the hall at work.
    I'm not a lawyer or a LEO, just a pantload with a computer.

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    Senior Member Array BlackPR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTsnub View Post
    But it is a carry or range gun. If you don't shoot it, it's not a gun.

    Harley rebuilt serial # 1, and refused to start it. If I was W G Davidson, I'd ride it down the hall at work.
    I used to feel this way... and then once, I had this stamp... It was called a Franklin Z-Grill 1-cent stamp. I figured, "what good is a stamp you can't mail?"... So I mailed it. It sold later for $935,000. And I realized, "that's a lot of 1-cent stamps!"

    Of course, I'm completely lying. But still...
    The facts are indisputable. There is more data supporting the benefits of Conceal Carry than there is supporting global warming. If you choose ignorance, in light of all the evidence, in order to bolster your irrational fear of guns, you are a greater threat to society than any gun owner.

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