A Rare Colt 1911 Lunchbox Pistol ?

This is a discussion on A Rare Colt 1911 Lunchbox Pistol ? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hummmm....No Inspector Stamp & No Serial Number. Look at the odd location of the UNITED STATES PROPERTY & the location of the rampant Colt logo ...

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Thread: A Rare Colt 1911 Lunchbox Pistol ?

  1. #1
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    Question A Rare Colt 1911 Lunchbox Pistol ?

    Hummmm....No Inspector Stamp & No Serial Number.

    Look at the odd location of the UNITED STATES PROPERTY & the location of the rampant Colt logo almost right centered on the slide.

    Colt employees used to build one at home by smuggling parts out in the bottom of their lunch boxes.

    What if you owned this one and wanted to carry it for personal protection?
    Would you have to go to the ATF and have a serial # added to it?



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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    I don't think Serial numbers were required until the late 60's so, no, you would not need apply them or get them. .. but... sure would like to have that anyway.

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    Got a coupla idiot marks,oh well i'm sure it's worth a buncha cash
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    Idiot marks even on the slide? Sheesh.

    Not sure about the serial # requirement but sure wish I owned it. $$$$$$
    "Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem". - Ronald Reagan 1981

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    Wasn't it Johnny Cash who built a Cadillac "One part at a time"?
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Hummmm....No Inspector Stamp & No Serial Number.
    Look at the odd location of the UNITED STATES PROPERTY & the location of the rampant Colt logo almost right centered on the slide.
    Actually, those are the correct locations for both on a 1918/19 pistol. The US property marking was authorized to be moved from the left side of the pistol to the location shown in the picture on 5 June, 1918. Colt used 4 different styles of "transitional" slides in 1918. If you notice the finish, that pistol is known as a "Black Army" to Colt collectors. In 1918 the Government gave the OK to Colt to drop the last couple steps in final finishing to speed production, it gave the pistol a dull blue/black look. If you were to remove the stocks, you'd probably find it has the heart shape cut-out too.




    (Charles W. Clawson pictures)


    What if you owned this one and wanted to carry it for personal protection? Would you have to go to the ATF and have a serial # added to it?
    That is still hotly debated among collectors, if the pistol never had one, meaning the pistol wasn't defaced, would it by law need one since they weren't required until the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968? But, Colt pistols have always had serial numbers on them since the beginning in 1836. It would be something I would call the BATFE about (from a pay phone though. ). It being a Colt, it would have had a serial number if it were taken out of the plant legitimately.

    I own a ATF stamped M1911 (serial had been ground off)
    Last edited by OD*; August 14th, 2009 at 12:33 AM.
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    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    I would be very leery of buying tha pistol. My guess is that the true owner of that gun is ----COLT! Even if the parts were stolen 90 years ago, they are still STOLEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Thumbs up

    Yes, but, there is a statute of limitations on theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecup View Post
    I would be very leery of buying tha pistol. My guess is that the true owner of that gun is ----COLT! Even if the parts were stolen 90 years ago, they are still STOLEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks OD. Incredibly interesting, informative and clarifying post that you put here.

    That is one reason why you are my personal Slabsides Gun Guru.

    I was kinda captivated by the photos of this particular pistol when I spotted the PICS on the web.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    OD*
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    You're welcome my friend.

    They are fascinating examples to research, theories abound as to how they came to be, I like the "lunch box" version, but I am far from being an expert on them.


    I certainly appreciate your kind sentiments.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
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    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    If I wanted to buy that pistol, I wouldn't worry about it at all. I have several unserialized firearms. So long as it was made before 1964, IIRC, it's perfectly fine.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

    NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Tennessee Certified Instructor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agave View Post
    If I wanted to buy that pistol, I wouldn't worry about it at all. I have several unserialized firearms. So long as it was made before 1964, IIRC, it's perfectly fine.
    Serial numbers were not required until 1968, unfortunately the problem you run into is, legitimate Colt's have aways had serial numbers, and the BATFE is aware of this fact.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    I don't know why that be an issue for them to know. They also know that people manufacture (not really at the level of a FFL Manufacturer) and make their own recievers and they include a specific methodology for those folks to allow them to not put serial numbers on them, and even go so far as to tell them how to mark them if they ever do sell them (name address etc.). I know of no rule that requires retroactive serial number marking even if it was just customary or voluntary of the original manufacturer. Its never addressed.

    Now if that gun was to ever need to be transfered via 4473 then someone would have to mark it.

    The problem I can foresee... is for a person who lives in a state that requires the gun that is to be carried be listed by serial number. Or requires registration to own by serial number. That person would then have an issue with STATE law not Federal. If thats the case, send that gun to me.

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't carry it, but that's just me.

    I would have a nice period correct holster made for it and wear it, along with my real defensive firearm, at BBQ;s and such. That is a BBQ Gun, no doubt about it. I would change out the springs, keeping all of the originals, and shoot it once every couple of years or so.

    My $0.02.

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    I wouldn't either. Because of its special history and value.

    Also note that we probably don't know what Colt policy was back then. I bet you that they may have even allowed their employees to have parts. And I bet if we look back then that we might find that no law defined a Firearm in that state like it does now with the frame. They may be not stolen at all.

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    Not quite. My friend has a Browning Hi-Power without any serial number or other identifying marks that came with a Vietnam-Era owner's manual. Probably a model originally issued during the late unpleasantness by an agency that would prefer not to be mentioned too much. Turns out that the original FN plant in Belgium would, as a favor to a few select agencies from allied nations, ship them from the plant sans identifying marks under the understanding that the end-users would mark them as required once they were delivered.

    And I'll be danged if some of those agencies plum forgot to do that.

    They're out there legally and without any positive identification of illegal defacing, the BATFE can take a flying leap through a rolling donut.

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