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Ww2 1911a1 Pistols


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#1 kyle

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 03:03 PM

I now this is a little off-topic, but...

I'm interested in picking up a WW2-vintage 1911A1 to go with my Thompson. Any leads as to reputable dealers/collectors who might specialize in these and how I can get in contact with them. Thanks!

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#2 SecondAmend

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 04:01 PM

Ah, WWII vintage 1911A1's. Yet another gun where, IMO, the price has far exceeded the real value.

Expect to pay a lot whoever you buy from. Last I looked on Gunbroker, Auctionarms, etc. and at local gun shows the ones in decent shape were $1,800 and up. Rusted, rattling, worn out, 50% finish 1911A1's from WWII and 1911's from before WWII were at least $900.

But don't let my negative experience damp your enthusiam and your quest. With enough searching and luck you can probably find a decent one for a reasonable price since they're not like a TSMG that had to be properly registered to be transferrable.

Assuming you have a C&R license, you don't even need to go through a dealer to have an out-of-state WWII or earlier 1911 shipped right to you.

Keep at it and Good Luck!
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#3 full auto 45

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 04:29 PM

Well I have one of those also. I have a Colt 1911A1 to go with my M1. I paid a whopping $350 for it about 5 years ago and thought I was getting ripped off, until I took it to a Colt collector and had it looked at. It is all original with matching whatevers. Now the kicker, it appraised for $2200-$2500. He had several of them in his collection that looked just like what I have and he wants anywhere from $2000-$3500 for one. I did see a real nice Remington Rand, like I sold 15 years ago for $200, for $950. I am going to the gun show in Louisville on Sunday and if I see anything I'll try to remember to get the names and let you know. After Band of Bros and SPR, they jumped in price big time.
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#4 Norm

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 04:51 PM

Several years ago, I worked for a postage meter company called "Friden." The company is now called "Neopost."

The company was based in Hayward, CA, and at the time (late 80's), all of their manufacturing was done there.

I went to this location for some training, and they gave us a tour. At one point (durring the 70's), Friden was owned by the Singer Sewing Machine Co.

Their was a display case in one of the halls that had products in which both Friden and Singer had made over time. Friden started out by making calculators and Singer, of course, sewing machines.

I noticed in the "Singer" case that their was a Colt type .45 automatic that was made by Singer durring the war. ohmy.gif It looked unused. From what I have heard, this was a VERY rare version of the 1911 pistol.

Does anyone kknow if this was true? huh.gif

About five years later, I went back for more training. The pistol was no longer in the display case. Maybe someone found out what it was worth!

Norm

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#5 brian

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 05:14 PM

the one you want will be marked "S. Mfg. Co Elizabeth, NJ" with an "S" prefix to the serial #. dry.gif

Edited by brian, 12 June 2004 - 05:17 PM.

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#6 Sgt

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 05:52 PM

I purchased a Colt 1911 on Guns America for about $1000. It looked to be about 70%, matching serial numbers. Before I knew better, I also purchased the 1911a1 for $700, but someone had enlarged the dovetails to the sight and installed a non-military one. Bought a replacement original slide for around $200. Live and learn.
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#7 Tex

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 08:33 PM

QUOTE (Norm @ Jun 12 2004, 04:51 PM)
Several years ago, I worked for a postage meter company called "Friden." The company is now called "Neopost."

The company was based in Hayward, CA, and at the time (late 80's), all of their manufacturing was done there.

I went to this location for some training, and they gave us a tour. At one point (durring the 70's), Friden was owned by the Singer Sewing Machine Co.

Their was a display case in one of the halls that had products in which both Friden and Singer had made over time. Friden started out by making calculators and Singer, of course, sewing machines.

I noticed in the "Singer" case that their was a Colt type .45 automatic that was made by Singer durring the war. ohmy.gif It looked unused. From what I have heard, this was a VERY rare version of the 1911 pistol.

Does anyone kknow if this was true? huh.gif

About five years later, I went back for more training. The pistol was no longer in the display case. Maybe someone found out what it was worth!

Norm

It is my understanding that there were only 500 or so Singers ever produced. Very rare indeed.
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#8 TNKen

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 09:19 PM

Blue Book of Gun Values puts the Singer guns, especially the 95+% guns at near $30,000. Even a 50% gun is in the teens. Have a friend with a 98% one that lives in a bank vault.

Only 500 made, one of the rarest .45's

You can still shop around and find some nice ones. Remington Rand, Union Switch and Signal, and Ithaca are some of the neater ones. The US&S guns have gotten pricey these days.

Ken
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#9 Norm

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 09:23 PM

It's been years since I've seen it (way back in '89.)

I would imagine that some one figured that it was worth to much to be "out in public."

Norm

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#10 Lancer

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 09:50 PM

I have a little story about an Ithaca 1911a1 that I purchased 10 yrs. ago from my next door neighbor who was the WW2 vet that brought it back from the South Pacific. This was his side arm and include his holster and belt along with his knife.
He was in the rear echelon his entire tour of duty so he saw no combat. He was able to smuggle it home without incident in the false bottom of a box. He was getting elderly and decided it was time to sell it. ( His only son had no interest in it.) I made a fair offer for it and told him he may be able to get a bit more at a gun show if he were able to find the right buyer. He accepted my offer with the stipulation that I not sell it until after his death and that he could look it over from time to time. I readily agreed.
He passed away earlier this year. I'm going to miss him. Oh, BTW it's still not for sale.
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#11 Waffen Und Bier

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 11:37 PM

I can only echo what everyone has posted about WWII vintage .45's. There's a bunch of them out there, but unfudged with original finished guns are expensive and hard to come by. You would be doing well to find an unmessed with Colt for under $1200. Ithacas and Rem Rands are just under $1000. WWII vintage commercial models are very expensive. I do know someone who lucked into a minty US&S for $700 recently sad.gif Wasn't me though. Damn the luck!

From what I understand, Colt is making the WWII variant picking up at the SN where they left off during WWII.

If I only had one handgun, the 1911A1 would be it. My Rem Rand is a keeper.
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#12 Sgt

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 01:44 AM

As an alternative to a replica, you might consider getting a non military frame and an original military slide. You can still find them. That is one route if you are on a tight budget and don't mind a parts gun.
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#13 brian

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 06:51 AM

to add to the NIB repro route,
springfield is making a wwII repro '11a1.
with a change of grips to a pair of take offs, and the slide markings, it's "almost" a dead ringer for a late ithaca.

not my pic, borrowed from else where.......

user posted image
one is a late ithaca and the other the springer, with different grips(take offs from a late ithaca..)

yeah, and the best part is the price.
most places run around $400,
they've been on the market for about 1 1/2 yrs now and they are hot.
they're a great pistol, very well made and a great shooter. it's a better shot than i'am.

[plug mode/off]
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#14 Norm

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 08:14 AM

I can see everyones point about price differences.

To me, I'm not such a collector (or WW2 purist) that I must have a WW2 1911A1.

I would be just as happy with a reproduction that I could shoot and enjoy.

After all; all of the WW2 stuff I have (real and replica) is to remember the brave men who fought this war, not just stuff to have.

Those 1911A1's are over 60 years old now, but are probably as good as the day they left service. wink.gif

Just my $.02
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#15 SecondAmend

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 10:55 AM

Norm, et al.:

Unfortunately, most of the WWII vintage 1911A1's I looked at before I gave up trying to find something worth the price were not in as good a shape as when they left service.

If I recall, one could buy them surplus for $25 back in the early 50's. As a result, many were seriously abused. "Rode hard and put away wet." Literally, it would appear. Many with deep rust pits on every piece of metal, including inside the bore. People at guns shows were trying to hawk these for ridiculous prices, though the frame at least was authentic. Lots of Remington Rands. Plenty of US&S ones.

I ended up getting one of the Colt made 2002 (?) production 1911A1's. Colt custom shop made 4,000 of them as close to the WWII guns as was feasible. There are only a few differences and the dealer I got mine from was getting in the Colt custom shop WWI models so he gave me a very good price - way below list.

A friend paid $750 for the nicest WWII 1911A1 I've ever seen in about '92. A 95%+ Remington Rand. I was hoping to find a similar gun at an affordable (though for sure higher) price.

Doesn't Kahr sell a 1911A1 look-alike at a decent price?

Kyle,

Keep looking. I believe there are good to excellent 1911A1'a out there and you may have to pay more than you want to, but what the heck, it's only money.

Best of luck with whatever you get!
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#16 kyle

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 11:19 AM

QUOTE (SecondAmend @ Jun 13 2004, 10:55 AM)

Kyle,

Keep looking.  I believe there are good to excellent 1911A1'a out there and you may have to pay more than you want to, but what the heck, it's only money.

As evidenced by some of my other posts relating to Thomspon prices, I don't care that last week someone paid half of what it's going to cost me to buy the very same thing this week. I can't roll the clock back. All I want is the real McCoy at the fair market price. I'm hoping with the GI 45s, there are enough transactions occuring so that both the buyer and seller have a feel for what's "market".

Again, any leads would be appreciated. TIA!
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#17 REISINGSTAR

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 11:37 AM

Kyle,
Kevin Cherry of Cherry's Fine Guns,Greensboro,N.C. is a well known Colt dealer,and good friend of mine.He usually has some G.I. 1911/1911a1's in stock. You can reach him at 336-854-4182 9a-6p est.If you call him ,tell him Harry Little referred you.Good luck!

REISINGSTAR

biggrin.gif
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#18 Balder

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 11:46 AM

Gentlemen,

I do agree that an M1911/M1911A1 is the perfect companion to a Thompson, I thought I'd relate the background on one of mine. It's a Colt made M1911A1 from 1945, I got it from a dealer in England who had bought quite a few guns from the Vietnamese government (this must have been around 1994). I assume that it was carried by an American before he and his gun were captured. What I'd really like to do is to try to find out who carried it in Vietnam and return it to him or his relatives. Does anybody know how to go about the task of tracing it?

From the same dealer I also bought a CZ 25 SMG, it was full of soil and flour(!) when I received it. It turned out that it had been part of an IRA arms dump in Northern Ireland, hidden in a barn out on the countryside.

Regards,

Balder


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#19 Tex

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 03:05 PM

Kyle,
I'll bring my early '43 Ithaca to BT for you to see. Mine is a vet bring back also. Matter of fact I bought it from the retired US Army Capt. that it belonged to. He was even kind enough to document it with a letter signed to me, the what, when, where, etc. He carried it in a M3 shoulder holster that he gave to me with the pistol. It was also in the S Pacific during the war and appears to have seen little use.
It'll look real good next to the M1 when I get it. cool.gif
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#20 Deputy 89C6

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 03:32 PM

QUOTE (Balder @ Jun 13 2004, 11:46 AM)
I assume that it was carried by an American before he and his gun were captured. What I'd really like to do is to try to find out who carried it in Vietnam and return it to him or his relatives. Does anybody know how to go about the task of tracing it?


Balder,

The pistol may have never been carried by an American anyway. The amount of arms and equipment that we gave to South Vietnam was staggering. This may have been an ARVN pistol that was captured....most US servicemen, if possible, would destroy their weapons if capture was imminent.

I read an interesting piece several years ago about an M16 which was taken off of a communist fighter in Central America. Records show that the M16 had been originally received at Cam Rahn RVN in 1967. The communist VN government, like their old Soviet suppliers give these weapons away to communist insurgents around the world.

I also spoke to a surplus dealer last year who had just returned from a buying trip to Vietnam, and he said there are still warehouses filled with US gear and equipment that were captured in 1975.

I'm sure we all remember the photo of the pile of rusting Thompsons taken In Vietnam.

Steve
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