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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone

There is this 1913 built 1911 for sale locally here in Switzerland. Those very old 1911 don’t come up for sale often in my country, so I will take a look at it.

Photos are not great, but I will have a chance to see it in person next week I think.

Asking price is $2500 but it’s negotiable. The cheapest 1911 A1 go for $2000 here nowadays.

I am not sure if the finish is gone and it’s in the white or if it’s too much lightning and reflection from some indoor lightning.

Edit, seller tells me the finish is pretty much gone.

What do you guys think?










 

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Also in my country nice 1911s are darn expensive and the quality found on the market leaves a lot to be desired, but to me 2,500 $ or its equivalent for a gun totally without finish like that it's not a bargain I think.
Personally I'd probably save my money and wait for a better opportunity to come along.
 

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The metal surface appears in good condition. Also be sure to check if the barrel is correct to the pistol and there are some small parts with difference than later production (for example recoil spring guide).

I like early production 1911 and it's getting rare to find. Cannot comment on the price specific to your region. But since the finish is gone, you have to price it as poor condition and see if the asking price make sense in your country.
 

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It looks like somebody intentionally took off the finish on that one. It's a shame because it looks correct otherwise (assuming the barrel is as well).
 

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It looks like somebody intentionally took off the finish on that one. It's a shame because it looks correct otherwise (assuming the barrel is as well).
Would you, could you, blue over the top of it as a protective measure, without affecting its value too much?

Tom
 

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Would you, could you, blue over the top of it as a protective measure, without affecting its value too much?

Tom
To a collector this pistol has 0% remaining original finish. If it were reblued it would still be 0% remaining original finish, so the value would likely remain the same assuming the refinisher didn't hurt the metal beyond what has already been done. If this pistol were in the USA, being a 1913 example it would likely end up with Doug Turnbull for a decent restoration. That would improve the value, but possibly not equal to the cost of the work.
 

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I agree with the others that have stated that it appears that whatever was left of the original finish, has been intentionally removed. Like dsk said, it's a shame, since it looks like a nice pistol otherwise. That being said, I wouldn't mind owning it, as long as the price was decent. I know I would sure like to have the grips to put on my 1912. Best of luck!
 

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I once had a Colt from January 1913. Probably 95% condition. Sold it for $3000. What a dope. :dope:
 

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I guess that it was sanded lightly to remove oxidation, dark spots, etc. If there ever was a candidate for a proper restoration ($2500), that would be it, but added to the purchase price it would never be worth that much. However, it would make for an amazing pistol to own and admire if you were so-inclined.
An alternate method would be to have it 'rust-blued' without any further sanding or other preparation - this would leave the steel surfaces exactly as they are now except a nice dusky-blue satin color. The grips are good enough to stay and could be cleaned up a little with Naptha and a toothbrush.
 

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It definitely has that greyish look that steel has after bluing has been taken off with naval jelly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Just met the seller and saw the gun.

Almost all of the finish was indeed removed. However all the markings seem still strong, there are no deep pits, gouges or scratches, and it seems that whoever did that job at least did it fairly decently.

The gun also seems to be in very good mechanical condition with little internal wear, except for the inside of the barrel which is somewhat pitted.

I offered $1500 on a whim, he came down to $1800, and then I went up to $1600, telling him I could not pay more due to total lack of finish which pretty much ruined the collector value. He still wanted $1800 and offered to throw in a belt and a leather holster of unknown origin.

If I end up buying the gun, I would probably have it professionally reblued. It would not be an original gun any more, which it already isn’t, but it still make for a nice old 1911 at a reasonable price.










 

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I have no appraisal skills in this realm.

With all of the thread's input in mind, I think you'd do best to figure out the value that this gun has to you. Considering all attributes, your location, and maybe even whether the purchase cost is of considerable financial significance to you.

Especially consider whether the collector value to you, your interests, is close to the asking price.
 

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By the time you pay for restoration etc. you may be able to find a better one for the same money or a little more. But, if that one will satisfy your wants the $1600 sounds fair. Hope this helps, and good luck!
 

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Judging by photos you took, your offer for $1500-$1600 would be fairly reasonable in US (my opinion only). I can see myself pay $1800 for very early Colt in that condition as long as all parts check out to be period correct (again my opinion only, , and I am not a hardcore collector).
 

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Looks good to me for $1600 in Switzerland. Barrel is correct as were other features. I would not "restore" rather have a professional reblue to original specs. Good luck. gordon bethune
 

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Wow! That Swiss hand looks just like an American hand :) Before I put out $1600-1800 for the pistol and wanted it reblued I would need to know that the job could be done without the metal edges and stamping being distorted. Also the tone of the polishing should not provide too great of a gloss which in itself would ruin the military look of the the original which would have been more of a low luster than a deep shine.
 
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