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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum, but not to 1911's.

That said, my wife was handed down a very nice Colt .38 Super Super Match with a serial number identifying it as a 1938 manufacture. While it appears original for most of the parts (grips excluded), like the Schwarts safety and Stevens Adjustable sight, hammer, slide, barrel, etc, it has an addition to the guide rod that doesn't appear to be standard, i've attached two photos.

A couple of spring-like wires. They go all the way down the whole in the back of the guide rod and a little square wire, spring assist support, seems to sit right above the link when assembled, applying pressure to push it down (or i could have it backwards, but it wouldn't assemble the other way).

It also has the wires on the top and bottom keeping everything under some tension.

Can't find anything even remotely like it with any search terms that i can think of, not knowing what it's called.

Anyone know what it is?

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1938 manufacture
Accuracy can be rather dicey with a .38 super this old.
They actually tried to use the tiny semi-rim to headspace on the barrel hood.

Late 1960s to early 1970s was when Nonte clearanced the hood and chambered on the case mouth.
The reamers used to be marked "38 super nonte"
They may still be but I have not purchased one in at least 15 years.
 

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I misspoke. It's a Berdon device but not called a mousetrap. It works to force the barrel into consistent battery by spring tension. My Berdon gun has one.
Actually, you were right on both counts. Article on Berdon in Dec. 1950 American Rifleman has great pictures of this unit and clearly attributes this type of "mousetrap" as an invention of Berdon (and in the article Berdon calls it his "barrel alignment device" but the article states that his customers refer to it as the "mousetrap"). The recoil spring plug mounted "mousetrap" (with the roller) was a RL Shockey design (and patented)-I have apparently been erroneously calling it a "Berdon mousetrap" for years-that's what the old bullseye guys around here called it (the one on the plug) for some reason when I first heard about it years ago and just took it as gospel.
 

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Actually, you were right on both counts. Article on Berdon in Dec. 1950 American Rifleman has great pictures of this unit and clearly attributes this type of "mousetrap" as an invention of Berdon (and in the article Berdon calls it his "barrel alignment device" but the article states that his customers refer to it as the "mousetrap"). The recoil spring plug mounted "mousetrap" (with the roller) was a RL Shockey design (and patented)-I have apparently been erroneously calling it a "Berdon mousetrap" for years-that's what the old bullseye guys around here called it (the one one the plug) for some reason when I first heard about it years ago and just took it as gospel.
Thanks! I knew I got that info from somewhere!
 

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RL Shockey's "mousetrap" was filed for patent in 1951 and granted in 1953 which was the year he started 'smithing full time according to the information I have been able to find. The article in AR magazine on Berdon was published in 1950 at which time Berdon had evidently already been making and installing his "mousetrap" for some time prior to that date.
 

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Some interesting trivia on AE Berdon: he didn't start gunsmithing until he was 50 years old (1934), before that he was an engineer/inventor in the auto industry. At the time of the AR article in 1950, he was 66 years old and had a 2 year waiting list for work (and you guys complain about waits these days?). Also, according to the article, he only fit his barrel bushings hand tight (no wrench) and was the first to do a .38 wadcutter conversion. In the pre-war/early post-war era, there were only 3 main guys doing .45 work-Berdon, Pachmayr, and Kings Gun Sight-and between them pretty much hit all the bases that were later expanded on by other 'smiths and parts companies that followed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would be curious if the OP's pistol in question has the Berdon "anti-slap" spring loaded overtravel device installed as well.
Where would i find the "over travel device?" Be glad to look.

The rest of the 1911 seems completely standard (for a 1911 with a schwartz, that is), though i'm not inclined to disassemble the lower receiver to check the action itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I misspoke. It's a Berdon device but not called a mousetrap. It works to force the barrel into consistent battery by spring tension. My Berdon gun has one.
Excellent, thank you, and everyone posting for the info, while i'm searching for a replacement guide rod, i'll do some research on the Berdon just to satisfy my curiosity. Maybe i'll take her out and test w/w/out the device, but that will be a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I want to see more pics of that beauty ������
Sorry about the pic quality, i don't have a photo box right now, and not a lot of time to set up lighting...

According to Sheldon's book on the 1938, and the manufacturers letter i got (serial is blotted in these, it's 307xx range) everything appears original except the grips (these appear to be ivory, not plastic), the front strap stippling, and that Berdon device. Bluing is excellent except for some wear around the front. Suspect Uncle R carried this occasionally ;-)

[/url]1938-1




 

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Where would i find the "over travel device?" Be glad to look.
Best I can figure from looking at the photo in the article that looked like he was installing/adjusting one and the patent drawing (yeah I looked it up) it has to sit somewhere behind the trigger(?) shoe on a 1911 (he also used this thing on other guns too). I have never seen one of his guns apart that far to actually see how it was installed. "WilsonCombatRep" who responded above indicated he has one so maybe he can enlighten us on how the damn thing works/is installed. As far as I can tell from what's written about it in the article and looking at the patent drawing it's not exactly an overtravel stop as the idea, best I can understand, is so you can't feel the break and an abrupt stop when the sear trips the hammer so you don't flinch or pull off.
 
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