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Discussion Starter #1
So I found this in a local pawn shop today for $385 and promptly took it home. Excellent light trigger, fitted beavertail, tight slide fit, HC finish, and aftermarket sights.

I know it's a long shot, but does anyone recognize the work that a gunsmith did on this? I notice the barrel on the lug has a "M" & "P", but no other markings. I'm guessing Colt or military? Also, on the bottom of the slide rail is an electric pencil engraved number (possibly 1205?). It is not part of the serial number. Maybe an invoice number?
Thanks for any info.



 

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I do not believe there is enough there to identify a smith, but the parts selection may at least date it. The Millett sights, the Ed Brown grip safety, and what looks like a Videcki trigger suggest the work was done before the move to dovetail front sights but after Ed Brown introduced his grip safety. The grip safety was introduced in 1988 and the Millett sights fell out of vogue before 2000. The grips were obviously added later. So a smith probably did the work in the late-1980s to mid-1990s. The guns were last imported into the USA in 1995, and I believe they were first imported in the mid-1980s.

In any event, great find for the asking price.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do not believe there is enough there to identify a smith, but the parts selection may at least date it. The Millett sights, the Ed Brown grip safety, and what looks like a Videcki trigger suggest the work was done before the move to dovetail front sights but after Ed Brown introduced his grip safety. The grip safety was introduced in 1988 and the Millett sights fell out of vogue before 2000. The grips were obviously added later. So a smith probably did the work in the late-1980s to mid-1990s. The guns were last imported into the USA in 1995, and I believe they were first imported in the mid-1980s.

In any event, great find for the asking price.
Great investigative work. Thanks.
 

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Great investigative work. Thanks.
You are welcome.

That is a really nice pistol, especially for the price. Heck, the finish alone probably cost more than $150. The work on the pistol had to cost more than $200 with the parts. It is like getting the base pistol for free. I also would have bought the gun.

I like the GI-style thumb safety mated with the Brown grip safety. And the dual-crimp Milett front sight is definitely evocative of a time when keeping the front sight on the slide was an issue. It is a bit minimalist as it came from a time when checkered front straps were rare, the parts selection is not what it is now, and the focus was on function.

Is the barrel the stock chromed Norinco one? If so, how do the barrel lugs look? Based on your comments on the barrel markings, it sounds like the stock barrel is in the gun as on the left side it is stamped with an "M" and a "P". On the right side or bottom of the barrel the last four digits of the serial number should be marked. The edges of the rifling should be rounded, and, of course, the barrel should be fully chromed inside and out.

About the only issue with the Norinco 1911 is sometimes the barrel is poorly fit and the upper lugs get rounded due to poor lockup. I had this issue on one I bought back in 2004. It has been attributed to both poor fitting and poor metallurgy of the barrels. The latter is odd as the frame and slide are made of a very good steel for the application. My current ones now have fitted aftermarket barrels.

In any event, great find.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You were right. I found the last 4 of the serial number on the barrel just forward the bottom lug. It was hard to see with the re-finish. My upper lugs look pretty crisp without rounding. It has one on the nicest triggers I've felt on a 1911. Someone definitely put some money into it.

I bought it as a shooter. If it's reliable with some HST HP's, I may carry it. But as a lefty, I'll have to fit an ambi. to it.

I wish I knew what the numbers on the bottom of the slide rail is for? Did Norinco number these like the barrel? Maybe the slide is from a different gun?
 

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It looks pretty nice regardless. Everything you need on a defensive .45 and nothing you don't.
 

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Thanks. So maybe an invoice work #?
Hard to say what it is. It could be a number assigned during finishing, a number engraved by a previous owner, etc.

The grip safety fitting looks good, and the parts selected are all of decent or better quality.

Please report how it shoots.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hard to say what it is. It could be a number assigned during finishing, a number engraved by a previous owner, etc.

The grip safety fitting looks good, and the parts selected are all of decent or better quality.

Please report how it shoots.
Will do.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is at about 10 yards 2 hand hold with S&B ball. The awesome trigger work someone did really helped.

 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I may have solved the mystery.

Two days after picking-up this Norinco, I picked-up a Colt LW Officers that had been tuned by Tussey Custom. While cleaning it today (shot like a dream), I noticed it had a 4 digit number engraved on the bottom of the slide in the exact same location. And it doesn't match the serial number.

Ironically when I first saw the Norinco, I thought Tussey custom due to the Ed Brown Beavertail. I've had Tussey do some work for me in the mid to late nineties and remember him using EB beavertails.

Take a look at the two guns and you'll notice the similarities. I thinking someone had the work down in the 90's in CA, retired out to my area in AZ, and possibly passed away. Someone than disposed of the guns (although they were at different shops). If the Norinco is Tussey, maybe it's early before he put his logo on the slides.

Here's some photos for comparisons. Both have excellent triggers.

Colt LW on top. Norinco slide on bottom.


The beavertail, triggers, hammers, blued mag release and pins match.




I found this image on the net and see some similarities to the guns above. I also sent an email to Tussey.
 

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Let’s not tell everyone how great the reworked norcs really are. I reworked my norc it’s the most accurate 1911 I have.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Interesting that it may be a Tussey Custom pistol.

In any event, it looks to be a keeper.
I actually contacted Tussey. They stated that it is an invoice number. And it's also placed on the back of the thumb safety, MSH, Slide stop, etc. Sure enough, it has those numbers on those parts. As does my Colt. Two Tussey customs in two days. Score.

They're checking their records for info. on these guns.
 

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Outstanding luck!!
 

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I actually contacted Tussey. They stated that it is an invoice number. And it's also placed on the back of the thumb safety, MSH, Slide stop, etc. Sure enough, it has those numbers on those parts. As does my Colt. Two Tussey customs in two days. Score.

They're checking their records for info. on these guns.
Congrats on your TWO finds. Two Tussey-smithed pistols in two days is impressive. Shows that recognizing well-done work and some initiative can lead to great things.

Thanks for the education on how Tussey marked his pistols.
 
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