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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So being a new junior member here I figured I'd share a cool 1911 story about a weapon with some history. My older brother who first introduced me to 1911's by showing me his officers model that I instantly drooled over. One day he called me up with a proposition. He had just wrecked his Harley Davidson and was looking for a new motorcycle. Being a little down on his luck he asked me if I would be willing to let him take over the payments on my Triumph Bonneville if he gave me a pistol of his. I had 2 Triumphs at the time so I agreed reluctantly but then he told me which gun he wanted to trade. Here is the cool part. His ex-father in law is a retired fighter pilot and at the time wanted to thin out his collection by giving a gun to his (at the time) son in law. My brother (Michael) goes over to pick the gun up and his father in law says, "Mike, when I was shot down in Korea, I had to evade capture. I've killed two Koreans (he actually used a derogatory term for Asian) with this weapon and I want you to have it." When my brother told me that it was that firearm, I couldn't get my wallet out fast enough to get my insurance agent on the phone to get him on the policy! I'm reasonably certain that the story is true as the serial # dates back properly and it was my brother telling me all of this. So I run into the dilemna of do I restore the piece or keep it as is. For a split second I thought about carrying it as my duty gun (I'm a cop) but for fear of holster wear, it probably not being registered anywhere, and it not being the same caliber as my backup, I've decided against it... Any suggestions?
 

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With the history behind that gun, I would recommend you keep it original. You can always get a later 1911 to shoot and carry.
 

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Exactly what do you mean by "officers model"? Is it a standard M1911A1 or isn't it?
 

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Restore= ruin.

The stories I could tell of the "reworked, restored, reblued" classics that are now worthless would make you cry. Well, maybe they're not worthless because you can still shoot them, but as far as collector value goes, they're worthless.

The worst one-a guy walks into the shop, takes out a single action revolver with a shiney new blue job. He didnt' like the finish because it had "turned sorta brown looking." He wanted to know how much it was worth now that he had gotten it "restored".

It was a Colt Single Action Army with a blackpowder frame. We couldn't decide who was dumber, the guy who wanted the gun reblued or the guy who did the work.

Then the guy takes out some ammo. He wasn't sure what the caliber of the gun was, but he had this ammo that said ".44 Magnum" that fit in the holes! We told him not to use that stuff. He needed to get .45 Long Colt. He said he already tried ammo for his Colt .45 and it fell too far into the holes. We tried to explain the difference to him, but this guy wouldn't listen.

I still wonder whether or not that guy blew his gun up.

Randy
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An old friend of mine gave me a pristine WWII Ithaca 1911 many moons ago. I gave it to my lawyer as a bonus, right after my second (and final) divorce. Guy calls me up one day with the "bad news" that somebody'd broken into his Suburban in Atlanta and stolen the piece. Wish I'd just given him a little cash, or something else as a bonus. Heartbrreaking to think that crimes have probably been committed with that old 1911, and that a DemocRAT now owns that piece of history.
 

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while were in the topic of stories, let me share mine. just 2 years after college and got enough money to buy a low cost pistol, i finally decided that no more drooling and window shopping at gun displayed at the malls. so many brands and design to choose from. My friend, who happens to be a retired AFP personel, sugguested a 1911, i didnt want to insult him( being my friend and all), but 1911?thats old enough to my great grand daddy's gun. i mean get with the times man! the design it outdated, bulky, bland,simple (at that time the only 1911s i saw were from WW1 and WWII) . I was thinking i'd get a beretta 92 or a glock (the down side is that there are so many cheap airsoft pistol glock pistol in the RP,dont want to think of the worst case senario). My mind was so fixed on the glock, bereta, Sig designs that i didnt bother looking at the new 1911 (boy am i ignorant)but fate has a diffrent gun in store for me, while surfing a for glock and stuff a ad from a 1911 poped up, and from that point on i just surfed for 1911s, no more glocks for me. i didnt realized the beauty of the 1911, a yin and yang of the old and new features and design. there just something about the 1911 that is so timeless and it took me a while to realized what i was missing, i would probably appreciate it more if my dad or grand daddy gives me a 1911 even if its new (preferably high cap heeheheheh) than glock. classic truly classic. my only regret is thats i have only enough money to buy one, hahahahahhaah im saving again for enough money to buy a top the line model 1911, something that wil last longer than armscor, sam, nork. something that i can pass on,i'll rarely shoot it though. any brand suggestions? a high cap, stainless, .45 ( i just love the .45s)
 

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I dont mean to rain on you but do you think your brothes ex father in law gave that pistol to your brother to trade for a partial payment on a motorbike? Seems a little ungrateful of him no disrespect intended. Something like that should be kept for a grandson. I wouldnt let my fathers kit from Vietnam or my ribbons from the service go to anyone but my son or if I dont have one to a newphew of the same name.
I dont think I would have accepted something like that unless said father in law gave his blessing.
Anyway since you have it enjoy it. I would go to DOD website and try to get history of your brothers father in laws orders from deployment and put in in a nice case with the orders.
 

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dsk said:
Exactly what do you mean by "officers model"? Is it a standard M1911A1 or isn't it?
I believe the officer's model is another that his brother-in-law owned. The other is probably the M1911.
 

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Leave it as-is and enjoy it, history and all.

I would not use it as my duty gun. If we get into a shooting the gun is immediately siezed and replaced by an armory gun. The "shoot" gun is placed into the evidence locker or forwarded to the coroner's office as-is. If it was wet, it does not get wiped down; it does not get cleaned; it does not get any special attention as far as care/cleaning goes (obviously for evidenciary pruposes).

Now, we might (or might not) get it back sometime down the road, but who's to say in what condition. I'm willing to hand over a $1300 Les Baer Stinger (off duty gun), but not a piece of history.
 

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I am lucky enough to have saved two old 1911s from certain death. The first is an original WW1 bringback 1917 US Army 1911 which was about to be tossed into the sea during a gun amnesty along with a Webley MKVI .455. I traded it for a Taurus .38. The second was a mint (with cosmoline) Ithaca 1911A1 that an amateur gunsmith got hold of and was about to butcher. I traded that for a new Tanfoglio 1911 so he could butcher to his heart's content. These two guns are proud parts of my WW1/2 military small arms collections, both were saved from certain death.

Don't 'restore' your old pistol, you are lucky to have any provenance on an old gun.

 

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Eric; tell us more. Is it a Colt, Remington Rand, or what? Is it marked Model 1911A1? Definitely don't do anything to it - just keep it like it is, but learn how to do a detail strip so you can make sure there's no rust/corrosion starting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
here ya go

first off to answer ?'s. Yes there were 2 .45's. The Officers Model and the one I ended up with. It was in fact his Ex father in laws that I took in trade for partial payment on the bike. My brother said he had it just lying around doing nothing but reminding him of his ex-wife (and probably what he wanted to do to her...). And I really don't know too much yet about all of the .45 history in general so I'll just tell you what markings the weapon has. They are as follows;
(left side) COLT'S PT.F.A.MFG.COHARTFORD,CT.U.S.A. Underneath that it says PAT'D APR20,1987.SEPT.9,1902.DEC.19,1905.FEB.14,1911.AUG.19,1913. On the trigger guard towards the front is an 8 and a triangle shaped stamp with 2 letters.
(right/ejector side) COLT AUTOMATIC CALIBRE .45 and a picture of a horse holding something like a stick in its mouth. right underneath the slide it says "GOVERNMENT MODEL" and on the trigger guard has the number 60. On the front of the piece underneath the barrel it says "HONSPORT" and "HONOLULU" I don't know if that's an aftermarket part though... Anyone know?
 

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darby said:
Is it me or did I see "PAT'D APR20, 1987", this would indicate it was made in 1987, a little late for WW2
That's what he said, but I'll bet that it's "PAT'D APR20, 1897", instead.

ericdavis76- With the serial #, we can tell you when it was made.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ok ok I'll leave it as is...

Thanks for the advice guys. I'll probably have to get some type of shadow box or something for the orders, flag, and gun... I do have a security gig for a diamond show coming up in Nov. that I'll get to wear a tux and my shoulder and ankle rigs for... I'll have to pack the glocks I think. As far as the serial # it is C160xxx so being new to the whole .45 thing I have no idea when it was made. Anyone know? Another funny story. I transferred Police Dept's from a bigger one to a very small one and I was asking the Chief if there were any restrictions on what weapons I could carry. My old dept would only let us carry double or safe action pistols. My Chief just kinda laughed and said, "do they make a holster for your gun?" and I asked him if I could carry a .50 cal Desert Eagle and he just said as long as I could keep it on my belt and 2 extra mags, it would be fine! Damn I love small towns with no rules...
 
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