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Discussion Starter #1
I bought this nice old 1911 last summer. Judging by it's outstanding condition, I'd say it has to have been refinished somewhere along it's life, but was told that in it's known history of the last 50yrs, it has not been touched. The finish is tremendous, a deep shiny blueing with no machining marks. There are a few pits under the grips that appeared to be "blued over", so I guess it's an old refinish.

I replaced the grips and screws (it came to me with fake ivory grips and hex screws), and all the springs, adjusted the poorly fitted thumb safety, and took it shooting. It runs great. The barrel has extensive light pitting, but it shoots as accurately as any other I've owned. The sights are miniscule, with the rear having a tiny half-round notch, and it shoots about 6" high at 15yds.

I'd like to know when it was made, s/n 359xxx
 

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If it is a commercial government model, I dont know.
If a US PRoperty model, I believe, 1918.
I am sure that someone here will know better!
PB
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here are crappy close-up's of the markings...in case it can provide more info to you gurus. Thanks for the information guys.

The s/n is preceded by a capital "N" and a lowercase elevated and underscored "o" though my photo just shows it as a blur.
 

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The US Property stamp would've originally been located on the front left of the frame, AKA the "dust cover" below the slide. A lot of these guns had that marking filed off by the soldiers who snuck them home, and who didn't want to risk trouble for possessing stolen government property. Fortunately it's a moot point nowadays, as it's highly unlikely the government still cares about reclaiming 90+ year-old equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not a collector

I'm definitely not a collector, just a firearms addict, mostly carry-type weapons. This nice 1911 appeared last summer when I was in a buying mood, so I bought it :)

My other 1911's are a Colt 1991 and a cheapo RIA (new Phillipine model). I've had (and sold) a few mass-produced custom-type 1911's, but I did not like them. I like the USGI style better and this old refinished Colt seemed like a "must have".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I assumed that it was a refinished older commercial model when I bought it (no "us property"), and did not know it was a WW1 military model. It was cheaper than one of the new WW1 reproductions, but not by much.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Closer examination under an illuminated magnifier, does indeed show the remnants of what might be a partial "U." on the left forward part of the frame. Too bad they filed it off! Then again it probably saved me some money and gives a story to tell.

Thanks again for all your input.
 

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Dunno if you looked at the link I posted above but it gave the info I thought you were looking for. Here's more of that info which, AFAIK, answers your question.

Military Versions from 1912 to 1945.
Manufacturer/Serial Number/Date Made

Beginning of M1911:

1) Colt: S/N 1 to 3190 = April 16, 1912 to May 31, 1912

2) Colt: S/N 3190 to 7501 = May 31, 1912 to Oct. 10, 1912
(S/N 3501 to 3799 were first U.S.M.C. pistols made by Colt delivered June 6, 1912.)

3) Colt: S/N 7501 to (approximately) 20,000 = Oct. 10, 1912 to Jan. 1913

4) Colt: S/N (approx.) 20,000 to 83,856 = Jan. 1913 to Aug. 19, 1913
S/N 38,001 to 43,900 Navy Model (USS New York) = March 9, 1912 to March 5, 1915
S/N 43,901 to 44,000 Navy Model (USS Texas) = March 9, 1912 to March 5, 1915
S/N 36,401 to 37,650 U.S.M.C. Model made by Colt = July 9, 1913

5) Colt: S/N 83,856 to 89,801 = Aug. 19, 1913 to July 20, 1914
(S/N 83,901 to 84,400 U.S.M.C. Model = May 12, 1914)

6) Colt: S/N 89,801 to 108,601 = July 20, 1914 to Feb. 8, 1915
(S/N 96,001 to 97,537 Navy Model (U.S. Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y.) = March 9,
1912 to March 5, 1915)

7) Colt: S/N 108,601 to 290,000 = Feb. 8, 1915 to May, 1918
(S/N 109,501 to 110,000 Navy Model, S/N 223,953 to 223,991 Navy Model,
S/N 232,001 to 233,600 Navy Model)
(S/N 151,187 to 151,986 U.S.M.C. Model, S/N 185,801 to 186,201 U.S.M.C. Model,
S/N 209,587 to 210,386 U.S.M.C. Model, S/N 215,387 to 217,386 U.S.M.C. Model)

8) Colt/Springfield: S/N 128,617 to 133,186 = 1916 to 1924 ( These models are
very hard to properly identify)

9) Colt: S/N 290,000 to 450,000 = May, 1918 to Oct. 24, 1918

10) Colt: S/N 450,000 to 629,500 = Oct. 24, 1918 to April 10, 1919


It appears your serial # fell under #9 - 1918.

:rock:
 
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