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New member here and I've got a question about one I've had for years but never really looked into what it is until now. I've got an Essex frame from when they were in Island Pond VT but the only markings on the slide is a "TZ" on the right side and what I assume is a s/n on the other side.

Any thoughts?
 

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New member here and I've got a question about one I've had for years but never really looked into what it is until now. I've got an Essex frame from when they were in Island Pond VT but the only markings on the slide is a "TZ" on the right side and what I assume is a s/n on the other side.

Any thoughts?
Welcome to 1911forum.

Photos?
 

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What you're describing is a GI replacement slide, with the item number on one side, and the contractor code (the TZ part) on the other side. I don't recall which contractor is TZ, but its a GI slide.
 

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It is. It would have been a US military contract replacement part, which probably grew legs and hit the civilian gun show market.
 

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New member here and I've got a question about one I've had for years but never really looked into what it is until now. I've got an Essex frame from when they were in Island Pond VT but the only markings on the slide is a "TZ" on the right side and what I assume is a s/n on the other side.

Any thoughts?
Welcome from NW Georgia. Can you post some pictures?
 

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The other posters are correct, it sounds like a GI replacement slide made by IMI. Lots of those wound up on the surplus market after the US military officially dropped the M1911A1.
 

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There are quite a number of GI on Essex guns around here.
The story goes that back in the 1970s a good local hand tool gunsmith of my acquaintance had a brother in the armed forces who would send him ammo cans full of parts. He would assemble them on Essex frames and sell working pistols.

The legend was that the military outfit had a standing order for 1911 parts that were seldom used, so when a new batch came in, the shelves would be cleared to the scrap bin. Brother was allegedly mining the scrap for new discarded parts.

That was the story, the sourcing may have been otherwise, but the guns exist. Neither is alive to prosecute for misappropriating government property.
 

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Essex made good frames. They weren't pretty but the metallurgy was good, and the holes were in the right places. Never had any issues building an Essex.
 

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Essex made good frames. They weren't pretty but the metallurgy was good, and the holes were in the right places. Never had any issues building an Essex.
Back in the 70s, I put a Colt .22 conversion unit on an Essex frame. Never a problem, and it still works as it should.
 
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