I was at a local gunshow this last weekend and found this pretty decent 1914 military Colt. Looks as if everything is correct, including the vertical "P H" barrel. The bore is shiny and spotless. I didn't have a 1914 before in my collection, but now I do. Serial number is 72,xxx.
You had me worried for a second. Your write-up says it has the correct vertical H P barrel (which would be the wrong barrel for 72k SN), but luckily the pictures tell the correct story and it does, in fact, have the correct horizontal H P barrel. Whew .... nice pistol.
I confess ignorance on another matter. A friend of mine had a 1917?/18?-build Remington 1911 that he shot occasionally. I shot a mag through it myself. But I thought a bit about it when I bought an XD Tactical .45ACP shortly thereafter and suggested to him that he retire the Remington to the safe and get something else to shoot 150 rounds a week through. He also got an XD Tactical and likes it. I am not knocking Colts or the 1911 platform. I own several 1911-platform pistols, but no Colts.
I have a 1922-build reblued S&W Hand-Ejector with a reworked front sight crescent -- thus no collector value. So I shoot it at the range whenever it comes up in its "rotation."
Now my question: should one shoot this very nice 1914 Colt much at all? How much is too much to diminish its monetary value or invite breakage of an important part? I realize that answers will vary, but is there at least a consensus on this sub-forum regarding such matters?
Vetteparz -- I could spend a pleasurable 30 minutes just handling your splendid pistol. Congrats, whatever you do with it!
I had a second world war Remington that I was issued in Nam, and I even carried it when fighting in Angola Africa a couple years later. somehow it disappeared from my battle bag when I came back from Africa was a great gun that I tightened up when taking some time off from combat on the "Enterprize" the first year I was in Nam. I certainly wish I still had that fine old gun. If mine was a good example Remington really built a great 1911.
A very nice find Vette! I've had an eye out for one but have only seen a couple - none as nice as yours - and they were a bit rich for my blood. If you plan on shooting it, please post a range report. For some reason, either no one shoots their treasures or they just don't report. I'd love to see how she performs!
Shooting a rare, valuable pistol like that would be taking a very stupid and unnecessary risk. With an unhardened slide and an unknown number of rounds through the pistol already, it would really suck if the OP took it out and shot it, and upon taking it apart to clean it afterwards discovered a fresh crack somewhere. Shoot old guns that have been messed with and aren't worth much. Shooting an extremely hard-to-find example like this that's worth several thousand dollars could turn tragic pretty quick.
Anyway, that's a super-nice pistol and a good example of what were probably the best of the original M1911 pistols in my opinion. The early 1914s had the nice finish, short wide-spur hammer, and flat-topped rear sight. An added bonus is the ball-cut recoil spring housing and no 1913 patent date on the slide. Probably the perfect mix of older and newer M1911 features. Unfortunately as has been said they are very rare and I'll likely never be able to find, let alone afford one.
You might enjoy finding out more about your pistol by requesting a factory letter from Colt Archive. Costs $100 for the letter. You can download the forms from the Colt LLC website. It takes about four months to get the letter. Three weeks if you want to pay $200. for the letter.
BTW, try to keep your pistol as original as possible to retain the monetary value.