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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Christmas came a week late. Decided to drop by my dealer today for no particular reason and there in the case is a Colt 1911A1. I hadn't seen it a few weeks ago, so I asked, and sure enough, he took it from among several he has collected, and brought it in to sell to a friend who never showed up. I insisted it would have a great home with me and so it has.

A blued model Colt with matching slide and frame (numbers under the firing pin stop match the slide). First thing I did after getting home was detail strip the piece. It hadn't been cleaned in a long, long time. All parts, except the barrel, are also blue, and wear on all parts is consistent. Some wear on edges, by thumb safety, grip, etc. have worn through the blue so I think it is the original finish.

It's quite nice, does not show a lot of wear internally, and I am still thinking how could I have been so lucky. I've wanted a Colt GI for a long time and never thought I'd find one that was in decent shape that I could afford. The search is over. This is a keeper.

Mr. O
 

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Congratulations! Can you show us more pics, and/or give more details about the markings on it? Blued pre-war Colt M1911A1 pistols are very hard to find nowadays, as not many were made before Colt switched over to parkerizing in late 1941. A blued CSR or RS-marked Colt in excellent shape will often bring upwards of $3000 nowadays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
More info

dsk: here's another photo. Hard to get the light right indoors to really show the finish, patina, wear, etc., but this photo came close. A lot of what motivated me to buy this particular piece is I knew the source. My dealer has a huge WWII arms collection. Many, many examples of every type, many of which I have seen, and no junk among them. He likes good examples. This Colt was in his collection (I know he has more, and certainly better examples) and he was going to sell it to a friend who never showed up. He stated that he did not think the barrel original, but as far as he could tell, the rest was. It certainly appears so.

More on the details:
Slide: left side has the period roll mark. Right side is blank. Front sight is not tapered, rounded. Rear sight has the square notch. Serial number is on the back of the slide above and below the firing pin hole (two rows of 3 numbers). On the inside face of the firing pin stop, I can see a 'negative' or reversed image of the numbers...caused by the hammer hitting the stop lots of times against the numbers on the slide. All parts on the slide (sights, firing pin stop, extractor, barrel bushing, pins, are blued and blueing wear is consistent throughout). Marked "P" in front of rear sight, top of slide.

Frame: United States Property No. 7863XX M1911A1 U.S. Army marked on right side of frame. "84" marked on trigger guard, right side, front, top. Left side markings: "WB" in a box, Large
"P" by magazine release. Small "p" and "vp" front, top of trigger guard.

This pistol has a very solid feel to it and though much of the finish is worn, does not show "hard use" internally. No 'dings' to speak of on the oustide. Overall, a cleaner example than many I have seen at recent shows.
Hammer, mainspring housing (arched), safety, slide stop, magazine release, and trigger all checkered. Trigger is a single piece of steel, stirrup and all. Blueing is worn, to the white in some high use areas...high points of the safety, slide stop, rear of hammer, magazine release, front of grip, area around the muzzle end of the slide, front and back of the tube between safety and slide stop (where the thumb would contact, and not in the middle).

I picked this up for about a third of the one's you mentioned DSK, so I'm hoping it was not way out of line.

And to think I told myself the day before, "I've really got to stop buying these things."
 

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Very nice looking pistol! If you get a chance I'd like to see even more detailed photos sometime. The rear sight should have a U-notch, and at that serial # range should be parkerized, not blued. Now, there seems to be a big argument going on over this one. Most sources say there are no legitimate blued M1911A1s in the WB range, and that after the 735000 range parkerizing was the rule. Still others say blued guns went well past that point, as high as the 770000 range. It would be very helpful if you could take some good closeup pics in outdoor light to help us determine if your pistol's finish is original or an old reblue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DSK: Am headed out for a match today, but will try to get some outdoor pics tomorrow. Thanks.
Mr.O
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
New Photo

This shows the finish and condition a bit better.

Mr. O
 

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I really wish I could have that gun in my hands to examine it up close. From here I'm guessing that it's actually an old reblue. I just don't see any signs of a brushed finish to the metal. Instead it appears to have been a sandblasted matte that was blued over. However, given that there's even debate about the existence of blued Colts in the high 7XX,XXX range there honestly aren't enough known specimens to compare it to. The only real key is to verify the following:

*The bullet ramp on the frame should be bare metal, milled bright from a cutting tool or possibly a grinder. If it's blued over, or appears to have been made bare using emery cloth then the finish is a no-go.

*Although it's difficult to see with blued guns, the WB mark, markings all around the triggerguard, and markings on the top of the frame (near the disconnector hole) should all show evidence of having been stamped after the pistol was blued. There should be bare white metal, or at least smooth burnished metal somewhere along the walls and/or inside the bottom of each stamp.
 
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