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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I post here.

However, after reading a few posts, these questions will probably show how little I know about the subject. For this I appologise, but at this hour of the morning I hope you understand.

I have read many of the other posts and they have answered several of my questions, but I have a few more.

I own 3 1911's now, and I am fairly skilled at disassembling and assembiling them, and now I've decided I'd like to build one. I plan on making this a year+ long project, depending on how easily I find the parts I want.

PROBLEM

I want to build a 1911A1 that looks as close as possible to a WWII era gun, using as many authentic parts as possible. My problem is I am not very knowledgeable about what markings would indicate when slides and frames were made.

Today at a gun show, I found a couple of slides that were marked from what I assumed to be WWII period, but I wasn't for sure. The slide was stamped with "patented 1944,1945... etc. similar to what I have seen on other 1911's made in the 40's. I didn't buy either one of them cause I didn't have the money, and I wanted to be sure of what I was getting.


MY GOAL

I would really like to match an original slide and frame together if possible. But, I don't know if that's a logical thing to do, or if it's even possible.

I'd like to have as many authentic/original parts as possible, ie hammer, trigger, main spring housing w/laynard loop, mag catch etc.

I want it to be parkerized when it's fininshed.

Price isn't a concern.


WHAT I HAVE NOW

Today, at the gun show, I picked up a hammer, thumb safty, mag catch, and MSH. As best I can tell, I got the parts I wanted. The only one I have questions about would be the MSH. It's rounded with a laynard loop, and it appears to be either stippled, or has worn checkering.

QUESTIONS

How difficult do you think it is going to be to find the parts I want?

Where would be the best place to look for these parts? Gun shows? Online?

Are there books I need to buy, or web sights I need to check out to find out what certain markings mean?

If I manage to find everything I want, and have the gun reparkerized, will this detract from the value of the pieces? Or should I even be concerned with this, and just be happy I built the gun I wanted?

In the end I want a functional gun that looks like it could have been carried in WWII.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, cause I think I'm going to need it.
 

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OK step in battery on. Test squib and alarm. APU hold for 5 seconds. After start go to bleed APU on. If 16 pounds + contact tower or ground for pemission to start. If contact made go to valve open #1. At 18 to 22% N2 lift idle to start. Should get cutout at 40%. If OK do same with #2 engine. Now I am trained in this so if I leave anything out I am sorry. Now are you pushing back for taxi or just running?
 

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Six 4 sure my earlier post was'nt related to your questions. I think you would need some guages for checking depth, width, length, and tolerance. You probably need some special gunsmith files and a nice bench and vice with something guarding againts damaging your assemblies. Next some good books with the proceedures of each step of the fitting and working procees. Now I would advise using pre fitted bushing, frame, slide, barrel. Which would'nt require lengthy hit or miss fittings. Just take your time on whatever you do. It sounds like you probably got most of this down already.
 

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As I've been telling others, genuine GI parts are hard to find and often expensive. You wanna know what I think? Better to find some old ex-GI gun that's still in decent shape and restore it. You can easily find one that maybe has been refinished or has no original finish left. If you are able to avoid the current price scalping that's going on you can pick one up for $450 or so. Then make it your project to research the pistol and replace whatever is incorrect. Go to www.model1911a1.com to see what minty examples look like, and use that as your guide.

If on the other hand, you try to just buy a slide here and a barrel there, etc. you may end up frustrated and just give up.
 

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Another thing about reblueing is use cold bluing. Kits are available from gun or sporting goods stores for $15 to 20 dollars. I did this to old series 70 slide of gun I still have. And it looked very nice and original. But I thought it would be best to have it redone with blueing procees. I took it to local shop. And I got back a very poor heavily buffed flats pistol. Luckily it was just the slide and the receiver is still original. But unless the gun is badly pitted just cold blue it. And then only if finish is really bad. Like less than 40% remaining. I've defaced an old Colt and I will never do that again. The rebuilding thing might be cool to on an old Government Issue Army or Navy too.
 

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PARKERIZE! Looks better than blueing, wears better than blueing, cheaper than blueing, and nobody has to buff the $#%@ out of it.

Cold blue wears off too easily, oftentimes in your hand.
 

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I wish. You can buy the chemicals from Brownells but it requires heating the solution and under circunstances a little too hazardous to carry out in your kitchen. Basically, you use the same setup as hot-tank bluing.

If anyone has contradictory information I'd love to hear it. I've got a rash of parts I'd like to reparkerize.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the input everyone. Some of it wasn't what I wanted to hear, but I guess the truth hurts sometimes.

Looks like restoring one will be a lot easier than building one. Now for the fun part. Finding a GI gun for a reasonable price.

Guess that is as good of an excuse as any for a little road tripping to some gun stores.


However, as a followup question to my first post. What would most of you consider a fair price for a WWII slide? What manufacture would you reccommend?

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To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

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Whatever matches your frame. Honestly, they are all GI spec and are of equal quality. The Colt slides look better due to better finishing, but that's about it.

Just try to find a nice Remington-Rand or Ithaca for your project. There are also lots of Colts too.

BTW a year or so ago I saw a bunch of ex-police Series 70 Colts at a gun store. They were basically unaltered but had been parkerized. They were going for about $400 I think, and looked very appealing. That might be an idea to take a ratty Series 70 and parkerize it. Yet another idea is to call up JLD enterprises (www.jldenter.com) and get one of those 1930's Colts that had previously been issued to the Argentine police. They're going for about $399.

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 01-15-2001).]
 

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Dumb question, but if price was no concern when you were going to build it yourself, why look for a whole one "at a reasonable price"?

I see WWI and WWII authentic ones for sale at every gun show, from $950 to $3000. There seems to be a "typical" price of $1200 for a clean one from WWII. I'd love to have one myself, but I just have a "replica": Essex frame, unknown GI parts for the rest; plastic grips, serrated arched MSH (w/Lanyard Loop), itty-bitty sights, and OF COURSE parkerized (the BEST 1911 finish). Mine looks as authentic as they come, and cost $425. I put in a blue steel long trigger to make it more shootable, that's the only part that isn't "real".

Did you look at www.model1911a1.com ? The best source of pictures of old 1911s, and all free. Go to Colt and then scroll down to WWII era, and click on Left and Right. Mine looks exactly like those, EXCEPT for the trigger, and the roll marks on the frame.

The main thing is to have fun!
 
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