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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It finally came in and now I have a few questions. I'm sure someone here can help me out. The sn is 140000, which has helped me determine is was made in 1917.

Questions

1. Should the trigger be checkered. Mine looks a metal version of the plastic one's I see in the new Colts

2. Should the main spring housing be checkered. The one on the gun is flat and smooth.

3. How do I tell if the diamond grips are authentic.

4. Does anyone know anything about the following markings I found:
TA CO SAC CA
RIA
FK

These were all stamped close to the SN on the frame.

I'll try and get some pics to help things. Thanks.

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The trigger and mainspring housing are correct. The checkered parts weren't introduced until 1924. At that time all the A1 changes such as a shorter trigger, arched housing, longer grip safety and finger clearance notches on the frame were introduced.

FYI check to see if your gun still has the original barrel. If so it will be unmarked except for separate H and P letters on top of the chamber.

RIA stands for Rock Island Arsenal. FK stands for Frank Krack, who's initals were stamped on guns being overhauled at the arsenal during the 1950s. Yours appears to be one of these. The other markings are a mystery to me. I could make a guess but I'd rather not since somebody else here may know.

Regarding the diamond grips, if authentic they should have 15 rows of checkering between the diamonds, + or - 1. They also shouldn't look brand-new, obviously. That of course isn't a guarantee because it's fairly easy to fake aged original grips.

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 02-07-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The only markings I found on the barrel were when I disassembled it. There was a S and P stamped where the barrel link attaches to the barrel.
 

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It appears you might still have the original barrel anyway. I checked my records, and it's possible that Colts in that serial range could have come with barrels made by Springfield Armory (S P marked). If so you're lucky, because it's rare for a Colt of this vintage to survive 85 years with the same barrel.
 

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I'm going to guess "TA CO SAC CA" is shorthand for "T" Arms, Sacramento, California. That sounds like an import mark. Maybe the gun came from Korea, or other MAP country?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thought I'd give a little update on my first GI purchase.

I talked to a couple of local gunsmiths, and they both thought the "TA CO SAC CA" stamping was in import mark, but neither was sure why it would have an import mark.

One of them also found and "H" stamped on the slide above the firing pin, and said that indicated that the slide had been hardened, due to problems with the slide cracking at one time. I was also informed that the two toned mag that came with it, although absent of any marking, was most likely orginal. The only bad news, which wasn't much of a surprise, is that the grips probably weren't orginal.

They both agreed that I got a pretty good buy.

Are there any other markings or stampings I should look for, other than the ones I mentioned earlier?
 

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The "H" above the FP stop is actually the provisional inspection mark of Francis Hosmer. The same exact mark was struck on the top of the original barrel and inside on the frame near the disconnector hole. This is one of those ways of determining originality, knowing that all three marks were struck with the same die. If the marks didn't match then the parts weren't original to each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It probably is an "I" and not a "T". That part of the stamp is very faint.
 

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So what does the number 28 mean on the trigger guard on my 1911 made in 1918 ?
I also have the hp on the chamber and a letter G on the top of the frame and on the slide as well as the number 4 on both frame and slide. and I have a very small bomb proof over the mag release. I have never seen one this small before
 

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All are various acceptance marks. G stands for government production order, P stands for proof fired, H is Col. Frank Hosmer's inspection mark, 28 is Colt inspector's mark, and the faming bomb thingy is Springfield Armory's seal of approval. Nice to know so many folks checked that thing out before letting it out the door, huh?
 
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