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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The slide has Remington Rand stamped on the left. A "P" near the rear sight. And absolutely nothing on the right side.
The frame has the a "P" by the slide release on the left side but missing the FJA under the slide stop. Then on the right, where I think the serial number should be it has this mark "R S 1100" or maybe it's "R S 110 0" you can see in the pic.
An old WWII vet gave me the gun some 30 years ago. Never gave it a thought. Pulled it out today, June 6th, and thought how cool I have this history. Thought maybe I could get more info from the serial number but looking through databases of 1911's on the net there is nothing close to " R S ANYTHING" that I could find.
Is that a real serial number ? Any thoughts on where I might look next ?
 

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Yes, I suggest that you field strip the pistol; closely examine each surface available stripped; take close-up photos of each marking, in soft lighting or using ‘torch’ mode flash with a smart camera (such as found in mid- / upper-tier smart-phones). Post the photos here so the m1911 historical experts can weigh in.

Here’s my effort at this:


... followed by the resulting advices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you tgt_USA. Attached more pics. Looking through threads it appears that without a serial number, this pistol would be illegal and I'm to dispose of it, perhaps give it to ATF. I want nothing to do with an illegal anything so if that's what I have to do I will but the "R S 100 0" on the right is clearly stamped. Always thought that was the serial number until I started looking for it on the net and realized it's not even close. Then again, that doesn't mean it's not a real serial number just different for some reason. I hope someone knows what it is, if it's legal, or can guide me further. I've no intention of selling it. My son joined the Army last week (shipped Memorial Day) and I'd hope he'd inherit this piece of history.
1911 rear of slide.jpg
1911 nothing on right slide.jpg
1911 P by Mag Release but Missing AJF under slide stop.jpg
1911 left slide Remington Rand.jpg
1911 P by rear sight.jpg
1911 slide internal.jpg
1911 barrel.jpg
 

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I don't know anything about War model 1911s, but I do know something about serial number alteration. That serial number should have been machine stamped in a straight line.

What I am seeing is a hand-stamped "R", then a hand-stamped "S", then possibly a jig-stamped "110", then the final "0" was hand-stamped. Am guessing the true serial number has either been removed and replaced, or the frame was stolen from the factory and someone added a serial number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Kevin. Yes, it's stamped strangely but if one is going to fake a serial number wouldn't you fake something along the lines of a real serial number ? Otherwise why stamp any serial number ? My guess is this is some sort of real serial number. Someone was tracking this but with a different serial number. But I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thought I'd put together in case it helps. If it's illegal, it's illegal, I'll give to ATF. I'm out nothing but a memory of a kind old man ... and a cool old gun.
1911 left side.jpg
1911 right side.jpg
 

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RS 1100 = Replacement Serial 1100? I don't believe that was not the approved ATF format, but stranger things have happened. Many 1911s were destroyed in the late 50s-60s time frame by cutting with a shear through the frame and slide. Some folks bought buckets full of them and quite a few were rebuilt by welding suitably sized parts together after cleanup. I've even seen a couple with the front half of the frame made from a casting welded onto the rear half. Pretty sure that I posted photos of one that sold on Gunbroker a couple or three years ago. Not saying that's what happened here, but there are many oddballs floating around. Worst case, strip the frame of all parts and keep that with the slide, barrel etc as they are worth money to someone. If it is bogus the ATF would only have to have the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you BBBBill. Interesting thought on Replacement Serial. Going to wait a few days for more responses then if still in doubt contact ATF to see if they have that serial number in their books. And if it's got to go, I'll keep everything but the frame.
 

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Like Bill says, just because the serial number doesn't look like the serial numbers that are on newly manufactured pistols or on old GI pistols doesn't mean the serial number on this pistol is invalid. Keep the pistol and take it to the range as the spirit moves you to honor a WWII veteran.
 

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This comes up often. ATF has bigger fish to fry , and since you personally didn't alter/change the numbers , the chances of being charged or convicted are even less than the chance of being arrested under the proper statutes.
Was it registered with the law prior to your ownership or transferred thru an FFL? Receipt? BoS? If so , you have documentation that you received it like that , with those numbers and have no worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is exactly how I feel Steve. I don't know where this pistol has been but as I understand it, Remington Rands were build between 1943 - 45. A time when heroes walked the Earth.
And when they returned they built the greatest things the world has ever seen. From Disney to computers and Apollo. I hold this and it's easy thinking of them.
 

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. . . if still in doubt contact ATF to see if they have that serial number in their books.
I strongly urge you not to do this. You need to find some bona fide 1911 historians who will know what this serial number is all about to assuage your fear. You have to ask yourself if every cop and agent in the country has been desperately searching for this one pistol every day for the past thirty years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you mkk41. I don't know anything about it's history. Got to know this old man back in the 80's and we'd go walking round the block. He'd tell me his stories of WWII which to me was like listening to a living hero. One day he gifted me this pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Steve ... Ah .... well ... OK ... I see what you mean. Thing is I myself didn't do anything with the gun ... ok but they wouldn't know that. Still surely they'd know one wouldn't do something insane with a gun then ask them about the serial number. Hopefully I can find a 1911 historian on here or someone knows one I can contact. I know they exist.
 

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I believe the frame is a G.I. Maybe 'RS' is 'Re-Serialized'. Whatever, like the others above, I would not believe for one second that any authorities were interested in it for any reason. That number could very well have been done at some level of maintenance when the pistol was still in government custody. Bottom line, it's a gun. It has a serial number. End of story. If you are going to shoot it, change out the recoil spring and firing pin spring. All the other ones are usually 'forever' springs. Well, except the plunger tube spring assy, which being on the outside, tends to get ignored when lubing the gun and rusts out.
It's all been refinished including the barrel, so possibly it was then that they decided the serial number was gone so they just put one on it.
 

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ATF won't have it in their records anyway. They don't generally keep records of serial numbers except in special circumstances like use in a crime, in which case the gun would gave been confiscated and destroyed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you 1saxman. I definately leaning to that way of thinking. I too believe our nation's cops have must more important things on their docket. I am going to shoot it. I'm certain back when this was built, those craftsmen took pride, perhaps more care knowing where these were going. It deserves to be shot in memory of them and the badasses who carried them.
 

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You posted a bunch of closeups of the slide, that doesn't say anything about the frame. Look the frame over for any stamps or marks, that's what is important, the ATF doesn't care about the slide and all the other parts because you don't have to go thru an FFL to aquire those parts.

As far as the RS meaning Reserialize, as nice as that sounds that was not how the military or the ATF reserialized frames.

Sent from my SM-A716V using Tapatalk
 

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I'm certain back when this was built, those craftsmen took pride, perhaps more care knowing where these were going.
Not long ago I did a restoration of a WWII GI 1911 that upon his passing a Marine vet willed to his brother. What those pistols lacked in terms of fitting and appearance they made up for in reliability.

Before you shoot it do what 1saxman suggests and replace the recoil spring with either a 14lb or 16lb Wolff conventional spring. Wolff includes an extra power firing pin spring with each recoil spring so you don't need to buy one separately. They also sell plunger springs for $3.49 so you might as well replace the one that's in there now.

You might want to remove the mainspring (hammer spring) and inspect it for rust. If it shows rust, you'll want to scrub out the hole in the mainspring housing to be sure there's no rust left behind and replace the mainspring with a new Wolff 23 lb.

Make sure you don't skimp on the oil when you lube it.
 

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Thought I'd put together in case it helps. If it's illegal, it's illegal, I'll give to ATF. I'm out nothing but a memory of a kind old man ... and a cool old gun.
...
Thank you BBBBill. Interesting thought on Replacement Serial. Going to wait a few days for more responses then if still in doubt contact ATF to see if they have that serial number in their books. And if it's got to go, I'll keep everything but the frame.
Rather than contact the BATFE, whose answer you already know (destroy it), what I recommend is to call a legal advisor. As a member of U.S. Law Shield, I could just ask: have done on two similar-ish occasions.

Pending that, what 'BBBBill' wrote is essentially what I'd've written after having an aperitif. I've read of people getting licenses, S.O.T.s(?), to re-mil de-mil'd firearms. Some on spit-and-chewing-gum budgets. For that kind of operation, your serial number wouldn't surprise me. But I'm no kind of legal advisor. Your frame photos show very few marks compared to mine. I could imagine that as a result of welding up a de-mil'd frame and thoroughly polishing out the welds.
 
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