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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I would enjoy a project like this, but I've got some research to do in figuring out values....
I'll search the threads for restoration stories.
I appreciate the link.
 

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That isn't wasting your money. Wasting your money is when you buy one of these that somebody cleaned up and reblued then put on Gunbroker for $1200. Yes I've seen it happen.
 

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While the level of fit, finish and bluing surpassed today's guns, on something with this much wear and tear it's irrelevant. Also, 1911 pistols made before 1925 had NO heat treating at all. 1930s pistols like these had the front 1/3 of the slides hardened and a hardened insert pressed into the breechface where the firing pin hole is, but the locking lugs and slide stop notch remained soft. Therefore the slides won't stand up to a lot of extended shooting like today's pistols will. They'll make okay recreational shooters, but as a base for a custom or competition pistol forget it.
 

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While the level of fit, finish and bluing surpassed today's guns, on something with this much wear and tear it's irrelevant. Also, 1911 pistols made before 1925 had NO heat treating at all. 1930s pistols like these had the front 1/3 of the slides hardened and a hardened insert pressed into the breechface where the firing pin hole is, but the locking lugs and slide stop notch remained soft. Therefore the slides won't stand up to a lot of extended shooting like today's pistols will. They'll make okay recreational shooters, but as a base for a custom or competition pistol forget it.
When you say "a lot" how much are we talking? If one was to buy one of these and refinish it yourself, will it be worth the $500 investment for the occasional shooter or "beater" 1911?
Or would the Sistma 1924s be a better option?
 

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When you say "a lot" how much are we talking?
That's like a guy with a heart condition asking the doctor how long he'll probably live. Too many variables, so you never really know. I have an Argentine M1927 as my "mil spec shooter", and while it too has a semi-soft slide I don't worry about it. If the slide ever cracks or peens too badly it'll simply be my excuse to put a post-war USGI "hard" slide on it. On a refinished old gun with no collector's value worrying about its durability is kind of nonsensical.
 

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I will tell you this.

I would not consider for one minute buying one of those guns. Spend your money how you see fit. But you can get scrap iron a lot cheaper than that.
 

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The ones I have purchased have made fine shooters with a good cleaning and new springs. Good luck finding a real numbers matching vintage Colt "shooter" cheaper than what these are going for. Here's one I cleaned up and rust blued a couple of weeks ago:

 

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The ones I have purchased have made fine shooters with a good cleaning and new springs. Good luck finding a real numbers matching vintage Colt "shooter" cheaper than what these are going for. Here's one I cleaned up and rust blued a couple of weeks ago:
Martensite, do you think you could give us a run down on how you refinished your Colt? A lot of the pictures in the thread above are no longer there.
Were you able to get the Argentine markings off of it?
 

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The only two stamps removed from the pistol pictured above were the "Sarco Inc." import stamp and "Policia de la Capital" stamps.

The Sarco import stamp was on the underside of the dust cover. I used a fine stone to stone it away while following the radius of the dustcover.

The driver's side of the slide had a very faint "Policia de la Capital" stamp above the patent dates. Removing the light corrosion and pitting on the slide removed what was left of this stamping while still leaving the original Colt patent dates still legible.

I then used Mark Lee Express Blue to rust blue the pistol. I performed 10 cycles of rusting, boiling and carding to blue the pistol. It took me about 12 hours working continuously to complete the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The ones I have purchased have made fine shooters with a good cleaning and new springs. Good luck finding a real numbers matching vintage Colt "shooter" cheaper than what these are going for. Here's one I cleaned up and rust blued a couple of weeks ago:

Looks great. I don't seem to run across any vintage colts, anywhere, in any condition for that money.
 
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