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Old 04-16-2012, 20:38   #1
Pier23
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WW II 1911 shootable?

Gentlefolk,

I have my father's WWII vintage 1911. It has prob been about 30 years since I last fired it. I dontnthink it saw much use when my father had it aside from being used to capture Hitler or Goering...I forget which...

Is this a sound weapon to shoot, or should I treat it as a curio at this point...ummm...think Ithica made it, but need to verify.

Thx!
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Old 04-16-2012, 20:43   #2
faawrenchbndr
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Should be shootable.
However I sure as hell would not! That's a piece of history that can
not be replaced. Would be nice if you could verify it's history,.....& we NEED pics!
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Old 04-16-2012, 20:50   #3
zackwatt
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Inspect it. Clean it. Lube it. Shoot it.
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Old 04-16-2012, 20:51   #4
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why not take it and get appraised, find someone who is a 1911 expert and WWII expert, no point in taking chances and finding out later that you decreased its value
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Old 04-16-2012, 20:51   #5
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Old 04-16-2012, 20:59   #6
FLIPPER 348
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackwatt View Post
Inspect it. Clean it. Lube it. Shoot it.


and repeat


I've got one from WW1 and one from WW2, they both get shot
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:35   #7
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Please share pics!
Thank you.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:49   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pier23 View Post
Gentlefolk,

I have my father's WWII vintage 1911. It has prob been about 30 years since I last fired it. I dontnthink it saw much use when my father had it aside from being used to capture Hitler or Goering...I forget which...

Is this a sound weapon to shoot, or should I treat it as a curio at this point...ummm...think Ithica made it, but need to verify.

Thx!
Might have been Goering since Hitler killed himself to avoid capture. I'd clean it up and do a quick safety check, if all looks well then I'd shoot it but not very much since it IS a piece of History and you want to avoid breaking parts if at all possible. Some of these older 1911's can be worth quite a bit. It's great to have something in the family like this. Love to see some pics.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:02   #9
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My only suggestion is not to use any of the +p ammo.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:56   #10
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Compared to the third world castings made today, you will be just fine. Real forged steel, even the worn out ones are safe.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:59   #11
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I'd say at least put in a new recoil spring and firing pin spring. Keep the originals though, but at least put in these new springs.

The GI recoil springs were really weak, at least the 50-something-odd M1911A1s that I had to take care of as an armorer back in the days. They were prone to open too early and spit all sort of unfired powder back onto your face.
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Old 04-17-2012, 13:26   #12
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The WW1 and WW2 pistols were dead soft 3000 series steel. In 1936, Colt started installing hardened steel inserts in the breechface, and the WW2 slides were spot-hardened about 2 inches behind the bushing and in the slidestop notch.

Slide lugs are often deformed from recoil forces, and cracks were common in the corner at the cartridge guide block, adjacent to the breechface. Those are dangerous. IT most often shows up in the top, left side of the port. Look closely, and don't ignore any crack there...no matter how small.

As the slide lugs deform forward...along with barrel lugs that set back...dynamic headspace increases by a like amount. If your slide lugs have a stair-stepped appearance...your headspace is probably beyond allowable limits.

Quote:
The GI recoil springs were really weak. They were prone to open too early and spit all sort of unfired powder back onto your face.
GI-spec springs weren't specified in pounds, but by the wire diameter and the number of turns. The originals were .043 diameter with 32.75 active coils. Later, that was changed to 30 coils of .044 diameter music wire. They averaged 14 pounds at full compression, and around 13.75 at full slide travel.

The gun can't open early unless there's a serious problem like grossly excessive headspace or a cracked slide, and the spring wouldn't have any effect on that in any event. The 1911 pistol can be fired without a spring, and nothing bad will happen other than having to manually put the slide back in battery. It won't unlock early, and it won't blow up. And...no...it won't destroy the frame.

Neither can it fire so far out of battery to blow it up. It's mechanically impossible...even if the disconnect is worn to a nubbin. Preventing firing out of battery isn't the disconnect's function anyway.

At .100 inch out of battery, the link is just starting to tug on the barrel. The upper lugs are still vertically engaged with those in the slide, and slide and barrel are still locked horizontally if the gun fires...which it can't. At .100 inch out of battery, the hammer is stopped by the bottom of the firing pin stop and the hammer face can't reach the firing pin...and if the firing pin stop has the original 5.64ths radius on the bottom...it'll stop the hammer at .090 inch out.

Note:

If anybody wants to try firing one without a recoil spring...actually an action spring since its primary function is returning the slide...use a full-length guide rod and matching plug. The standard "stub" type will get cattywampus and damage the gun.

Cheers!
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Last edited by 1911Tuner; 04-17-2012 at 13:27..
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Old 04-17-2012, 13:50   #13
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That pistol isn't just a piece of history, it's a family heirloom. I'd clean it and find a nice display case for it.
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Old 04-17-2012, 13:55   #14
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I just had to fire my WW1 Colt 1911 when I got it. I put a buffer in it, though, and only ran a couple mags through it. It's retired now.

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Old 04-17-2012, 15:57   #15
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Ask and ye shall receive.... this is just a mug shot, I didn't strip it, just grabbing some pix for insurance.

Last edited by Pier23; 01-01-2013 at 11:26..
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Old 04-17-2012, 16:03   #16
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And totally off-topic, but because I have an appreciative audience.... Mauser HSc in .32 (7.62) and Luger 9mm, WWII vintage.

Last edited by Pier23; 01-01-2013 at 11:26..
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Old 04-17-2012, 16:04   #17
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I've shot my 1907 long barreled Lugar a few times.
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Old 04-17-2012, 16:06   #18
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Quote:
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Ask and ye shall receive.... this is just a mug shot, I didn't strip it, just grabbing some pix for insurance.
Wow! very nice..................
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Old 04-17-2012, 16:10   #19
seanmac45
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That's in beautiful condition! Best of luck with her.
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Old 04-17-2012, 16:10   #20
glock2740
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Gentlefolk,

I dontnthink it saw much use when my father had it aside from being used to capture Hitler or Goering...I forget which...
I really hope you are kidding.
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