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Just got my first 1911

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by XDRoX, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    I posted this in the general gun forum, but someone said if I post it here I might get more info on the gun.

    Here's the story. My best friend (of 18 years) just inherited a 1911. He called my up to help him sell it. I drove him to a few gun stores. The guys at the stores said it blue booked from $3500 to $4000:wow: Because it was 80% condition they said it was worth and around $2500.
    We had no idea it was worth that. I guess it was old or something.
    Even they it bluebooked at that price, they said he could put it on consignment for $2500 or they would give him $1200 for it.

    He decided to think about it. This was a couple days ago.

    Today he texted me and said he'd rather not give it to a gun store for such a low price and wanted to know if I wanted it.
    I told him I'd give him $900 for it and I'd if he ever wanted it back it would be here for him.
    He said to give him $800 and some loading components (about $80 worth).

    So I said sure OK.

    Here it is. I wasn't really in the market for a 1911 but I figured it was a good deal so I bought it. Should I shoot it? I shot it once already with him and it shot good, but should I shoot it more?

    I know nothing about 1911'a so any info would be great.

    Anyways, here it is:
  2. DLL9mm


    Feb 8, 2009
    Wow. Nice Colt. Congrats!

  3. 84S


    Oct 12, 2001
    Central Virginia
    After further review, shoot it some but take very good care of it
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  4. Alden2


    Jan 26, 2010
    I don't know a lot about these but a buddy has one from WWII and it doesn't look like that. This one's not as old as that, but it's a nice Colt.

    I'd shoot the hell out of it, but I'd baby it too.
  5. Brass Nazi

    Brass Nazi NO BRASS FOR U!

    Jul 4, 2005
    Looks like a plain government model to me. Nice Colt nonetheless.
  6. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Looks very nice :thumbsup:
  7. 84S


    Oct 12, 2001
    Central Virginia
    From a closer look at your serial number, it seems you may have a late 1920's to early 1930's commercial Colt gov't model. If that is the case, then you got a keeper. It definitely looks used, but it also looks original. Don't do any mods to it, unless you got the cash and patience for a top-notch custom job, even then I would personally pass on getting any custom work done to it.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  8. 1911ShooterDude


    Sep 2, 2007
    I agree, the 1911 is fine out of the box, and this paticular pistol is worth more stock and weathered with some usage.

    Buy an el'cheapo 1911, like mine and spend some coin if that is what you are after.

    Attached Files:

  9. den888


    Sep 4, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    It's a Colt GM. Very nice !!!
  10. ambluemax


    Feb 6, 2007
    Its hard to tell, especially with just one vague pic. If you take some more good pics and go over to in the USGI sub-forum, there are some very knowledgable collectors over there that will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.

    I know just enough to be dangerous, but here goes. If what 84S said is true in that its a 1920's to 1930's commercial model, then my understanding is that you have a specimen from the era of the highest quality colts ever made. Why? well we are talking about the age of craftsmen where things were hand made, people were very good at what they did and took a lot of pride in their handiwork (not extinct, but rare in this day in age) AND it was the age of the great depression, so people were extra motivated to do excellent work for fear of surviving the lay-offs and having to stand in the soup lines. The result being the finest quality colt 1911's in existance. That quality and the age is what makes them so valuble. That's all according to an aquintance who speicifcally deals in vintage collectable firearms especially all things colt. He told me that if I really wanted a fine shooting target pistol, a colt from that era is what I wanted. He handed me such a pistol while he was explaining all this to me and, in what I assume is his was of having a little fun with a nieve young buck, slipped in the little tid-bit that a pistol like the one I was holding sells for ~$9,000 (it was mint condition and all original). I'm sure the :wow: on my face was priceless.

    Whether or not to shoot it is hard to say. Do you care about preserving the value as a collector piece? Does it show signs of wear? Are all the parts original? Is the finish original? How much shooting are we talking about? The primary range "shooter" pistol of the dealer guy I mention is a colt of that vintage and he shoots a it lot.
  11. Hawker Man

    Hawker Man

    Nov 8, 2006
    That is one fine hand gun you have there, I'm told the C prefix on the serial number means made for the Civilian market. If it were mine I'd shoot it occasionally and would keep it all original, except for the recoil spring. I would only change that out if I were going to shoot it. And keep the original spring in a marked bag so it can be returned to original condition at any time. Google "Idiot Scratch 1911", look for pictures, and avoid it at all costs. It happens when an Idiot installs the Magazine catch and drags it across the frame leaving said scratch.
  12. bubbaskyjacker


    Jan 4, 2010
    i would be hesitant to shoot it because it is a piece of art, take care of it!!! that is a heirloom and should be passed down to your family. buy another 1911 if you want to shoot one
  13. Nicko


    Apr 13, 2007
    Virginia Beach, VA
  14. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    That is a very early (probably between wars, as previous posters have mentioned) commercial Colt 1911a1. It's one of the nicest pistols colt ever made, and yours appears to be mint. I'm not a fan of having guns I can't shoot, so I would probably take it out and fire a box through it once per year just to give myself an excuse to clean and oil it. As long as you don't shoot the snot out of it or abuse it, you shouldn't hurt the value. I would absolutely not carry it though, as the condition of the original finish is a huge part of the value of the pistol.
  15. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

    Feb 28, 2001
    If you're going to shoot it, which I would, put a new recoil spring in it first.
  16. deadite

    deadite Groovy.

    AND a shock buffer. Earlier USGI Colts didn't have consistantly hardened frames and slides, so I'm not sure about the Civilian models. You would hate for the frame to crack on you. It probably wouldn't happen, but I personally wouldn't chance it with such a nice Colt. I put one on my USGI WWI Colt and then felt better about shooting it every great once in a while. It's cheap insurance.


    Also, here's a link for a service pack of springs: Pistols/COLT/1911 GOV'T PISTOL/cID1/mID1/dID1#819

    You'd probably only need the recoil spring, but I like to over do things. :)

    Nice Colt! Need more pics!

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  17. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    Thanks everyone for your input. It was made in 1930. All parts are original. It does have signs of wear. Probably from a holster. I would rate it around 80%, as one of the gun store guys did also. There's some slight dings and light scratch marks. Mostly just looks like the gun was well used back in the day. But for an 80 year old gun I think it looks pretty good.

    I already posted it at the 1911 forum and got a bunch of useful information. The most important was do not shoot it. It's worth a lot of money and shooting it runs a small chance of breaking something which would drop the value in half.

    I cleaned it last night for the first time. The insides look great especially the barrel.

    I already shot it once when my friend first inherited it. But now that I know what it's worth it going in the safe. Maybe when my kid is old enough I'll get it out and shoot it from time to time, but for now it's going to be a safe queen. I know lots of you say to shoot and enjoy it, but I'll enjoy looking at it and passing it on to my son someday. And I have plenty of other guns to shoot.

    Thanks again to everyone for your input to this thread.:wavey:
  18. Nothing wrong with shooting it. I have shot plenty of WW1-WW2 era Colts. I load light lead target loads for my 1911's. That's what i would do.