Calguns.net  

Home My iTrader Join the NRA Donate to CGSSA Sponsors CGN Google Search
CA Semiauto Ban(AW)ID Flowchart CA Handgun Ban ID Flowchart CA Shotgun Ban ID Flowchart
Go Back   Calguns.net > FIREARMS DISCUSSIONS > Curio & Relic/Black Powder
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Curio & Relic/Black Powder Curio & Relics and Black Powder Firearms, Old School shooting fun!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-14-2019, 3:16 PM
SkyHawk's Avatar
SkyHawk SkyHawk is offline
Front Toward Enemy 🔫
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nakatomi Plaza - 30th floor
Posts: 13,725
iTrader: 161 / 100%
Default Colt M1911A1 Gurus I need your help! Interesting find today...

So today I was at the LGS doing a PPT with another Calgunner, and after we finished one of the employees brought out this old Colt for me to look at.

It came in on consignment with this story: Grandpa carried it in the war and brought it back, eventually grandson got it then sold it to his friend who was LEO. LEO carried it for a number of years on duty, then put it in the safe for a decade or two, then brought it in for consignment. Now I don't know what LE carries a WW2 1911, and it really doesn't look like it has been carried unless it was rarely unholstered, which perhaps is possible in some real small town.

True story or not, the only part of the story I know for sure starts today. After some inspection I cashed and carried it out the door.

This is what I believe I have and I need some better eyes and experience to check over it for me.
  • 1943 Colt as indicated on Colt website
  • Rare(?) commercial to military transfer 'Swartz safety' pistol
  • Commercial Swartz slide and Swartz frame restamped for military
  • Serial number on frame appears to have been peened over and restamped, as does the number under the firing pin stop
  • Ordnance stamp (crossed cannons) and 'G' government barrel, plus P stamps in the proper places (top of slide, left side of barrel lug, under mag release)
  • Matching serial on frame and slide
  • Finish looks original??, with clear heat treat shadow
  • All original and/or correct parts as best as I can tell (MSH, hammer, safety, spring plug, guide rod, slide lock etc)
  • Milled trigger with no sear interference relief cut on bow (pre 9/43)
  • Coltwood 'transition period' grips with large flat ring around holes and hollow undersides + mold numbers

Please have a look and tell me what you think.
  1. Any idea if the commercial to military conversion is really that rare (Clawson book says less than 6600 of them) and adds any value?
  2. Does this pistol otherwise look legit / original?
  3. Is this collectible or should I shoot the bejesus out of it?

Thanks!!!

Quote:
Beginning in October 1942, the acute need for pistols prompted Colt to transfer 6,575 unsold commercial Government Model automatic pistols to their existing military contract. The existing commercial serial numbers were peened flat on the receiver and under the slide firing pin stop and restamped/renumbered in the military serial number range. All or most of these pistols were originally manufactured with the Swartz safety. These safeties were removed when the pistol was transferred to the military contract and these “Swartz safety” pistols can be easily identified by a square hole located beside the disconnector cutout in the slide. Slides retained the original commercial inscriptions . Barrels transferred with these pistols were either “S” (commercial) or “G” (standard military). The pistols were parkerized and submitted to Ordnance inspectors for military acceptance. An Ordnance inspection mark (crossed cannons) was stamped on the receivers W.B. or GHD inspectors marks present on left side of receiver.



















__________________
.


Last edited by SkyHawk; 03-14-2019 at 6:43 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-14-2019, 3:42 PM
SkyHawk's Avatar
SkyHawk SkyHawk is offline
Front Toward Enemy 🔫
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nakatomi Plaza - 30th floor
Posts: 13,725
iTrader: 161 / 100%
Default




__________________
.


Last edited by SkyHawk; 03-14-2019 at 6:52 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-14-2019, 4:15 PM
pitfighter's Avatar
pitfighter pitfighter is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,646
iTrader: 16 / 100%
Default

You know more than I do about it historically -
just chiming in to say how good looking that is - !

I think a WW2 era 1911 may be my next purchase.

- thanks - !
__________________
Pitfighter.
Phoenix, AZ.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-14-2019, 5:34 PM
SkyHawk's Avatar
SkyHawk SkyHawk is offline
Front Toward Enemy 🔫
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nakatomi Plaza - 30th floor
Posts: 13,725
iTrader: 161 / 100%
Default

PS - I also got two period correct mags. One is a General Shaver and the other I believe is a Risdon (with just a 'R' on the upper toe and nothing on the bottom). I don't believe either would have been shipped with the Colt though.
__________________
.

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-14-2019, 5:41 PM
highpower's Avatar
highpower highpower is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cold Springs, NV
Posts: 3,450
iTrader: 1 / 100%
Default

That is a very rare pistol one of 6575 Commercial models that were converted from civilian Government Models to GI 1911-A1's. Looks pretty darn correct to me and I am jealous as all get-out.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-14-2019, 6:22 PM
Bainter1212's Avatar
Bainter1212 Bainter1212 is offline
Calguns Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,459
iTrader: 76 / 100%
Default

How much did it set you back? That is the real question. Did you get a deal?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-14-2019, 6:28 PM
SkyHawk's Avatar
SkyHawk SkyHawk is offline
Front Toward Enemy 🔫
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nakatomi Plaza - 30th floor
Posts: 13,725
iTrader: 161 / 100%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bainter1212 View Post
How much did it set you back? That is the real question. Did you get a deal?
Not sure if I got a deal, that is what I am hoping you all can tell me. I paid a crack less than $2k.
__________________
.

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-14-2019, 6:31 PM
ojisan ojisan is offline
CGN/CGSSA Contributor
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: SFV
Posts: 10,735
iTrader: 56 / 100%
Default

Mr. Beetle.
Paging Mr. Beetle.
Mr. Beetle, please come to the C&R section via any handy communication device.


Skyhawk, wow, what a find!
Keep those grips on the gun because they have a tendency to shrink.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-14-2019, 9:32 PM
beetle's Avatar
beetle beetle is offline
The Clip guy
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,579
iTrader: 56 / 100%
Default

you have quite the find and score! it is indeed one of the 6,575 civilian guns transferred into the military to fulfill a 1942 contract. Everything I can see looks correct and original to the gun.

You paid an excellent price for the gun. Heck, any decent condition Colt M1911A1 will already cost $2K. You got a great deal for a very rare civilian transfer.

Congrats! Yes I am jealous as well
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-14-2019, 9:40 PM
SkyHawk's Avatar
SkyHawk SkyHawk is offline
Front Toward Enemy 🔫
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nakatomi Plaza - 30th floor
Posts: 13,725
iTrader: 161 / 100%
Default

Thank you Mr Beetle! I was hoping it would pass your inspection.

The LGS folks did not know anything beyond ‘WW2 Colt’. Other than that, I could tell the parts were basically correct looking.

I could tell it had a commercial slide and I had heard that was a legit possibility for a military gun. But I had never heard of a Swartz Colt or a civilian to military conversion. They were kind enough to let me inspect behind the firing pin stop to see if the slide matched the frame. When I saw that it did I made up my mind to buy it. I didn’t even notice the extra hole in the frame or slide for the firing pin safety

It wasn’t until I got home and really started looking at it that I caught those things. I was worried it was some Bubba work then slowly started to learn about these conversion guns.
__________________
.


Last edited by SkyHawk; 03-14-2019 at 9:55 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-14-2019, 10:01 PM
tomrkba's Avatar
tomrkba tomrkba is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Soon to be in the Bay Area Circle Jerk
Posts: 700
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

What’s up with the stamping on that serial number? It makes me think someone modified it.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-14-2019, 10:05 PM
SkyHawk's Avatar
SkyHawk SkyHawk is offline
Front Toward Enemy 🔫
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nakatomi Plaza - 30th floor
Posts: 13,725
iTrader: 161 / 100%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomrkba View Post
What’s up with the stamping on that serial number? It makes me think someone modified it.
Good eye - someone did modify it!

From the Clawson book (aka the Bible):

Quote:
Beginning in October 1942, the acute need for pistols prompted Colt to transfer 6,575 unsold commercial Government Model automatic pistols to their existing military contract. The existing commercial serial numbers were peened flat on the receiver and under the slide firing pin stop and restamped/renumbered in the military serial number range. All or most of these pistols were originally manufactured with the Swartz safety. These safeties were removed when the pistol was transferred to the military contract and these “Swartz safety” pistols can be easily identified by a square hole located beside the disconnector cutout in the slide. Slides retained the original commercial inscriptions . Barrels transferred with these pistols were either “S” (commercial) or “G” (standard military). The pistols were parkerized and submitted to Ordnance inspectors for military acceptance. An Ordnance inspection mark (crossed cannons) was stamped on the receivers W.B. or GHD inspectors marks present on left side of receiver.
__________________
.


Last edited by SkyHawk; 03-14-2019 at 10:07 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-14-2019, 10:09 PM
pdaddy pdaddy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 231
iTrader: 4 / 100%
Default

Thanks for sharing OP! Quite a rare pistol you have there. I was unaware of the civilian to military transfer in 1942. The Calguns community never seizes to a amaze me. Thanks for sharing everyone,
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-14-2019, 11:17 PM
Nvberinger Nvberinger is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 147
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

Saw a near perfect Colt Ace 22 going for 5000.
It was a ACE trainer.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-20-2019, 9:56 AM
GM4spd's Avatar
GM4spd GM4spd is offline
Calguns Addict
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: I-5 and Lake Forest
Posts: 5,543
iTrader: 106 / 100%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by highpower View Post
That is a very rare pistol one of 6575 Commercial models that were converted from civilian Government Models to GI 1911-A1's. Looks pretty darn correct to me and I am jealous as all get-out.
I go with this. That is the real deal from what I see and very valuable to
the right collector.
__________________
NRA LIFE (1974) Psalm 46:10
I had a commission/USNR from 71-77 but never consider myself a Vet MyDad+4uncles/USMC/WW2/Korea/Vietnam. My Grandfather US Army WW1. No heroes,just regular folks--they were Veterans.

Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing—“
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-02-2019, 7:45 AM
Bobby Ricigliano's Avatar
Bobby Ricigliano Bobby Ricigliano is offline
Mit Gott und Mauser
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: The People's Glorious Republik of Southern Kalifornistan
Posts: 16,708
iTrader: 319 / 100%
Default

I am glad folks with more expertise chimed in. All I can offer is that it is a stunning pistol, worthy of any fine collection.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-05-2019, 7:41 PM
joefrank64k's Avatar
joefrank64k joefrank64k is offline
@ the Dark End of the Bar
CGN Contributor - Lifetime
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Los Angeles County
Posts: 9,176
iTrader: 227 / 100%
Default

Yet another quality score, SH!!
__________________
You will never, in your life, have a chance like this again.
If I were you, I would not pass this up. I would not let this go by...this is rare.
Come on...what harm??
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-19-2019, 3:19 PM
SkyHawk's Avatar
SkyHawk SkyHawk is offline
Front Toward Enemy 🔫
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nakatomi Plaza - 30th floor
Posts: 13,725
iTrader: 161 / 100%
Default

Got this in the mail over the weekend. Interesting that it says 'blue' finish when I think it is generally accepted that all these conversions were parkerized before being shipped off.

So I am wondering if they noted the 'original' civilian finish in their records?

I also forgot to ask for the 'born on' date, didn't know what was a thing until after I had already requested this letter. Perhaps not such a big deal for a military pistol though.

__________________
.

Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-19-2019, 3:29 PM
foxtrotuniformlima foxtrotuniformlima is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,998
iTrader: 190 / 100%
Default

I don't have many guns in my collection that aren't shooters and by that I mean guns I shoot on a regular basis, mostly for competition.

But that is one I'd turn into the Queen of the Safe. Nice snag SkyHawk and very cool to get the Colt letter to confirm its lineage.
__________________
Try knocking on the door.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-19-2019, 3:30 PM
ccandgc's Avatar
ccandgc ccandgc is offline
831
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Monterey Peninsula
Posts: 2,160
iTrader: 32 / 100%
Default

Did you do the form online of mail it in? I have a few Colts that I'd like to get letters for....do you need to add a note to request the born on date?
__________________
-Chad
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 08-19-2019, 3:31 PM
DirtyRussianAmmo DirtyRussianAmmo is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Santa Barbara, PRK
Posts: 1,282
iTrader: 17 / 100%
Default

Great score, great find. Congratulations on a fine looking WW2 Colt!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-19-2019, 3:44 PM
SkyHawk's Avatar
SkyHawk SkyHawk is offline
Front Toward Enemy 🔫
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nakatomi Plaza - 30th floor
Posts: 13,725
iTrader: 161 / 100%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccandgc View Post
Did you do the form online of mail it in? I have a few Colts that I'd like to get letters for....do you need to add a note to request the born on date?
I don't know that you can do it online. I called in. Supposedly you can ask for the 'born on' date, but if you don't ask for it they don't provide it. Sort of a bummer, but oh well...
__________________
.

Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-19-2019, 3:47 PM
ccandgc's Avatar
ccandgc ccandgc is offline
831
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Monterey Peninsula
Posts: 2,160
iTrader: 32 / 100%
Default

https://www.colt.com/colt-archive
__________________
-Chad
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 4:57 AM.




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Proudly hosted by GeoVario the Premier 2A host.
Calguns.net, the 'Calguns' name and all associated variants and logos are ® Trademark and © Copyright 2002-2018, Calguns.net an Incorporated Company All Rights Reserved.
Calguns.net and The Calguns Foundation have no affiliation and are in no way related to each other.
All opinions, statements and remarks made by Calguns.net on this web site and elsewhere are solely attributable to Calguns.net.