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Sam Colt Bicentennial 1911

tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
edited October 2014 in Ask the Experts
Through the years I have enjoyed putting together a small Colt-SW revolver collection.
I would like add a Colt 1911 to the stable.
I am considering a Lew Horton Sam Colt Bicentennial Colt 1911.
There are a handful of this edition of 1911s on the auction side.
Are these type of guns solid investments or just pretty and over priced?

I would appreciate hearing comments from knowledgeable Colt collectors regarding commemorative 1911s.
Does item #447708198 on the auction side seem fairly priced?

Thank You.


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    tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I picked the item # with the lowest price.
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    Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,373 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't think commemoratives are good investments.
    Two grand for a nice real Army surplus would be a better speculative investment and a real piece of history in the meanwhile.
    You do have to know what you are looking at; military 1911s and 1911A1s have gone up so much that there is a lot of lying and faking going on.
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    rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,650 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    In absolute terms, these Lew Horton 1911's, aren't Colt Commemoratives. Colt Commemoratives are guns that specifically made and catalogued by Colt.

    The Lew Horton guns are privately sponsored, limited editions. That have been churned out by the thousands, for various private and commercial organizations over the last 25 years.

    Get a recent copy Fjestad's Blue Book. The Colt section has a listing of all the cataloged commemoratives, that Colt issued over the years. Likely you would be better off with a authentic Colt, than one of the Lew Horton guns. Even the Colts are grossly overpriced and a poor investment though, as HC noted.
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    tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    You have been given very sound advice here. I totally agree with Hawk, and Rufe, on this. If it is a limited edition sponsored by the factory, then yes, it is a good investment. Sponsored by an outside vender, means they purchased the bare gun, and had someone dress it up, more than likely.

    A good 1911, or 1911A1 that is all correct, and matching, would be better for investment purposes.

    Personally, for that kind of price, you could get a very nice Les Baer. Wilson's, and NightHawk Custom's are more spendy, but there is a drastic difference in quality too.

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    perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    Best INVESTMENT is an ALL orignial Military model made by one of many companies during WW 1 or WW 2 Next best is a PRE series 80 Colt Condition of which is KEY. Extra's Box and papers. Worst INVESTMENT is any Special edition by anyone that does not MAKE the pistol but just Modify Guns Those people will be forgotten in 20 years and value will crash.
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Can't add much here; agree with all of above.

    This isn't a "Colt" commemorative gun, its a Colt gun that a third party (Lew Horton) decorated then is re-selling at significant mark-up.

    "Made for Collectors" commemorative guns like this usually end up worth not much more than other "normal" guns from the same maker made at around the same time. Given that they usually cost quite a bit more at initial purchase, that means that most of the time they are poor investments.

    From that perspective, I think this one is significantly overpriced. I'd go so far as to say that in 5-6 years, this gun may be worth LESS than the current asking price.

    I'm not knowledgeable enough about Colt 1911s from an investment standpoint to comment much further about specific models, but I am knowledgeable enough to know that the other experts weighing in here are. . .and you should listen to them!

    What I will say is that from an investment standpoint, you pretty much can't go wrong buying *ANY* Colt pistol made prior to the 1980s, so long as you pay a fair price for it. If you're talking about a non-military gun, new/unfired in original box with original manual and paperwork is always the most desirable from an investment standpoint.

    For the same money as this thing, you could buy TWO NIB stock Colt 1911s, and I think you'd be better off in terms of long term appreciation potential. ACTUAL Colt commemorative can also be had for less, and is probably a better long term bet.
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    Don McManusDon McManus Member Posts: 23,523 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Have to second the above.

    A nice WWI or WWII pistol should hold its value, and they can be found for the price you are looking at.

    Make sure the S/N matches the slide. The link below lists S/N to manufacturer and year manufactured. Toggle down to 1911/1911A1 to see the listing. A mis-match will not have near the value as a correct pistol.

    I went on a mission a few years ago to collect one each from every WWI and WWII manufacturer. Have them all but Singer, and have a line on one of those, but it is a $ 25,000.00+ Pistol, and will have to wait a bit.

    Below are a Springfield Armory and a couple of Colts from WWI plus a 1925 Norwegian 11.25mm. (Have added a Remington Arms (1918) since the photo was taken.)

    The second column is a Colt, Ithaca, US&S and Remington Rand from WWII.

    All were purchased for between $ 1,000.00 and $ 2,000.00 with the exception of the Springfield, Remington, and US&S. These three are a little less common.

    From what I can tell on the auction side, all have held or increased their value from when I purchased them, so while not a true investment, they are proving to be a safe place to store money.

    The other nice thing about these, is that you don't hurt the value by taking them out to play every now and again.

    Freedom and a submissive populace cannot co-exist.

    Brad Steele
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    tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    thanks guys.
    sounds like good advice.
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