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WWII Model 1911

SnigleySnigley Member Posts: 134 ✭✭
edited March 2016 in Ask the Experts
Guys, I've wanted a WWII Model 1911 for a long time and I've finally decided to pick one up. Since I really don't know a lot about these, I've been talking to some recommended dealers to decide what to get. They seem to have some mixed opinions that I'd like some assistance on. First is whether guns made by different manufacturers really should command a big price differential for an equivalent conditioned firearm? Second is what's more desirable to the collecting community, a well documented history, or manufacturer on a similarly priced piece? I'd like to keep this under $3300 and I'd appreciate hearing what you guys think.


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    62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,069 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This can be a very detailed and confusing era. The 1911A1 was made by a variety of manufacturers in widely varied quantities. Some like Singer and Union Switch and Signal were small lots and complete ones in the proper serial number ranges and with matched parts are very desirable and very costly grade for grade when compared to the more common Remington model. It is simply a working example of the law of supply and demand. So, yes pistols from different manufacturers do command, and get, higher prices due to scarcity. Do research and learn what things to look for. There are a number of very knowlegable people on this site and they will be able to give you a lot of good advice.
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    Don McManusDon McManus Member Posts: 23,528 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    From a value standpoint, you will want to make sure the manufacturer on the slide matches the Serial Number on the Frame. The following link is a site I keep on my phone to verify this while shopping. Having a slide that matches the frame obviously does not guarantee that the slide and frame were shipped from the factory together, but there is a lot more value if they match, regardless of what left the factory. production.htm

    For $ 3,300.00 you should have a very good chance a picking up a pistol in good condition, depending upon the manufacturer.

    You can look at completed auctions on the auction side to get an idea, but the following may help. Please understand that there is a wide ranges of pricing depending upon condition and manufacturer.

    The highest value, other than a Singer which can run to the mid 5 figures if you can find one, will be the Union Switch and Signal.

    The Ithaca is usually second in value, followed by the Remington Rand and the Colt. Colt values at least around here are typically lower due to the number made, but there is a value in the Colt name which has an influence on price.

    From my experience, you would be able to get a US&S in shootable condition for $ 3300.00 or an Ithaca in pretty good condition. A Colt or Remington Rand should be able to be found for under $ 2,000.00 in fairly good shape.

    This is a market, again from my experience, that can be all over the place, and others may have had different experiences with pricing.

    I have one of each of the manufactures listed above, all of which were purchased within the last 5 years. The WW2 Colt was purchased for $ 1,200.00 IIRC, the Remington Rand for around $1,500.00, the Ithaca for around $ 1,800.00 and the US&S for $ 2,500.00.

    The Ithaca is in in fairly good condition, the Colt and Remington Rand in good condition, and the US&S is OK, but would be called a collectable shooter at best.

    WW2 Ithaca 1911A1


    WW2 Colt 1911A1


    WW2 Remington Rand 1911A1


    WW2 Union Switch and Signal 1911A1


    Hope this helps. Please take it only as a guide and not as anything coming from an actual expert.

    Good luck and enjoy. Once you get your WW2, you will have to get one made for the Great War as well.
    Freedom and a submissive populace cannot co-exist.

    Brad Steele
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    perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    There are lots of books written about military 1911 & 1911A1 Charles Clawson . His Big Book is very pricey "WHEN you can find one for sale." you have to remember the last one was built in 1946 some stayed in use until VIETNAM . and people in the arms room That had to clean & repair them could care less if they kept all the parts or each gun together . These pistols were not given to the GI that they were issue to . However records were not kept so All should Have property of U.S. Government don't worry about this but do worry about bubba Making what LOOKS LIKE a factory pistol as parts can be mismatched LOCUST FORK on the auction has what looks to be a fairly nice one for sale ending today.I collect 1911/1911AI but the first 20 years I did so I made mistakes That is why I started my study of these pistols Good luck with your quest. Your Price range SHOULD allow you to get a very nice ALL ORIGINAL PARTS TYPE but just as easy will be a NOT correct pistol
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    nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,881 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Good advice given above.

    The important things are originality & condition. As the condition approaches 100%, selling price increases exponentially. While there's nothing wrong with an arsenal rebuilt gun, they sell for quite a bit less than an original gun. With corrosive ammo in use during WW2, a nice looking guns could still have a pitted bore; be sure to see (or ask about) bore condition before you buy.

    I have never dealt with this seller: fubarsir , but he has consistently outstanding 1911A1's. His photos are excellent, & his descriptions are complete & accurate. You want to learn as much as you can before you bid on any gun, as there is a steep learning curve, & you don't want to get burned.

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    SnigleySnigley Member Posts: 134 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks guys, you're a ton of help. Just got a lot of research to do before I head for Tulsa.
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