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madmike
March 23, 2002, 09:33 AM
Left side, behind trigger guard, GHS monogram in a circle, indicating early 20s military acceptance.

No serial number on frame. Not defaced, not removed, but no number there at all. The frame is completely smooth. Magnaflux shows no sign of a number, no discoloration when cold blued (it's unfinished at present), so it's all the same metal, not welded.

One person told me this is a factory replacement frame for a damaged military one, that got out of the factory without a number. PErfectly legal, being pre-68, just rare.

Anyone have any info?

James K
March 24, 2002, 12:07 AM
Hi, Madmike,

GHS (Maj. Gilbert H. Stewart) was the Army Inspector of Ordnance assigned to the Colt factory from Sept 30, 1914 to Jan 12, 1918, not the 1920's. Since application of the inspector's mark was one of the last steps in production, I can't hazard a guess as to how a pistol or a frame was inspected and released without a serial number. Ordinarily, I would think "lunchbox special", but the number would normally have been put on before the inspector's stamp. Curious. BTW, does it have the "United States Property" mark on the left side?

I have been told there were spare frames issued, with or without numbers, but my experience was that when a frame became unserviceable, it was simply scrapped and serviceable parts returned to parts bins for use in repair or rebuild. If the gun was in possession of a unit, a new or rebuilt gun was issued to that unit, and the inventory changed accordingly. As to unnumbered frames, it seems to me that issuing unnumbered frames would totally defeat the idea of weapons accountability.

Jim

madmike
March 24, 2002, 06:54 AM
Nope. No US markings either. Top of frame has a couple of production marks.

Is this a "use" or a "cut up and discard"?

James K
March 24, 2002, 02:28 PM
I don't know about use. You might first compare it to a good frame to determine if all the machining has been completed. Even then, you don't know if it was properly heat treated. Some years ago (pre-68), someone (Numrich, maybe?) was selling unfinished frames that supposedly came from the scrap bin at Colt. They were sold as "paperweights" with no warranty or guarantee. But I can't imagine how such a thing could get an inspector's marking.

There have been fake inspector stamps made (I have seen a fake "FJA" mark) so maybe someone was trying out a phoney stamp. Pretty wild, but better ideas will be appreciated.

Another point of curiosity, does the frame have the dished cutouts behind the trigger (M1911A1) or not? If it is an A1 frame, we will know there is something fishy.

Jim

madmike
March 24, 2002, 07:28 PM
Not an A1. No dished cutouts.

It appears to be okay. Parts fit. I can do another heat-treat if necessary--I have the specs and the oven. Just wondering if it's worth the effort, and want to make sure it is legal.

James K
March 24, 2002, 11:19 PM
Well the frame is pre-68, so the lack of a serial is OK there. But if you make it into a complete gun, I don't know. If you are concerned, I can only suggest calling BATF and telling them the situation and asking advice.

Jim

madmike
March 25, 2002, 08:36 AM
It previously was a complete gun, just in bad shape.

Thanks.