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Old July 23, 2012, 01:30 AM   #24
dsk
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Join Date: June 19, 2001
Posts: 1,550
The slide was the only component marked with the manufacturer's name, and virtually nobody at the time had any clue how to decipher the GHD, FJA, or other acceptance marks on the frame. When pistols were torn down and cleaned en masse (like how Ozzieman described) they went back together however the assembler selected the parts. An interesting study for collectors are those pistols that were made with slides serial numbered to match the frames (Colts made from #710,001-~1138000), yet which have slides just a few numbers off from the frames. The line of thinking is that the pistols were disassembled at the factory by Ordnance inspectors and their parts switched on purpose to gauge interchangeability, with nobody bothering to try mating the original parts back together once they were done. Unfortunately, regardless of history or reason a mismatched pistol is just that, and its value to a collector is severely diminished. I think they're still an interesting case study on the US .45 service pistol, just not nearly as valuable as one that's still all-correct.
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