The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > The Harley Nolden Memorial Institute for Firearms Research

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 8, 2012, 06:46 PM   #1
Hackenflash
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2012
Posts: 2
US&S 1911 EXP 37 and 38

I just joined today (1/8/2012) and this is the very first time I've ever posted anything on any site, so please bear with me.

When my father passed away in 1976, I inherited many of his handguns, rifles and shotguns. One pair of handguns in particular generated some interest at the gun range where I recently took them for cleaning. My father received these two pistols as a gift from the Richard King Mellon estate (of Mellon Back fame) in Pittsburgh, Pa. They are US&S 1911's, experimentals, numbers 37 and 38. So far as I can tell, they are the real deal. The serial number, (37 and 38) are on the right side of the frame, the left side is stamped with the US&S mark and Swissvale, Pa., and the slide has the "P" stamped on it. If I did this right, this post should have three pictures showing the pistols. I took number 37 out to the range and fired 50 rounds through it recently: worked like a champ. I cleaned it and put it back in my safe. My questions are these: What are these guns worth? Should I try to insure them? I have a safe that I keep them in now, but what is the best way to preserve them? Thank you to any and all who can help me preserve some history.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1030280.jpg (240.1 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg P1030283.jpg (238.5 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg P1030281.jpg (239.3 KB, 58 views)
Hackenflash is offline  
Old January 8, 2012, 07:50 PM   #2
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,549
You have some true treasures.

I would keep them coated with "RIG" (best moisture repellent I ever seen) and yes I would insure them, although it would be impossible to put a price on them.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old January 8, 2012, 08:15 PM   #3
johnbt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 6,004
Post #24 in this thread

http://www.forums.1911forum.com/show....php?p=3566096

mentions that first reference to the EXP guns that Mr. K has is from 1984. I found it curious that some of them were buffed/blued and some were sandblasted. I have no clue about the value, but I also use RIG.

Great looking pistols.

John
johnbt is offline  
Old January 8, 2012, 08:30 PM   #4
johnbt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 6,004
Here's a thread on a fake one. In post #8 the site admin says it would be worth $3k to $6k if it was real.

http://www.forums.1911forum.com/show....php?p=3566096
johnbt is offline  
Old January 8, 2012, 10:30 PM   #5
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,979
I have seen "ordinary" US&S pistols in good shape priced at $3000-4000, so I would guess those at twice that. The story is consistent and the guns look like another US&S "exp" I have seen. But folks "buy the gun, not the story" and the fact is that darn near anyone can remove the markings from a pistol and stamp those letters and numbers on. Is there any possible way to document the story on those guns? Did your father leave you any letters or any other information. FWIW, others have tried to contact US&S but IIRC they have no records of that period or of the guns.

I will have to note that the phosphate finish on the pictured guns does NOT resemble the finish on the production guns; the guns pictured have a heavier, thicker and darker color coating than on the production guns.

On that other site, there is a lot of talk about the serial number and the USP marking being "removed". On a genuine US&S exp, of course, nothing was removed - the serial number and the USP were never there because the guns were not part of the government contract. That is why they could be sold or given away by the company.

Jim
__________________
Jim K

Last edited by James K; January 8, 2012 at 10:44 PM.
James K is offline  
Old January 9, 2012, 01:09 PM   #6
Hackenflash
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2012
Posts: 2
Tkanks for replies on US&S 1911 EXP 37 and 38

To Kraigwy - thank you for the suggestion to use RIG. I'll check the range shop this week.

To johnbt - thank you for the information on possible worth and the links to other threads. I guess I'm naive - I did not realize that so many people would attempt to fake an EXP model.

To JamesK - I've been trying to figure out how to contact the Mellon estate to request some sort of letter to establish provenance. I'm not too clever when it comes to getting that information. My father's company had installed an alarm system at the Mellon estate, and because my dad took it upon himself to personally oversee the job to make sure it was done correctly, and because in conversation with the Mellons they came to learn that dad collected guns, they gave him these pistols. Dad never mentioned any letters or other documentation to establish provenance, so it may be somewhere between unlikely and impossible to get it. I apologize for teh bad lighting in the photos - I'm going some professional photographer to take the next set. When I look at them I see no evidence of serial number removal. In any event, it is not my intention to mislead - I want to find the best way to preserve them and insure them.

Thanks to all who responded to my initial post.
Hackenflash is offline  
Old January 9, 2012, 08:23 PM   #7
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,979
"I did not realize that so many people would attempt to fake an EXP model."

When a foreign made slide with no markings sells for maybe $100, and a frame with only light markings sells for $200, and a genuine US&S "exp" could bring close to ten grand, a LOT of people will attempt to turn out fakes. Of course, some laws will be violated, but that is of no concern to the fakers.

(The last time I posted about fakes, someone put the blame on modern "lack of morals" and "corruption in Washington." But it's nothing new; many of the "ancient Greek" sculptures in the museums are fakes, made in Italy to sell as bragging material to the rich guys in togas.)

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

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 -5. The time now is 01:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08565 seconds with 10 queries