View Full Version : US&S 1911 serial no. EXP 40

February 22, 2009, 05:23 PM
I have a beautiful US&S in great condition. It is marked " Us&s Co. Swissvale, Pa, usa" The top of the slide is marked with a "p" . The serial no. is exp 40. Can anyone tell me what the value of this gun would be since it is 1 of 100?


February 22, 2009, 05:46 PM
A bunch if it's original with the low SN I can only think it might be experimental as it isn't marked as Govt Property as it should be. It might be a legit slide on a counterfeit frame. No telling

Union Switch & Signal S/N should be 1,041,405 to 1,060,000= 1943
1,060,000 to 1,096,404 =1943 (S/N's 1,088,726 to 1,092,896 were duplicated by Colt

February 22, 2009, 06:58 PM
It is original. There is an exp clearly marked under the right stock.

James K
February 23, 2009, 12:35 AM
I doubt anyone will shell out big bucks on your word or on a marking. The gun could be OK, but I have never seen one of those US&S "exp" pistols and very few people have, so I don't know for sure what the markings should look like. That those markings were handstamped means nothing; that would be expected of a pre-production run.

One thing that bothers me is that the slide markings are not sharp due to heavy Parkerizing that doesn't look like the kind usually used by US&S. They don't look like those on a slide that never left the factory, but like those on a slide that has been re-Parkerized.

Part of authentication of any high ticket item is provenance, or in other words, history. Where did you get the gun? Who did you get it from? Is that person alive and willing to sign affidavits? And so on.

Those guns were reportedly given to company officials. If you got the gun from a former US&S official, and there is a letter or if the official is still alive and is willing to provide an affidavit, that would be good evidence of the gun's authenticity.

I always like to believe folks are honest, but even honest people can buy or honestly acquire false goods. When we are talking about enough money to buy a good new car, suspicion comes with the territory.


February 23, 2009, 10:58 AM
This gun is from my girlfriends family collection. Unfortunately her father is deceased so we probably will never know any of the questions you asked. Her grandfather fought in WWII and her dad was a vietnam vet. Their collection of 60+ guns includes a spencer carbine, sharps carbine, a henry rifle, japanese carbine, luger, a few p38's, mauser broomhandle etc. So I would imagine her grandfather would have made sure it was original before purchasing it. But who knows for sure. Thanks for the info.

February 23, 2009, 05:02 PM
Back in 92 i was in a reserve company and we turned in our .45's to be destroyed as we were getting the M9.At the end of the inventory stock were four U.S.& S.One in all right condition but three were damn near mint.First sargent knew they were a high demand item so he stuck them at the end of 250 .45's in our arms room.That way they were never drawn out and never left the arms room.At the time they were going for about $1700 and up.They were all taken to Ft.Knox and fed into a crusher,it makes me cry to this day.

James K
February 23, 2009, 09:21 PM
Hi, lowsparks21,

I have two suggestions on sites to look to for advice.

One is


and the other is


which has a M1911 forum; several experts hang out there and would know more than I about exotic pistols.

The story seems plausible, but the military connection would be unlikely since those guns were never released to the army. It does sound like the gun may have been in family possession before the current fakery began, but that would be hard to prove.


February 24, 2009, 10:21 AM
JMO, but I think the finish shown is the proper "sandblast and blued" US&S finish , and not Parkerizing - which looks a little different to me.

At those sort of probable values, it's certainly worth checking out further than on the web.


February 24, 2009, 08:18 PM
I picked up a slide in maine yrs ago looked the same,so there must have been some hand helping or they were issued.they were WW1 were they not???

February 25, 2009, 08:24 AM
US&S = 1943 only.

PA gun fan
March 20, 2009, 04:18 PM
Sparks, I have gun no. 84 from that run. The serial on it is EXP No 84, but it's much sharper and much clearer than yours. It's pre-production.

Yep, they were made right in Swissvale, PA for WWII. My grandfather was a metallurgist for US&S. This one was his. From what I've read, they're second in scarcity behind the Singer models. It's reported that they were made to tighter tolerances than other mass production M1911A1 models. This one is tight as a drum, but it never saw combat and it's only been fired a handful of times.

Don't know how much it's worth, but it's priceless to me. It won't be for sale as long as I have it.

It's classified as a curio or relic. http://www.shelfspace.com/~c-r-ffl/sec2-a-c.html

My dad had it polished and re-blued, with gold plating on the hammer, trigger, grip safety, thumb safety, and barrel bushing. I was just a kid at the time, but I thought it was a dumb thing to do. I think it obviously would have been better to leave it all original.

I am considering having all the gold plating taken off and restoring the gun to original, sand blasting, bluing and all, but I'm not set on it yet.