View Full Version : Age of Old Colt .45?

Matt VDW
July 20, 2000, 09:35 PM
I'd like some help getting an approximate date of manufacture for an old Colt automatic.

It's a .45 Auto, serial number 877xxx. The left side of the slide is marked with the prancing pony and the patent dates and the right side is marked "M1911 A1 U.S.ARMY". There are several other marks which I assume are some sort of military proof marks.

My guess is that it was made around 1950. Am I close?

Steven Mace
July 21, 2000, 01:05 AM
Matt, if there are no other letter prefixes or suffixes, your Model 1911A1 was made in 1943 by Ithaca. Hope this helps!

Steve Mace

After today, its all historical

Matt VDW
July 21, 2000, 09:55 AM
Thanks, Steve. I'm surprised that it's not a Colt frame, since the slide and frame appear to be a close match and the frame doesn't look like something that was rushed out of a factory during WWII, but it's still a neat pistol.

Someone built it into a bullseye gun so it has some interesting features, like an extented front sight and a bushing screwed into the barrel bushing. The slide to frame fit is as tight as anything built today and the trigger breaks like a glass rod at just over 3.5 pounds. Now I'm trying to find out who did the gunsmithing.

If I had a digital camera, I'd post some pictures.

James K
July 22, 2000, 09:56 PM
Hi, Matt,

That is in the serial number range that was assigned to Colt but duplicated by Ithaca (somebody goofed!). Look at the frame just above the magazine release for a set of initials. If it says "FJA" (Frank J. Atwood), the frame was made by Ithaca; if it says "GHD" (Guy H. Drewry), it was made by Colt.

The 1943 date would be correct either way.

In one respect, the conversion to a target gun is unfortunate, since it would probably be worth more if it had been left as it was.

Still, it should be a great shooter and, as you say, probably better than anything built today.


Matt VDW
July 24, 2000, 03:55 PM

Ah... I was wondering what the "GHD" stood for! Thanks for the info. Do you know what the "P"s in front of the rear sight and on the frame mean?

I shot the pistol yesterday at an 1800 match using a classic bullseye load: a 185gr LSWC over 4.0 grains of Alliant Bullseye. The pistol performed beautifully, though it took me a few magazines to get comfortable with it.

James K
July 25, 2000, 11:51 AM
The P's are proof marks.


July 27, 2000, 07:03 PM
If anyone's interested,I have a rather simple web page on the 1911. It was put together a while back and hopefully correct as possible. It has the production dates by S/N and values for the 1911 and 1911-A1 Military and Comm. models and a little extra info. but not all the proof or ID marks. The url is: http://redrival.com/rayvigator/Govt.M1911/index.htm

[This message has been edited by raymo (edited July 27, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by raymo (edited July 27, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by raymo (edited July 27, 2000).]