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Old February 14, 2012, 09:56 PM   #1
likearock
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Old 1911..whats it worth?

I aquired a Colt 45 Government model at an auction and when I did a search on the serial number, it shows it was made in 1913. Its in very good shooting condition. It looks like someone had used a green cleaning pad on it as alot of the bluing is gone. Has a small amount of pitting on the top slide in an area bout the size of a dime. Just wondering about what its worth. Now the funny part. I bought a set of golf clubs at this auction and when I got it home and pulled all the clubs out, this gun was in the bottom of the bag.

Last edited by likearock; February 15, 2012 at 12:49 AM.
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Old February 14, 2012, 09:58 PM   #2
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A friend has one like 65~75% its worth(hes been told) $2500~$3200 ish. I like its 1913/14

Shouldn't you report that? you bought clubs and won a gun.
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Old February 14, 2012, 10:02 PM   #3
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As always the answer is "it depends". There is nowhere near enough info here to give a guess as to value.

To start with, is it a Government model or is it a United States Property marked pistol? The pistols that the US Military used were not, bizarrely, the "Government Model". The Government Model is the commercial model. The mysteries of marketing...anyway, we need photographs of the pistol to even give a ballpark figure.

I am also curious as to how it was determined to be in very good shooting condition

As for how you acquired it...I don't know the legal contortions, if any, for your location
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Old February 14, 2012, 10:10 PM   #4
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To start with, is it a Government model or is it a United States Property marked pistol? The pistols that the US Military used were not, bizarrely, the "Government Model". The Government Model is the commercial model. The mysteries of marketing...anyway, we need photographs of the pistol to even give a ballpark figure.
I am also curious as to how it was determined to be in very good shooting condition


Its the Government Model like I said in my original post. It shoots great because Ive shot it and it shoots pretty straight and doesnt jam. I will see if I can get a camera and post some pics.
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Old February 14, 2012, 10:16 PM   #5
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Thank you. I was not suggesting you did not identify in your previous post. However many people confuse the Government Model with the one the Military was issued. Since you are asking for assistance in determining a dollar figure, it seemed reasonable that you may not be aware of the many nuances that surround these pistols. I asked for clarification in case there was some confusion. The breechface on these pistols are not heat treated the way modern pistols are and Colt identified a problem with breechface peening in the mid 1930s, resulting in a design change that used a breechface 'plug' of hardened steel. Good luck with your new acquisition.
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Old February 14, 2012, 10:24 PM   #6
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I would love to make a find like that. That is one place I have never thought to look!

People hide things in all different locations but that is pretty good. I wonder if its condition was a result of it lying at the bottom of a golf bag for years.

On that note, I think I'll take a look at my father in laws clubs..... I aquired them a while back after he passed and it was a huge old bag that my wife would not let me toss. I still use his putter - it was a 14k gold one he won somewhere at an event.

Doubt there is a gun at the bottom, but you never know.
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Old February 14, 2012, 10:31 PM   #7
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Thanks for your reply. I spent about 4 hours on the computer researching what it was exactly and never really researched to see what it was worth.
I just, a few days ago joined this site and thought I would see what some of you thought. My dad is 88 and carried one similar to this in WWll and when I showed it to him, I got to hear all the stories again that he's told me about the war. It was great as always.
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Old February 14, 2012, 10:43 PM   #8
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People hide things in all different locations but that is pretty good. I wonder if its condition was a result of it lying at the bottom of a golf bag for years.

I knew the guy that owned the property at the auction.(Passed away) I knew he golfed regularly cuz I golfed at the same club. Its my guess he kept it in his bag for protection...in his 80s...They sold about a dozen guns at the sale. No kids and his wife passed away about 10-15 years ago. I questioned the auctioneer when I saw him at a local diner in town about 2 weeks after the auction about the gun and he said its mine and shook his head and grinned.
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Old February 14, 2012, 11:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Now the funny part. I bought a set of golf clubs at this auction and when I got it home and pulled all the clubs out, this gun was in the bottom of the bag.

88yo man with a Colt 45 in his bag...Bet it was a set of Clevelands
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Old February 14, 2012, 11:03 PM   #10
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Lol, forgot to mention he had a hustler magazine in there too
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Old February 14, 2012, 11:44 PM   #11
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Along with the condition, you will want to check the various components to see if they are correct to the pistol. The slide markings, hammer, barrel, grips and etc. are things you will want to verify as correct for the production period of the gun. These old guns frequently saw a lot of mixing of parts. Most serious collectors will not want one without the correct parts. Experts can even decipher if the parts were original to the gun in their appraisals. An incorrect slide or even barrel can reduce a two to three thousand gun to a six hundred dollar item.

Field strip the pistol and check each part with the pictures and narratives at this web site: http://www.coolgunsite.com/pistols/1911infopage.htm

As another poster mentioned, a lot of the experts do not recommend shooting the old WWI era 1911's. This is especially true if you determine your pistol is correct and is a collectible gun.

It could be a nice find or a really great find.
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Old February 14, 2012, 11:51 PM   #12
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I can only try to visualize this pistol in my head based on your limited description, but I'm going to guess that it's about 50% remaining finish with some light pitting. Value would be somewhere beteen $600-$800. The mint-condition specimens are valued in the several thousand dollar range, but not one with most of its original finish gone.
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Old February 15, 2012, 12:44 AM   #13
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Ok. Thanks for everyones help. What would be your thoughts about getting it professionally restored? I know its hard to tell without seeing it. I might be able to get some pics on here in a day or 2.

I did make an error in my original post which I edited. I originally posted that it was made in 1917 when in fact after looking the serial number up again, it was made in 1913...sorry about that.

Last edited by likearock; February 15, 2012 at 12:52 AM.
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Old February 15, 2012, 01:47 AM   #14
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There are only a couple of places wih the skills to do a proper restoration. They will probably look over the pistiol and advise you wheter it is worthy of restoration. It is a time consuming and expensive proposition. Check here: http://forum.m1911.org/forumdisplay....0&daysprune=-1

Some of the old magazines with these pistols can be very valuable. You may wnat to check it out. I have seen just magazines listed for two to three hundred dollars.

A less than professional restorations is going to remove value from the pistol and cost you for the inferior restorations. There are times when the best thing to do is do nothing.

Sending it out for just a blueing or a coating will ruin the little value remaining with the pistol.

Some people have been known to break the gun down and piece meal it out part by part and finding the sum of the parts is worth far more than the whole. One buyer will be looking for a slide with the Colt Poney on the center of the slide and anogther buyer is needing a slide with the colt poney on the end of the slide. Since most pistols can not be restored to original, there are some buyers attempting to bring a pistol back to perios correct.

A couple of months ago, I sold a Colt Slide for over three hundreds. This was just the slide without any other parts.
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Old February 15, 2012, 03:13 AM   #15
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You can get the gun restored, but a proper and skillful restoration isn't cheap. It will likely cost more than the gun is currently worth, and when all is said and done the gun won't be in original condition and will be valued as such.

If you are willing to spend the money to get the gun back into it's original condition, then Turnbull is probably the premier shop when it comes to classic firearm restorations. I believe they have all of the old Colt roll marking dies and they can make just about anything look new again. It certainly won't be cheap though.
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Old February 15, 2012, 09:30 AM   #16
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Good advice. Thanks guys.
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Old February 15, 2012, 12:00 PM   #17
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Here ya go.
gun 058.jpg

gun 061.jpg
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Old February 15, 2012, 12:06 PM   #18
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If it was mine I would not do a thing to it. Keep it properly oiled so it does not rust anymore. Keep it in a humidity controlled safe and enjoy it.
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Old February 15, 2012, 12:58 PM   #19
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yeah. leave it alone. try to sell it to a collector. who knows, maybe you could get on pawnstars
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Old February 15, 2012, 01:16 PM   #20
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yeah. leave it alone. try to sell it to a collector. who knows, maybe you could get on pawnstars

Yeah, I dont know what Im gonna do with it.
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Old February 15, 2012, 01:23 PM   #21
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Honestly it is hard to tell exactly what you have from the pics. I personally think it is not worth much more than $700 to $900. It falls into the category of a shooter unless there are details about the gun I am missing.
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Last edited by WVsig; February 15, 2012 at 02:10 PM.
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Old February 15, 2012, 01:24 PM   #22
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Sounds like its in what I call shooter condition. Scratched and pitted - original finish sounds like it's beyond gone. Not much collector's value (pictures would help). I'd say it's worth somewhere between $900 - $1,200. If parts have been replaced, then possibly less. I don't see that many really early ones, from 1913 - so I'm not saying there's no collector's value - there could be some, thus why my range goes to $1,200.

FWIW, I've been following the auctions on 1911's made from 1913 - 1919. Lots of folks like the military guns. I prefer the commercial version - better finish and finishing on the commercial guns....I'm just a sucker for pretty guns. There are some really nice commercial 1911's from that era that come up from time to time - strike price on those in excellent condition is $2,500 +/-.

Last edited by Skans; February 15, 2012 at 01:34 PM.
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Old February 15, 2012, 01:33 PM   #23
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I did post some pics in the 17th post of this thread.
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Old February 15, 2012, 01:43 PM   #24
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Sorry, I didn't know you posted pictures. Nice old gun - military, not commercial. Folks expect the military guns from that era to have less finish. It actually has some finish on it - just well worn. Everything looks original - grips look as worn as the gun - original to the gun. Personally, I like the early 1913 date - but I don't know if that means anything significant to others.

I would not have that gun refinished. Clean it, lube it and put some johnson's paste wax on it. I think it might fetch $1,000 - $1,100. You've got to stay on top of the pricing on these old Colts right now, they've been going up - not the same as it was a couple of years ago.
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Old February 15, 2012, 01:55 PM   #25
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Sorry, I didn't know you posted pictures. Nice old gun - military, not commercial.

It says Government Model on it. I thought that meant it was commercial?
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