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Old November 28, 2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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1911 Colt - your thoughts please on this goodie

Out of the blue I have run into a NEW Colt 1911. Its a chromed Minnesota HP retirement pistol with MHP emblems on the nice grips. It has the presentation wood box with MHP emblem and brass plaque dated 1979. Seller sez un touched - never fired but asked me not to retract the slide. Barrel looked good. With that I gave it the close eyeball and it looked sweet. One magazine which looks electroless nickle plated maybe. All slots in the wood case are as was presented. I think I trust the guy and he said he purchaced it off the trooper in 1980 for $600. He is asking $1000. I offered $900. I cant find it listed in my value book but I think 900 might be a real good buy. What do you guys think ? I of course told him I will function the pistol before I pay him.
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:19 PM   #2
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This would be what's known as a "Private Issue" Colt model or it could be a "one off" made just for that officer.

Colt will make custom guns through the Custom Shop and will make Private Issue guns in at least 25 gun runs for anyone willing to pay the money.
These are made for fraternal organizations, police associations, clubs, wealthy people wanting a special gift for friends or customers, etc.

Unlike standard Colt factory limited issue or Commemorative issue guns, Private Issues are private, and these guns don't get listed on the usual lists of Colt Commemoratives or limited issue models. Often, only Colt and the buyer ever know they exist.

Since there is usually no public knowledge about Private Issue models, we often don't even know they exist, much less how many were made, when, how much they cost, or who they were made for.
That can make assigning a market value almost impossible.

A large part of the value is that the gun come with the original boxes and covers and any papers or anything else it originally shipped with, and be in unfired condition.

Fire ONE shot and the value plummets.
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:27 PM   #3
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Thanks . I did neglect to state another plaque in the wood box top said 1 of 500.
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:33 PM   #4
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The shop at the range where I shoot has had a state police commemorative for sale for several YEARS. I'm not sure if it belongs to the shop or if it's on consignment, but I suspect the latter because the price is $1400 and it hasn't been reduced even a nickel in four or five years.

Commemoratives aren't of interest to most collectors -- they want the genuine military issue pistols. A pistol such as you describe is worth however much you are willing to pay for it, and that's the best estimate you're likely to get.

As to telling the seller you'll function check it before paying -- don't be surprised if he says no. A few years ago I looked at one of the Colt O1911 WW1 reproductions, when they were still in the middle of the 4,000 unit production run. The shop owner was very careful to tell me that he had not racked the slide, because many buyers don't want any chance of a stray scratch or mark that can occur if the slide is cycled. I respected his wishes and didn't try to cycle the slide.

These pistols are intended to be looked at, not shot. If it were mine and I were selling it, if a prospective buyer insisted on racking a slide that had never been racked, I would invite him to find another seller and another pistol.

Once you buy it, it's your pistol and you can rack the slide all you want.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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A thousand dollars would be a good price for it, even if you intended to shoot it. ( I wouldn't That's why I wouldn't buy it ).
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:22 AM   #6
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Gee, a brand new factory chrome plated Colt 1911 for one K. Go for it!
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:49 AM   #7
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That seems to be a reasonable price for a NIB Series 70.
The plating, medallion, and case just pretty it up a little.

But what is it to be FOR?
Show and tell? Why? Are you a Minnesota LEO or cop buff?
BBQ gun for occasional carry and shooting where it will be admired?
Ordinary use?
Basis for customization?

As the wise man said, a bargain is something you don't need at a price you can't resist.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:48 AM   #8
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At $900, I would buy it and shoot it.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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As the wise man said, a bargain is something you don't need at a price you can't resist.

I'm adding that to one of my tattoos...
Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen
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Old November 29, 2012, 03:03 PM   #10
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A factory chrome plated pistol would be valuable as I don't think Colt made any pistols with chrome plating. Nickel, yes, chrome, no.

In general, those private order guns are of interest only within the group that they were made for or within the specific geographical area. A Minnesota HP pistol would not bring much of a premium in, say, Michigan or Georgia. Still, there are collectors who specialize in those guns.

For many of use, they present a kind of problem. They are nice and look good in the case, so we don't want to treat them as shooters. Yet, dollar wise, they are not worth much, if any, more than a comparable plain gun of the same type. As an investment, they will increase in value only through inflation.

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Old November 29, 2012, 03:19 PM   #11
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$600.00 in 1980 had the same buying power as $1,765.36 does in 2012. $900 sounds like a bargain if you look at it that way.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."- Thomas Jefferson
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Old November 30, 2012, 11:48 AM   #12
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At $900, I would buy it and shoot it.
That's my take on it too. If, as some say, "Commemoratives aren't of interest to most collectors", then there's no concern of significantly adversely affecting the value of this Colt 1911 by shooting it. Furthermore, you'd be hard pressed to find another nib, nickel/chrome-plated, Series 70, Colt pistol for $900.00. So, I too would do as Fishbed77 advocated: " it and shoot it."
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Old November 30, 2012, 05:48 PM   #13
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Fishbed77 "At $900, I would buy it and shoot it. "

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Old November 30, 2012, 06:50 PM   #14
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I got it for 900. Except for being bone dry - lube wise - it is mintola. Even the presentation box does not have so much as a nick in it. As far as shooting it , my buddys brother offered me 1200 this morning. I dont think it will gain much in value so I might let it go. Gona sleep on it.
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