View Full Version : Colt Government with W prefix serial number
4th February 2011, 09:54
I'm considering a Colt Government Model but don't know a lot about them. This gun has a serial number of W1008** (last two digits not posted.)
The only information I can find on the guns with a W prefix is that they were built for an RAF contract in 1918 and 1919 and that they were in .455 Webley calibre.
This gun is in .45 calibre. ("Colt Automatic Calibre 45" marked on right side of slide).
I'm wondering if some Colts with the W prefix were originally built in .45 calibre or has the slide been swapped out?
4th February 2011, 23:18
2008 Blue book information:
"WWI Brithis Series-455 cal. serialized W19000-W1110,695,marked CALIBRE 455" Blue finish, proofed with broad arrow Brithis Ordnance punch, Mfg 1915-1919
NOTE: SUBTRACT 30% if converted to .45ACP
Many WWI Brithis -series M1911's were exported back to the US. following WWI and were converted to .45acp. usually a "5" was crossed out of the original cal (455) designation.
Mint condition specimens in this model have been selling in the $7500-$8500 range.
Hope this helps.
8th February 2011, 09:12
I've been learning what I can about this interesting old gun. It is a 1918 Government blued British Contract .455. But instead of having the "COLT AUTOMATIC CALIBRE 455" markings on the slide, it has a slide marked with "COLT AUTOMATIC CALIBRE 45." And the correct barrel is gone too.
I'm wondering, would be a waste of time to look for the correct slide and barrel for this gun? Where would one begin to look? This seems a bit like looking for a small needle in a very large haystack. Lots of people probably took off the slide with and replaced it with another one. If only one could check all the forgotten drawers and boxes in basements and garages, or wander by all the tables at the countless gun shows.
Grips are a more minor matter. I'd rather stay away from shiny, new reproductions as they would not fit with the condition of the rest of the gun.
Is there a website that has a good marketplace for old parts such as this?
8th February 2011, 16:31
Don't believe I've ever seen a 455 upper for sale seperate. eBay has grips occasionally but decent sets run $200+.
12th February 2011, 12:36
If you check the net frequently, on occasion parts for British 1911s do show up, but you have to look often.
Some times one has to do a deep search, i.e. it will not be in possibly event he first ten pages of a google search.
That is how I found a .50 A.E. Grizzly fo
r sale for a bargain price.
PS- sometimes gun shows, especially the large ones, can turn up odd-ball stuff.
12th February 2011, 22:43
I'm looking for a slide but have run across a question that I can't answer.
Can anyone tell me at which serial number Colt moved the Rampant Colt from the left rear of the slide to the mid point of the slide (between the patent and other information) on these British Contract .455 models?
I've looked on line and found one example, serial no. w100695, that has the Rampant Colt at the rear of the slide. Mine (w100863) falls less than 200 after that. The next one I can find on line has serial no. w101494; it has the Rampant Colt in the middle. Based on that information, I have no idea if mine should have the Rampant Colt at the rear or in the middle of the slide. It falls somewhere between these two examples.
I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if Clawson covers this in one of his books or if someone on this forum has knowledge of this?
13th February 2011, 04:09
Mr. Clawson's Commercial book states the chg occurred around 99000 along with a font chg on the left roll mark and also states variations exist during this period. I would think since you have a serial during the transition period either style would suffice.
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