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Thread: Union Switch and Signal????

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    28th December 2006
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Posts
    5,713

    Union Switch and Signal????

    I was at my friends gun shop last week and a fellow came in asking about a 1911 that used belong to his father (passed away) ..that he now has.

    he didn't bring the pistol in, just described it.
    That evening he texted me some phone pics
    (that I don't know how to download from my phone)

    anyway, from my research and from my uneducated eye is appears like an original

    stamped on frame is;

    "United States Property M 1911 A! US Army"
    Below that the serial number "No 1096XXX"

    no other markings on the frame 'cept a mark i see next to the mag release button...but i can't tell from the pic if a surface blemish or armorer's stamp

    the left side slide has a square logo and next to it;

    "US & S CO
    Swissvale PA USA"
    nothing on right side

    from the pics, It looks to be in good shape and all original condition


    when our schedules allow, he'll bring it to the gun shop and I'll strip it and get some good pics to share here
    Any particular areas/spots I should focus on when I take pics?

    if all original, any "ball park" value from what I've described so far?
    I "think" he said he has the original box too

    Thanks


    .l.T.A.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    26th March 2009
    Location
    In the great Pacific NorthWest
    Posts
    1,422
    Originality and Condition are key. We don't know enough yet to give you a true value. These pistols can run anywhere from $1500 for a rebuilt example to $6000 for a pristene, all original and correct pistol.

  3. #3
    Some characteristics exclusive to the US&S 1911a1's: circular milling marks around the barrel bushing, blued trigger, and 32 knurls on the MSH (count 2nd row top to btm). Any and all photos welcome but try to get those areas.

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    28th December 2006
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Posts
    5,713

    got some pics today

    got a chance to check out the US&S pistol today .
    I took pics of any and all markings I could see
    (I didn't detail strip, but could if we need)










    barrel markings ;










    armory marks ???






    the little "P" is on the slide too







    this one on grip safety looks like a punch mark too ..not a blemish







    any info will be greatly appreciated


    Thanks


    ..L.T.A.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    9th June 2004
    Location
    Alabama, US
    Posts
    1,386
    I don't know the fine details that matter a lot to collectors, but it looks pretty straight to me, and in excellent condition. Worth a good bit of money, US&S made fewer guns than anybody but Singer. Still 55,000 pistols, though.
    RCD- Lt Col Robert C. Downie, chief inspector for guns made at US&S.
    P - Proof tested.
    HS - High Standard barrel, correct for the make.
    Last edited by Jim Watson; 9th January 2013 at 22:57.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    29th May 2004
    Location
    Athens, Greece, Earth
    Posts
    27,382
    Blog Entries
    2
    What's that mark on the slide between the rear sight and the ejection port, towards the left side of the slide? It looks like a "P" but if it is a "P" isn't that supposed to be centered on the slide much closer to the rear sight and with the lower line of the letter pointing to the rear of the slide?

    The mark in the last picture appears to be a hardness test mark, but I could be wrong. Nowhere near being an expert on those old babies.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by John
    It looks like a "P" but if it is a "P" isn't that supposed to be centered on the slide much closer to the rear sight and with the lower line of the letter pointing to the rear of the slide?
    Usually yes, but IIRC some USS pistols had their slide's 'P' the way we see here.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

  8. #8

    US&S pistol

    You have a "HS" barrel manufactured by High Standard. The grips are early Keyes Fibre as distinguished by the NO reinforced screw holes. The trigger is blued which is correct for US&S 1911a1's. Count the knurls / checks on the 2nd row (top to btm) on the mainspring housing.......you should get 31 +/-1. Should you get 27 +/-1 then chances are it is early Colt / Ithaca. Also, take a look at the muzzle end of the barrel bushing.......most if not all US&S barrel bushings were not finished out smooth and will display circular milling marks. Ok.........here is the bad news, looks like the finish is different from the slide and frame. There were 3 different types / variants of the US&S slide 1) NO "P" stamp on the slide to about serial number 1,060,000 2) "P" stamp to the left of the rear sight like the one photographed from about serial number 1,060,000 to about 1,082,000 3) "P" stamp centered and in front of the rear sight from about serial number 1,082,000 to the end of their contract. This information can be found on coolgunsite.com as referenced from Charles Clawson's "1911/1911a1" bible. Looks like you have a type 3 US&S with a type 2 slide. Hope this information helps.

    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    27th October 2010
    Location
    KENTUCKY
    Posts
    5
    A ? does the fact that there was X amount of guns made by different company the only thing that makes them rare or collectable,as i recall there was only 500 singer guns made.they are the most valued.are they diffrent quality?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    9th June 2004
    Location
    Alabama, US
    Posts
    1,386
    The main factors are originality, condition, and scarcity.
    The Singer is nicely made but its extreme rarity is what governs. The legend is that they were so well made that the company's efforts were considered wasted on mere guns and they were contracted to build artillery fire directors (not bombsights as commonly said.)

    The first run of Remington Rands were pretty rough, but they did not make many before there was a clampdown on quality and interchangeability. So the Type 1 with distinctive company roll mark is worth a premium.

    It has gotten so bad that the collectors and speculators will ooh and aah over an inspector's mark if he was not on the job very long.
    Look at these guys,
    WTG: Walter T Gorton Colt S/N 700,000-710,000
    CSR: Charles S Reed Colt S/N 717,282-723,000
    The GUNS are the same as when inspected under orders of Guy H. Drewry, who oversaw hundreds of thousands of Colt pistols, but that one little stamp from somebody there only a short time adds a lot of dollar value.

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