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Thread: 1911 Magazine Identification

  1. #1
    Join Date
    22nd December 2004
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    5,768

    1911 Magazine Identification

    Every once in a while a member posts a message wanting to know who made their magazines. This thread is intended to be an all inclusive list of the various codes and identifying marks used on 1911 magazines. Please feel free to add verified codes that I may have missed and include any images you may have.

    Colt Factory Magazines
    Colt uses or has used several subcontractors over the years. These magazines are usually identified by the Colt pony on the baseplate, and a couple of letter codes that indicate the finish and the subcontractor. These are the codes for those magazines.

    M=Metalform
    C=Checkmate
    O=Okay Industries
    G=?

    Here is a pic of a Colt magazine. The second letter "s" indicates a stainless mag.


    On a side note, Metalform sells a 1911 magazine under their own brand as well. This magazine has their company logo in place of the "m" used on the Colt contract mags.
    Here is a pic from our e-zine of the Metalform baseplates by John:


    GI Magazines
    (from 1911Tuner)
    Look on the toe of the floorplate for a letter identification. It'll be a single letter. S G L R One of the four.
    On the bottom, you may notice two letters...one will be a C with a hyphen between'em...but the letter on the toe identifies the manufacturer.
    S=Scovill
    G=General Shaver
    L=MS Little
    R=Risdon
    Umarked=Colt

    The C+one of the letters identifies a Colt contract with whichever vendor made the magazine.

    A CAGE code on the bottom of the floorplate is a post-war USGI magazine

    Some of the early post-war magazines were marked with the above manufacturer codes, or were assembled from surplus components. The qualify as genuine, though not exactly era-correct...and it's beyond my eyeball skills to determine the difference.

    Cage Codes
    This is a list of known cage codes posted by Doran

    MFR. 8R611
    KASCO METAL PRODUCTS
    Status: P - Cancelled Without Replacement Record Parent
    BROOKLYN, NY 11200
    Date CAGE Code Established: 4/8/1979

    MFR. 30745
    MASON-RUST CO
    Status: F - Obsolete Record Parent
    PITTSBURGH, PA 15200
    Date CAGE Code Established: 11/4/1974

    MFR. 1M291
    CHECK-MATE INDUSTRIES INC
    Status Code: ACTIVE
    777 MOUNT AVE
    WYANDANCH, NY 11798-0000
    Date CAGE Code Established: 1/11/1975

    For cage codes not listed see this website:
    https://www.bpn.gov/bincs/begin_search.asp

    I don't have a photo of a cage code baseplate. If anyone has one please add it to this thread. Thanks.
    "The 1911 was the design, given by God to us through John M. Browning, that represents the epitome of what a killing tool needs to be. It was true in 1911 and it's true now." - Col. Robert Coates commanding, U.S. Marine Corp Special Operations Command Detachment 1 (DET 1)
    Last edited by by a moderator; 29th March 2007 at 12:21.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    4th September 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    10,693
    Great thread Garrett.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    1st June 2004
    Location
    Vatican City
    Posts
    15,168
    OKAY INDUSTRIES INC
    CAGE Code: 33710
    Status: A - Active Record
    Address: 200 ELLIS ST
    City: NEW BRITAIN
    ZIP: 06051 - 3547

    Photo courtesy of Doran.

    METALFORM COMPANY INC
    DBA HOOK-FLEX DIVISION
    CAGE Code: 8U197
    Status: A - Active Record
    Address: 555 JOHN DOWNEY DR
    City: NEW BRITAIN CT.
    ZIP: 06051 - 2435

    Garrett, do we know for certain "G" represents Mec-Gar?
    I have e-mailed them (Mec-Gar) several times and have not as of yet received a reply.

    W.W. I era magazine contractors

    A - on top lip of base - American Pin Co., Waterbury, Conn.

    B - on top lip of base - Barnes & Kobert Mfg. Co., New Britain, Conn.

    L - on top lip of base - M. S. Little Mfg. Co., Hartford, Conn.

    R - on top lip of base - Risdon Tool & Machine Co., Naugatuck, Conn.

    R - on bottom lip of base - Raymond Engineering Corp., New York, NY.

    W.W. II era magazine contractors

    (Military magazines have the "letter" on top of the toe,
    Civilian magazines have the "letters" on the bottom of the toe)

    Unmarked - Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co.

    L - on top lip of base - M. S. Little Mfg. Co., Hartford, Conn.

    L - on top lip of base - C-L on bottom lip of base - M. S. Little Mfg. Co. (subcontracted for Colt)

    R - on top lip of base - Risdon Tool & Machine Co., Naugatuck, Conn.

    R - on top lip of base - C-R on bottom lip of base - Risdon Tool & Machine Co. (subcontracted for Colt)

    S - on top lip of base - Scovill Mfg. Co., Waterbury, Conn. (Scovill acquired American Pin Co. in 1923)

    S - on top lip of base - C-S on bottom lip of base - Scovill Mfg. Co. (subcontracted for Colt)

    G - on top lip of base - General Shaver Division of Remington Rand, Bridgeport, Conn.

    ================================================

    005.. Colt PFA punch and slot or keyhole; Springfield Armory loop and no loop; Colt CAL.455 ELEY
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...4&postcount=15

    010.. American Pin Company with several letter styles; Barnes & Kobert Mfg Co: WWI
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...7&postcount=16

    015.. M.S. Little Mfg Co: WWI and WWII
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...8&postcount=20

    020.. Ridson Tool and Machine Co, later Ridson Mfg Co: WWI and WWII
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...7&postcount=32

    025.. General Shaver Div of Remington Rand: WWII
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...9&postcount=39

    030.. Scovill Mfg Co: WWII
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...6&postcount=42

    035.. Colt WWII contractor supplied L C-L, R C-R, S C-S and S C-R factory errors
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...3&postcount=43
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...8&postcount=66

    040.. Pinned style baseplate removed from magazine and last style pinned baseplate construction
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...1&postcount=46

    045.. Remington-UMC baseplate compared to Colt baseplate
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...6&postcount=48

    050.. Colt prewar round O font vs squashed O font
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...8&postcount=69

    055.. Norway production
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...5&postcount=70

    060.. fake USGI compared to genuine and genuine Colt factory magazine packaging
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...0&postcount=75

    065.. factory marking errors WWII contractors
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...0&postcount=79

    070.. misc/other maker markings
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...8&postcount=83

    075.. 1950s USGI magazine wrapping
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...4&postcount=84

    080.. 1940s USGI magazine wrapping
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...4&postcount=84

    085.. VCI protective paper examples. Table of military specification MIL-P-3420 revision dates for PACKAGING MATERIALS, VOLATILE CORROSION INHIBITOR TREATED, OPAQUE
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...2&postcount=86

    090.. 1960s USGI magazines
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...0&postcount=87

    095.. 1970s USGI magazines
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...4&postcount=88

    100.. 1980s USGI magazines
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...2&postcount=89

    105.. 1990s USGI magazines
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...1&postcount=90

    110.. Cooper Ind possible prototype 1911 magazine
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...0&postcount=96

    115.. Argentina Sistema matching magazines and others courtesy of member scipio
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...4&postcount=98

    120.. Argentina Ballester handshake mark
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...3&postcount=99

    121.. Argentina Ballester 4 pointed "star" mark
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=307

    125.. Argentina HAFDASA early magazine (HA mark)
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=102

    130.. Argentina Ballester F in oval mark
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=103

    135.. Argentina Sistema .22 calibre conversion magazine (Establecimientos Venturini)
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=109

    140.. Argentina Ballester .22 calibre conversion magazines (Industrias Marcati) and original .22 calibre Ballester magazines
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=110

    145.. Argentina Halcon Ind magazine marks (Metalurgica Centro)
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=114

    150.. Establecimientos Venturini, Industrias Marcati and Metalurgica Centro histories courtesy of member Hafdasa
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=111
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=115

    155.. Argentina Sistema Navy replacement magazine mark
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=116

    160.. Argentina Ballester Escarapela mark
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=123

    165.. Argentina Ballester Navy mark
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=131

    170.. Colt Commercial magazine marks
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=132

    175.. Argentina Ballester low serial number magazines
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php...8&postcount=136

    180.. Drain hole date information concerning Checkmate USGI magazines
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=159

    185.. General Officer pistol Serial No. GO 830 with numbered magazines
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=172

    190.. Wheels and Eagles, National Match marks applied to magazines
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=174

    195.. modern fake G magazine speculation
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=263

    200.. fake 30745 magazine information
    http://forum.m1911.org/showpost.php?...&postcount=280

    (Expanded index work courtesy of member Doran)
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." - Jeff Cooper
    Last edited by OD*; 20th September 2013 at 13:56.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    25th June 2004
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,313
    Excellent Info Thanks Guys

  5. #5
    Join Date
    22nd December 2004
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    5,768
    Garrett, do we know for certain "G" represents Mec-Gar?
    I have e-mailed them (Mec-Gar) several times and have not as of yet received a reply.
    The word I got from Tuner was 95% sure. I tried to edit the post and add that addendum, but it wouldn't let me so I am making the note here. Thanks for the additional GI contract info.
    "The 1911 was the design, given by God to us through John M. Browning, that represents the epitome of what a killing tool needs to be. It was true in 1911 and it's true now." - Col. Robert Coates commanding, U.S. Marine Corp Special Operations Command Detachment 1 (DET 1)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    1st June 2004
    Location
    Vatican City
    Posts
    15,168
    I don't believe they are Garrett. Doran has a letter from Mec-Gar saying that they didn't make the G stamped magazines. I also posted a response in the other thread as well.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." - Jeff Cooper

  7. #7
    Join Date
    22nd December 2004
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    5,768
    Thanks OD. I can't edit the original post it appears. Will the forum software allow a mod to edit and change G=Mec-gar to G=??? and then we could take out the extraneous discussion? I think some folks might just take a quick glance and not read our follow up comments.
    "The 1911 was the design, given by God to us through John M. Browning, that represents the epitome of what a killing tool needs to be. It was true in 1911 and it's true now." - Col. Robert Coates commanding, U.S. Marine Corp Special Operations Command Detachment 1 (DET 1)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    1st June 2004
    Location
    Vatican City
    Posts
    15,168
    You're welcome Garrett.

    Yes sir, we can edit the thread. Doran has been gracious enough to offer us some pictures of different magazines from his collection and also a scan of the Mec-Gar letter. I'll wait until those details are worked-out before I do any editing, if that is agreeable with you sir (technically, it is your thread).
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." - Jeff Cooper

  9. #9
    Join Date
    22nd December 2004
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    5,768
    Perfectly agreeable OD*.

    technically, it is your thread
    Naw, I just got the idea to start it. It was intended as a resource for the community and belongs to all who contribute useful information to it.
    "The 1911 was the design, given by God to us through John M. Browning, that represents the epitome of what a killing tool needs to be. It was true in 1911 and it's true now." - Col. Robert Coates commanding, U.S. Marine Corp Special Operations Command Detachment 1 (DET 1)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    1st June 2004
    Location
    Vatican City
    Posts
    15,168
    Thank you Garrett.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." - Jeff Cooper

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