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Thread: Best Approach With Old 1911

  1. #1
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    Best Approach With Old 1911

    Question: I recently inherited one of these WW2 1911ís from my 90 year old FIL made about 1943-1944. It still has the original High Standard barrel, in all likelihood was manufactured by Remington Rand or Ithaca 1943-1944. Overall in good shape, a small area of pitting on the end of the barrel 1/4" in from the muzzle. Bore has some surface rust that I think will clean up, rifling looks good. The bad part is, some idiot had the frame and slide nickel plated and a poor job at that. It was like this when my FIL bought it for $20 at a gun show in 1953. All of the markings..."US Government" and serial number and such are not visible. There is the "P" and the "HS" proof marks on the barrel lug but nothing else shows. I put the frame on precision parallels on a granite surface plate and ran a dial indicator over the surface. I figured if the frame was ground down to remove the serial numbers I would see a depression in the areas where the serial numbers would be. But it indicates flat within .007 or so. I am considering removing the nickel plating with H2SO4 and 12v DC. Then either re-bluing or Parkerizing . Is it possible that the nickel plating could obscure the markings? I'm hoping thats the case. I want this old war bird as a fun shooter, as collector value has been ruined, but I am hesitant about transporting a "defaced" firearm eg; one that had a serial number but now does not. I have my lawyer looking into that part of it. The gun looks really cheesy with this bad plating job. Any thoughts on this?

  2. #2
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    I agree with having an attorney advise you. Federal law didn't require serial numbers on firearms until 1968, but all military issue firearms had serial numbers, and the law makes it illegal to remove or to deface a serial number. Worse, the law presumes that he who possesses a firearm with a removed or defaced serial number is the person who performed the removal, so it is a situation "fraught with peril."

    It is possible that the plating might have filled in the serial number, but I think it's unlikely. However, I think you have nothing to lose by removing the nickel plating and seeing what you find.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside
    Likes (1) :
    Rick McC. (30th September 2023)


  3. #3
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    Yes. Thats the plan. Ive been reading a lot of folks ran out and had these guns nickel or chrome plated. What were they thinking? BTW I found a folder with all 'records' of my FIL's gun dealings over the years. One of these is a "Form of Register" filled out by the State Police it lists gun as 'Remington Rand 1911 .45 Automatic, US Gov't surplus sn 19070xxx" and was dated 1961. The regestree was a retired US Army Col. Maybe he had the gun plated?
    Likes (1) :
    Rick McC. (30th September 2023)

    Last edited by Chixter; 28th September 2023 at 17:11.


  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forum.

    The Clawson Collector's Guide serial number list indicates 19070xx mfrd 1944 by Remington Rand. 19,070,xxx too many digits for a military serial number.

    Sometimes serial numbers very lightly stamped, however, the United States Property stamp always fairly deep. The frame possibly surface ground which removed the serial, etc. Check the thickness of the frame on both sides.

  5. #5
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    My bad....I typed one too many 'x' s! Question, can one obtain after market parts for these guns....barrels,mags, etc?
    Last edited by Chixter; 29th September 2023 at 05:43.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chixter View Post
    My bad....I typed one too many 'x' s! Question, can one obtain after market parts for these guns....barrels,mags, etc?
    A GI M1911A1 is a GI M1911A1. Those were the prototypes for all the civilian 1911 makes and models that have followed. You absolutely can buy aftermarket parts that will fit. Most aftermarket parts are made to fit GI-spec pistols first, and other makes second.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside
    Likes (1) :
    Rick McC. (30th September 2023)


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