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Need some 1911 help here

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by sniper-66, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yesterday, I was at a pawn shop when an older couple brought in the lady's fathers WWII Colt 1911A1, 1941 vintage. They didn't know much and were looking at getting rid of it. I left and when I got to the truck, something told me to wait and sure enough, they walked back out with the pistol.
    I asked what they wanted for it and the lady said, "More than the $400 they wanted to give me" Needless to say, I ended up with the pistol for $600. The problem with it is that the gun is blued and sat in a holster, literally since the man brought the gun home and it rusted very nicely. The people, not knowing what they were doing to the finish, polished it with a scrubbing cloth and literally took the finish completely off. There is rust pitting on the right side and around the front sight area. the gun was probably completely covered with some surface rust.
    I know it is a project gun, but here is where I need the help. I know that if I have the gun re-blued, it will loose most of it's value right off the top. Should I blue the gun or leave it shiney like a new nickel?
  2. Nomad 2nd

    Nomad 2nd Monkey+++

    It's lost it's collectability.

    But I would Park. it like they used to be done.
  3. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Park it
  4. weapons_762

    weapons_762 Monkey+++

    park it , it's money value is now gone.

    who made it though?
  5. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yup, have it refinished however you will like it because the value beyond functionality is gone and without a new finish on it it wont stay shiney no mater how well you store it or oil it.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Park it or go full boat with a fancier finish of some sort. It's a shooter now, but if you can dredge up the historical data from the mfr and subsequent owners, it will enhance the value later. Provenance is everything if it's a provable war horse.
  7. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Weapons 7.62, it is a Colt. Research brought up that it was a 1941 Colt Army. These were the last of the blued guns with walnut grips. The next year, they went to park and the plastic grips.
    OK, I'm going to do it. Anyone know someone who does good hot blue jobs?
  8. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

  9. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    While it's lost it's collector value, I want to keep it as period correct as it will spend most of it's time on the wall with all the war rifles, so correct display is more important. I'm not afraid of the pitting as there are few "combat used" rifles out there that don't have some damage to them, hell, they wouldn't be war rifles if they didn't. It will get shot, but it won't be one of my go to guns, others fill that roll better.
    I'm thinking if I keep it original, 30 to 40 years down the road when my daughter has it in her possession, it will re-attain some of that collectability. Who knows, a good job now may look original in 40 years!
  10. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    The danger of bluing is that they have to polish the metal and that erodes the stamping that identifies the weapon.
  11. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    So, what is your recommendation? Parking it will be non period for the gun, bluing will take down the markings.

    Now, do you want to hear the interesting part? We were taking my daughter around T&Ting tonight and we stopped by an old friends house. While visiting, he said, "Oh ya, I remember now you at one time wanted to see my .45" He went down and got it and brought it up and handed it to me. It was a 1913's vintage 1911 with about %98 original bluing, 18k serial number range. He asked me if I would take it and give it a good cleaning because he didn't know anything about it. He gave me the cleaning kit that went with it, it had two full boxes of 43 vintage ammo and the original 1911 cleaning kit, the original grips (the grips on it are hand made with a silver medalian with his grandfathers initials) and a original replacement barrel. I was speechless and he asked what? When I told him what I thought it was worth in my limited knowledge of 1911 pricing, he said "no kidding, well, then you may want to see this" He took me down stairs and he has his grandfather's commissioning saber, signal corp binoculars, and a brand new leather handled M1 carbine bayonet. This guy had no clue what this stuff was all worth. I'm so giddy to have this gun in my possession, I can't sleep, hence why I am on the computer at this late hour!
  12. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I know I am in the minority but I would call Colt since they probably made it and ask what they would charge to restore it if they will at all .

    Seems to me collector/historical value is the reason you bought it so try to get it done correctly despite the expense .

    Perhaps if Colt restores it they could/would issue you some kind of certificate authenticating the restoration and it would once again have some collector value .

    Couldn't hurt just to call them and ask .
  13. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

  14. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    That is a good idea! I have a friend that is working on the history of Colt AR-15s and has some inside contacts, I will see how that pans out.
  15. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member


    Big 0 has a great idea. The hesitation I have about going out and restoring it is the fact that it's a origional Colt that I'm assuming is numbered correctly. As such even with the damage it may have sustained it still has value. Furthermore when You contact Colt pay the money and have them do an authenticity letter for you. You can then use that to up value or have for the heck of it. Just a couple of thoughts on the matter. One quick thought.. Did you get the holster with the gun or can you contact the people and get it from them? That would also add to value.

    Take care Be safe Poacher.
  16. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I talked to a guy I know well and asked about having colt do a job on it. He said that to do a Colt Army Black job, it will cost me almost $600 to do it right as he had one done. Therefore, I will have $1,200 in a $600 gun. I am still going to call them and personally verify the cost and what is involved.
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