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Posted: 2/11/2006 7:34:41 PM EDT
I have my father-in-law's Colt 1911. According to ColtAutos.com it was made in early 1917, S/N 169XXX. It's original, unaltered. There checkering has worn off the left grip (walnut, double-diamond checkered) where the shooter's fingertips would rest. It's had some surface rust in the past, but I'd say it has about 90% of the original finish, with the slide end at the muzzle worn through to bare metal right at the sharp edge on the sides. The finish has worn off the safety where it has rubbed, and same for the slide stop/takedown pin where the pin has rubbed. There's a cartouche above the magazine release, a circle with the letters GSH in it. The left of the slide is marked


PATENTED APR20,1897.SEPT.9,1902.........COLT'S PT.FA MFG CO.
DEC.19,1905 FEB.14,1911,AUG.19,1913....HARTFORD,CT.U.S.A.

There is a rampant colt stamp on the left side of the slide behind the serrations.

The right side of the slide is marked

MODEL OF 1911 U.S.ARMY.
It has the proper trigger, flat mainspring housing, hammer, and grip safety for its vintage.

Took it to the range today. Works like a champ with American Eagle hardball. My FIL stores it in a vintage Heiser holster that is probably contemporary to the pistol. I'm surprised it's in as good condition as it is. Thank jeebus for Arizona's dry climate.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:39:21 PM EDT
I have a Colt 1911 manufactured in 1916 and was never able to find a solid value for it.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:53:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CRC:
I have a Colt 1911 manufactured in 1916 and was never able to find a solid value for it.





<insert your smart ass answer here. Try $50.>
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:18:51 AM EDT
Wait a minute...

Let me get this straight in my head. Thousands of people read this board. We have experts on almost any topic. Need your dishwasher diagnosed remotely? No problem. Math homework? No big deal. Want to know about the esoterica of model options on the 1959 Nash Rambler? Somebody knows the answer, or has a link.

But on a gun board, nobody knows the relative value of a very popular model of a GUN?

Now THAT's interesting!
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:26:27 AM EDT
I'm not a 1911 expert, but I think it can be difficult to judge the value of a gun that old, because so much depends on the precise condition. For some people "a little bit of surface rust" might be a deal-breaker, for others it may just be part of the charm. Pictures would probably help.

I would guess that it would certainly be worth at least $1500, and maybe a lot more - maybe up to 3 or 4 thousand. An original early Colt like that in good condition could be very valuable, I'd imagine.

Have you tried surfing around Gunsamerica.com, just to see if there are other similar listings?

Is he looking to sell it, or are you just curious about value (for insurance purposes, etc.)? Personally, I would love to have a WW1-era Colt 1911, but probably cannot afford one like that.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:36:48 AM EDT
I have seen guns in worse shape than you describe for sale in excess of $1500. (2 years ago)

I also have an old colt that was made in 1917. The finish on mine is not is probably 80% shape, but it is mechanically in great shape. I have shot about 200 rounds through it over the years with zero problems.

That gun is a true peice of American history. It is going to be tough to put a value on it.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:45:05 AM EDT
Probably because of the possiblility your FIL's pistol is a collectable beyond what most people here collect. Take a look at the Blue Book of Values. Trying to determine the value of old 1911/1911A1's is very tough. You really need to find an appraiser with experience in 1911's to get a value. If you have a good digital camera you could take several pics of markings, wear, etc. and post them. That would help.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:50:21 AM EDT
Mostly I'm curios for reasons of insurance.

I WISH I had a good digital camera. I tried scanning it last night. No bueno.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:52:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2006 6:54:19 AM EDT by AcidGambit]
Check the blue book... I'd also look at 1911forums.com
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 7:09:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2006 7:13:59 AM EDT by lincolndz]
Guns & Ammo has a special edition out right now - "The Complete Book of the 1911." Inside there is an article authored by S.P. Fjenstad (author of the Blue Book of Gun Values), and he said that a commercial model made in 1917 is worth $2,200.

He gives his email address at the bottom of the article - stevef@bluebookinc.com
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 7:46:09 AM EDT
My family still owns a 1929 Colt .38 Super (1911) SN 6XX, been in the family since it left the factory. 90%+ finish, shoots great, still tight. Appraised at $4000 in 2003.

I have a beater 1917 Colt 1911, I paid about $1100 for in 1998, 60% finish but shoots great.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 9:13:12 AM EDT
Bluebook says.
100% $3,750
98% $3,000
95% $2,500
90% $1,850
80% $1,325
70% $ 925
60% $ 700

If pistol has not been reworked.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 9:53:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KyBlaster:
Bluebook says.
100% $3,750
98% $3,000
95% $2,500
90% $1,850
80% $1,325
70% $ 925
60% $ 700

If pistol has not been reworked.



Always check the blue book.
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