A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Remington Rand Research

My Remington Rand M1911A1 was produced by the Remington Rand Typewritter Company in 1945. Remington Rand was awarded its first M1911A1 order on March 16th, 1942, for a total of 125,000 pistols. The company had no experience building pistols at the time it was awarded the contract. Remington Rand formed a new division (Remington Rand "C" Division) to take charge of building the M1911A1. Remington Rand "C" Division converted a vacant plant into a modern pistol manufacturing facility. The plant was located on Dickerson street in Syracuse, N.Y and was once used for building typewriters. Initially some manufacturing equipment was not available. Click to enlargeThis caused Remington Rand to acquire parts from other sources to complete the early pistols. They purchased barrels from High Standard, Colt, and Springfield Armory. Disconnectors were purchased from US&S, grip safeties from Colt, and slide stops from Colt and Springfield Armory (2,865 left over from WWI). Remington Rand "C" Division inherited much of the documentation, tooling, and machinery that originally was used by The Singer Manufacturing Co. in their Educational Order.

Consequently some of the parts of the early Remington Rand pistols were made using Singer supplied tooling and fixtures. Careful examination of early Remington Rand pistols will reveal striking similarities in some of the parts to Singer made parts such as the triggers and mainspring housings. The first 255 production pistols where accepted by ordnance inspectors in November of 1942. Initial shipments appeared to perform satisfactorily, but subsequent tests performed by ordnance inspectors revealed serious problems with parts interchangeability. In March 1943 James Rand Jr. stopped production due to a high rate of parts interchangeability test failures. Only after a change in management and a thorough review of the inspection and manufacturing operations was production finally resumed in May of 1943. Throughout production Remington Rand aggressively attempted to innovate and improve the production of 1911A1 pistols.

By March of 1945 they where building the lowest price pistol in the war effort and quality was considered second to none. By the end of the war Remington Rand had produced over 875,000 pistols, almost as many as Colt (628,808) and Ithaca (335,467) combined. Reference: Charles Clawson, “Colt .45 Service pistols”.

I'm currently researching my Remington Rand on the 1911 Forum and at Harley Nolden's Institute For Firearms Research. It looks like the magazine is a General Shaver magazine, and correct for the gun. The General Shaver Division of Remington Rand manufactured magazines that were issued with Remington Rand pistols only and were fully blued, with a spot welded base marked with a " G " on the top of the lip of the base. The General Shaver magazines also had spot welding down the back of the tube.

The Colt barrel is curious. I'm wanting more information on that.

Remington Rand variation information is available here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roger .45

I believe that the barrel is a post WW 2 Colt. My main reference is Charles Clawson's excellent "Colt .45 Service Pistols".

The markings that were on the WW 2 Remington Rand barrels should be HS (manufactured by High Standard) on the right lug for a serial number, such as yours, that late in production. There are others like F for Flannery Bolt Company and Coltznd Springfield in early production.

Also, check the color of the parkerizing on the slide and on the frame. These colors should be the same. This is best checked in bright sunlight.

I have 3 Remington Rand pistols. And all meet the description in Clawson's book.

The slidestop and the thumb safety rarely have the same parkerizing color the rest of the pistol has. Some blued...some parkerized.

I hope this helps. This is still a great pistol. Congrats!

5:39 PM  
Blogger DirtCrashr said...

My '43 Colt 1911A1 has a High Standard barrel, marked HS on the right side of the toggle lug, P on the left side just like p. 107 of Claweson's 3rd Edition book (which I have) - wanna trade? :-) My magazines are a Scovill and a Risdon and it digests WalMart white-box FMJ with nary a hiccup.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The black leather holster indicates post WW2 issue (I think around 1950 is when they switched) most original tan holsters were dyed black.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

The holster appears to be black in the photo. It is in fact dark brown, as the pics at The High Road show.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My only Remington Rand (so far - I have nine M1911s and -a1s) is one of the first 1000 made. A beautiful Du-Lite finish, all original and retains about 90% finish. Sometimes lady luck smiles in a grand fashion.

8:12 AM  

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