A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Tale of Two Pistols

Notice anything odd about this pistol? Look closely, enlarge the photo by clicking on it if you need to. The two sides are the same handgun.Click to enlarge Frankly, if you cannot see the oddity, then you probably shouldn't be shopping for a military 1911 or M1911A1. The strange thing is, the gun is right as rain. How it passed inspection is a wild card guess. The seller started his auction at $5,000.00, and I believe there is little chance anyone will buy the gun for that, but the provenance and difficulty of fakery verifies that this is a correct gun, no matter how incorrect it may appear.

By contrast, this auction contains a gun that does not pass muster. First, the relief cuts in the frame behind the trigger guard are soft, shallow and ill defined. The serial number should be in script, not block letters.

This pistol should have a W.B. in a square, the acceptance mark for Lt. Colonel Waldemar Broberg who inspected from the serial #750500 to serial #861000 range. Lt. Col. Broberg was an Ordnance Inspector from 1941 to 1942. Instead this pistol has an upside down GHD. This is the acceptance mark of inspector Colonel Guy H. Drewry. The GHD acceptance mark is found on serial #848000 to about serial #2360400. Serial #822368 was produced before Col. Drewry's tenure as the Army's Ordnance Inspector. The box is as fake as a Hong Kong Rolex as well.

This is why Charles Clawson's Collector's Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols: Models of 1911 and 1911a1: From 1911 to the End of Production in 1945: Complete Military Identification is crucial to keep from getting taken. It is quite possible the seller does not know what he has at auction, but whatever it is, it is not correct, nor is it authentic. The only protection a M1911 buyer has is education.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Cliff_1911A1 said...

Amazing... the second one shown already has a bid placed on it.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Firehand said...

Ok, I've never been shopping for a military 1911, and I don't see it. What's wrong?

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Robb Allen said...

Well, I for one would never buy either because honestly I don't know that much about them to tell the difference (I have no idea what's odd about the first one).

I'm not a collector though. I buy to shoot so my main concerns are quality and accuracy. Although I am enamored by the types of knowledge people like you have of such subjects.

Would you mind illustrating what's odd about the first auction?

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

One side is 1911, the other side is 1911A1!

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Robb Allen said...

I can see the 1911A1 stamped on the left side, but what is it that tells you it's a plain 1911 on the other side?

11:53 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

The lack of a finger relief cut into the frame behind the trigger on the right side makes that side a 1911, while the relief cut on the left side is 1911A1. For a pistol to have the cut on one side, but not the other is very unusual, possibly unique. Technically, and by serial, the pistol is a 1911A1, so the relief would have had to be filled in and the frame refinished to fake this anomaly. Which begs the question, why would anybody do it?

2:06 PM  
Blogger Cliff_1911A1 said...

"One side is 1911, the other side is 1911A1!"

Yeah, it's a transitional model!!!
insert image of guy splitting his sides while laughing

2:48 PM  
Blogger Cliff_1911A1 said...

If you can look carefully at the second M1911A1, enlarging your view in your web browser... check very closely the inside of the trigger guard. From forward of the trigger, on down the inside front of the trigger guard, there appears to be a line. The frame of this pistol is made from a casting. It wasn't forged. Add that to the list.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Sammy Weygand said...

No releif cut in the frame for your finger behind the trigger on the left side.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous triticale said...

I was just reading a book about the French pistol of 1935. There were illustrations of a few "collector pieces" which bore the correct German stamps for production during the occupation, but the serial numbers indicated postwar manufacture.

I don't have time to acquire the knowledge necessary to pay anything over shooter price for a firearm.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it appears wrong, which this one is, an old late friend was an armorer in the CBI theater and as a child he told me of his own modified 1911s partly to 1911A1 specs done just that way.
He would have been at least 90 by now and he refered to them as 1911 1/2s.

5:18 PM  

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