A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, September 15, 2008

The "Stainless" M1911A1

Sometimes you wonder if an auction is a joke, if the seller is smoking crack, or if they are just incredibly dimwitted. Here is the latest example on Gun Broker. The seller is apparently undeterred by a Colt factory letter, which lists the finish as "Blue." To him, the pistol is so top secret that even Hartford does not remember it's existence.
"We are offering an auction with no Reserve and winning bidder will receive a Very Rare and according to Colt Doesn't Exist 1939 Stainless Colt 1911 in .45 ACP. This gun is stainless I have taken the grips off and take a file and notched the steel it is nothing but stainless. The attached letter from Colt Authenticates the serial no. and the date. They had no other information concerning this gun. There have been rumors about experimental Colt's made 17 years before the first production run made for the military under secret contracts. There are rumored to be up to ten of these guns but this is the only one I have ever seen up close and personal. This gun is available for expert scrutiny and verification only at the location of this gun and in person. This may be the only one of these still in existance and as such is invaluable. It came to me out of an estate of an ex-Marine Customs Officer who bought it out of an arsenal according to his records. There is nothing else except the gun and the Colt Letter. I hope the pictures do it justice and if you need more let me have your e-mail address and I will take the ones you want and send them to you. Actual piece is pictured. This is just one of our great collections of guns which will be updated from time to time with new offerings, so check us often. ****Please Read This Before Placing Your Bid**** There are no refunds or exchanges for any reason whatsoever!! "
From where I'm sitting I can tell it's a hard chromed M1911A1. To make matters more humorous, Millett sights from the 1980s adorn the top of the gun, and the gun has been magna-ported. To this seller, it's just more evidence of some super duper rarity, or perhaps the time travel of small objects. He's got a file after all.......When he filed a notch in the frame under a grip, the resulting file mark was not blue! Duh...... These are the kind of delusional nuts that think Elvis shot down JFK Jr's airplane, and they vote and drive.

The starting bid? $200,000.00; Buy it Now for $350,000.00

Riiiiiiiiight! I have a feeling the $200,025 bid is just a buddy's shill to prevent the joke from being taken down. Two people can't be that stupid.



Blogger Owen said...

who is the idiot that bid on it!

8:18 PM  
Blogger HokiePundit said...

...not to mention that there's a "2" in front of the remainder of the serial number.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Not a two Hokie, it's a No. with a line underneath the o.

8:39 PM  
Blogger stbaguley said...

You are so kind to belive in stupidity when cupidity and deceit are on display. Do you think they thought they would actually sucker someone with that? The sad thing is they just might. Beating with sticks then hot tar and feathers were the traditional remedies I think, per Mark Twain.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous ottotoo said...

It must be real - it's on the internet.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Isaac PC said...

Hopefully his buddy forgets to retract his bid. Then, when he "wins" the auction for a cool quarter million, his final value fees will total about $3,150.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

Yep, definitely crack!

10:11 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

Of course, it's entirely possible that he knows exactly what it is and is simply lying and waiting for some rich idiot to come by and snatch up the "treasure."

10:11 PM  
Blogger Glenn Bartley said...

I'd like to see the criminal complaint filed against this guy if indeed the gun is sold as stainless steel.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Xavier... How can you tell it was chromed? The reason I ask is that I have a 1920's S&W .32 Hand Ejector which my late father carried and had chromed or nickel plated back in the mid 1930's. (S&W says it was sold blued.)

Some people say it was chromed, others say nickel. I can't tell, myself. Is there some way I can identify what was done? It still shoots beautifully.


3:55 PM  
Anonymous cranky said...

Check out his other auctions...$800 for an SKS-D.

And, yes, no bids at all. On any of them.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous TJH said...

If I am not mistaken, "stainless" alloys (or the production processes) weren't considered sophisticated enough for mass production of major gun parts until the 60s.

I guess it's possible Colt could have done a one-off jobber. However, since the sights, slide and barrel have been modified, it's probably just a ruined gun with the finish stripped off.

Would a chrome finish leave the stampings so sharp?

4:58 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

I have to admit that I am making an educated guess. One thing I am certain of is that it is not stainless steel. It has been refinished.

Hard chrome has a bluer, more cold and flat appearance than does nickel. It's hard to describe. Nickel, which requires a copper underlay to adhere to steel, tends to fill in areas and smooth things out. Hard chrome, which is a thinner finish, although more durable, makes all flaws in the metal more visible. If nickel were applied to the surface of this pistol, the fine lines across the surface of the flats, visible in the second photo as a slight texture would be obscured. The finish would be slick, not brushed in appearance.

My other clue is this pistol was apparently "hot rodded" in the past, possibly as a poor man's comp gun. The magna-porting and Millett sights tell me that. Hard chrome was and still is a favorite finish for guns ridden hard after the original finish is worn out.

Hard chrome is not the same as bumper chrome. Between bumper chrome and nickel, it is sometimes difficult to tell. Usually, it's the quality of the refinish that allows an appraiser to make a determination between the two. Bumper chrome tends to chip off in flakes while nickel is more durable.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

FWIW, my Gold Cup National Match is hard chromed. Click the link to see it.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Brent Crude said...

Electroless nickel plating would not require a pre-coat of copper and, as there is no current involved, it would leave stampings sharp.

Just a thought

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most stainless will not attract a magnet. If I cared enough, I'd be curious how the seller would answer the question "will a magnet stick to the frame?"

8:15 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

E-nickel has a golden tone to it, like this Commander and this Commander of mine. The stampings are as sharp with E-nickel, but the fine lines left from milling the slide and frame are obscured.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Brent Crude said...

There are a couple of compositions available with electroless nickel (differing ammounts of phosphorus in it), but I don't have much experience with it.

The stainless used in guns is usually martensitic (it is hardenable and the various grades of it are given a 4 pre-fix, eg 410 or 416) and it WILL attract a magnet.

3 series stainless, which is none magnetic is not hardenable


11:28 AM  

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