A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The General Undertaker Gangster Gun

Here's another bumper chrome plated M1911A1 with an incredible speculative story to enhance it's value in the market. I'm quoting the seller's description verbatim, although it is in snippets.

Click to enlarge
"Here is a colt 1911 that has an old nickle finish. The serial #is 134XXX. I believe it to be made in 1917. It has the colt address on the left side of the slide covered over with nickle but the old Colt logo with the horse holding an arrow(?)in it's mouth and a spear(?) between it's legs are still sharp and clear. It also has a stamp mark of a circle with letters that look like a G,H&S inside a circle on the left side of the frame about a half inch above the mag release button. the right side of the slide says: MODEL OF 1911. U.S. ARMY. It has an S on the back of the slide above the firing pin stop. Those are the only markings that I can see on the pistol. The screw slot for the Mag release is buggered up a little and the grip screws have some wear."
Click to enlarge
"I got this pistol many years ago from my sister-in-law who got it from her father's estate. He was an undertaker in Ohio. She said that he could have gotten it from a relative that was in the military who was Brigadere General Edward A. Pagels. I cannot prove this. She also said that he carried large sums of cash and frequently carried this pistol wherever he went. Looks to me like a gangster might have owned this gun at sometime. It has normal wear and tear that any piece would have that has seen some heavy use. The bore has slight erosion right in front of the chamber for about an inch however the lands and grooves are still strong and visible with the rest of the bore ok. Overall the finish is still prtty good with some nicks, scratches and a few speckles(not many or deep)-see pictures. There are erosion marks under the grips panels on both sides but are not deep and don't affect the overall appearance of the pistol."
Click to enlarge
"The grips are worn and dark but complete and the left grip has three notches that are cut in the bottom of the panel that appear to be made a long time ago-obviously has seen some kind of dubious action. The magazine has had the lip removed apparantly so that it would not snag when being pulled from concealed carry. Everything appears to be original to the gun."
Now I really love this, emphasis mine......
"This pistol slides into the hand smoothly and actually feels alive as you grip it. There is something about this weapon that makes it feel warm when it is held in your hand-maybe it's because it's old and has a history or it's just my imagination. It shoots and functions real well I rated the pistol as NRA good even though I think it is better than that just because of the way it looks and feels."
Then the seller tosses in a set of Ajax faux ivory grips to sweeten the deal, and provides the usual disclaimer of the gun being a valuable historical piece with no provenance. Of course, the seller being a mere private collector with an overactive imagination and a Curio & Relic collector's license, doesn't know squat about M1911A1s.

Click to enlarge
"I have Ajax Ivorex grips that I put on it to make it look different-these go with the gun Take a good look at the pictures as I have not tried to hide anything. I am not an expert on colt 1911's so you can tell me anything and I might possibly believe you. This is a great historical piece! I am a private collector and have a C&R license which this gun qualifies as. This gun will make an interesting addition to anyone's collection. As with any gun I sell, I sell "as is" and recommend it be inspected by a gunsmith before firing to protect both you and me. Will ship to FFL and/or C&R. I don't want to get involved with California regulations so I will not ship to California. Make sure there are no laws in your state or community that prohibit this firearm before bidding."
OK. So we have a M1911 that has most of the rollmarks polished off before it was dipped in the chrome tank at Bubba's Bumper Shop. Click to enlargeLet's make up a story that it came from a mortician to give it that lurid quality right off the bat. Next, a vague connection to a general officer, and finally, let's file three notches in the grip. Some sucker is sure to believe those notches signify three kills. While we are at it, we may as well get rid of the screwed up magazine with a bogus concealed carry story too. I understand the seller has Clark Gable's Duesenberg up for bids on ebay as well.

Buy the gun, not the story.

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OpenID reflectoscope said...

The wise will dodge this one, and maybe some fool will learn an expensive lesson.


10:59 AM  
Blogger lee n. field said...

"reserve not met".

Imagine that.

2:49 PM  
Blogger JPG said...

As to your final line - -
Many years ago I was sharing a table at Dallas Market Hall Gun show with a seasoned collector. I took him to get his judgment on a diamond-in-the rough I was considering. My pal patiently listened to the incredibly-detailed but strictly anecdotal family legend that accompanied the old piece, then took me aside to say, "Buy the gun if you want. DON'T buy the story.

Words to collect guns by. I take old bills-of-sale, court records, and news clips which include serial numbers or good photos, pretty much at face value. Anything else - - I’ll be polite about it, but the gun is judged strictly on condition or how much I want that particular item for my own use.

I notice that the auction expired with a top bid of $625 offered, which I personally consider a bit more than the piece is actually worth. The prospective seller is honest, though, in later admitting that he valued the gun a LOT higher than the offer. That’s okay. I have an old, refinished, 1911 commercial of which I have a high opinion, too. But I’m not trying to peddle it to anyone.

I MUST ask, though: What do the images of the guy in too-short hip boots and the highly embellished old truck have to do with this entry?


3:20 PM  
Anonymous Wolfwood said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the front lip of the magazine is just about the last place on a 1911 likely to snag on anything.

I could see filing it down for some aesthetic reason, but for ease of draw?

11:28 PM  
Blogger Mark Horning said...

And note, this was done to a 1911 (no finger relief behind the trigger), not a 1911A1. *sigh*

Absolutely inexcusable.

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Wolf said...

Oh, and JPG: the picture with the hip boots is that of a typical person faced with the awesome power of this mighty historical weapon of crime/military prowess/undertaking.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Travlin said...


I think the hip boots indicate "It is getting deep here" - as in BS.

The old truck is far from a classic Dussenburg sports car, even if someone wants to call it that. People can claim anything, but that doesn't make it so.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, that gun was owned by George Washington who fought the Japanese at the Battle of Gettysburg. George used it to win the falling plate championship, wiping Napoleon in the last stage.


3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @3:04,

Really? I was told at two gun shows that SKS stripper clips had been banned. I guess I'd better avoid the 10 for $3 deals on the internet, and buy theirs for $1 each.

You learn all sorts of things you didn't know at gun shows.

One of my favorites was hearing about a CZ-52 that was labelled as a "Nazi pistol."

7:35 PM  

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