View Full Version : Colt questions

December 31, 2014, 09:20
I'm new to the world of civilian 1911s, so I thought I would ask you guys. This pistol came up in an add, and I would like to solicit some information. It is listed as a 57 C series. Is this due to it's serial number? Also, if it is indeed a 1957, what are some things to check on it (other than the idiot mark)? It appears to have aftermarket slide release and thumb safety. Sights as well??? I know this is very difficult to do without it in your hand, but can someone give me a ballpark worth of it? As always, thanks.
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll166/andresere/Colt1_zpsc7e4f4c5.jpg (http://s288.photobucket.com/user/andresere/media/Colt1_zpsc7e4f4c5.jpg.html)
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll166/andresere/Colt2_zpsa82820bf.jpg (http://s288.photobucket.com/user/andresere/media/Colt2_zpsa82820bf.jpg.html)

December 31, 2014, 10:06
Need a serial number. Besides the slide release and safety it also has replacement sights. The slide has also had the ejection port flared. Without tearing it down to see what else may have been replaced I would take a wild guess around $750 ~ $800, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. Less would be better.

December 31, 2014, 15:21
Besides having the safety and slide release replaced, which is pretty common, having the ejection port modified, which was also pretty common as a reliability modification, it's had the trigger replaced with a longer one, which was, you guessed it, also pretty common. The grips look to be Colt, but I'm not sure they're original to the gun. The sights have also been upgraded.

Basically, the gun has had most of the performance and reliability modifications that were common in the 1980's, and is a nice looking 1911. However, all those modifications decrease the book value. The Government Commercial models were very well made pistols, though, and if you just want a good quality 1911, I'd think about buying it.

And as SAFN49 said, there may be internal parts that have been replaced too. What was the asking price on the gun? I agree that $750-800 sounds like a reasonable price range for a gun in that condition and with those modicications.

December 31, 2014, 15:29
He started at $1200, and is now down to $950. Then again he is open to trades or OBO. I will wait and see if he drops lower. Selling guns or gun parts right now pretty much sucks.

December 31, 2014, 18:05
I think $700 to $800 would be a great deal. But I would pay $900 to $950 if he wouldn't move on price. They are just getting harder to find. Also as it was said most have been modified. Heck in the 90's John Lawson was doing a few a week. Guys would drop them off for maybe just a trigger job and would see what other guys just had done to their pistols, and they had to try and out do the last guy. He had a very small staff. They would crank them out. He had told me once companies started to make more parts the more they would get changed. It when from him making parts to then buying parts and fitting them to each build. He has a really old 1911 that he made every part on that is now avalible off the shelf. When he built this pistol they didn't offer these parts. He had to make things like extended rear beaver tail safety, he had his own trigger, he was opening the magazine opening and welding and fitting a extension on, larger magazine release, slide release, thumb safety, and even stag grips. Every time he came up with a new idea that 1911 got it. Much of this was written about in American Handgunner Magazine. He had started to port barrels. He has coffee cans full of ported barrels that didn't work the way he wanted. Now they can draw up and test ideas on a computer, not in the old days. Heck I asked him about stag grips and the reason guys used them was they could get a good grip on the material better then wood or at least that was the thought, and they looked cool in the 60's I guess.

December 31, 2014, 19:17
One of the reasons I would want to tear it down first is the quality of the work on the ejection port. Pic below of a good ejection port lowering and flair. That ejection port lowering looks uneven, kinda curved, and the flair is pretty shallow. I would check to make sure you had 1/32" between the bbl and the feed ramp. Make sure they didn't take too much off the feed ramp.
Those are my concerns. Will the seller allow a test firing?

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s30/djm540idjm540i/EPF_zpsee823f3d.jpg (http://s148.photobucket.com/user/djm540idjm540i/media/EPF_zpsee823f3d.jpg.html)

January 01, 2015, 09:19
Lovely older Colt. :shades:

As mentioned, this pistol is modified, thus lowering whatever collector value it had. This is not a case of "they don't make 'em that good anymore", because they do.
I recently bought a Colt XSE for a little over $800, and it is everything my beautiful old 70 series Colt wasn't. Tight, accurate, and wearing decent sights.

I like the pistol you show and would probably pay up to $800 if the barrel and feed ramp hasn't been boogered, but anything over that would have me adding another new Colt to the pile.

YMMV, but I don't like extended Slide release and Safety levers and would be looking for original parts.

January 01, 2015, 12:18
I'm with Mainer on this one. Looks like a chop job. Ejection port alone is a mess. Not worth what they are asking. I'd buy a new American Classic II for 450.00 before that thing because it says Colt on it. Out of line on pricing completely. Trade unless you have something hell take worth about 450.00 I would walk away. Show us the ramp and barrel, 2 shots one with slide removed if possible in both locked and unlocked.

January 01, 2015, 12:21
Yeah, looking today I found this one :uhoh:

Bawana jim
January 01, 2015, 14:08
I think the "C" stands for commercial. It looks like it will be a fine shooter but like others have said there has been alot done to it.

January 01, 2015, 14:40
Serial Numbers Date Number Made

*S/N 276700C to 281999C 1957 5300

Commercial production resumed in 1946.

S/N C221001 to C222000 1946 1000
S/N C222001 to C231999 1947 9999
S/N C232000 to C238500 1948 6501
S/N C238501 to C240000 1949 1500
S/N C240001 to 247700C 1950 7700
S/N 247701C to 253179C 1951 5479
S/N 253180C to 259549C 1952 6370
S/N 259550C to 266349C 1953 6800
S/N 266350C to 270549C 1954 4200
S/N 270550C to 272549C 1955 2000
S/N 272550C to 276699C 1956 4150
*S/N 276700C to 281999C 1957 5300
S/N 282000C to 283799C 1958 1800
S/N 283800C to 285799C 1959 2000
S/N 285800C to 287999C 1960 2200
S/N 288000C to 289849C 1961 1850
S/N 289850C to 291299C 1962 1450
S/N 291300C to 293799C 1963 2500
S/N 293800C to 295999C 1964 2200
S/N 296000C to 300299C 1965 4300
S/N 300300C to 308499C 1966 8200
S/N 308500C to 315599C 1967 7100
S/N 315600C to 324499C 1968 8900
S/N 324500C to 332649C 1969 8150
S/N 332650C to 336169C 1970 -3520

January 01, 2015, 16:52
Just by looking at it, I would deduct the cost of a replacement hammer and sear from his asking price. It may not need them, but in my experience a used 1911 frequently does.

January 03, 2015, 14:43
In my case over all these years i would know at first sight if the 1911/1911A1 was something i had to have. Not that i could afford a lot of them but i really wouldn't try and talk myself into buying it.

January 03, 2015, 14:47
I'm not trying to talk myself in to buying it - yes I want a 1911. Just asking questions to see if it's even worth meeting up with a guy that is about 70 miles away.