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Old November 07, 2017, 19:40   #1
bigstick61
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M1911 Value?

My father is thinking about buying an M1911 from a Vietnam vet that served with my uncle in the 1990s. He said it was a gift and that he took it with him to Vietnam.

I don't have the pictures in-hand, but everything looks correct for a M1911 except for the mainspring housing and grip safety, which appear to be for a M1911A1 (the MSH is checkered), and the stocks, which are some cheap-looking pearlescent aftermarket stocks of some sort. The finish is heavily worn, maybe 10% remaining at best (probably much less; most of it looks like bare metal), the few spots where you see any it appears blued. No idea about bore condition, but functionally it's said to be good, as the owner says he shoots it at least a few times every year, gets it tuned up periodically, and keeps it loaded for home defence. It is U.S. property marked and has a serial number in the 502,000 range. Comes with a couple of magazines, an old case that it was placed in when it was given to him, and a black M1912 holster. Looks like it may have had a dehorning job at some point. The lines, however, are intact except for the front of the slide, where that curved cut is softened noticeably.
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Old November 08, 2017, 09:36   #2
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Without pictures to see what really has been modified, if original finish and how much remaining hard to say. Could be $900 to $2,000 with collector grade running up near $3,000. I have lots of original extra wood grips would not sale but would trade for something of equal value to a files member. Would also kick myself for letting them go when right pistol for them appeared in collection.
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Old November 08, 2017, 15:59   #3
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I got some pictures lasat night and posted them on ARFCOM. $300-500 is what I've been hearing so far. The new pictures make it look chrome plated.
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Old November 08, 2017, 16:33   #4
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I got some pictures lasat night and posted them on ARFCOM. $300-500 is what I've been hearing so far. The new pictures make it look chrome plated.
Yeah well, that's arfcom. Link pics here for us old guys.
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Old November 08, 2017, 18:03   #5
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Old November 08, 2017, 21:44   #6
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Kinda looks like old nickle with pearl grips. Either way, I'd bet it's worth more than the arfcom values.
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Old November 08, 2017, 22:02   #7
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Early frame and trigger, not an A1. More I look at it the gun is an early 1911 and it looks right to me except the finish.

As for buying it the gun would have to be stripped down for a really close inspection, it's an old gun and may have cracks in it.
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Old November 08, 2017, 23:13   #8
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My dad's arranging for me to inspect it in-person. The mainspring housing looks like a pre-war A1 housing to me rather than the smooth flat style used on the Black Army M1911s. I'm not sure if the grip safety is correct or not; I might be seeing things, but it kinda looks pinned to me.
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Old November 08, 2017, 23:28   #9
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My dad's arranging for me to inspect it in-person. The mainspring housing looks like a pre-war A1 housing to me rather than the smooth flat style used on the Black Army M1911s. I'm not sure if the grip safety is correct or not; I might be seeing things, but it kinda looks pinned to me.
Grip safety looks correct as it is short. Mainspring housing might be wrong but I can't remember if they added it before or after the A1. Take a magnifying glass and a bright flashlight to look it over.
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Old November 08, 2017, 23:48   #10
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Grip safety looks correct as it is short. Mainspring housing might be wrong but I can't remember if they added it before or after the A1. Take a magnifying glass and a bright flashlight to look it over.
I'm pretty sure that it was one of the A1 changes. The correct type for this serial number is flat absent checkering as an expedient production measure for the war.
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Old November 09, 2017, 07:17   #11
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I feel bad for building custom carries and race guns on early U.S. Government 1911's but to chrome and add fake pearl grips? Whatever old timer did that makes me sad. From one angle looks like frame may have been dehorned some, others it doesn't. Looks like enough grinding and polishing were done that another refinish might leave the stampings very light. Of course first 1911 I used to learn metal checkering was a nice original prewar M1911. I believe it's still worth more than the barf com prices but would try to buy in that range. I would pay $500 as is in hopes my plating guy could strip the nickle/chrome without removing too much metal so could be put back to an original appearance.
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Old November 09, 2017, 08:19   #12
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I see a money pit....let someone else buy it.
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Old November 09, 2017, 10:44   #13
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$300-$500 is about right for that abortion. Pretty crappy nickle plating obvious, pitting on the frame and God only knows what's under the hood.
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Old November 10, 2017, 08:36   #14
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Only reason I might put $500 in is have a plating guy that owes me a favor. Would at least hopefully at least get $500 back parting out the useable giblets if it didn't work out to be recoverable. I have purchased complete race guns for a slide that had to replace every part to get slide back to stock configuration. Sometimes have to roll dice on classic guns and parts. Recently paid $150 for an original correct rear sight to go on a wheel gun trying to undo it's conversion into a bullseye gun.
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Old November 10, 2017, 09:55   #15
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I see a money pit....let someone else buy it.
I second the motion.
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Old November 13, 2017, 00:41   #16
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looks way too dicked up to me. if it shoots great & internals look great maybe but that '11 sure looks like a dog.
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Old November 13, 2017, 00:56   #17
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a drug dealer or a pimp would give $1000 for it
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Old November 14, 2017, 20:24   #18
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1911 hammer, A1 MSH
I have it's cheap nickel coated twin in the parts box.

It seems to have been popular to nickel plate 1911's back in the 50's and 60's when property stamped guns were cheap and everywhere.

I agree, it's a dog. Needs some steel leader, a #6 shark hook and over the side.
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Old November 15, 2017, 08:18   #19
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Removing nickel plating always ends with a sad story. Run away don't walk.
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