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Value? WWI era (1917) Colt M1911


MasonK
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Hi,

Need to raise some money for a grouping I'm interested in. Looking for a value on this WWI era M1911. Based on the serial #, it would date to 1917. Some parts are later additions, such as the grips and safety.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Montana40

Over the past two years I have sold a 1911 collection consisting of 20 Pre-1946 military issued weapons. Sales were made on Gunbroker and Gun shows. 4 of the weapons were within your serial number range. You may know this but 19ll collectors are the most particular purchasers I have ever run into.  I can appreciate and understand, their money and they want the best. Before I could make a sale they wanted to inspect every part of the weapon, every inspection stamps etc. etc. I don't believe I offered one weapon that was not challenged as to being totally original.  It was an interesting process.  The 1917-18 weapons sold at a low of $1375 with VG condition at 80% original parts and a high of $3600 in excellent, 95% overall. In most every case, the 20 weapons sold under the current book values.  The only weapons that sold near the book values were the early Navy issues and manufactures other than Colt (U.S.&S, Savage).  Again, you might already know this but if you determine ahead of time which parts are not original to that year of MFG. it would reduce the time and discussions of sale. An accurate description will enhance a sale. Armory re-issue stamps seem to be a value killer. coolgunsite.com/pistols/1911infopage.htm is a decent website to confirm and determine marks, stamps or part description. Hope this helps a bit.  Jim

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3 hours ago, Montana40 said:

Over the past two years I have sold a 1911 collection consisting of 20 Pre-1946 military issued weapons. Sales were made on Gunbroker and Gun shows. 4 of the weapons were within your serial number range. You may know this but 19ll collectors are the most particular purchasers I have ever run into.  I can appreciate and understand, their money and they want the best. Before I could make a sale they wanted to inspect every part of the weapon, every inspection stamps etc. etc. I don't believe I offered one weapon that was not challenged as to being totally original.  It was an interesting process.  The 1917-18 weapons sold at a low of $1375 with VG condition at 80% original parts and a high of $3600 in excellent, 95% overall. In most every case, the 20 weapons sold under the current book values.  The only weapons that sold near the book values were the early Navy issues and manufactures other than Colt (U.S.&S, Savage).  Again, you might already know this but if you determine ahead of time which parts are not original to that year of MFG. it would reduce the time and discussions of sale. An accurate description will enhance a sale. Armory re-issue stamps seem to be a value killer. coolgunsite.com/pistols/1911infopage.htm is a decent website to confirm and determine marks, stamps or part description. Hope this helps a bit.  Jim

 

 

What were the fees gubroker took as well? selling price is always discussed but the bottom line is what hit the account of the seller. Its just like dealers at the local shows.They can quote GB and Rock Island Prices but the prices the guns they have are all priced the auction price but they wont send them to auction.( or pay any where close to book or auction price).

 

 

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Montana40

Of course

35 minutes ago, doyler said:

What were the fees gubroker took as well? selling price is always discussed but the bottom line is what hit the account of the seller. Its just like dealers at the local shows.They can quote GB and Rock Island Prices but the prices the guns they have are all priced the auction price but they wont send them to auction.( or pay any where close to book or auction price).

Thanks Doyler. Of course. Whenever you sell anything on line there are always fees, normally under 20% but that varies depending where you sell it.  I am not certain what you are getting at. MasonK wanted to get some idea as to price. I realize sellers will quote prices at several levels but I just wanted to provide him with a couple quotes as to what I actually sold similar pistols for. Bottom line you get what you can get. I am sure there are others in the forum who have information, experience and hopefully they will relay that information to MasonK also.

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From what I see in the pics, the pistol appears to be refinished. 
 

The grips, thumb safety, grip safety, and hammer are what I can see that is incorrect. 
 

Most would say a 1911 is worth at least $1000. 

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Thanks to everyone who commented! I would up shopping it around to a few shops in the area.

 

  • First shop offered me what I paid for the 1911 10 years ago.
  • Second shop offered me 75% of what I originally paid
  • Third shop offered to consign it for me, which wouldn't work for my timeline - needed the money to fund the purchase of a grouping locally.
  • Fourth shop wasn't interested but thought the first shop's offer was fair, and valued it a few hundred dollars above. They were also able to tell me it had received and arsenal re-bluing, as @DaBomb mentioned, which I wouldn't have been able to determine, but now know how to (bluing in the Colt symbol). They also pointed out the other items mentioned by @DaBombthat I was also aware of, that detracts from the value. 

 

I wound up selling it to the first shop. Felt they were very honest, and said it was worth around where the fourth shop said. I know if I listed here or on Gun Broker, I could have made more possibly, but I was overall happy with the outcome as I broke even. Was also able to pick up the grouping today, so a win-win.

 

Thanks again for your help!

 

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On 10/15/2021 at 10:21 PM, DaBomb said:

So how much did you sell it for? Tell us?

 

I wound up getting $1k. Consensus was, it was worth $1200-$1500. 

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collector

Since there are no arsenal refurb marks does that mean the re-blue happened in civilian life? I guess the scrapes and dents would show bare metal without the refinish.

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There is no telling. But I believe it’s a very old re-blue. Looking at the areas circled in yellow leads me to believe it was carefully done ( like a strip and re-dip process) because whoever did the job didn’t file or blast away the nicks and dents that a rearsenal would. And then see the circled area by the serial number that had been reworn. It is weird that the frame rails have no new wear. Like it was never fired after, just handled. 

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collector

I have not seen a 1911/1911A1 under $1000.00 for a while.And that includes refurbs with arsenal marks.

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Not that it matters much to this discussion but I couldn't help but notice the circled area of wear as shown by 'DaBomb' in his post and the wear in about the same spot on the Ithaca I received from the CMP a couple months back. I've always associated that particular wear spot as being created by the flap closure rivet from the U.S. leather military holster.  Just my opinion of course. Kim

 

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Is the slide correct  for a 1917?  My 1917 has the colt stamped on the end of the slide.

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That you’ll have to look up. It can be in many spots center and back depending. It was moved many times. I think it’s called coolgunsite.com, is a good place to look at examples. 

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Interesting.....  I did not know 1917 was a transition year on slide markings and fonts.  Given the type font of the roll marks and the fact that the slide has the Rampant Colt in the center and not on the end of the slide,  to me it suggested that the slide is from a later gun - one past the 285xxx serial number cutoff for the roll mark characteristics of the 1917 version and not original to the serial range of the OPs pistol.16355270597865746455074601969770.jpg.d6422a51986830607a54acc1af1ae7ba.jpgYou can see from my 170xxx  1917 which I am led to believe is all correct, the font on mine is not matching the OPs.  

 

Still, a very fine gun!

 

 

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13 hours ago, BryanJ said:

I’m curious about the grouping you sold the 1911 for?

 

Hey @BryanJ, I shared the grouping on the forum. Link below. 

 

Thanks again for everyone's comments. I would have liked to have kept the 1911, but couldn't pass up this grouping. Not often a grouping like this comes out of the woodwork. 

 

Plus, the 1911 has been sitting in my safe for 5 years. I used to have it displayed in a locked, wood box with glass top. With my kids being older, and having friends over, I locked it up to avoid any issues. Since it can't be displayed, I figured it was about time to move it on. 

 

I originally tried to sell a Lee Enfield Sniper Transit Chest, however after several weeks, and multiple platforms, no sales. Ironically, the chest wound up selling the evening of the day I sold he 1911 and purchased the grouping. My luck, but no ragrets! 

 

 

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Mason.  Well done!  I had previously seen that grouping but didn’t relate it to your post above.  Col. Hess was a remarkable soldier - Thanks for preserving his many accomplishments.  Glad to see another group kept together!

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