Vietnam Era 1911 [Archive] - Glock Talk

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LarryD1130
11-01-2009, 16:01
My dad got drafted to go to Vietnam in 1969 and he was in Nam all of 1970 until he got his purple heart. He was in the Army's 11th Armored Calvary a.k.a. Blackhorse Regiment and they were recently awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. He drove a tank and he always talks about how nice his .45 was and how much he wished he had one right now. We went to a gun show today and a guy had a Colt 1911 and he wanted $1600 for it and my dad said it was kinda like that one but he didn't want to spend that much.

How can I find the EXACT .45 he had when his was in the service?

1911Tuner
11-01-2009, 16:10
Assuming that it was a 1911A1...you've got five to choose from. There were no "Vietnam Era" pistols. The final contracts ended in 1945, and there were none delivered to the US government after that, beyond maybe a few overrun slides that Colt had'em nailed down to.

It could have been one of the following...in order of most likely to least likely

Remington Rand...Colt...Ithaca...Union Switch & Signal...Singer.

Since there's also the distinct possibility that it was an arsenal refurbished gun, and it could have been a Colt Switch & Signal or an Ithaca Rand, or any combination thereof...including the possibility that any of the above mentioned frames could be wearing a Savage slide.

It can get confusin'.

Jason D
11-01-2009, 16:42
Mayhaps you can get him one that looked like the one he showed you.
Maybe a new S70 Colt, or a Springfield GI.

DaBigBR
11-01-2009, 16:53
I agree with Jason D

tous
11-01-2009, 16:55
I was issued a 1911A1 with a Colt frame and a Singer slide in 1972. It had the worst refurb Parkerizing job I have ever seen. It looked like a three-year-old did it as a finger painting project. The holster was new and was web, not leather. I think they made the magazines for the Battle of Hastings. We could keep our sidearms with us, but had to fill out 13 forms in triplicate and get our mother's permission to pry any ammunition out of the quartermaster.

But, it locked and it fired.

We also had some 1903A4s in our arms locker, so we were more than prepared to repel boarders. However, we pretty much shot at folk with our 5" mounts mostly. :cowboy:

sdsnet
11-01-2009, 17:00
My father carried a Colt 1911 when he was an officer in the Navy from 1959 to 1963. He recently purchased a new blued Colt Series 70 Reproduction for $999 and he said it looks so close that he can't tell the difference. He recently obtained a leather US Navy holster and web belt for it as well.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w28/sdsnet/5-7-09121.jpg

1911Tuner
11-01-2009, 17:32
Since we're showin' off...Here's my minty Remington Rand...certified/documented as an original, and in 98% condition. Well...it was mine until about 3 months ago. A friend of mine in Tennessee worried me to death about that pistol for almost 5 years...so I finally relented and sold it to him for his collection. I have other Rands, and a Union Switch that's almost as good as this one.

SN resolves to August 1945...one of the last ones produced.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/45RR.jpg

1911Tuner
11-01-2009, 17:39
Here's a "Black Army Colt" with a mid-March 1919 production date. One of the last 2500 that Colt delivered to the Army under the first contract. Certified as 90% original...because they really can't certify one much closer than that if it's ever been issued due to small parts replacements. Springs...Sears...Disconnects, etc...but the gun was very likely liberated early on in its life. It shows little indication of actual use, and it'll shoot under 4 inches at 50 yards from the bags with 200 SWC handloads..which it also feeds as smoothly as ball. Hollowpoints too. My Rands, the Union Switch Twins, and the GI Colts will duplicate that, though the accuracy isn't quite as sharp in one of the Colts.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/Colt.jpg

Glock!9
11-01-2009, 17:41
Since we're showin' off...Here's my minty Remington Rand...certified as an original, and in 98% condition. Well...it was mine until about 3 months ago. A friend of mine in Tennessee worried me to death about that pistol for almost 5 years...so I finally relented and sold it to him for his collection. I have other rands, and a Union Switch that's almost as good as this one.

SN resolves to August 1945...one of the last ones produced.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/45RR.jpg

I have never been so jealous of a gun but the orig. 1911 .45 just does it for me.
I NEED to get one at some point....

deadite
11-01-2009, 19:46
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/Colt.jpg

Yow, look at the size of those mitts!

Is that 1911 a miniature? :whistling:

Nice 1911, btw. :)

deadite

1911Tuner
11-01-2009, 19:48
the orig. 1911 .45 just does it for me.
I NEED to get one at some point....

Yep. Hard to describe, but they even feel different in your hand.


Larry...If all you want for your father is something close to the real McCoy, have a look at the Springfield GI Mil-Spec. It's about as close as they come without costing big bucks. Colt marketed a WW2 reissue in limited numbers for a time. A little hard to come by now, and a bit pricey...but they can be found. Nice pistols. Not what I'd use for a common range beater, but completely functional and made to shoot...if only occasionally.

The originals...nice examples...are mondo expensive. Even the prolific Remington Rands are selling as high as 3,000 bucks for ones as nice as mine.
Union Switch and Signal pistols are highly collectible, and nice originals are off the scale. Forget the Singers. With only 500 produced, and probably fewer than 350 originals known to exist...they are command prices in the high double-digit thousands. I think one sold not long ago on Gunbroker for 75 large.

Short answer...That's a lot of money to put into a gun that you don't really want to shoot...and if you do shoot it...you really, really want to limit it to just enough to verify function.

If you decide to go for an original...be sure that you know what you're getting. Ask for documentation, or ask the seller to let you take the gun for examination and verification by someone who knows what they're looking at.
There are unscrupulous sellers who will represent a parts gun as a correct or original gun. Don't get ripped off.

deadite
11-01-2009, 19:50
Here's my liberated Colt 1911 made in 1918. :)

http://i429.photobucket.com/albums/qq15/deadite_photos/colt1911small.jpg

deadite

1911Tuner
11-01-2009, 20:01
A thing of beauty and character, deadite. From what I can see, it appears to be at least era-correct, if not mostly original.

Very few completely originals still around. If they've been in service, even for AIT training/familiarization purposes...you can bet that something has been replaced...if no more than the springs or a pin or a grip screw. Many parts were replaced at unit level as a matter of course or schedule, whether they were worn out or not.

deadite
11-01-2009, 20:14
A thing of beauty and character, deadite. From what I can see, it appears to be at least era-correct, if not mostly original.

Very few completely originals still around. If they've been in service, even for AIT training/familiarization purposes...you can bet that something has been replaced...if no more than the springs or a pin or a grip screw. Many parts were replaced at unit level as a matter of course or schedule, whether they were worn out or not.

Thanks!

I know that at some point or another one side of the grip panels was replaced during WWII and also the barrel. I know it wasn't after the war because I got it from my mentor who was in the Army Air Corps during WWII and I know he didn't change anything on it after he liberated it. :)

I personally know that the hammer was replaced with a period correct hammer because I replaced it. ;) The hammer hooks were rusted off and it was unsafe to fire. (Imagine a full-auto 1911.) I still have the hammer, though. Oh yeah, the pictured grip screws aren't correct, either, but I do have the originals. They were buggered up pretty good. Other than that, I think it's correct.

Even the magazine that's not two-toned is technically correct. I checked out the stamp on the floorplate and it's an "A" which was period correct.

I love old 1911's :)

deadite

tango44
11-01-2009, 20:17
My dad got drafted to go to Vietnam in 1969 and he was in Nam all of 1970 until he got his purple heart. He was in the Army's 11th Armored Calvary a.k.a. Blackhorse Regiment and they were recently awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. He drove a tank and he always talks about how nice his .45 was and how much he wished he had one right now. We went to a gun show today and a guy had a Colt 1911 and he wanted $1600 for it and my dad said it was kinda like that one but he didn't want to spend that much.

How can I find the EXACT .45 he had when his was in the service?

I will suggest a Springfield Armory Mil Spec for about $600.
Please tell your dad thanks a lot for his service.

LarryD1130
11-01-2009, 20:42
He wants an old one. I showed him a couple nice NEW 1911's, some that look like the old ones, but he is kinda stubborn and said he doesn't want a new one. The 1911 I saw at the gun show for $1600 kinda looked like the first one 1911Tuner has but I know it said Colt on the slide.

tango44
11-01-2009, 20:48
In that case take a look on GunBroker.com and try to score a Colt Series 70 maybe.

LarryD1130
11-01-2009, 20:55
I like all 1911's but I planned on getting a Kimber but not anytime soon because I rather buy an AR-15 before that. Those Colt Series 70 are nice but they are expensive too. The SA Mil Spec looked pretty nice and it's a decent price. If I buy any 1911 he will like it until I can buy him the one he wants.

What is the best 1911 you can get for $650 or under?

Narkcop
11-02-2009, 03:44
The best 1911 for under $650.00 would be the Springfield. It sounds like you want the Springfield G.I. and not the Mil Spec. The G.I. looks like the original G.I. with the smaller fixed sights. Springfield 1911'S are a lot of gun for the money.

1911Tuner
11-02-2009, 07:02
Yow, look at the size of those mitts!

Them's git-tar player's hands, dead. One of my three passions that I've been at since about 1963.

Guitar...Dogs...and 1911 pistols. Come to think of it...pretty passionate over single-action revolvers too. :cool:

I saw several WW1-era 1911 pistols in Vietnam. By the time they were phased out in '83, some of'em had been in service for over 70 years...and they still worked just fine.

doc540
11-02-2009, 10:32
"...but he is kinda stubborn..."

haha! My dad's 88 years old, flew a B-17 in the 8th and is still barking orders! (mostly to his little dog who just ignores him):supergrin:

Tactical black
11-03-2009, 20:07
the pics in this thread are great thanks

deadite
11-04-2009, 06:17
Yep. Hard to describe, but they even feel different in your hand.

+1, I agree.

On a side note, I believe that we have muscle memory if you've ever used a gun for any length of time. My dad was visiting a couple weeks ago. He's a Viet Nam vet, 101st, and he was holding onto my Colt 1911 from 1918 and was remarking how neat it was. Then I handed him a 1911a1 clone that I have and he said that it felt like old times. His hand could remember the slight difference in feel between the two models. The arched mainspring housing, the trigger cut-outs, the short trigger, were all attributes of the sidearm he was issued in the service.

deadite

2-8 Marine
11-04-2009, 06:30
Mayhaps you can get him one that looked like the one he showed you.
Maybe a new S70 Colt, or a Springfield GI.

As a grenadier with the Marines, I carried an M79 granade launcher as my primary weapon. My secondary weapon was an old WWII, M1911-A1 by Ithica Arms. I recently purchased a Springfield Armory reproduction (GI) of that pistol and find that is exactly the same as the original I carried. The Springfield is very reliable, well made and pretty damn accurate. I would recommend it. At about $500.00, it's relatively cheap compared to the Colts, etc. Although my Springfield is parkerized, you can get one in stainless, or OD green as shown.

ambluemax
11-05-2009, 09:52
The best 1911 for under $650.00 would be the Springfield. It sounds like you want the Springfield G.I. and not the Mil Spec. The G.I. looks like the original G.I. with the smaller fixed sights. Springfield 1911'S are a lot of gun for the money.

+1 the SA GI is the best replica for the money. That's why I bought mine. There are differences from the original that only people who really know USGI1911 can pick up on: The grips, the safety, the Springfield Aromory stamp, and serated parts instead of checkered...90% of people won't pick up on those unless you point them out. Realistically though, they are a very good replica and pretty good shooters too. They are also a fraction on the cost of the real ones.

moorerwc
11-19-2009, 22:50
but if you are still looking and your Dad still wants an older one, you could research around for an arsenal rebuild aka. "mixmaster" G.I. gun that most collectors would classify as a shooter or shop for one of the less expensive Argentine 1911s that were imported a few years back--these guns were a mixture of Colt guns exported to the Argentina forces and guns made there under Colt license/supervision. They will have different rollmarks but will feel just like G.I. and most have good honest wear.

Be aware of guns built up with G.I. surplus slides on Essex and other cast recievers. Most cast receivers have a "blocky"frontstrap (similar to older S.A.s) which I find both uncomfortable and ugly.
-Chad

LarryD1130
03-27-2010, 19:12
I'm going to a gun show next month and I'm getting my dad his 1911. How will I know if it's EXACTLY like the one he had. He was in Vietnam all of 1970 and he SAID it was a Colt. I seen one lady selling them at the last gun show and she said they were all guns used in the military. It cost about $1200.

jrs93accord
03-27-2010, 19:26
Since we are showing some USGI 1911s and A1s, here are mine.

1918 Colt

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m8/jamesrea_2006/jamesrea_08/jamesrea09/DSC00741.jpg


1943 Ithaca (reparked)

http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/2807/001kdg.jpg (http://img716.imageshack.us/i/001kdg.jpg/)

1944 Remington Rand (I even have the holster it was carried in)

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m8/jamesrea_2006/jamesrea_08/jamesrea09/DSC00696.jpg

and just for the heck of it,

1927 Colt Ejercito Argentino (Colt 1911A1 made for the Argentine Army)

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m8/jamesrea_2006/jamesrea_08/jamesrea09/001-5.jpg

This is a 1967 Colt Government (Commercial Model)

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/4461/001fx.jpg (http://img263.imageshack.us/i/001fx.jpg/)

Although it may be considered a Vietnam Era Colt, it is not a military issue. It was solely produced for the civilian market.

Jim S.
03-27-2010, 19:28
Actual military issue 1911's are hard to come by.
Also you are paying a high price for a weapon that is usually not as good a quality as a civilian version A-1.
You have to be careful to get what you pay for as the market value of actual military guns creates a possibility of a "not real" look a like that is not worth the price being charged.
Many military 1911's are a mix and match of parts from several manufacterers and eras.
Most are worn out and shot out too. All I can say is be careful buying an old 1911.