WWI Canadian Military issue [Archive] - Glock Talk


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12-09-2012, 22:55
Hi, I'm not a collector and I need some opinions/advice. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to hear, but I need to hear it anyway. I have my grandfather's 1911 which he carried in Europe while with the Canadian Artillery. Original holster etc. I love shooting it, even though I'm not very accurate with it and that brings me to my question. I'm almost 62 and I'm having trouble focusing on the front sight of any pistol, and this one in particular because it's just a very thin fin. Would it be stupid to think about putting different sights on it (I shoot well (uh, better anyway) with Tri night sights)? I'm guessing it would ruin the value of the gun, both financially and more importantly to me (don't plan to ever sell it) the historical and sentimental value. So, what do you think, and thanks for advice. Sorry, don't have a pic to post.

F106 Fan
12-09-2012, 23:33
I sure wouldn't change anything. The gun is a relic and an heirloom. Heck, I don't think I would even shoot it!

There are plenty of 1911s around for shooting. I'm getting on in years and I too need help with the front sight. But my guns are just standard, everyday, weapons. That one you have is a collector's item.


Jim Watson
12-09-2012, 23:42
If it is a Canadian contract gun, it is quite valuable. Even if not, a real deal WW I issue is still worth a good deal of money.
Changing the sights would turn it from a $2500 rarity to a $600 shooter.
Better you should buy a RIA "imitation army surplus" to shoot and keep Grandpa's gun for posterity.

12-10-2012, 00:06
If you're having problems seeing the front sights, I think it's time to hang it up on the wall and get a different one. It's from WWI, I think it would be a travesty to change anything on it. I'll tell you what, I'll take it off your hands for free, so you don't have to see it sitting on a wall. :wavey:

12-10-2012, 09:17
I agree with above don't hack up a classic. The older 1911's did not have heat treated parts and can get damaged by too much shooting. I'd shoot a box of ball through it once a year and get a modern made beater for regular use.

12-10-2012, 10:20
Hey, thanks for the advice, and information. I didn't know they were rare, or valuable, figured there were probably lots of 'em laying around (where'd they all go?). Thanks for the heads up about the heat treating, maybe it's time to semi-retire it and only shoot on special occasions. So, sorta sounds like I'm in the market for a gun:-)) Thanks guys, appreciate your thoughts.

Baba Louie
12-10-2012, 10:28

jrd check out the link. Buy a new shooter. Very cool bit of history you own sir.

12-10-2012, 13:17
Baba - Thanks, very cool to know more about it! Mine is C11161, the last shipment in Nov. of 1914 according to the link you gave. It has Gramps name and home town (Guelph) engraved on the slide and a holster like the one in the pic.

12-10-2012, 14:07
Here are a couple of pics



Road Dog
12-10-2012, 14:51
Wow please don't touch a thing on that beauty other than cleaning it and shooting it. Very nice. Pick up a Springer Mil Spec or some other maker's version instead and shoot it.


Baba Louie
12-10-2012, 16:25
That is superb. Or those are superb. 1911, 2 tone magazine and holster.

You should write down everything you know about Grandfathers service, unit, action, etc, gather any photos and keep them together. Provenance for your kids or grandkids and history sake.

12-10-2012, 16:31
Here are a couple of pics



Whoa don’t touch that puppy you have an extremely valuable collectable there. Time for that to be a safe queen.

12-10-2012, 17:14
And DON'T store it in the holster!!

You're inviting rust and corrosion.

Store the gun in a rag (an oily rag even better).

Beautiful piece. Don't do a thing to it.

12-10-2012, 17:43
Hey, thanks for the advice, and information. I didn't know they were rare, or valuable, figured there were probably lots of 'em laying around (where'd they all go?). Thanks for the heads up about the heat treating, maybe it's time to semi-retire it and only shoot on special occasions. So, sorta sounds like I'm in the market for a gun:-)) Thanks guys, appreciate your thoughts.

Definitely get into the market for a new gun. That one needs to be a safe queen, read up on how to properly store it. Take it out for very special occasions when you want to honor your grandfather. And like was mentioned, write down every single little thing you can about your grandfather, even if the detail seems lame and insignificant. Too often our history is not written down, stories are forgotten, treasures are lost. Well now here is your chance to do some good, keep that treasure, when your kids are old enough to understand the significance, promise them they'll keep it in the family, and that they will remember the story of your grandfather and they will pass it on. And that is why you write down the story now, while you still remember it. So that others may read it, and learn about the man he was.

12-10-2012, 20:42
I'm new to GT, and I've got to say there's a lot of great people here. Thanks for all the advice and compliments. The gun is going in the safe (not in the leather holster -thanks for that tip) after a thorough cleaning and will only be shot once in awhile when both my boys are around, and my grandson. Great idea to write everything down about Gramps, he never wanted to talk about the war, would just mumble something like "horrible war, really bad" and then clam up.

12-10-2012, 20:49
he never wanted to talk about the war, would just mumble something like "horrible war, really bad" and then clam up.

All the more reason to write down everything about him that you can. Your grandchildren should be proud of your grandfather, their great-great grandfather, and what he did to help out his country. Unfortunately, our youth today seems too busy with their electronics to even care about something that happened almost 100 years ago. So it might not be easy to get them to care about it. But hopefully they'll start caring as they get older.

12-10-2012, 20:51
Your GP must have been one helluva man.
Any modern Rock Island Arms of Springfield Armory Milspec would have much better sights, allow the use of good defensive Jacketed hollowpoint Ammo and give you a great shooting 1911 for not a ton of money.
Definitely a cool collectible 1911 you have there.

Baba Louie
12-11-2012, 05:39
jrd check your pms

...and this wiki link for the CEF. They were in some serious shytestorm battles

If that Colt could only talk aboot where its been and what its seen, eh? :wow:


12-11-2012, 07:46
Very nice

I wouldn't do a thing to it, unless its just replacing springs.

Baba Louie
12-12-2012, 11:14
jrd, did you see this Canadian over at 1911forums. Is Grandfathers name and hometown so engraved (a nice job by the way)?


12-12-2012, 11:28
I've seen one at the Military Museums. Your 1911 has the correct magazine (cyanide dipped to harden the feedlips). Keep it as it is, and pass it on to the next generation. That way, they would value what their forefathers have sacrificed in the name of freedom.

If you want a cheap but reliable 1911, try considering an American Tactical Import or Rock Island 1911. They both offer GI models.

12-12-2012, 12:03
woah, that is very cool!

12-12-2012, 13:20
Man.......that is a one in a million unit for sure....your Grandfather passed on a real collectors item to you. I'd be surprised if you haven't gotten a bunch of private messages offering you quick cash for that pistol.

Thanks for sharing and hope you and your off spring enjoy it for a long, long time.

12-12-2012, 15:55
Baba- thanks for the link, that's a beautiful gun. Yep, his name and hometown are engraved (see pic below).
Full- Ha! no offers so far but I'll never sell it anyway, it's going to one of my boys or my grandson.


12-12-2012, 17:55
That gun is worth some moolah, but I wouldn't sell it if it were mine.

I saw a pristine (yes, pristine) Lend Lease M1911A1 with parkerized finish and canvas holster with British markings on it about twenty something years ago.

12-12-2012, 18:47
Sweet Mother of John Moses Browning! :wow:

12-12-2012, 22:41
I am about your age and know about the fuzzy sight picture thing.

It is not the gun. If you were to change out the sights you will just have bigger fuzzy sights to look at.

I need very weak reading glasses to read with and no correction for distance. A couple of years ago I started having trouble shooting sporting clays with both eyes open. I told my eye doctor during my annual check up about it. He gave me a prescription. He told me to tell who ever I had fill the order that it is correct. I had a pair of prescription safety glasses made for me. When I put them on I didn't notice any difference looking out. Everything was clear as before BUT when I shoot I can keep both eyes open and see the front sight clearly again.

Now we know you are not going to change anything about your 1911 pistol. If you would like to shoot it and see the front sight again see your eye doctor. If he or she doesn't seem to care about shooting then find one that does. No problem in Wyoming

Baba Louie
12-13-2012, 09:09
Sweet Mother of John Moses Browning! :wow:Yeap! A piece of history to behold.

jrd, thanks for sharing that last photo as well sir. I truly hope your heirs can carry it forward with a bit of pride and with all of the Honor it and your Grandfather so deserve. I had to look up Guelph on line just because of this thread. The Royal City.

and do take Wyomings advice on some shooting specs? Maybe try to find a newer Colt with better heat treatment and sights, maybe wait for one made in 2014?

That'd be a pair to draw to. For the children. :supergrin:

12-13-2012, 09:38
I'm definitely going to look into the prescription specs as Wyoming suggested (I've tried wearing my reading glasses inside my shooting specs when no one was around, didn't work very well:-))
I just want to say thanks again for all the advice and suggestions, a lot of good people here on GT. I have to admit I had no idea that the pistol was a rarity, I've had it for about 40 years and thought of it more as a family heirloom than anything else. I've told my sons what I know about Gramps, and they both are amazed that a gun that was used in WW1 still shoots and operates like new. I know it has opened a window in history for them that they wouldn't have without being able to hold this pistol in their hands and shoot it. My grandson is three (next week) and goes shooting with us (at a distance with his hearing protection on), and like most boys, has a fascination with guns so I'll hopefully get the opportunity to explain the history and importance of his Great Great Grandfather's gun to him.

12-15-2012, 19:52
What an excellent example of an original unaltered WWI 1911 pistol. The magazine alone is quite rare and is worth about $100.