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Hey guys, got offered a WWII era Colt on trade, but I know NOTHING about old Colts or collector's guns. This one definitely has some miles on it. Got good pics of the markings and looked them up, but figured I would ask you experts. For what it's worth, the item I am trading is valued around $1500.

Thoughts?

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1911 Pistol Smith
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It all looks to be correctly marked, but not sure on the year, I have seen one's in better condition than this go for less. But, @Karl Beining could definitely tell you more than I could. I also belong to a FB Colt collectors group, I'll share the pics there and see what they say. If you could get the rest of the serial # it would be easier to obtain the year of production. It does look like a older one considering where the markings are on the frame. But, not too old because it's an A1 not the original 1911 frame.. Also it would be beneficial to you to have a picture of the barrel hood I believe.
 

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1911 Pistol Smith
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I thought when I looked at this for the condition it looked rather mediocre. If the barrel is correct I am getting from some guys in the group that it's probably worth around a $1000 or a little less in the condition it's in. That it's a 43 model and the 74 is the smith that assembled it. I am told that the need for the A1's in 43 were great and many were produced and produced by 4 different makers. Said the top mag looked to possibly be correct but the bottom one as a welded base and might have been produced for a Remington Rand and not the Colt.. These were theoretical without being able to see the actual markings on the bases. Actually said less than a grand. But, if being offered as a trade can expect a little more as a trade deal but, not $600 or more trade. Of course you didn't say if he was offering as an even trade or not...
 

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That one has been rusty at some time, and had a cold blue bath. About March 1943 build, and slide should have serial number under firing pin plate. Top of barrel chamber won't be marked on 1911A1. Markings on bottom of chamber or side of lug.

If you are trading $1500 value for it you will be under water.
+1

If refinished in a period correct way, someone would likely be able to find a buyer in the neighborhood of $1500-$1700. As it currently sits you'd be upside down at $1500. At $1000, I'd have it reparked and keep it as a shooter. Luckily all of the stamps and lines on the gun are still fairly sharp.
 

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+1

If refinished in a period correct way, someone would likely be able to find a buyer in the neighborhood of $1500-$1700. As it currently sits you'd be upside down at $1500. At $1000, I'd have it reparked and keep it as a shooter. Luckily all of the stamps and lines on the gun are still fairly sharp.
It's not known if the slide serial number matches or the barrel is correct or not. When you can buy military arsenal refinished pistols for $1000/1200 who would pay $1500/1700 for a gun shop restoration?
 

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It's not known if the slide serial number matches or the barrel is correct or not. When you can buy military arsenal refinished pistols for $1000/1200 who would pay $1500/1700 for a gun shop restoration?
Price is given everything on the pistol checking out, which I failed to mention. '42-'43 production Colts in correct and original condition are bringing upwards of $3k-$4k nowadays. If all parts on the pistol are correct, and it is nicely refinished, a buyer could be found in the $1500-$1700 range. That is still a big if...
 

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There is a big difference in original and refinished.

If the OP has $1500 in the Colt, and assuming that it is still matching, he will have something in the neighborhood of $2000 in a $1000/1200 Colt after he has it restored.
 

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There is a big difference in original and refinished.

If the OP has $1500 in the Colt, and assuming that it is still matching, he will have something in the neighborhood of $2000 in a $1000/1200 Colt after he has it restored.
There's no way that I would ever advocate for a full restoration of the gun. The damage is done and I agree that the cost would far exceed the resale value.

Like I said before, at $1000 the gun would be a good candidate (if all parts are correct) for being carefully stripped and reparked which would cost $150-$250 if outsourced. It would serve as a shooter or entry level pistol for those who can't afford to drop $4000 on a Colt. There are plenty of individuals out there willing to purchase a parts correct Colt that has been nicely refinished for less than half the going rate. Hell, there is a reparked Remington Rand in the marketplace for $1300 and the seller will likely find a buyer at that asking price.
 

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Just because someone pays too much doesn't indicate that it is worth that much. To the original post, $1500 is way too high for that Colt.
We are in 100% agreement on the value in it's current state.

IMHO, the pistol is worth whatever the market has established that someone is willing to pay. The price of USGI 1911A1's, Colts especially, keep increasing steadily. With the prices of correct examples being in the unobtainable price range for most entry level collectors, refinished and mixmaster pistols have gone up exponentially as well. I regularly see pistols that are non-matching and recently refinished sell in the $1100-$1200 range. Would I personally buy a refinished pistol for that amount of money? Heck no, but the free market has determined that to be the new normal asking price.

Regardless, give me that pistol (if parts correct) with a fresh repark job that was done right and I'd have it sold for $1500-$1700 in less than a week.
 

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There's no way that I would ever advocate for a full restoration of the gun. The damage is done and I agree that the cost would far exceed the resale value.

Like I said before, at $1000 the gun would be a good candidate (if all parts are correct) for being carefully stripped and reparked which would cost $150-$250 if outsourced. It would serve as a shooter or entry level pistol for those who can't afford to drop $4000 on a Colt. There are plenty of individuals out there willing to purchase a parts correct Colt that has been nicely refinished for less than half the going rate. Hell, there is a reparked Remington Rand in the marketplace for $1300 and the seller will likely find a buyer at that asking price.

I’m curious how one would address all the pitting on the frame and slide with just a simple strip and repark?
Even if you put a nice finish on it nothing is gonna fill in all that. No?
 

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I’m curious how one would address all the pitting on the frame and slide with just a simple strip and repark?
Even if you put a nice finish on it nothing is gonna fill in all that. No?
Removing or filling in pitting falls under restoration and I'm not advocating that. Just media blast it (not heavy handed though) and parkerize. The only extra work that I would go to is using manganese rather than zinc and having the barrel blued rather than parkerized.
 
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