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Nickeled Colt M1911 Pistol from World War I

Gun Room: What is it and what's it worth?

Gun Room: Nickeled Colt M1911 Pistol from World War I

Colt Model 1911 (Customized), .45 ACP, <60%: $950

Question: I have a U.S. Army-­issued Colt .45 that was used by my family’s bodyguard in the early 1950s. The bodyguard said that he had protected Gen. George Patton in World War II, but I can’t confirm that. The gun is nickel-­plated. As you can see from the photos, there is “MODEL OF 1911 U.S. ARMY” and “No. 373XXX” on the right side. Patent marks “APR. 20, 1897, SEPT. 9, 1902 , DEC. 19, 1905, FEB. 14, 1911, AUG. 19, 1913; COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.” is on the left. Is there any way I can find out the name of the soldier the gun was issued to? What, approximately, is the gun worth?

-B.R. via email

Answer: The pistol is a military issue arm that has been nickel-­plated. As such, the value is much diminished. I’d say it’s worth between $875 and $1,000 as a shooter, unless the grips are real ivory. If so, you could tack on another $250. There is no way to determine who it was issued to. According to the serial number, it was made in 1918 and has also been modified by the addition of an arched mainspring housing.

-Garry James




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