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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a dilemma. I have the chance to buy 2 Colt 1911s in .45acp, but only cash for one, so need your opinions quickly on which one you would buy if you were me. Here is the rundown:
(1) WWI Era 1911: (SN 4568xx) “US Army” and “United States Property”, Wood grips, 1 unmarked magazine, some pitting on slide.
(2) WWII Era 1911A1: (SN 8602xx) “US Army” and “United States Property”, Wood grips, Elliason rear adjustable target sight, Stippled front strap, 1 magazine.
Need to buy before someone else does, so please be speedy if possible. Already have an Argentine 1911 to shoot at range, so this new one is for collection and rarely for shooting. Also posted this on othr sites. Thanks.
 

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If you want collectibility, go for the 1911, have any remaining rust killed by someone who knows what they're doing, and put it away.
The 1911A1 is not original, so its collectibility is low. Its value is primarily as a shooter. Depending on the price tag, it may not be worth buying.

Not intended as any sort of insult, but the fact that you're asking us instead of on the Colt collector's site (or already knowing which is the better value) indicates you're not a "serious" collector. There's not a thing wrong with that (everyone was new once), but recognize that you'll probably pay too much. Nothing wrong with that, either, if the gun makes you happy.
 

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The 1911A1 is not worth anything, since the only thing military about it is the frame, and that is ruined by the ridiculous stipling. The 1911 appears to be unmodified, but be careful. I would definitely check the serial number (Colt website) and make sure that all the inspector cartouches are correct for a "black army" WW1 issue. You don't show a pic to determine if it has the original barrel and bushing, nor can you verify if the internals are all original. I would pass on both.
 

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I'm not a collector. I collect coins, but not guns.

Guns take up too much space.

For a collectors 1911 I would want the weapon to be in mint condition not worn out looking. Your photos look pretty ratty.

I like firearms to be state of the art. I get rid of them when they are no longer state of the art.

For a 45ACP the state of the art is either the Glock G21 or else the more traditional Sig P220 or the Ceska CZ 97B.

Guess I am just not hyped about collecting ratty looking old guns.
 

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So I did a little research on the 1911 pictured. It is definitely NOT WW1 manufacture or issue. The correct serial number range for a Black Army should be in the 300K range. This pistol was manufactured well after the armistice and probably refinished by a US arsenal and served in pre or early WWII, before the A1 was issued.

In regards to the ratty finish, in the case of the Black Army 1911, the economy finish is actually the desireable feature of the pistol. The real value add to these pistols is the presence of the original "two tone" magazine, which can double the retail value. This pistol has clearly been refinished and unfortunately, that really brings down the collectability and value. $800 tops.
 

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For shooting the A1, for a wall hanger the 1911. Then after having it checked out thoroughly by a good 1911 gunsmith I would shoot it anyway but not as much. I loves the old guns. I loves shooting them even more than my new ones.
 
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