Ithaca 1911A1... on consignment in my local GS....

Discussion in 'M1911' started by jmichna, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. jmichna

    jmichna XDTalk 25K Member Founding Member

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    Just ran over to my local GS and what did I see newly added to their used/consignment display case...

    An Ithaca 1911A1, stamped "United States Property," "M1911 A1 US Army," and dated "1943." Completely stock, smelling of Cosmoline. Finish nearly like new... doesn't look like it was ever carried. Probably better than 95% Parkerized finish. Bore in great shape, felt very tight; trigger breaks like glass at about 8-10 pounds (just by my feel... no gauge to measure). I have read somewhere that Ithaca produced something like 370,000 1911s for WWII.

    Owner is asking $1799. That's a lot of money to me.

    If you know historical 1911s, what do you think of this price for an Ithaca in that shape?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  2. Cannibul

    Cannibul XDTalk 5K Member Founding Member

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    That's right on the outer edge of what the going rate is. Do a search for "ithaca" in the semi-auto pistol area at GunBroker and you will get a good idea of the pricing.
     
  3. bigun

    bigun XDTalk 4K Member

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    Condition is everything with GI 1911's, Look for reconditioning proofs, Usually something like AAD Anniston Army Depot or Rock Island. Reconditioned guns bring a bit less than all original pieces and with anything better than 80% I'm always a bit leary of forgery or refinish. Make sure that the Serial # falls in the Ithica range and that it isnt just another mixmaster. The most common GI 1911's are Remington Rand, Colt, Ithica and US&S brings up the rear. $1700 is high but these are about the best investments you can get in this economy.Make sure the edges and lettering are sharp and the Ordinance stamp may be light ot heavier on one side than the other this is normal. Good luck.
     
  4. jmichna

    jmichna XDTalk 25K Member Founding Member

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    Thanks gentlemen,
    I have more homework to do, and will need to take another, more detailed look at this one.
    John
     
  5. dirty magazine

    dirty magazine XDTalk 100 Member

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    Would it be poor form if I went out and bought it? :D

    Just kidding- I wish I could even contemplate buying that pistol right now. Good luck!
     
  6. jmichna

    jmichna XDTalk 25K Member Founding Member

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    Okay, I went back to take another look, and here is what I came up with:

    S/N is 1462673, which falls within the 1943-issued serial numbers for Ithaca M1911 A1:
    1943
    Serial Numbers: 1441431-1471430 Ithaca (30,000 produced in this series.)

    Slide markings
    Left Side:
    ITHACA GUN CO., INC.
    ITHACA, N.Y.

    Right Side: no markings

    Receiver Markings
    Right Side:
    After slide stop -
    UNITED STATES PROPERTY
    N° 1462673

    Before slide stop -
    M 1911 A1 U.S. ARMY

    Under slide stop (easily visible when stop removed)
    FJA

    A '7' is stamped on the right side of the trigger guard. A 'P' is stamped just below the slide release button on left side. Another 'P' is stamped on the top of the slide, just forward the rear sight.

    No stampings that I saw on the barrel breech area, but the barrel was pretty greasy, so I might have missed something. There should have been a proof stamp on the right side of the lug... I just didn't notice it.

    No stampings to indicate any reconditioning or proof marks, other than the 'FJA' visible when you remove the slide stop.

    As far as condition, the barrel lock grooves and corresponding slide grooves look sharp and unworn. There is no burnishing of the bushing, like you see when the gun has been fired a lot.

    The price is still too high for what I'm comfortable spending, but I'm going to keep watching this to see if the price drops after sitting in the display case a while.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  7. bigun

    bigun XDTalk 4K Member

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    If it's as nice as you say and all original it wont sit long. GI 1911's have gone crazy price wise in the last couple of years. I had no trouble getting $1000 for a 1945 Remington Rand in about 85-90% condition last year. However with the economy hitting the skids there may end up being more on the market which could drop prices across the board. Good luck but remember there will never be any more made. The Ithica should have a HS marked barrel as well.
     
  8. danp

    danp XDTalk 4K Member

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    Try to find out if there is a back story to the gun. If the owner is a vet that "liberated" it when he returned from WWII and will write you a letter telling where he served and that this is the gun he carried, it will increase it's collector's value.
     
  9. bac1023

    bac1023 XDTalk 100 Member

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    I've got a nice WWII era Ithaca and Remington Rand. i love the old USGI 1911A1s.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. jmichna

    jmichna XDTalk 25K Member Founding Member

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    Bac1023,
    Those are two mighty fine looking weapons!

    Your Ithaca's receiver has an inspection stamp 'G.H.D.' (Guy H. Drewry) which likely means it came from Colt.

    I found this:
    From the photo, it looks like yours is S/N 908944, which falls into that range of guns produced in 1943. I've been told that Ithacas, and some Remington Rands, made with Colt components are more rare, and command a higher price.

    At: 1911/1911A1 Production Numbers

    I can't tell for sure from the posted photo, but if that S/N for the Remington Rand is 1118387, that's also a Colt serial number, and it has the same G.H.D. Colt inspection stamp.

    Here's another web site with some good photo ID info for 1911s:
    1944 COLT 1911A1

    Do you shoot your 1911s?
     
  11. bac1023

    bac1023 XDTalk 100 Member

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    Thanks for the info. I have shot both of them a small amount. The Ithaca shot decently, while the RR needs a new spring for top performance. I don't plan on replacing anything in either of them. I've got plenty of 1911s to shoot.

    These have already done their duty. :cool:
     
  12. jmichna

    jmichna XDTalk 25K Member Founding Member

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    Okay... after looking this thing over three times (twice with a magnifying glass), and double-checking all the proof marks, inspection stamps, serial number.... everything I could think to look for, it certainly checks out as an authentic Ithaca, all Ithaca parts (Ithaca stamping and proof marks, inspection stamp); no arsenal re-working; dissembled it twice to check out the internals and look over wear... I have to downgrade the finish a bit to better than 90%, maybe 95%.

    I spoke with She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, and explained what I found. Her Majesty accepted my plea.

    I also asked the shop if the seller had any history of the gun (as suggested by DanP) and if the owner would accept $1600. Original owner had passed away and family member selling the gun did not know any of its history. Agreed on $1650 as selling price... pulled the trigger and will pick her up in 72 hours. This will need a complete and thorough cleaning... lots of grease and rather heavy oils. Once its prettied up, I'll post some photos.

    My hidden slush fund is now officially depleted.
     
  13. danp

    danp XDTalk 4K Member

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    Congrats on your purchase.

    Please, if you want to customize a 1911 in the future, do not use that one! It is a piece of history I am sure you will proud to own for many years.
     
  14. jmichna

    jmichna XDTalk 25K Member Founding Member

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    Thanks, Danp. No concern about that. It will be kept as is, with possible exception of springs if needed (will keep original springs as well), as I do plan on shooting it occasionally. Next comes the hunt for proper period GI magazines (comes with one).
     
  15. dirty magazine

    dirty magazine XDTalk 100 Member

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    Thank goodness you already bought it... If I had to read this thread another day, I was going to chase down all the gun shops in the area to find this one and buy it. Congrats, that looks like a fine pistol. I've got dibs if you ever want to sell it.

    Please post pictures!
     

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