1942 "Navy" Colt 1911A1
SN
794,904


The U.S. Navy was shipped 3,982 1911A1s on July 24th, 1942. These guns where shipped to the Officer in Charge, Naval Supply Depot, in Oakland, Calif. and Sewalls Point, Va. This gun was shipped as part of the Oakland, Calif. shipment of 1,591 sent to the attention of Officer in charge of the Naval Supply Depot. The U.S. Navy only received 3,982 pistols as DIRECT Colt shipments during WWII.  After this first shipment, all pistols were delivered to Ordnance Stores (OS) at Springfield where they were disbursed. These direct Navy delivered pistols are seldom encountered due to their small initial number, their relatively high loss rate as all pistols were normally lost when a ship went down, and pistols aboard ship as well as in Navy shore installations were generally kept more securely than Army pistols. Therefore the number of Navy pistols that went home in duffel bags was far less than in the other services. This direct Navy delivered Colt 1911A1 pistol is completely original and bears the W.B. final acceptance mark applied under the authority of Col. Waldemar S. Broberg (Fig. 3).  Stocks for these Navy pistols are the seldom seen “Coltwood” plastic with hollow backs, Barrel is marked Colt 45, P, and Large G forward of the lugs . (Fig. 11) The number beneath the firing pin stop plate matches the frame serial number (794904). Reference Charles Clawsons “Colt .45 Service pistols”.


1 - Right profile

2 - Left profile

3 -
View of W.B. final acceptance mark applied under the authority of Col. Waldemar S. Broberg.

4 -
Serial Number under firing pin stop plate.
on slide

5 - G indicates
Government contract

6 - UN marks indicate "in process" inspections at various stages of manufacture. See Notes on 1943 Colt page.

7 - Wide spur hammer

8 -Thumb safety

9 - Mainspring 
housing

10 - Slide stop and barrel bushing

11 - Coltwood Plastic Stocks
(rare type w/ out ribs)
From the J. Holbrook collection

Note 1: Note 1: When buying a Navy 1911A1 Colt or any Colt between serial number 710001 and about 1139XXX, ensure that the serial number on the receiver/frame matches the serial number underneath the firing pin stop plate.  Early WWI Navy 1911 Colts where marked “MODEL OF 1911 U.S. Navy”.  All U.S. military pistols made after 1915 were marked “MODEL OF 1911 U.S. ARMY” or “M1911A1 U.S. ARMY”.  Navy delivered 1911A1 pistols can only be identified and differentiated from normal Army issue pistols by their serial number.

Note 2: Navy Colts draw a significant premium, anywhere from 50% to 100% depending on condition. The important things to be sure of when contemplating the purchase of a Navy Colt are the same as with any other M1911 or M1911A1: ensure all parts are correct (Stocks, barrel, barrel bushing, sights, grip screws, mainspring housing, slide stop, hammer, and Slide).  With early M1911A1s through about 1139XXX, the slide must be numbered to match the receiver.

Note 3: With many NAVY pistols you can clean off any loose rust and wash the parts with hot soapy water, then dry and keep it well oiled. BUT what ever you do...DON'T get it refinished!