Shipped: May 24,
1944 to U.S. Navy
This Ithaca was shipped to the
officer in charge, U.S. Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, California on 24 May
1944 in a shipment of 2,750 pistols. This pistol was part of
government contract W-740-ORD-2476. Ithaca Navy pistols are rare as
very few were shipped from Ithaca for Navy issue. This example has the
ordnance inspectors flaming bomb acceptance mark in the recoil lug well and
under the firing pin stop plate.
Ithaca started production in December of
1942 and was the only established firearms company to produce 1911A1s other
than Colt. The total number of pistols produced by Ithaca was 335,466. In
early 1942 & 1943 Ithaca did not have all the equipment necessary to
manufacture the components so they received parts from other contractors
that included 6,200 WWI receivers that Springfield had in storage. These
early Colt receivers (frames) can be quickly identified by the cut-outs
under the stocks. Colt also supplied many of the small parts.
Ithaca received thousands of Springfield barrels,
Remington Rand hammers, and other manufacturers parts and used them for
early production while they continued to set up their own manufacturing
contributions to the manufacture of the M1911 A1 pistol include Ithacas
designing of a stamped trigger assembly that was approved by the Ordnance
Department. This stamped trigger was fabricated by the Yawman
Metal Products Co. of Rochester N.Y. and became known as the Yawman Trigger.
The new trigger was adopted by all other pistol manufacturers by early 1943,
except Colts who changed in April of 1944. Changing to the stamped trigger
alone reduced the cost of the 1911A1 by about 5%. Later in the
war Ithaca also designed a serrated Grooved hammer as a cost reduction but
none of the other manufacturers adopted it. Ithaca pistols were
probably the coarsest finished pistols of any 1911A1. This seems
puzzling since they were previously a manufacturer of sporting shotguns and
as such they must have appreciated the importance of cosmetic appearance.
This pistol should look familiar to
Northwest collectors as it was on display for many years at Washington and
Oregon gun shows as part of the John Holbrook collection.
Left side trigger
FJA - Frank J. Atwood, Col.
Trigger, Property mark,
and Serial number
Proof, rear sight,
Navy rack number
Ithaca Shipping Invoice
U.S. Naval Firearms
USS Missouri BB-63
|From the collection
of T. Moore