Ithaca M1911A1
S/N 1455739
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 process.  Some notable 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 Profile

Right Profile

Left side trigger
FJA - Frank J. Atwood, Col.

Trigger, Property mark,
and Serial number

Slide top

Proof, rear sight,
and hammer

Front sight

Ordnance mark

Navy rack number

Ithaca Shipping Invoice

U.S. Naval Firearms

USS Missouri BB-63
    From the collection
of T. Moore