1944 Colt M1911A1
British Lend Lease

This Colts made M1911A1 pistol serial #1635678 was shipped in August of 1944 to the Transportation Officer, Springfield Armory.  This pistol has all of the characteristics and features of a Colts made mid war 1911A1 including: Serrated ramp front sight, wide spur hammer, checkered slide stop, thumb safety and hammer, wide square notch rear sight, stamped trigger, Plastic stocks with large rings around the screw holes, and an un-serialed slide.  The mainspring housing has serrations instead of the earlier checkering.  This pistol ended the war in England yet probably never was issued going by its “New” condition.  If this pistol could talk, it would probably not be able to tell any interesting stories as it probably spent its entire life in a warehouse. The British proof marks, including a “Released British Government 1952” and “Not English Make” marking, were applied prior to its export from England.  Most collectors consider British proofmarks on a 1911A1 to be an undesirable characteristic and the marks will often decrease a pistols value somewhat.  Whereas others consider that the particular brand of defacement the British used with these pistols is an acceptable penalty, to get these pistols out of their hands before they have the chance to turn them into scrap metal, in their single minded drive to make England safe for “Tea and Crumpets.”  Should the prices of these British proofed pistols rise to where a premium is required for purchase, perhaps it should be considered as a “Ransom payment” rather than a premium. (British marks are usually found on Lend-Lease Act guns).

1911A1s made at Colts Manufacturing Co. from about serial #848000 to about serial #2360400 generally have applied the final Ordnance acceptance mark of “G.H.D.” that was applied by civilian inspectors at Colts under the authority of Colonel Guy H. Drewry.  Mr. Drewry was promoted to Brigadier General on September 10 1942 and he was therefore a General Officer at the time this pistol was accepted.

This 1911A1 was once part of the Julius T. Kosan collection. There are numerous photographs of Mr. Kosan’s in such books as: “COLT .45 SERVICE PISTOLS” by Charles Clawson” and “U.S. MILITARY AUTOMATIC PISTOLS 1894 – 1920” by E.S. Meadows. As such, these pistols are usually the among best examples to be found anywhere and are often used as reference examples for the various models. Reference Charles Clawsons “Colt .45 Service pistols”. 

P proof mark located on top of slide

Serrated mainspring housing

Stamped short trigger

British proofs and US cannon ordnance stamp. This U.S. ordinance stamp was adopted in Oct. 1942.

No stampings on 1944-45  Colts on top of receiver is not uncommon according to Clawsons book

Standard Colt barrel markings from 710,001 early 1945 when the normal “COLT .45 AUTO” was replaced with a “C in a Square

The slide is heat treated for hardness, thus the discoloration.

British Proofs on barrel

Big hole!

"Not English make" British stamp

Notice British proofs are on the slide, frame, and barrel.

British release mark

Dimpled round nose profile started at around 40000

One end is crimped on the recoil spring - both ends prior  to 150,000

Checkering was normal until late 1945 when Colt started using serrated slide stops

Colt Verified proof and inspectors stamp. The VP mark was first used at SN 710,001

U and R stamp under the slide. These are stage inspection marks

This version of the rampant colt
Late 1944 until around March of 1945

Serial Number marking and “United States Property” mark

Above the magazine release is the stamp of G.H.D. for Guy H. Drewry Brig. General,  Army Inspector of Ordnance. common from June, 1942 till July, 1945.

 From the T. Moore collection
Rev 1.1