1946 Colt M1911-A1
Government Model Military/Commercial Transition

One of the first post war commercial Colt 1911-A1s  #C220,509. Colt re-started commercial production in October 1946 with serial Number C220,001. These rare pistols have very interesting and unique characteristics. This pistol has approximately 98% original Finish.

About this Colt Variation:
The first approximately 2000 commercial pistols made after the war ended were actually military pistols in various stages of manufacture at wars end and were completed with commercial serial numbers in 1946 as commercial pistols.  The slides of these pistols had the rampant Colt symbol marked on both sides of the slide.  The right slide had the normal wartime marking with patent dates near the front and the Colts address to the rear of the rampant Colt symbol.  The right side was marked “COLT AUTOMATIC CALIBRE .45”.    All of the external surfaces except the top of the slide were polished to a bit less than a mirror finish with the top of the slide being finished in a dull non reflective matte.  The complete pistol was finished with a chemical bluing process.  Many of the small parts were military leftovers, such as slide stops, and triggers.   Due to the fact that they were what was left after military production halted, its basically a GI 1911A1 with a commercial finish. These pistols are a record of the transition from military production to post war commercial production. After WWI the government reclaimed all unfinished parts and pistols, not so in WWII. Colts had maintained commercial production throughout WWI during WWII Colts had suspended commercial production for the duration of the war by order of the U.S. Government on January 23rd, 1942.  After WWII the government did not reclaim the parts on the production line and Colts ended up utilizing these military parts in their commercial production. Clawson  details these early post war guns.
Reference Charles Clawsons “Colt .45 Government Models”.

Unique characteristics of Postwar Commercial Pistols:
1) Notice the dark areas on the slide. These are hardened areas per Mil-Specs.
2) This pistol also has a "P" military proof on the top of the slide
3) Military Lanyard loop on the mainspring housing.
4) The Rampant Colt is on both sides of the slide (Twin Colts), there are NO inspection stamps on the inside-bottom of the slide.
5) Slide stop, stocks, thumb safety and hammer are military production
6) No "Government Model" marking on gun. No markings under firing pin plate.
7) Magazine with pinned base and no markings, appears to be WWII production. Wear patterns on pistol and magazine appear similar.
8) Barrel is WWII Colt production military surplus, top of chamber “in the white”. "Colt 45 Auto" above left lug, "P" on left lug. 7 forward of lug
9) Top of the receiver has no stamps (G or S). No P on Receiver. Most late war receivers where unmarked (Clawson Pg. 78)

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Postwar Commercial model slide
markings located on the right side.

Wartime patent legend, left side – some pistols lost this mark during the finishing process.

Colts verified proof mark and the final inspectors mark.

This pistol lacks the "Government Model" roll mark above the serial number as do the first approximately 600 postwar pistols.

P mark on top of slide is a military proof mark
 From the T. Moore collection

Rev 1.1