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”.