WWI Mag Notes:

Many variations of magazines exist for 1911 pistols as well as for the 1911A1s.  Many collectors consider that it is very important to have the correct magazine for a collectable pistol. Some of these early magazines are almost impossible to find, and when sold, bring hundreds of dollars.

The earliest magazines (Step Base Bottom) do not appear to be two toned, but were heat treated and the halves show a slight difference in color. The type 1 magazine shows part of the bottom plate in the side view.  These were used from serial #1 through about serial #4500. The second type magazine had a cut-out in the rear wall that allowed the sides to flex and avoided cracking the upper rear corners.  The type II was used from about serial #4500 to serial #30000.  The third type magazine had a lanyard loop as did the previous two types. The type III was used from about serial 30000 to about serial #130000. The type 4 magazine had no lanyard loop. And was used from about serial #130000 to the end of WWI.  the All magazines where two tone until approximately 1940. Full blued magazines started shipping around serial number 719,753. Reference Charles Clawsons “Colt .45 Service pistols”.

Common subcontractors identification marks on WWI mags are located on the top lip of base and included A, B, L, R, and R on the bottom of base. Colt, Remington-UMC, and Springfield had unmarked mags as well.

WWII Mag Notes:
(S)Scovill, (R)Risdon, and (L)Little mags was used by Remington Rand, Ithaca, and US&S; (G)General Shaver Div mags where used by Remington Rand. Common stamps on WWII mags on top lip of base L, R, S and G. Sometimes present on the bottom of the base a C-L, C-R, C-S which implied it was subcontracted for Colt. See images below.

*Little magazines have been seen with two font variations (Block and Roman) "L" and "L".

*Colt didn't start adding the "Colt 45 Auto" to the bottom of the base until 1933-34 around serial number C170,000. These mags are easy to spot because they have a two tone blued finish.
*Lanyard Loops on the base of the mags were the standard until around serial # C95,000 or 1919. There are two variations of this mag as well. Until C3500 Commercial magazines had a punch and saw cut slot (Keyhole) on the back of the magazine

Examples of Proper GI Issue Magazines
Click on images for larger version

Type I - Step Base Bottom
(From S/N 1-4500)
Type II - Key Hole Magazine
(From S/N 4500 - 30000)

The cut and hole were added to add more flex to the tube. Prior to this modification there was issues with the magazine cracking at the feed mouth. Better metal was found and replaced the more brittle metal at about serial number 30000 and removed the need to add the key hole modification (see Type III below).

Type III - Colt Two Tone with Loop
(From S/N 30000 - 130000)

Type IV - WWI example produced by Colt
(From S/N 130000 - to end of WWI)
Type IV - WWI example produced by American Pin
(From S/N 130000 - to end of WWI)
Early WWI Springfield Magazine with Loop 
(also had with out loop)

WWII example produced by Scovill and Risdon
(Used by Remington Rand, US&S, and Ithaca)

  WWII example produced for Colt
by Little, Risdon , and Scovill
Known examples 
are "C-L", "C-R", and "C-S"

Images provided by Scott Gahimer
Colt contractors put a "C" in front of their letter designator.
WWII example produced by General Shaver
(Used by Remington Rand)

"G" Stamped lip

Notice seam on back of magazine
Note: General Shaver was a division of Remington Rand and had a manufacturing contract to produce almost a million magazines. Most shipped with Remington Rand 1911A1s.
WWII example produced by Little
(Used by Remington Rand, US&S, and Ithaca)
Little images provided by Ryan Malley
Notice different font types


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