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Need some help on what to pay: Colt .45 1911

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#1
I have an acquantance who is in need of a little cash. He has 2 Colt .45 caliber model 1911/s.

This is the story: Years ago, he sold colt products. About 25-30 years ago, as a bonus, he was offered anything colt sold as a bonus. he selected these two firearms:

One is a 1911 with a brown handle.
One is a 1911 with a black handle.

He showed me the fireaems-they are mint, still in original boxes with original paperwork. Neither have been fired.

He says they are military issued and one is a navy and the other army issued.

I will be getting serial numbers from him tuesday, and further inspecting the arms.

He is asking $750 each, and has all of the documentation and paperwork.

Need some help on your thoughts of price and where I should go from here.

thanks
 

Harvey

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#2
Any decent 1911 is worth $500-750, but we can do better service establishing a value if you can provide the SN's.

Who knows? ... they could easily be the venerable 1918 Black Army Colts ... easily worth a couple grand each. Or they could be range beaters. Let us know as soon as you have more info, but in any event, what you are describing sounds positive.
 

Rusty Shackelford

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#4
I know nothing about Colt 1911s but am offering up this advice. You said your friend is offering these up because he is in need of cash. Many times people will take advantage of these types of guys and lowball'em and give them $400 for something easily worth twice that. I have an uncle that does that type of crap all the time and I let him know how underhanded it is. I am not against getting a good deal but basically stealing from a guy (and a friend in your case) just because he needs money is dirty. I am not saying that is what you are doing cause he gave you an "asking price" and you are just following up and DYODD. I just know guys that have sold guns for cash when they thought they need to only to regret the sale a few years down the road cause they can never get back into that weapon at a reasonable cost.
 
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#5
I know nothing about Colt 1911s but am offering up this advice. You said your friend is offering these up because he is in need of cash. Many times people will take advantage of these types of guys and lowball'em and give them $400 for something easily worth twice that. I have an uncle that does that type of crap all the time and I let him know how underhanded it is. I am not against getting a good deal but basically stealing from a guy (and a friend in your case) just because he needs money is dirty. I am not saying that is what you are doing cause he gave you an "asking price" and you are just following up and DYODD. I just know guys that have sold guns for cash when they thought they need to only to regret the sale a few years down the road cause they can never get back into that weapon at a reasonable cost.
THAT is why I am asking how much, in members opinions, these firearms are worth. I want a fair price for both parties, and I do not know what they are worth.

thanks
 

farscott

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#6
First, any NIB Colt 1911 or 1911A1 is worth at least $750.

Second, there were no military-issued Colt 1911s made in the 1970s or 1980s, and none to specific branches of the military. The USG stopped buying 1911s in 1924 or so and 1911A1s when WWII ended.

Third, if these were made in 1980, then the guns would be Series '70 and should be marked as such on the left side of the slide. I would willingly pay $1000 for a good Series '70 pistol. If the guns were made in 1985, they would be Series '80 and marked as such on the left and/or right side of the slide. I would pay up to $900 for a good Series '80. If they are from 1969 or older, they would be Colt Commercial models, worth much more than $750 each to a collector. As in, $1500.

Fourth, if these are Gold Cup pistols, the value will be less unless the guns are pre-Series '70 guns.

Fifth, pictures are your friend. Colt pistols have lots of variants, and a little thing can bring bigger bucks.
 

elroy

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#7
I bought a stainless Colt Mustang from a co-worker years ago under similar circumstances.

He needed the money [he always needed money].

Anyway I offered him a specific time span in which he was welcome to buy the gun back at the same price.

I bought the gun cheap but I felt I was being fair giving him this opportunity as we were both working and making good money.
 

Rusty Shackelford

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#8
Anyway I offered him a specific time span in which he was welcome to buy the gun back at the same price.

I bought the gun cheap but I felt I was being fair giving him this opportunity as we were both working and making good money.
I would have no qualms about an offer like that where the original owner has a opportunity to get through the "tough times" and retain his property. Kinda like a quasi-pawn shop.
 
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#9
OK, here is the deal: both are new in box and never been fired. All original paper.

Serial numbers 70G922XX and 70G909XX tell me they are Colt 1911 A1 Mk IV Series 70's. Both made in 1976. Model number on them is 01970

Govenrment issued. One has a dark brown handle, and the other a lighter brown handle.

After lookin these up on the net, $750 each in these conditions seems very reasonable. Am I correct? Trust your opinions, that is why I brought it here.
Thanks in advance.
 

farscott

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#10
1976 is correct per Proofhouse. Those should be large roll mark Series '70 pistols, so $750 each is a very good deal.

These should have the Accurizor barrel and collet bushing which is what Series '70 refers to. The idea was to create a match bushing fit with production parts. For the most part, it worked, but there were issues. You need to be careful with the collet bushing or it can be damaged by pinching the fingers of the bushing between the barrel and the slide. Many people replace the collet bushing with a solid bushing. The spring plug should have a piece that seems to be broken; this is intentional. It is meant to secure the spring plug on the recoil spring and is not a defect.

NOT Government-issued. These are commercial guns only. Good solid guns that predate many of the cost-savings measures that plagued Colt in the 1980s and 1990s.
 

Harvey

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#11
Although the pistols may have limited collector's appeal, they are both fine weapons, particularly for pre-80's runs in an un-fired condition. It would be interesting to see what 'original paperwork' is included. Are the original cardboard boxes available? What do you mean by a 'brown and black handle'? Pic's would be cool.

Personally, I wouldn't think of replacing the collet bushing system. They should be extremely accurate for a 1911's, particularly if you don't anticipate using the things as heavy-use range guns. In fact you may want to put one of them away as a safe queen. Read about the pistols, including the Accurizor collet bushing system here: http://www.m1911.org/prodte26.htm

In any event, the $750/ea. asking price is more than reasonable, and if you don't want them, let me know at once. ;)
 

SWRichmond

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#12
I know nothing about Colt 1911s but am offering up this advice. You said your friend is offering these up because he is in need of cash. Many times people will take advantage of these types of guys and lowball'em and give them $400 for something easily worth twice that. I have an uncle that does that type of crap all the time and I let him know how underhanded it is. I am not against getting a good deal but basically stealing from a guy (and a friend in your case) just because he needs money is dirty. I am not saying that is what you are doing cause he gave you an "asking price" and you are just following up and DYODD. I just know guys that have sold guns for cash when they thought they need to only to regret the sale a few years down the road cause they can never get back into that weapon at a reasonable cost.
This is only "dirty" if you had a hand in placing the seller in the position of having to sell. If the seller has cash flow problems owing to living the high life while you are socking away savings against a rainy day, then you have every right to buy whatever he has at whatever price you can get it for.

If, on the other hand, you are the seller's boss and you've just fired him, then you are a dirty rotten lowdown scoundrel if you try to lowball purchase from him. You might as well ask him to pimp out his wife.


On the subject of the pistols, if they are NIB colts then they are worth at least $750 under nearly any circumstances. Having said that, if you are not a Colt collector then I wouldn't try to assess their rarity without expert help. However, if either says "Model of 1911 U.S. Army" or "United States Property" and they are in even good condition then you should smile sweetly, hand the man money and shake hands.

http://www.hallowellco.com/colt_1911_us_army.htm

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=218383 (scroll down for serial number ranges)

Navy: http://www.coolgunsite.com/images/1911/colt navy 1912 3218/1912na2.jpg
http://www.coolgunsite.com/images/1911/colt navy 1912 3218/1912na4.jpg
slide stop and inspector's cartouche: http://www.coolgunsite.com/images/1911/colt navy 1912 3218/1912na42.jpg

I seriously doubt he is offering you these, certainly NIB specimens would be worth a month's pay or more.
 
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electric-amish

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#13
Sounds like an OK Deal.

I recently bought a beat up Browning BLR. The wood on the stock was so scratched it had qouges and white lines dug in it. The Metal looked pretty--used but pretty.

He wanted $200--------New they are $799-875

I gave him some extra--20 bucks and took it home.

Then it Started----I heard whispering and small voices saying, " fix me----restore me----I'll be your friend".

MIDWESTGUNWORKS.COM to the rescue----they, with my insatiable appitite to tinker and $400 got a trigger job, total wood refinish, drilled and installed sling swivels, and then came the Browning Case cause it has to match(HAHAHAHA) and the sling. New Redfield Revolution Scope and Mounting Rings and Bases.

So I'm Pretty close to New Rifle cost--actually over on my deal of the Century............I got more------Its set up for me they way I like it, but, I learned my lesson.

Long Guns cost $1000, after I'm done. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

All the above to say, only make a deal you like and can live with-------for me it was give him $20 over asking price. For you maybe the same.

E-A