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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Back for more M1911 help.
I looked at an M1911, colt serialed and inspected frame, serial #500,000-ish, with a Colt slide marked Model 1911 US Army.

It still had the wood diamond grips, straight frame, but had been parkerized (very old smooth greenish) and was about 90-95%. No pitting under the finish.

The barrel was an HS. (great bore)
WWI two tone, (but faded) magazine.

The right frame, just behind the trigger, was stamped very neatly with a very small RIA, for, I assume, a Rock Island Arsenal rebuild.

It was priced @$790.
How is this price?

Regards, Ned
 

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Bayoned, These are ,IMO, interesting and overlooked pistols which have not,as yet, reached their full value potental. Starting in the 1930's and finishing in the late 1950's many US arsenals and ordnance depots conducted rebuild programs for M1911 pistols. Most of the work involved upgrading internal parts to include new barrels and refinishing in Parkerizing. The gun you describe seems to be a typical product of this program.The only difference is the wooden diamond grips,as most that I've seen had the plastic, molded grips fitted. IMO, $790 for this gun is very fair and,were it offered to me, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.Best regards.gospodin
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input.

A couple of other questions..............

-Does the pressence of the RIA stamp add to the gun's history, or authenticate an official rebuild, versus a "parts" gun? Is it a plus?

-My Clawson's book mentions the fact that "generally, the rebuild stamps are on the left side of the frame, with the exception of Springfield's SA which is found on the right."
My RIA stamp is on the right side, just behind the trigger. No other initials are included, just the small neat RIA. Is this OK?

Regards, Ned
 

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Ned, While the presence of the "RIA" rebuild marking certainly authenticates the piece, IMO it is not a "plus" in that these pistols are -as I indicated earlier-are overlooked and misunderstood. Many collectors think that reworks are somehow "less" than pieces that were not reworked and therefore,value them less. IMO,these are collectors items in their own category and are deserving of further study. Your second questions' answer is "yes,its OK". Armories,Arsenals and depots all had their own ways of doing things to rebuild guns. Protocols and procedures often changed over time for various reason-or no reason at all. I personally see no harm or loss of value in the "RIA" mark being on the right frame side. The term "generally" ,as used in Clawson's book,allows room for exceptions-of which there are abundant examples.Hope this helps.Regards.Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Jack,

I appreciate your response. enough that I bought the gun this evening !

It's in nice condition, and I'm sure has had a long and interesting history.

This is my first M1911 / 1911A1 rebuild. I've shied away from them before, probably because I don't know them.

Regards, Ned
 

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Hi Ned, Good for you! Trust me, you won't be sorry. If anything,genuine US military rebuilds are as interesting as the "pristine" issue pieces that all of us so crave. Glad I could help. Regards.Jack
 

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A nice correct arsenal rebuild is more collectable than a normal run of the mill barracks mixmaster. $ 800 is actually pretty good these days, I paid $900 for a very nice RIA rebuild on US&S frame last year.
Put some postwar plastic grips on and you are ready to go, someone probably didn't like the plastics and put on wood instead..

Most of the RIA rebuilds I have seen have been marked on right side and have a clearish -silver parkerizing typical of RIA rebuilt weapons.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You are correct on the appearance of the parkerizing.

I remembered it as more on the greenish side when I came home after looking at it briefly, and was trying to figure out what to do.

When I went back to purchase, I took my time to fully absorb the piece. (after I plunked my money down).

I'll post some pics when it comes home with me.
 
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