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Old 08-25-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Mid TN
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I got sick and almost threw up.

I was on a road trip last week and stopped in Roanoke, VA to visit with an old friend. My friend, 'Robert', was the executive officer in my rifle company in VN in 1965. 'Robert' went on to retire after spending 33 years in uniform wearing the insignia of 15 different enlisted and commissioned ranks in the Navy and Army. Since I left VN, 'Robert' and I and our families crossed paths many time in the ensuing years. His youngest son, while a member of the corp of cadets at VCU introduced my daughter to her now husband of 14 years. He was also working part time for me while in college. (he and my son in law also served together in the same parachute brigade and the same special forces group)

When I was visiting last week, 'Robert' told me about his .45. While an NCO in Germany in the early 60s, he bought a Colt 1911A1 in an Army Rod and Gun club for $35. It was a lend-lease gun that had English proofmarks, AND German proofmarks.

He took it to VN and brought it back, afterward he took it to a local gunsmith in Fayetteville and had it reblued. A week after getting the gun back, his house was broken into and the gun stolen. It has not resurfaced in the past 40 years.

That is the saddest story I have ever heard about an heirloom 1911A1 that should have been in a museum. I got ill when I heard it.

Does anyone know why a 1911A1 would have German proofmarks? I have heard two stories but would like to hear from an expert.
 
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:02 AM   #2
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Was it also marked "Not British Made?"

If so, those were proofed post WW2 as per British requirement. They proof their service weapons differently than we do. Not really enough differently to mean anything...just being "British" I suppose.

Oddly enough, the British marked pistols are considered less desirable as collectibles. There were also a number of pistols with Canadian and Russian proofs.

As for the German proofs...I'm stumped...but they were likely part of some sort of lend-lease deal. You may want to try M1911.org and pose the question to John Holbrook, the resident historian over there.

Last edited by JohnnyT; 08-26-2013 at 02:05 AM.
 
Old 08-26-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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Firearms that are imported into Germany for commercial sales are proof marked.

If you watch the gun auctions, from time to time you'll see a nice S&W or Colt Python with ugly German proof stamps on the left front side of the frame and barrel.

In this case, the 1911-A1 was bought by or Lend-Leased to the Brits, and they surplussed it to the commercial market, where it was imported into Germany.
For sales in Germany it had to have German proofs stamped on it.
An American military Rod & Gun Club is still considered to be selling commercially in Germany.
 
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