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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm new here and just discovered this site thru a reference in the April 2005 NRA American Rifleman mag. Fantastic wealth of info; I've spent the last 3 hours reading in fascination; highly organized with well-behaved and very knowledgeable participants.

I feel kind of lame without a digital camera on hand, but I dug out an Imperial 1911 Erfurt serno 262 I bought in 1980 to compare with some of the info & pics I'm seeing. If I understand what I've read, this pistol series used no suffix, so it's actually 262 in a run of approx 10,000. It has the "62" serno on almost every piece, including the mag, along with various inspection, index and proof marks. As far as I can tell, there is very little evidence in the chamber, ramp, mag, etc. of this gun ever being fired. The seller alleged this, but I've heard it a lot over the years.
It has the original finish with some pits and fading and slight corrosion/wear on the front of one of the receiver rails. The mag has an old and small chip in the wood. Otherwise, the pistol's in remarkable shape.

I'm curious about unit marks. This is nothing on the inside of the grip, but some of the postings seem to indicate that the other stamps might indicate how or where the gun was deployed, or that unit marks may be elsewhere. I also read that only a small percentage actually had unit marks. Any comments on this??

I'll see if I can borrow a macro lens camera to post some pics of the markings. Any tips on enhancing the markings for photos? Some pics looked like white paint was used for contrast. I don't see any overstamps or double hits or crossouts. Also, any reliable way of determining the degree of wear i.e. number of rounds fired (a throat gage would show nothing)? It seems strange that a gun with this history would not have been used. Finally, what the heck is a halo on a mark?

Thanks for a great site,
Tim
 

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Platinum Bullet member
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6,233 Posts
Tim, unit marks are typically found on the front grip strap of the pistol and 1911s are frequently found with unit marks. Lacking unit marks it is a hopeless task to try and find a history for the gun.

A possible clue to a very general indication of the pistol's history is whether it has a hold-open. 1911s were manufactured without a hold open. Prior to August of 1914 all such pistols were ordered modified with an added hold-open. The Bavarian Army did not have their pistols so modified either because of the outbreak of the war or because of some latitude afforded the Kingdom of Bavaria by the Reich.

So, if your pistol does not have any unit marks and does not have a hold-open, it may be a pistol issued to a Bavarian unit or it MIGHT be an officer private purchase. Then again it may be neither of these.
 

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Gold Bullet Member
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George answered the difficult questions, I'll take the easy ones. The photo shows the halo affect. It's caused by stamping the numbers after the pistol was blued. If no halo is present it's an indication of refinishing. Regarding the white paint, one method used is to apply lacquer stick available from Brownell's
Regarding the holdopen, the toggle assy is suppose to stay open when the last round is fired. If you pull back on the toggle with an unloaded magazine in place, the toggle should stay open.

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=7778

Download Attachment: Halo2.jpg
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Gold Bullet Member 2012
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Tim..... WELCOME to the forum. Thanks for all the nice things you said about the inmates. My 1911 Erfurt #5184 is one of the nicest guns I have in my collection. Hard to know where they were. I suspect some that were privately purchased never really "went to war" or ended up in a desk drawer or something like that. If they could only talk......... Some pictures would really help if you can figure a way to do that.........
 

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Administrator
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Tim, again welcome.

Some picture taking suggestions:
You can borrow a digital camera, you can lay the pistol on a flatbed scanner and take pictures (best not to do this at Office Depot), or you can take 35 mm pictures and send them to someone with a scanner...

Ed
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Folks-
Thanks for all the useful info. I assume the front grip strap is the steel below the trigger guard and between the wood. I rechecked & a hold open has been added and there are definitely no unit marks, so I guess this may have been a "far from the front" gun that wasn't reused in WWII.
I heard a story that the reason many serial numbers got mixed (besides parts guns), is that the guns would get cleaned together in a common solvent tank. This was especially true for the mags.

I wonder if I mispoke about the "original finish". I see no halos around any stamps. The blueing on top looks almost new compared to the barrel and sides and the markings appear to have blue at the bottom. Surprised they didn't blue after, except for the proofing.
Any other good ways to tell if it's been refinished?

I also notice several straw color parts, like the trigger, with no blue and assume this was intentional. Any idea how many other original straw colored/unblued parts there are?

Thanks for the lacquer stick tip, Tom. I'll see if I can get some photos up somehow. I have a good 35mm SLR with macro lens. Also, have a cheap scanner that's NIB. May want to use a better one.

Regards,
Tim
 

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Silver Bullet Member
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Tim,
I don't know how much stock you can put in that story of the pistols being mismatched because of being "cleaned in a common tank especially the magazines". Most mismatches were because of field replacement parts, put togethers etc. From what I understand, if armorers repaired a piece, it was either unnumbered or a new number was stamped. Magazines were easily lost and a spare picked up.On imports, many were purchased in bulk without a magazine and one was added to complete the rig. Captured weapons were stored without magazines also. Many of the Russian captured guns that were dip blued have mismatched parts and magazines. The Germans were very particular about keeping their guns together. Hand fitting went into producing Lugers and sometimes replacement parts didn't fit. I hope I didn't bore you with my diatribe!! ;))

Dave
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't about anything about mismatched parts, but our armor while getting ready for an IG inspection in Korea in 1965 disasemble all of the units M 14 rifles and put all of the weapon parts in a cleaning tank together even thouh the parts are inter changable

jim
 
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