Oh poo poo, what's in the box?
loving nothing because I store my guns in the safe
It IS a really nice box, though. Like, seriously, this is a loving nice box. No joke, no punchline, no hyperbole. I'm honestly impressed, they could have shipped me this in an oily sock and I'd have been cool with it.
When the first batch of CMP 1911s came through I was in zero shape to be dropping money on them, much to my chagrin. When they announced the lotto for the second one I made sure to jump on it. I got the call late last week, and as of Tuesday morning it was at my local FFL. Honestly the timing wasn't great, but I'll move some other poo poo and make up the hole this has blown in my wallet. When they called me there were two options left: Field Grade or Rack Grade.
I went for a Field, and this is what I got:
Let me preface all this by saying I know basically gently caress and all about 1911s. So if you spot something wrong, tell me. I've spent the last few hours taking this thing apart and looking up poo poo online, so all of this represents just what I was able to google.
Oh, it also came with this. Nice touch, CMP:
Other side of the pistol:
I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure the finish is original.
Lets hit the highlights first. The slide is pretty obviously a Remington Rand. I've also got to admit I really love that wartime utter lack of fucks given about the milling marks.
There are two big tells that the frame is also a Remington Rand. The first, and most important one, is the fact that the SN reads "NO <numbers>" rather than "No." Apparently that's a distinctive RR thing. The SN puts it as early/mid 1944 manufacture.
The other, less obvious, tell is the FJA stamp on the frame. That's the inspector's mark for Franklin J. Atwood, a name I'm familiar with because he's also the inspector mark on my Remington m1903. You can also find him on a few other guns, but he's all over Remington stuff.
So the frame and the slide are both Remington Rand, and while there's no way to know for certain I really think they might have been together since the factory. The wear on the finish feels like they've been mated together for a while. Maybe, maybe not, but if nothing else they're correct for each other.
The backstrap is the ribbed version. No idea if that's right for a mid-44 RR gun.
Many idiots have handled this gun, as is to be expected of something that was in US Army stocks for over half a century:
Something that does NOT look right for the gun is the hammer. The finish is just all wrong, although it's got enough wear that it was obviously in service with it for a while. I'm not surprised. Years back I had to fit a new hammer for a relative's WW2 era 1911 that had just worn the gently caress out to the point where the hammer would follow the slide home when shooting. Having a "new" (compared to 1944) hammer on this doesn't bother me, since I bought it to shoot. The safety is also a bit suspect as far as possibly being a replacement.
Here's where things start to get fun. This barrel is . . . not right.
I mean, it's in great shape. Dirty (someone clearly didn't clean it before putting it away), but really, really shiny. Like. REALLY shiny. Shiny and chrome shiny.
The barrel reads:
That middle number isn't a serial, it's a contract number. Apparently in the 80s and 90s the government bought a bunch of commercial replacement barrels. There were pretty big problems with the guns getting clapped the gently caress out by the time the 70s ended. The list of companies that supplied them is huge. Some are notable gun companies like S&W, some are weirdo firms I"ve never head of like <checks notes> Duroyd Mfg. Co? Wtf?
Anyways, on the left side of the lug there's this set of letters, which is apparently something called a "cage code" that tells you who made it. Random people on internet boards are saying that the TZ marking means it was made by IMI. Yes, that IMI. That number under the contract code is a year of manufacture, so it's a 1985 barrel. The finish is also pretty obviously different from the rest of the gun.
Remember the shiny barrel? Unlike the originals, the replacements were chrome lined.
What about the mag? This thing is pretty clearly post-war.
Having learned the magic of cage codes, google tells me that:
CAGE Code: 1M291
Company Name: CHECK-MATE INDUSTRIES INC.
So what about the grips?
Well, they've got this K-in-a-star thing on the inside, which google tells me is the maker mark for Keys Fiber, the company who made a poo poo load of "Coltwood" plastic grips for Remington Rand during the right period for this gun. So the grips are correct too. As an aside, the exact makeup of Coltwood is apparently lost to the ages, but the best guess is a mix of formaldehyde resin and sawdust.
The grips themselves show some interesting wear along the high points. The bottom of the right hand panel is notably worn near the bottom, and it isn't this way on the left panel. My armchair diagnosis is that this is probably where the gun would poke out of a holster on a right-handed person's hip. I'm guessing decades of rubbing against other poo poo on a belt, maybe car doors or seatbelts, standard cop/security guard type wear.
The other wear spot is at the top of the left hand panel, next to the screw. Maybe from rubbing against the holster? It's an odd wear spot, I dunno. Also has a nice rack number.
So, what do I think I have here?
My initial read is that it's a WW2 frame, slide, and grips that may very well have stuck together since assembly. The gun was obviously used, a lot, in the decades after WW2. The guns were notoriously beat to poo poo by the time Vietnam ended, and a bunch got rebuilt and worn parts tossed. This one got a new barrel in that process, and likely a new hammer and possibly a new safety. In an extremely 1980s twist my barrel came from IMI. It's a neat mix of OG WW2 with a bit of Reagan era on the side. It's like the USS Iowa of pistols. Hopefully with fewer catastrophic KBs and homophobic coverups.
All in all I'm happy with it. Can't wait to get it out and see how it shoots. If nothing else I'm hoping that the "new" barrel means it does that well, because I sure as poo poo didn't buy this to be a safe queen.
Cyrano4747 fucked around with this message at 16:27 on Jun 19, 2021
|# ¿ Jun 18, 2021 00:06|
|# ¿ Sep 17, 2021 19:20|
Oh, one final thing. I did know about the rebuild program but I'd always heard about replacement slides. That was the one thing I did NOT want. I've heard they're actually really nice slides and were popular with the home builder set back when they were getting surplused out and you could get a NIB one for gently caress all at gun shows, but eeehhhh . . . I wanted that WW2 slide.
First thing I did at the gun shop was pop the lid, look at the slide, and breath a sigh of relief.
|# ¿ Jun 18, 2021 00:14|
So, I see inspectors pop up fairly frequently on milsurp discussions: what exactly were they doing when they take a gun under inspection? With the volume of guns that were being turned out during the middle of WWII, the inspector clearly can't have much time looking over each one. Are they doing a basic function check and if everything clicks right it gets sent out the door?
That's a really good question and I don't have a good answer. I have some suspicions, though.
Let's just look at the basic production numbers by factory and year taken from this website.
In 1944 Remington Rand made 257,393 pistols. Now, an extra little wrinkle is that Atwood wasn't just inspecting guns at that one factory. He was the Army Ordinance Officer in charge of the Rochester district, which also included the Ithica plant, which made an additional ~73,861 1911s that year. All told you're looking at north of 331k pistols coming out with that guy's stamp in 1944 alone, plus whatever else was happening. Remember, I've also got an FJA-stamped 1903 made in 1942. That would be a little over 900 pistols per day, every day of the year, no holidays. Assuming he worked 16 hour days, taking no breaks, that would be 56 pistols per hour, or a shade under one a minute.
So obviously Franklin J. Atwood wasn't personally checking every pistol going out the door before slapping a stamp on it.
My assumption is that he had a supervisory role and oversaw a team of inspectors who essentially signed off for him. If a pistol comes out of a box in Europe somewhere that's super hosed up and has an FJA stamp on it people go ask him WTF, and then he checks his records and sees who was inspecting guns at the time and day that whatever serial came off the lines so he can yell at one of his inspectors for being drunk on the job or whatever.
|# ¿ Jun 18, 2021 15:32|
Now, an extra little wrinkle is that Atwood wasn't just inspecting guns at that one factory. He was the Army Ordinance Officer in charge of the Rochester district, which also included the Ithica plant,
Oh hey, case in point.
That's a pretty sweet 1911. Nice bit of history detective work there.
Ok, so caveat that I'm still super new at this 1911 poo poo, but check out your serial number on the frame. You've got the FJA stamp along with a serial that says "No. <number>" rather than "NO" like mine does. I'm pretty sure that's an ithica frame, what with the FJA and the fact that Remington did the NO thing. So with your Remington slide you've got a slide/frame mismatch but both came out of the FJA area. Which is cool.
Side note, you might actually have a matching set there because I know a lot of times factories near each other sent poo poo back and forth. Pure speculation on my part because I don't have a book on 1911s or anything, but it wouldn't' surprise me at all if a smaller plant like Ithica had the neighboring monster of RR send over some slides to help production along. You see the same thing with m1 Carbine manufacture at least.
Again, just a random guess because I know gently caress and all about 1911s.
Cyrano4747 fucked around with this message at 15:43 on Jun 18, 2021
|# ¿ Jun 18, 2021 15:37|
Man I looked for a gif of that for the OP for a minute.
Also, I'm not going to lie: first thing I did after I got home was tried that chamber check / barrel check flip he does.
I dropped it (on carpet)
Just got back from the range. Forgot to take photos of my target like a goober, but I'm happy. 100 rounds, zero malfs, had one casing end up back in the chamber on round 7 when it locked back, but I'm pretty sure that one bounced off the roof of the firing line rather than failing to extract. I'm pretty sure it shoots straight. I say "pretty sure" because I was at a rifles-mostly range that had the closest targets at 25 yards and I'm a terrible pistol shot. Still, got half of them on piece of A4 paper which is pretty good for me. I'll have to get it somewhere that I can wheel the target in to babby's first pistol ranges.
Pic of the dirty muzzle, which I did remember to snag a picture of for reasons unknown.
|# ¿ Jun 18, 2021 20:41|