Several have posted over last couple of months asking how to ID the M1911A1 Govt 45 Auto, as in "I've got one, who made the darn thing? I'm certainly no Govt 45 expert but I dug up some info, maybe it will help...first a bit of history. The slide is also not original if it has a drawing number on the side, usually 7790314." Good question since the frame usually just says "GOVERNMENT MODEL" or "UNITED STATES PROPERTY M 1911 A1 U. World War I production: Four (4) manufacturers made M1911 pistols that actually saw use during the war years: * Colt * Remington-UMC * Springfield Armory (U. Government owned & operated) * North American Arms Co. These are replacement slides made long after WWII by Colt and San Col Mar.
10, 1918 to May 24, 1919 13) Remington-UMC: S/N 15,000 to 21,676 = Aug. It is unknown for sure if any slides were made and no frames were made. S/N’s 1,041,405 to 1,096,404 were duplicated by Union Switch & Signal. In 1917, Norway obtained licence to manufacture it’s M1911 pistols. May have “EJERCITO MEXICANO” on right side of slide.
To comply with the law, Colt began adding letters to the serial numbers as prefixes and suffixes to make each firearm have a unique number.
An added issue is Colt's often confusing serial number system.
Since many of these guns used the exact same barrel except for the model name stamped on it, we have situations where an owner is convinced he has a rare, unknown model of aluminum frame Detective Special. What he has is an aluminum frame Cobra someone installed a Detective Special barrel on.
When he attempts to determine when his Colt was made, it comes back as a totally different model than what is stamped on the barrel.