Rare & Desirable Singer Mfg'd 1911-A1 Pistol
Rare and Desirable Singer Mfg'd Model 1911-A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol, #S800146, .45 ACP cal., 5'' barrel, original factory Du-Lite blue finish, early checkered Keyes Fibre brown molded grips. Mfg'd 1941. In April 1940, the Singer Manufacturing Co. was awarded a contract for the manufacture of 500 semi-automatic pistols. The order was to be completed before May 1, 1942, with the cost at that time averaging out to approx. $560 for each pistol. Col. John K. Clement was appointed to administer the Singer contract. Clement's initials (JKC) are stamped on this and all government accepted Singer pistols. All 500 pistols were listed on Ordnance Procurement records by December 1941. It is commonly accepted that most of these pistols were issued to Air Corps personnel. Singer manufactured all parts for these pistols with the exception of the grips. After the initial 500-piece order was fulfilled, Singer Mfg. Co. was deemed more valuable as a producer of Artillery Fire Control Director systems, which were considered of much more importance than their pistol program. Their production equipment was placed in storage, and in May 1942 was shipped to the Remington-Rand plant in Syracuse, NY. The left portion of the slide is marked ''S. Mfg. Co./Elizabeth, N.J., U.S.A.''. The original Singer barrel is retained, with ''P'' proofmark to left side barrel lug at approx. the 2 o'clock position over the link retaining pin. Correct finely checkered Singer mainspring housing is retained, as well as the correctly checkered Singer short bill knurled hammer, thumb safety, slide release and trigger. Correct 1st type Keyes Fibre plastic stock without reinforcing rings around screw holes and with smooth hollow back. This pistol remains completely original, with the exception of the magazine, which is of two-tone Risdon mfg., a common field replacement magazine of this early war period. ''P'' proof at 2 o'clock position above mag release, and additionally ''P'' marked just forward of rear sight, the only variant slide with this proofmark positioned in this manner. Included with this pistol is a commercially mfg'd brown leather M-3 style shoulder holster by H. Till, the back marked ''Ben'', and it is purported to have been carried by Sgt. later 1st Lt. Harley Bennett, a member of the 507th Co., 82nd Airborne Division, and carried with him throughout the war. Upon the formation of the American Airborne Divisions in the early days of WWII, many items, besides parachutes, such as small arms and leather A-2 flying jackets, were procured from the Air Corps for the Airborne Divisions. This pistol is probably one such item. Condition is very good as combat carried. Slide retains approx. 25%-30% original factory blue with most of the top and forward flat panel portions having the blue smoothly lifted off, probably by the tannic acid in the holster. Frame with approx. 75%-80% thinning and moderately flaking blue. Slide release, plunger tube and thumb safety show 75% blue. Front strap has thinned to approx. 35%-40% finish, with the mainspring housing retaining just 15%. Grips with mild flattening to checks. Markings are crisp, clear and accurate throughout. Action is tight and smooth of superior fit when compared to slightly later WWII contract pistols; bore is bright and near mint. A pleasing all-original estate-found family heirloom with unquestionably original finish.