Sidearms & Scatterguns Colt 1911Commemorative European Theater

kcbaird

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Jul 8, 2009
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I've got a neighbor that is trying to offload some things. He is a special forces Vietnam Vet who has been diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 lung cancer.

He has this WWII Colt European Theater of Operations Commemorative 1911-A1 Pistol. He was trying to sell it to me and I would love to help out but we don't know what is it worth. I have absolutely no use for a pistol in a box that I can't use, but its for a good cause. He is just trying to free up cash for his wife before he goes. Any help figuring out what its worth would be much appreciated.

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Quarter Horse

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  • Apr 17, 2010
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    Questions?

    Do you want a 1911A1?
    Would you willingly pay more than a similar non-commemorative 1911?
    Would you give the man $500. and receive nothing in return?

    There will probably be more commemoratives for sale NIB than NIB commercial sale 1911s from the same time period. You decide which is more desirable.

    If you believe there is more desirability to the commemoratives, but you are going to shoot it, you will shoot that desirability off of it immediately.

    None of this tells you what it's worth. It will only establish what your motivation is.

    To establish what it's worth is fairly easy though the current market is a poor example of the long-term market. A lot of FFLs that deal in used guns have an account with GunBroker that allows them to pull up the previous year's sales of specific types of firearms. If you know an FFL well enough that he would pull the record it will tell you about as much anything.

    Keep in mind that the internet auction results will reflect a consignor's fee, a shipping fee, a FFL's receiving fee, a transfer fee and the 1911 would "on the books". Many auctions also charge a buyer's premium. When you value the pistol you are looking at consider that your neighbor would be paying some of these fees and that you would be paying others if you bought off the net. There is currently a 1911 on GunBroker that is similar to what you are looking at. It is a pure sale item which simply means it starts at close to zero and sells to the highest bidder at the term of it's listing. Even then, keep in mind that it only takes two stupid buyers to take any item to stupid money.

    Of course, nothing in this that reflects a possible valuation other than the reference to GB. So here goes and understand that this is a personal opinion. I am not a 1911 guru but I have been trading guns for over six decades and have bought, sold and traded hundreds of firearms which only makes me, only, a very small fish in a very large pond. First of all, I would not buy the commemorative at any figure other than stupid cheap. It simply would have no interest to me other than it is a JMB design. That figure would be around $700.00. At that figure, who cares, and it would be a disservice to your neighbor. The problem in all of this is that your neighbor is unlikely to go through all the crap that it takes to list and sell through one of the auction sites. If you tell him to list it he probably won't. He will most likely sell it to a local dealer and I'm guessing the offer to buy will be in the $700. neighborhood or less.

    I would consider it a favor if you paid him $1000. for it. It doesn't sound like it is a favor but with another $500. you can buy a used DW 1911 which is a vastly superior 1911 platform. If this is actually about your respect for this man's service and your respect for him as a neighbor, I have a suggestion. I will qualify this suggestion with the caveat that I am a RVN vet. of 1yr. 6mos. and 11 days. I did not have a combat MOS but I respect any vet. who served during that time and I don't give a shit whether they spent their time in Germany or the RVN. The guys that served in RVN could not have done so without the guys that served in Germany in the time period. I would suggest, that while the old boy is still ambulatory, that you and your wife take he and his wife out to the very best dinner in your neighborhood. Tell him thar you appreciate his service and that you appreciate having him as a neighbor. It may, or may not, mean more to him than anything else you could do.

    End
     

    308pirate

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  • Apr 25, 2017
    20,154
    30,339
    I've got a neighbor that is trying to offload some things. He is a special forces Vietnam Vet who has been diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 lung cancer.

    He has this WWII Colt European Theater of Operations Commemorative 1911-A1 Pistol. He was trying to sell it to me and I would love to help out but we don't know what is it worth. I have absolutely no use for a pistol in a box that I can't use, but its for a good cause. He is just trying to free up cash for his wife before he goes. Any help figuring out what its worth would be much appreciated.

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    Those things are the gun world's equivalent of knick-knacks. They have no collector value.

    In fact, if that pistol is indeed a legit WW2 GI weapon, it's been irreparably defaced and devalued by the gaudy engraving and chrome plating.

    Who commissioned such a "commemorative" work anyway?
     
    • Like
    Reactions: TurboTrout

    kcbaird

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    Thank you for the write up QH. He is a good dude I'm just trying to help out.
     

    TurboTrout

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    Oct 30, 2020
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    Questions?

    Do you want a 1911A1?
    Would you willingly pay more than a similar non-commemorative 1911?
    Would you give the man $500. and receive nothing in return?

    There will probably be more commemoratives for sale NIB than NIB commercial sale 1911s from the same time period. You decide which is more desirable.

    If you believe there is more desirability to the commemoratives, but you are going to shoot it, you will shoot that desirability off of it immediately.

    None of this tells you what it's worth. It will only establish what your motivation is.

    To establish what it's worth is fairly easy though the current market is a poor example of the long-term market. A lot of FFLs that deal in used guns have an account with GunBroker that allows them to pull up the previous year's sales of specific types of firearms. If you know an FFL well enough that he would pull the record it will tell you about as much anything.

    Keep in mind that the internet auction results will reflect a consignor's fee, a shipping fee, a FFL's receiving fee, a transfer fee and the 1911 would "on the books". Many auctions also charge a buyer's premium. When you value the pistol you are looking at consider that your neighbor would be paying some of these fees and that you would be paying others if you bought off the net. There is currently a 1911 on GunBroker that is similar to what you are looking at. It is a pure sale item which simply means it starts at close to zero and sells to the highest bidder at the term of it's listing. Even then, keep in mind that it only takes two stupid buyers to take any item to stupid money.

    Of course, nothing in this that reflects a possible valuation other than the reference to GB. So here goes and understand that this is a personal opinion. I am not a 1911 guru but I have been trading guns for over six decades and have bought, sold and traded hundreds of firearms which only makes me, only, a very small fish in a very large pond. First of all, I would not buy the commemorative at any figure other than stupid cheap. It simply would have no interest to me other than it is a JMB design. That figure would be around $700.00. At that figure, who cares, and it would be a disservice to your neighbor. The problem in all of this is that your neighbor is unlikely to go through all the crap that it takes to list and sell through one of the auction sites. If you tell him to list it he probably won't. He will most likely sell it to a local dealer and I'm guessing the offer to buy will be in the $700. neighborhood or less.

    I would consider it a favor if you paid him $1000. for it. It doesn't sound like it is a favor but with another $500. you can buy a used DW 1911 which is a vastly superior 1911 platform. If this is actually about your respect for this man's service and your respect for him as a neighbor, I have a suggestion. I will qualify this suggestion with the caveat that I am a RVN vet. of 1yr. 6mos. and 11 days. I did not have a combat MOS but I respect any vet. who served during that time and I don't give a shit whether they spent their time in Germany or the RVN. The guys that served in RVN could not have done so without the guys that served in Germany in the time period. I would suggest, that while the old boy is still ambulatory, that you and your wife take he and his wife out to the very best dinner in your neighborhood. Tell him thar you appreciate his service and that you appreciate having him as a neighbor. It may, or may not, mean more to him than anything else you could do.

    End

    Pretty much this ^
     

    mcameron

    Two Star General
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  • Nov 17, 2011
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    looks like 2 of them sold a decade ago for $2588

    another for sale currently for $1700

    this guys trying to sell his for $3000

    a lot of 6 sold for $7500


    real world price?.....i think you are looking at something in the $1000-1500 price range.....essentially the price for a good condition Colt 1911......the "commemorative-ness" isnt going to add much value
     

    acourvil

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    Feb 28, 2013
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    One other point of comparison: CMP is currently selling WWII 1911s for $850 n(rack garde) to $1050 (service grade. These are pieces that were used and cab be anything from beat up to repaired, probably will not have matching frames/slides and limited collector value (although there are some exceptions that come through). The ones that have higher collector value typically get auctioned for 2x those prices or more. These aren’t directly comparable to the commemorative gun, but give you some idea of the ballpark.
     

    TurboTrout

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    Oct 30, 2020
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    One other point of comparison: CMP is currently selling WWII 1911s for $850 n(rack garde) to $1050 (service grade. These are pieces that were used and cab be anything from beat up to repaired, probably will not have matching frames/slides and limited collector value (although there are some exceptions that come through). The ones that have higher collector value typically get auctioned for 2x those prices or more. These aren’t directly comparable to the commemorative gun, but give you some idea of the ballpark.

    From what I’ve seen of the mix and match stuff coming out of CMP, I don’t think they are the bargain they used to be.
     

    Milf Dots

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    Oct 21, 2019
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    I've got a neighbor that is trying to offload some things. He is a special forces Vietnam Vet who has been diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 lung cancer.

    He has this WWII Colt European Theater of Operations Commemorative 1911-A1 Pistol. He was trying to sell it to me and I would love to help out but we don't know what is it worth. I have absolutely no use for a pistol in a box that I can't use, but its for a good cause. He is just trying to free up cash for his wife before he goes. Any help figuring out what its worth would be much appreciated.

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    As a gift to him, you might want to consider buying him a monthly membership for $20 so he can post his gun(s) for sale, and post his Army SF creds so we can thank him for his service in the ugly Vietnam war.
     

    acourvil

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    From what I’ve seen of the mix and match stuff coming out of CMP, I don’t think they are the bargain they used to be.
    I agree, but even still there are thousands of people in line to get them and pay those prices.
     

    kcbaird

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    Jul 8, 2009
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    Thank you all for the input. I don't think he has a lot of guns to sell. I have enjoyed having a beer with him and listening to his stories.
     

    kcbaird

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    I was wondering the same thing Trout. If I do end up buying it I will probably just shoot it like I do my other 1911s. I don't have much use for a gun that isn't supposed to be used. For what I will have in it, resale probably wont be much of an option anyways, so why not shoot the damn thing?