Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 2446: Documented Finest Condition U.S. Singer Manufacturing Co. Model

Auction Date: December 2, 2017

Documented Finest Condition U.S. Singer Manufacturing Co. Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol with Two Extra Magazines and History

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $160,000 - $240,000

Documented Finest Condition U.S. Singer Manufacturing Co. Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol with Two Extra Magazines and History

Manufacturer: Singer
Model: 1911A1
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: brown plastic checkered
Item Views: 79949
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 276
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

This is the finest condition known example of a U.S. Model 1911A1 semi-automatic pistol that was from the 500 pistols manufactured by the Singer Manufacturing Co. under Educational Order W-ORD-396 in 1940. The contract of 500 Singer pistols were issued primarily to U.S. Army Air Corps squadrons. The pistol has the correct original and unique high gloss blue finish which is found only on U.S. Singer M1911A1 pistols. The Keyes Fibre stocks are checkered brown plastic and lack the reinforcing rings around the screw holes and interior strengthening ribs found on later production Keyes stocks. The pistol has the correct milled trigger with checkered face, short wide spur hammer and checkered slide stop, safety lock and mainspring housing. The left side of the slide is roll-stamped "S. MFG. CO./ELIZABETH, N.J.,U.S.A." in two lines. The right side of the frame is roll-stamped "UNITED STATES PROPERTY/M1911 A1 U.S.ARMY". The serial number "NoS800221" is stamped below the property mark. The serial numbers show the slight misalignment that is typical of Singer M1911A1 pistols. The left side of the frame is stamped with the "JKC" final inspection mark of Colonel John K. Clement Commander of the New York Ordnance District. A "P" proofmark is stamped on the left side of the frame above the magazine release, on the top of the slide between the ejection port and the front sight (the "P" faces left) and on the left side of the barrel lug. The barrel has a full blue finish and the only marking is the "P" proofmark. The pistol is complete with three magazines with high polish full blue finish and oversize floorplate pins. This pistol is accompanied by a notarized letter dated July 7, 2010, from Stephen Clark. The letter explains how 1st Lt. Charles H. Clark was a pilot in the U.S. Air Corps during WWII. Prior to his military service, Lt. Clark was a pilot for the U.S. Navy Reserve, stationed on an aircraft carrier in Long Beach, California. He worked as a test pilot for North American Aviation in 1941 and joined the Army Air Corps in 1942, stationed at Burtonwood Air Depot in England. On May 11, 1943, he piloted a B-17F out of Bovington Field, England, to Iceland to recover bodies and papers from a B-24 which crashed on May 3, 1943. In the crash, the pilot, co-pilot, 4 crewmen and 8 passengers were killed; the only survivor was the tail gunner, who escaped with only minor injuries. Among the recovered items by Lt. Clark was this Singer pistol which had been in his possession until October 7, 1958 when it was passed on to the son. Also with the pistol are 4 photographs of Lt. Clark, a section of the periodical "Take Off". North American Aviation Inc. of Texas, September 11, 1941, with an article about Clark, a copy of an individual flight record of 1st Lt. Clark for the month of May (year not recorded, writer assumes 1943, the month of the recovery) and a copy of an internet fact sheet with the summary of the circumstances of the crash of the on B-24 May 3, 1943 in Iceland.

Rating Definition:

Excellent plus. The pistol retains 99% of the original high polish finish. Wear is limited to some minor finish loss on the slide at the muzzle and on the forward edges of the frame. The barrel has minor cycling wear on the chamber. The grips are both excellent plus. The Singer markings on the left side of the slide are crisp and deep. The serial number and U.S. markings on the right side of the frame are crisp. The "P" proofmarks on the slide and frame and the "JKC" final inspection mark on the frame have correct raised, bright edges. All three magazines are excellent with 99% of the original blue finish. This is an extraordinary example of a rare Singer M1911A1 pistol with interesting documented history. Quite possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire the finest condition Singer Model 1911A1, which is the key piece in any advanced Model 1911/1911A1 or U.S. martial pistol collection.

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