Union Switch & Signal US&S DuLite 1911-A1 US Army .45 ACP Pistol, 1943 C&R

SOLD FOR: $7,050.02

WOA#:  WY240119MS008

Make: Union Switch & Signal Co.

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 1088560

Year of Manufacture: 1943

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked with a “USS” monogram logo and “U.S. & S. CO. / SWISSVALE, PA. U.S.A.”. The left of the frame below the magazine release is marked with a “P” acceptance proof, there is another “P” on the top of the slide in front of the rear sight. The left side of the frame above the magazine release is marked with circled “R.C.D.”. The right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 1088560”, “M 1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”. The barrel is marked “P”, and “HS” for Hi.Std. The left side of the frame above the trigger well is marked with a circled “RCD”. It also has a blue stamped trigger.

Barrel Length: 5”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short blade with a serrated, ramped rear face fixed to the slide. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed into the slide.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered brown Keyes Fibre panels with reinforcement ribs on the inside but without reinforcement rings around the screws (early-style). The grips have minor handling wear with some tool marks around the screw heads. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-Excellent condition.

Type of Finish: Du Lite

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 8/10.

Many military and C&R-eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 92% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. There is an “idiot mark” under the slide stop on the left of the frame where the circled “RCD” stamp is. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with usable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-Fine condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp. There is very minor play between the slide and frame. This pistol has manual and grip safeties. We have not fired this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a 7rd “Ridson” R-marked magazine.

Our Assessment: The Union Switch & Signal (US&S) DuLite 1911-A1 US Army .45 ACP Pistol represents a fascinating chapter in the history of firearm production during World War II. Union Switch & Signal, primarily a manufacturer of railroad signaling equipment based in Swissvale, Pennsylvania, entered the realm of firearms production when it received a government contract in 1942 to produce M1911A1 pistols for the U.S. Army.
The US&S DuLite variant was a distinctive iteration of the M1911A1, characterized by its high-quality finish and meticulous craftsmanship. Produced in 1943, these pistols featured a unique DuLite blued finish on the slide, which set them apart from other manufacturers’ versions. This finish not only enhanced the aesthetics of the pistol but also provided additional protection against corrosion and wear, making it particularly appealing to soldiers serving in various theaters of war.
Despite being a relatively minor producer compared to industry giants like Colt and Remington Rand, Union Switch & Signal contributed significantly to the war effort by producing approximately 55,000 M1911A1 pistols during the conflict. These pistols saw service with various branches of the U.S. military and were prized for their reliability, accuracy, and durability in combat situations. After the war, many of these US&S DuLite pistols remained in service for years, with some continuing to see use well into the latter half of the 20th century. Today, they are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts due to their historical significance and relative scarcity compared to other wartime-produced M1911A1 pistols. Please see our photos and good luck! C.J.

Union Switch & Signal US&S DuLite 1911-A1 US Army .45 ACP Pistol, 1943 C&R
Union Switch & Signal US&S DuLite 1911-A1 US Army .45 ACP Pistol, 1943 C&R