US Army WWII Union Switch & Signal US&S Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Pistol ’43 C&R

SOLD FOR: $3,525

WOA#:  WY240309RM005

Make: Union Switch & Signal Co.

Model: 1911-A1

Serial Number: 1067025

Year of Manufacture: 1943

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Removable Magazine Fed Single Action SA Semi-Automatic Pistol

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 right side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY / No 1067025” and “M 1911 A1 U.S. ARMY”. The left side of the frame is marked with a circled “R.C.D.” above the magazine release, and a “P” acceptance proof below the magazine release. There is another “P” on the top of the slide in front of the rear sight, at the left edge of the slide where the curved part meets the flat.

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 plastic with reinforcement rings around the screws. The grips have minor handling wear with some tool marks around the screw heads. The checkering is well defined. There is a spec of a chip but no cracks. Overall, the grips are in Excellent condition.

Type of Finish: Gray Cerakote

Finish Originality: Not Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is some scattered light erosion with infrequent very minor pitting in the grooves. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 9 out of 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 10% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at the front slide edge. There are some scattered minor nicks and scratches. Under the grips, there is no wear and minor oxidation. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with usable slots. The markings are mostly clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-Fine condition for a refinished piece.

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: One original US WWI “two tone” 7 round magazine by Risdon, and one modern plastic carry case.

Our Assessment: The Union Switch & Signal (US&S) Model 1911-A1 pistol represents a fascinating chapter in martial arms 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 US Army. Produced in 1943, the US&S variant was a distinctive iteration of the M1911A1, characterized by its high-quality finish and meticulous craftsmanship. The number of different machining operations performed by US&S on the parts for the pistol was 600. Union Switch & Signal is the second scarcest maker of M1911A1s to encounter today, producing only 55,000 pistols from January to November 1943. None of the Union Switch & Signal 1911A1s have the crossed cannons ordnance stamp even though the practice was standardized in late 1942. Also, most of the early pistols up through about serial 1060100 received no “P” proof on the slide and frame. From about 1060100 to about 1082000, the “P” proof was applied, but the one on the slide was placed at the left edge of the slide where the curved part meets the flat. This was due to a poorly rendered ordnance drawing showing the placement of the proof. From about 1082000 to the end of production, the “P” was placed in its normal location on the top of the slide (center in front of rear sight). When the “P” proof mark is found it will be on both the slide and receiver and be of the same size. Notice the “P” proof stamp is smaller than Colt’s but still an uppercase letter. Today, US&S .45s are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts due to their historical significance and rarity compared to other wartime-produced M1911A1 pistols. The only thing this piece desires is its original finish, but all of the markings and all of the parts remain. Please see our photos and enjoy the auction. -K.F.

US Army WWII Union Switch & Signal US&S Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Pistol '43 C&R
US Army WWII Union Switch & Signal US&S Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Pistol ’43 C&R