Military Issue M1911

Military Issued 1911 Serial Number Tables

This John Browning patent gun, Model 1911, was so named for the year it was officially adopted for use by the United States Army. The Browning design was so great, that it has been changed little in over 100 years of production.

This gun shares the nick-name "Colt .45" with Colt's other famous .45 caliber handgun, the Single Action Army "Peacemaker" revolver, but, that is the cartridge it fires—not a proper name for the handgun.

M1911 with holster

The most widely produced, copied, used, talked about, written about and debated handgun in the world. The Colt Government Model 1911 is referred to by many as "the world's greatest handgun". Colt introduced this model in 1970 as a newer version of the Model 1911A1. The major changes were a slightly heavier slide and a slotted collet barrel bushing. From 1970 to 1976 the serial numbers had a prefix of "70G", from 1976 to 1980 they had a suffix of "G70" which changed to a prefix of "70B" from 1980 until 1983 when production ceased. In 1983 the Series 80 Models were introduced with an additional passive firing pin safety lock and the half-cock notch was also redesigned.

1911 Colt Government Model with watch and wallet

The MKIV Series 70 Government Model Colts were available in blue or nickel plate and were chambered in .45, .38 Super, 9mm and 9mm Steyr (foreign export only). There's nothing I can say about these guns that hasn't already been said a thousand times, by a thousand others. The 1911 Colt is without a doubt, "the most copied and most modified gun in the world".

The two guns pictured on this page are both MKIV Series 70 Government Model Colts in .45 caliber. I like them all, but the Series 70s are my favorites.

1911 Colt Government Model on colorful cushion

In 1992 Colt introduced the Enhanced Government Models which included new features such as a flattop slide, angled rear slide serrations, scalloped ejection port, combat style hammer, beaver tail grip safety, relief cut under trigger guard and long trigger. In 1999 Colt released the XSE Series Model O Pistols. Features of these guns included front slide serrations, adjustable McCormick trigger, three dot dove tail rear sights, ambidextrous safety, enhanced tolerances, aluminum frame and stainless steel slide.

a full size 1911 Colt Government Model and an Officer's Model in their holsters

All of these modifications to the John Browning designed and Colt produced Model 1911 remind me of a couple of things. I have a really good friend in Memphis that once told me, "those folks in Nashville have been looking for somebody that can sing better than old George Jones for years, and they ain't found them yet". People have been trying to make a better 1911 Colt for years and with all of the modifications they've come up with, I think the old original holds its own very well indeed.

1911 Colt Government Model on gold colored cushion

It also reminds me of something my younger brother once said concerning Mexican food. I'm a pretty big fan of Mexican food, but my brother on the other hand, can only tolerate it. He said, "you don't need a menu, you might as well just order this food in dollar amounts, $5 worth, $10 worth, etc. depending on how hungry you are, because it's all the same stuff, just arranged differently".

The serial number tables on this page are for the Commercial line of 1911s. I wont' be much help in dating one of these guns after 1976. As always, I suggest you call the Colt Archive at 1-800-962-COLT.

Use the Colt Serial Number Database Lookup Tool.

  Colt Database Search


1911 Serial Number Table

These serial numbers are for the Military Model. Commercial Issue Serial Numbers can be found by clicking here.

Military Issue 1911

Year 1912

Description             Range
Colt     1-500
Colt USN     501-1000
Colt     1001-1500
Colt USN     1501-2000
Colt     2001-2500
Colt USN     2501-3500
Colt USMC     3501-3800
Colt     3801-4500
Colt USN     4501-5500
Colt     5501-6500
Colt USN     6501-7500
Colt     7501-8500
Colt USN     8501-9500
Colt    9501-10500
Colt USN  10501-11500
Colt  11501-12500
Colt USN  12501-13500
Colt  13501-17250

Year 1913

Description       Range
Colt 17251-36400
Colt USM 36401-37650
Colt 37651-38000
Colt USM 38001-44000
Colt 44001-60400

Year 1914

Description           Range
Colt 60401-72570
Springfield Armory   72571-83855
Colt 83856-83900
Colt USM 83901-84400
Colt 84401-96000
Colt 96001-97537
Colt 97538-102596
Springfield Armory 102597-107596

Year 1915

Description           Range
Colt 107597-109500
Colt USN 109501-110000
Colt 110001-113496
Springfield Armory   113497-120566
Colt 120567-125566
Springfield Armory   125567-133186

Year 1916

Description           Range
Colt 133187-137400

Year 1917

Description           Range
Colt 137401-151186
Colt USMC 151187-151986
Colt 151987-185800
Colt USMC 185801-186200
Colt 186201-209586
Colt USMC 209587-210386
Colt 210387-215386
Colt USMC 215387-216186
Colt 216187-216586
Colt USMC 216587-216986

Year 1918

Description           Range
Colt USMC 216987-217386
Colt 217387-232000
Colt USN 232001-233600
Colt 233601-594000
Remington USMC   1-13152

Year 1919

Description Range
Remington USMC   13153-21676
Colt 594001-629500
Unaccounted for 629501-700000

Year 1924

Description   Range
Colt 700001-710000

Year 1937

Description   Range
Colt 710001-712349

Year 1938

Description   Range
Colt 712350-713645

Year 1939

Description   Range
Colt 713646-717281

Year 1940

Description   Range
Colt 717282-721977

Year 1941

Description   Range
Colt 721978-756733

Year 1942

Description   Range
Colt 756734-800000
Singer Sewing Machine S800001-S800500
Colt 800501-801000

Year 1943

Description   Range
Colt 801001-958100
Union Switch & Signal Co. 958101-1088725
Colt 1088726-1208673
Ithaca Gun Co. 1208674-1279673
Renumbering at arsenals 1279674-1279698
Remington-Rand  1279699-1441430
Ithaca Gun Co. 1441431-1471430
Remington-Rand  1471431-1609528

Year 1944

Description   Range
Colt 1609529-1743846
Ithaca Gun Co. 1743847-1890503
Remington-Rand  1890504-2075103

Year 1945

Description   Range
Ithaca Gun Co. 2075104-2134403
Remington-Rand  2134404-2244803
Colt 2244804-2380013
Remington-Rand  2380014-2619013
Ithaca Gun Co. 2619014-2693613

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