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  #1  
Old 09-12-2019, 04:10 PM
Dave27 Dave27 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Default WWII Ithaca on a WWI Colt Frame?

Has anyone ever seen documentation that Ithaca built some very early pistols on surplus WWI Colt frames? Ithaca had no capability to manufacture frames at the outset? Anyone heard of this?
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2019, 04:24 PM
thebearpack thebearpack is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave27 View Post
Has anyone ever seen documentation that Ithaca built some very early pistols on surplus WWI Colt frames? Ithaca had no capability to manufacture frames at the outset? Anyone heard of this?
Yes, it's true. To get Ithaca up to speed, Colt sent them some 6200 leftover or refurbished WWII receivers. They're found early in the production when the guns were dulite (mine is in the 862,000 SN range).

The easiest way to know you have one is to look under the grips because towards the end of WWI, Colt started expediting production by using a few shortcuts, one of which was a skipped milling step on the frame that resulted in points that resembled hearts. So if the early Ithaca frame has "heart-shaped cutouts" under the grips, it's actually a surplus Colt frame. Not all had those, but most did.

Last edited by thebearpack; 09-12-2019 at 04:36 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2019, 04:31 PM
Dave27 Dave27 is offline
 
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Thanks! Were the finger grooves also added and were they marked as A1's?
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2019, 04:36 PM
thebearpack thebearpack is online now
 
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Yes, Ithaca finished the manufacturing process to A1 standards so they were given finger cuts and were marked as A1s.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2019, 05:09 PM
colemanw colemanw is offline
 
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This is fascinating, never knew..
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2019, 12:34 PM
Dave27 Dave27 is offline
 
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So then.....these early Ithacas would not have identifiable Ithaca parts? They should have Colt and RR small parts and even slides (marked as Ithaca) because Ithaca had no capability to turn out parts?
Looking at one...private sale...it does have heart shaped cutouts.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2019, 12:44 PM
thebearpack thebearpack is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave27 View Post
So then.....these early Ithacas would not have identifiable Ithaca parts? They should have Colt and RR small parts and even slides (marked as Ithaca) because Ithaca had no capability to turn out parts?
Looking at one...private sale...it does have heart shaped cutouts.
Ithaca got some Colt surplus frames and bought some new Colt frames. They also bought some new Colt slides and got some small parts from them. They didn't get up to speed with their own production until July 1943 so any early '43 guns will likely have a mix of Colt and Ithaca parts and there wasn't a clear cut-off date for the transition. Remember that this was early-ish in the war when the focus was getting guns out the door. With that in mind, early Ithacas were not always great quality.

During the inspection, I would focus more on the overall characteristics of the gun and not focus too much on any one specific part. Now if it has a blatantly wrong barrel or the finish is off or there are very late parts on it, then those things have to be considered when deciding value.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2019, 12:56 PM
Dave27 Dave27 is offline
 
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Roger that and thanks Bearpack. Appreciate the wisdom.
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  #9  
Old 09-14-2019, 04:19 PM
Herrmann Herrmann is offline
 
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I would think this would make an interesting variation to a collection!
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  #10  
Old 09-14-2019, 09:10 PM
i1afli i1afli is offline
 
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I was looking at an Ithaca in a pawn shop a couple of years ago and removed the aftermarket wrap-around rubber grip to check for corrosion and saw heart-shaped cutouts. I remembered that it meant something special but wasn’t sure what so I did some research. The price was right so I returned the next day and bought it....an early Ithaca on a ww1 Colt frame.

Last edited by i1afli; 09-14-2019 at 09:14 PM.
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