WW1 Colt Shadow Box

How I came to take possession of this old Colt is an interesting story in itself. One can’t readily tell from this photograph, but it is in VERY rough shape. In the distant past it seems some weirdo tried to demil this old 1911 on their kitchen table! If they weren’t trying to demil it, then we may have documented evidence of the worst gunsmith job in world history!

It was slated for destruction. Through a twist of fate, it came into my hands. Not being a complete knuckle-head, I had enough sense to stop that entire process and tossed it in the back of the armory where it has languished for a number of years.

In one of our morning meetings, Freeze and I were discussing this old service pistol and decided to put it in a shadow box. He supervised and directed as to what items were period correct and original. After some scrounging and digging through the armory, here is what we have assembled:

  • 1914 Manufactured Colt.
  • WW1 Leather Holster.
  • WW1 Refinished Magazine.
  • WW1 Ammo Pouch.
  • Trench Lighter.
  • What we call a Rape Whistle.

All that is left is a WWI 1911 takedown tool. Once this is all mounted, it will be placed on the wall in my office where it will spend the rest of it’s days in full retirement. It is my hope that after I have passed, this shadow box will remain intact and have more intrinsic value to the next generation.

In the next few weeks, I will post a complete story showing the breakdown and what was done to this old pistol. I can’t do it now, we are schedule to be on the range today and Freeze is waiting.




“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”




  • Brennen Munro

    Now this is a true worthy retirement for this old war horse, rather than “destruction”. I am sure that this will adorn the wall of someone for many years to come, even after you have been “retired”.

    • Funny you should swing by. I was putting the final touches on the shadow box last night. Pics to come. –Marky

  • Mikial

    Thank you for saving this wonderful icon from destruction. Well done!

    I love military history, especially American, and this gun needed to be preserved. I am hoping I’ll be able to get a WWII 1911 from the CMP someday to reside next to my 1943 Garand. I also still need to find a 1903 Springfield for my collection. All my guns work (except for one very old 12 G side-by-side), and I love to take them to the range to shoot. It’s like they come to life again. My father served in North Africa and Italy in WWII, and my grandfather died in WWI. I see all these wonderful guns as monuments to their honor and courage.

  • Pingback: WWI Colt Detail Strip | John1911. com Gun Blog()