I want to take a few minutes and talk about some basic firearm safety.

I think this is something that should be taught to EVERYONE no matter if they have firearms in the home or not, especially kids. And it does not have to be a long drawn out boring lecture, even if it’s just the four cardinal rules.

Rule number 1. Always treat every firearm as if it’s loaded.

                This rule is to help get you in the mindset that you are holding something that has the potential to take a life, and to help you take the next two rules very seriously. This is especially true if you are unsure if it is loaded or not and even if someone tells you it is not loaded, you should still treat it as if it is. The number one thing people say when they accidently shoot something/someone they did not intend to is: “I didn’t know it was loaded.”

Rule number 2. Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.

                You might think that’s harsh wording but I don’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s an old vase, or the TV, or family pet. If the gun is pointed at something you are not willing to destroy and it goes off, it’s too late. If four rules for gun safety is too much then at least heed this one. If you always keep it pointed in a safe direction and it goes off then it should be a learning lesson that everyone can walk away from.

Rule number 3. Always keep your finger off the trigger (until you’re ready to shoot).

                Guns are set up ergonomically and it’s only natural that your finger wants to go inside the trigger guard and rest on the trigger. Be aware of this and make it a point to keep your finger off the trigger. Even if you are sure the gun is empty, still, resting on the trigger is the best way to have the gun go “bang”. If you happen to be handling a firearm around others, keeping your finger off the trigger will help keep them at ease that you know what you’re doing.

 Rule number 4. Always know what your target is and what is behind it.

                This is the only rule that actually has to do with the shooting aspect of firearms. You should always know what you’re aiming at. Not just aiming in a direction because you heard a noise or thinking it’s a squirrel and it turns out to be the neighbor’s cat. Always know what is behind your target. If your target is paper, it will not stop the bullet, so what will? Make sure you have a backstop that can stop the round you are shooting, a hill side, berm, shooting pit, large logs, etc. We would all like to think we can hit the backstop with every shot but what if you miss? Where is that round going? All things you need to think about before pulling the trigger.

So I thought I would share this with others who would appreciate it. A customer brought me this and just wanted a once over to make sure it was safe to shoot. I asked the gentleman what he knew about the gun, and he replied "not much, my father-in-law was in the Navy during WWII and this is what he carried." I looked up the serial number, (as I usually do for my own curiosity) and found it was a Colt Model 1911A1 Military from 1924 (Transition year). Only 10,000 were made that year and last 1,000 of those where reserved for National Match use. (this one is not part of the last 1,000) Colt did not make another 1911 for the US military until 1937. 

The WTG is an inspector's mark enclosed within a double circle are the initials of Captain Walter T. Gorton, Inspector of Ordnance from December 5, 1921 to March 3, 1926. H and G on top of frame, H above firing pin stop plate, G inside slide. This one has all the right marks in the right place. It even has the fully checkered walnut grips. The barrel looks correct but has not markings so not 100% sure it is the original. Even the magazine has the right aging on it too.

I thought all this was really cool and the oldest 1911 I have ever worked on. When I called the customer to tell him all that I had found out he said "Wow" followed by "so, I can still shoot it right?" I explained that the gun was very solid even with some slight blemishes to the finish and that it still had oil in the right spots and it is in very good working order. 

Happy customer and a very cool gun, I just wish it could talk!