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Thread: Pics of my Vietnam bringback .45 1911A1 & What does a Vietnam era. 45 mag look like?

  1. #1
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    Default Pics of my Vietnam bringback .45 1911A1 & What does a Vietnam era. 45 mag look like?

    Picked this up a few weeks ago. Came from a vet who "found" it somewhere in South Vietnam. It's a Colt frame with Remington Rand slide. SA-Springfield was the re-arsenal. Has a S&W barrel. The other markings BA4 8-66, from what I was told is a Anniston, AL arsenal mark. Still had the 1963 dated ammo with it. My question is, what does a Vietnam Era mag look like? I'm showing a pic of the mag that came with it. No markings except for a S on the top part of the floorplate. I have three other mags, one is similiar to this one but has a B? P? on the top of the floorplate, it has a two tone color to it. The other two mags are newer. One is marked 19200- ASSY 5508694 MFR1M291. Fourth mag is marked 19200 ASSY 5508694 MFR 30745. What are the ages of my four mags? Again, what is a Vietnam era mag suppose to look like?
    thanks,
    BARQS19

    PS: If I need to, I'll take better photos tomorrow in the sunlight.

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    "If it ain't something, then it's something else," Robert Sherrill

  2. #2
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    Vietnam era could look like anything; refinished or WWII unissued. The mag shown us WWII Production. Nice set!

    Words Conquer!

  3. #3
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    The two "19200" coded magazines are 1960's manufacture .45 magazines. Appropriate for a Vietnam issue .45 service pistol.

    "Never retreat alone, shoot without an object or lay down your gun until the last extremity"
    Private James Collins at King's Mountain, 1780

  4. #4
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    Very nice double rebuild. The S&W barrels are typically chrome lined and a good choice for Nam. Any mag in inventory and that was made prior to about 1970 would be correct for the pistol. The two tone could be WW1 era to about 1941. The S marked is WW2 contract for non-Colt pistols. The others have been addressed. Very nice score. Any papers?

  5. #5
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    From what I've been reading the numbers are a "cage code?" It's saying on other forums that these mags are all late 70s? Does anyone have a 1000% positive Vietnam era mag? Also no papers came with the pistol unfortunately. He said he had it shipped home in a mini fridge.
    "If it ain't something, then it's something else," Robert Sherrill

  6. #6
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    The cage code is a 5 digit # used by suppliers for gov't. contracts. It is used to trace components back to original manufacturer in case of failure in the aerospace industry, as well as other industries.

  7. #7
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    Anyone have 1000% positive proof of a Vietnam era magazine?
    thanks,
    BARQS19
    "If it ain't something, then it's something else," Robert Sherrill

  8. #8
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    The .45 mags issued to us in the Marines during the early 1960's were indistinguishable from those of WWII except that some had been parkerized. I wasn't familiar with WWII mag proofs at that time (at shows these were $2-$5 items). Until we got the M14's and M60's in late '62, nearly all 782 gear and weapons usually originated during WWII.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    The S stamped on the upper tip of the magazine floorplate stands for Scovill, who was a WW2 contractor. That's a nicely marked Post WW2 rebuilt M1911A1, thanks for sharing it with us.
    NavyGunner

    I'm a political refugee from the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike radford View Post
    Very nice double rebuild. The S&W barrels are typically chrome lined and a good choice for Nam. Any mag in inventory and that was made prior to about 1970 would be correct for the pistol. The two tone could be WW1 era to about 1941. The S marked is WW2 contract for non-Colt pistols. The others have been addressed. Very nice score. Any papers?
    There won't be any papers on a US manufactured weapon. Anything US made was prohibited from bring back. I had to leave a Winchester M1 Carbine with flip flop peep sight behind even though it was captured from the VC.

  12. #12
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    Actually some US pieces were authorised for bringback, including some M 1 Carbines.
    No M2s, though.
    Generally for out of issue pieces which included carbines
    Souvenier weapon regs were strict and enforced at different levels.

    Like everything else in the military, different day, different shite.

    I have a bringback .45 with Colt slide and Remington lower.
    Still have a local made holster rig that was very commonly purchased and worn there.

    Made it back in a Jungle Fatigue pocket.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Actually some US pieces were authorised for bringback, including some M 1 Carbines.
    No M2s, though.
    Generally for out of issue pieces which included carbines
    Souvenier weapon regs were strict and enforced at different levels.

    Like everything else in the military, different day, different shite.

    I have a bringback .45 with Colt slide and Remington lower.
    Still have a local made holster rig that was very commonly purchased and worn there.

    Made it back in a Jungle Fatigue pocket.
    Roger that. I was in the USAF and came back in Feb. 1970. I had to leave behind not only the Winchester made M-1 Carbine but also a nice Chinese T56 AK47 (of course).

  14. #14
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    Early in the conflict, souvenir firearms regulations permitted some weapons to be brought back. I still have a Chicom Type 53 manufactured in 1960 (which wasn't very old then) and this was tagged at Tanh Son Nhut by MACS, then to Pan Am for LAX. No two numbers match because these came down the trail in pieces and were assembled by the VC. It also has no folding bayonet assembly, sling, or rod, which is exactly as captured. Marines were later not permitted to bring anything back and were told to strip to their skivvies with only boots, wallet and dog tags. Those who secreted items in duffle bags usually had the entire bag "disappear." In fact, the disappearing bag problem was fairly common among those concealing nothing and a lot of pictures and letters were lost for some odd reason. On the other hand, I know officers who managed to bring back all sorts of things.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by BARQS19 View Post
    No markings except for a S on the top part of the floorplate.

    I have three other mags, one is similiar to this one but has a B? P? on the top of the floorplate, it has a two tone color to it.

    The other two mags are newer. One is marked 19200- ASSY 5508694 MFR1M291.Fourth mag is marked 19200 ASSY 5508694 MFR 30745.

    What are the ages of my four mags? Again, what is a Vietnam era mag suppose to look like?
    thanks,BARQS19

    PS: If I need to, I'll take better photos tomorrow in the sunlight.
    S marked is Scovill as stated. Looks like late WWII with the gothic font and apparently welded baseplate.

    Two tone with B for Barnes & Kobert is a WWI vintage replacement magazine. Two tone with P might be lightly struck R for Ridson, also WWI replacement. Letter bottom points toward the magazine body on Barnes & Kobert. Letter bottom points away from magazine body on Ridson. This assumes genuine WWI vintage magazines.

    1M291 cage code for Checkmate Ind. That cage code prob established too late for Viet Nam era issue.
    Company Name: CHECK-MATE INDUSTRIES INC.
    Status: Active Record
    Parent CAGE:
    Address: 777 MOUNT AVE
    P.O. Box:
    City: WYANDANCH
    Zip: 11798
    CAO-ADP: S3309A-HQ0337
    State: NY
    County: SUFFOLK
    Voice Phone Number: 631-491-1777
    Fax Phone Number: 631-491-1745
    Date CAGE Code Established: 1/11/1975
    Last Updated: 5/11/2007
    Point of Contact: TOM VIEWEG
    Company Web Site:

    30745 cage code for Manson Rust. Prob also established too late for Viet Nam issue.
    Company Name: MASON-RUST CO
    Status: Obsolete Record
    Parent CAGE:
    Address:
    P.O. Box:
    City: PITTSBURGH
    Zip: 15200
    CAO-ADP: S3915A-HQ0337
    State: PA
    County: ALLEGHENY
    Voice Phone Number:
    Fax Phone Number:
    Date CAGE Code Established: 11/4/1974
    Last Updated:
    Point of Contact:
    Company Web Site:
    Where to look up cage code information:http://www.dlis.dla.mil/bincs/begin_search.aspx

    I would like to see photos of your 30745 magazine. That cage code is used on lots of fake magazines but it's possible to tell from the construction if genuine or not.

    A newly issued magazine from the Viet Nam era usually unmarked with heavy spot welds holding the baseplate and dark grey to black phosphate finish. These came wrapped in a heat sealed plastic sleeve normally with contract info and date ink stamps and with VPI paper wrapped around the magazine.
    Last edited by mag1911; 12-01-2011 at 05:25 AM.

  16. #16
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    Bring back papers on any US made military firearm are uncommon from VN War.

    That the weapons came out is fact but few will have papers.

  17. #17
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    And to answer the original question again-------any/ANY magazine made before or while VN was going on, will be used and correct. There is no VN mag. Only mags possibly used in Nam. Any made before Nam were used and proper!!!!

    And to support what has been said, there are official bring backs with papers and others. There are official bring backs with papers. There are official bring backs with papers and papers no longer exist. There are bring backs with never any papers. Things were not always proper. This is especially true with some higher ranking persons and persons in more elite units.

  18. #18
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    Here is a Colt I brought back from Vietnam. It was given to me by a Marine Captain as he was being Medivaced out.. We were involved in a firefight with the VC during which he was wounded, and I used the Colt to save us.. I was a Navy flyer so when the ship sent a plane to Da Nang to take me back to the ship, I just stuck the whole rig into my nav bag and away we went! This was in July 1967.. After the war, he told me that it was issued to him at Camp Pendleton sometime about 1955 in near new condition, with holster, belt, mag pouch with three mags. When he gave it to me, it had a C-R magazine and the two mags marked S... The spare mags I saw in Vietnam, were the type shown above with the large spot welds in plastic wrap...

    It has not been fired since that memorable day in Vietnam......

    " Give me a fast ship, and I will sail in harms way" John Paul Jones USN

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Holbrook View Post
    Here is a Colt I brought back from Vietnam. It was given to me by a Marine Captain as he was being Medivaced out.. We were involved in a firefight with the VC during which he was wounded, and I used the Colt to save us.. I was a Navy flyer so when the ship sent a plane to Da Nang to take me back to the ship, I just stuck the whole rig into my nav bag and away we went! This was in July 1967.. After the war, he told me that it was issued to him at Camp Pendleton sometime about 1955 in near new condition, with holster, belt, mag pouch with three mags. When he gave it to me, it had a C-R magazine and the two mags marked S... The spare mags I saw in Vietnam, were the type shown above with the large spot welds in plastic wrap...

    It has not been fired since that memorable day in Vietnam......

    alsome story
    glade you both made it out safe
    make sure you write this down and keep it with the weapon. the story will get lost and this will be just another 1911

  20. #20
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    " Give me a fast ship, and I will sail in harms way" John Paul Jones USN

  21. #21
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    Thanks mag1911. I'll have to keep an eye out on the wield marks when I'm digging through .45 mags. If you say their are fake 30745 marked mags out there then mine's probably one of them as it looks way too new. Will try and list a pic tomorrow. Would be nice to find some in the wrap.
    BARQS19
    "If it ain't something, then it's something else," Robert Sherrill

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Actually some US pieces were authorised for bringback, including some M 1 Carbines.
    No M2s, though.
    Generally for out of issue pieces which included carbines
    Souvenier weapon regs were strict and enforced at different levels.

    Like everything else in the military, different day, different shite.

    I have a bringback .45 with Colt slide and Remington lower.
    Still have a local made holster rig that was very commonly purchased and worn there.

    Made it back in a Jungle Fatigue pocket.
    I have the other half - Remington upper and Colt lower.

  23. #23
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    I have researched many contracts and any time you see the Mason Rust code, it is a fake. Mason Rust had one contract to clean up a bridge, and never completed it. The company never made any ordnance material, as far as I can find. I have never seen a real one. It went out of business many years ago.

    There was a company named Mason and Rust JV which made government facilities contracts. But it was located in Missouri, not Pittsburgh.

    The magazine fakers used that code so nobody could take them to court.

  24. #24
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    BARQS19 asked if anyone has a 1000% sure Viet-Nam mag. I have two. Was issued them (plus one with the pistol) in Saigon when I arrived in 1970 for a MACV assignment. I had an additional two I brought back with me from an earlier tour. When I left in 1971, I turned in my "old" two and brought two of the "new" ones back. No spot welds on either; one has no marks I can find; the other has only an "L" on top of the toe.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Holbrook View Post
    Great story and great weapon John. What a reminder of the extraordinary things seemingly everyday people go through. Thank you for your service.
    "When the people find they can vote themselves money, that shall herald the end of the republic." -Benjamin Franklin

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