Blast From the Past: Remington Rand 1911

A reader shares his vintage handgun—and asks for some help in narrowing down its history

remington rand 1911 handgun
The owner of this 1911 suspects that it might’ve been part of the Land-Lease program during World War II.From Robert

Some submissions to Blast From the Past come from people who would like to know more about their guns. Today's 1911 is one such gun. Robert, the gun's owner, wants to know if his pistol was part of the Lend-Lease program in which we sent arms to allied countries during World War II.

But first, about this pistol: It’s a Remington Rand 1911. From 1868 to 1886, Remington made both guns and typewriters. Remington produced the first commercially successful typewriter before selling out to the Standard Typewriter Manufacturing Company, which renamed itself Remington Typewriter Company. Remington Typewriter then merged with office-supply maker Rand Kardex in 1927 to form Remington Rand. Meanwhile, Remington kept making guns.

During World War II, both Remington and Remington Rand produced 1911 pistols. Remington Rand made almost 900,000, while Remington only delivered about 13,000 by the end of the war, as they were busy making stacks of 1903 Springfields and tons of ammunition.

Robert’s question has to do with whether the markings on his pistol indicate that it was a Lend-Lease gun. He cites the following:

  1. The serial number has a single strike-through.

  2. There's a stamp on the slide, with a date, stating the pistol was released by the British Government.

  3. Finally, there's a hand-scratched number on the frame which should be the service number of the soldier it was issued to.

He asked me for the answer, and I told him I didn’t know—but that I knew a bunch of Gun Nuts readers who would. So, make me look good here. What’s the answer to Robert’s question?

And, keep the gun pictures coming to fsgunnuts@gmail.com.