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Auction Date: December 5, 2015

Lot 1476: Colt - 1908

Sold for Colt - 1908
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Scarce Documented Shanghai Municipal Police Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless Semi-Automatic Pistol with Factory Letter
Estimated Price: $1,300 - $1,900
Item Views 242 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Colt - 1908 ManufacturerColt Model1908
TypePistol Gauge380 ACP Catalog Page196
Barrel3 3/4 Inch Round FinishBlue GripHard Rubber
Stock ClassCurio & Relic Handgun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThe factory letter indicates that this pistol: "Shanghai Municipal Pol[ice] 2559" was shipped to S. J. David and Company in Shanghai, China, on May 13, 1930 as part of factory order "#18060/700." Standard Colt markings along with "2559" on the right side of the slide and barrel chamber and "SHANGHAI MUNICIPAL POLICE/NO 2559" on the right side of the frame. Note the small screw added above to the safety latch and a lanyard ring on the left along with the barrel pressure spring. This key shaped leaf spring on the left side of the slide was designed to prevent jamming and was installed at the SMP arsenal. This pistol matches the other SMP examples pictured in the article "Guns of the Shanghai Municipal Police" by Leroy Thompson and in John W. Brunner's study "The Colt Pocket Hammerless Automatic Pistols" on pages 102-105. It has the special magazine with both front left and rear viewing ports. Shanghai was plagued by crime in the early 20th century and sought the assistance of William E. Fairbairn to help train police. He was responsible for designating the modifications. Thompson calls Shanghai in the early 20th century "one of the most adventurous cities in the world. One could make a fortune or fall prey to a .30 Mauser bullet -- maybe both."

ConditionFair as police arsenal modified and refinished. Nearly all of the SMP Colt pistols were reblued due to the harsh Chinese climate and daily use. Most of the dull blue finish remains with areas of brighter wear and gray patina. There is extensive light pitting visible under the blue. The grips are very good with mostly crisp checkering and minor dings. The action is fine.
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