Rock Island Auction Company
Back to Catalog
Auction Date: December 5, 2015

Lot 1476: Colt - 1908

Sold for Colt - 1908
Full Screen
Sold For:
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.
Click here to see keyboard shortcuts.
F Enters/exits full screen view for items
Esc Exits full screen view for items
Moves to previous lot, or moves to previous image if full screen view is enabled
Moves to next lot, or moves to next image if full screen view is enabled
Fully zooms the image when full screen view is enabled
Fits the entire image to the screen when full screen view is enabled


Buyer’s Premium: 17.5%

Cash Payment Discount: 2.5%

Participation Requirements: Valid Credit Card required for bidding approval. You will have the option to pay with these payment options: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Check, Money Order, Wire Transfer, and Cash.

Sales Tax: It varies each auction typically around 94% of auction items are not subject to sales tax. Read more here on sales tax.

We will contact you after the auction to arrange payment and shipping.


Premiere Auction Terms

Terms and conditions regarding Premiere Auctions. Revised : 08/29/2014


SHIPPING CHARGES. All shipping charges must be paid by the successful bidder prior to delivery of the firearm. If Rock Island Auction (RIAC) is asked to ship the purchased lots, there will be a separate charge for such shipping. Shipping charges will be based upon what it costs RIAC to ship the purchased lots to the purchaser. All items must have shipping insurance; this insurance is mandatory. RIAC will not charge any labor charges for shipping. RIAC is not liable for any acts of omissions in packaging or shipping. Purchased lots handled by outside carriers or packers, including those RIAC may have recommended, may carry their own insurance and any claims for losses or damages should be addressed directly to the outside carriers or packers. RIAC will arrange for packing and shipping at RIAC’s earliest possible convenience. RIAC will attempt to ship as soon as possible; however, due to RIAC’s high volume of absentee bids, shipping can take up to two weeks after full payment is received. In the case of crating or any exceptional packaging, the purchaser will be charged RIAC’s cost from outside agents. Purchaser pays shipping, packing materials, and insurance charges. The shipping of any purchased items outside of the United States is hereby classified as “foreign export”. All foreign export is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.