Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3588: Colt 1900 Pistol 38 Colt auto

Auction Date: September 15, 2013

Extraordinary Documented U.S. Navy Contract Colt 1900 "Sight Safety" Model Semi-Automatic Pistol with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $22,500 - $32,500

Extraordinary Documented U.S. Navy Contract Colt 1900 "Sight Safety" Model Semi-Automatic Pistol with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1900
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 38 Colt auto
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 2785
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 221
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

This is an extraordinary beautiful example of a scarce all original and documented Colt Model 1900 U.S. Navy contract sight safety Pistol. These pistols are rare and unique in original condition as they are one of the very first Model 1900 semi-automatic pistols that was produced for the U.S. Navy; all under a U.S. Government contract as awarded to the Colt Firearms Company. These pistols have a very unique sight safety that blocks the hammer when engaged with all being chambered in the Colt 38 Auto Rimless cartridge. Examples in this original, unaltered condition are extremely rare as this cartridge proved to be very weak in stopping power and was dropped completely in favor of the later, 45 ACP cartridge with the rear sight safety being modified. This pistol is one of the original 250 Colt contract pistols that were shipped to the U.S. Navy in October 1900. These pistols were shipped in five lots, with this specific example being shipped in the third lot shipped on Oct 29th, 1900, as listed on page 41 of U.S. MILITARY AUTOMATIC PISTOLS by Richard Ellis Publications/Edward S. Meadows. In this third shipment there were 49 pistols shipped to the U.S. Government General Storekeeper, Navy Yard, Brooklyn New York. The right side of the pistol frame is marked with the Colt serial number "1146" and the Navy serial number "USN 146" on the left side. The right side of the slide is marked: "AUTOMATIC COLT/CALIBRE 38 RIMLESS SMOKELESS" in front of the ejection port. The left side of the slide is marked: "BROWNING'S PATENT/PAT'D APRIL 20.1897" in a two-line block followed by "COLT'S PATENT FIRE ARMS MFG. CO/HARTFORD . CONN. U.S.A." in a second two-line block ahead of the slide serrations. A small circled Rampant Colt is stamped behind the slide serrations. A small Navy trident inspection mark is stamped on the right side of the trigger guard bow, with the Colt proof mark on the left side that consists of a capital letter "B" inside a small triangle. The magazine is correctly nickel plated with the floor plate correctly stamped "PAT'D SEPT. 9. 1884". The metal parts feature beautiful Colt high polish commercial blue finish with nitre blued finish on the trigger and stock screws and color casehardened finish on the sight safety and hammer. Fitted with plain walnut grips.

Rating Definition:

Excellent with 98% plus of the original high lustre blue finish overall with minor thinning on the right side of the slide. The various small parts retain 98% of their nitre blue finish and the hammer and rear sight safety retain 95% of their original case colors and the left side of the hammer shows some minor fading. The walnut grips are both excellent with nice matching colors on both sides with minor handling marks overall. A beautiful example of a very scarce early US Navy contract Colt Model 1900 Sight Safety pistol.

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