This is an extremely rare and highly desirable early production U.S. Military Contract, Colt U.S. Model 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol with the early slide markings, nitre blue finish, early parts with the rare and very desirable small early serial number markings. This early pistol was probably manufactured in late January 1912 during the first full month of production and was shipped to the Commanding Officer of Springfield Armory on Feb 3, 1912 in a shipment of 200 pistols. The pistol has the lustrous high polish Colt commercial blue finish with the niter blue finish on the safety lock, slide stop, hammer, trigger, mainspring cap and barrel bushing. The high polish finish was replaced by the military "dull finish" blue at approximately serial number 2,400 on April 24, 1912. The pistol is fitted with checkered walnut stocks and has the original thin stock screws used on early production guns, (although they have been widened). This beautiful pistol has the desirable, early two-line, two-block slide markings of "PATENTED APR.20.1897/SEPT.9.1902. DEC.19.1905. FEB.14.1911." followed by "COLT'S PT.F.A. MFG. CO./HARTFORD.CT.U.S.A.", with the encircled Rampant Colt trademark behind the slide serration. The right side of the slide is stamped with the early small stamped "MODEL OF 1911. U.S.ARMY". The front left side of the frame is stamped with the early small size "UNITED STATES PROPERTY", with the encircled "WPG" monogram of Ordnance Inspector Walter G. Penfield above the magazine release. The right side of the frame ahead of the trigger guard, is stamped with the very early and highly desirable, Type 1, small serial number markings of "No. 147". This pistol is all original and fitted with the various early features such as the short hammer with borderless checkering to the edge, the round top rear sight and the narrow front sight with the smaller stud on the underside, the early first type recoil spring guide with the bevel on the front edge and the lower rear points, an early first pattern recoil spring plug with no punch mark, the first pattern slide stop with fine checkering and no dimple on the backside, the original Type 1 magazine catch lock with concave head and the early thin thumb safety lever with the sharper edges and undercut on the back and underside of the thumb piece. It still retains the original all blue barrel that is stamped worth only a small "1" on the underside of the chamber in front of the lugs. The barrel, rear face of the slide and the top of the receiver are correctly NOT stamped with the "H" provisional inspection mark of Frank L. Hosmer, as that inspection stamp was not started until approximately pistol serial number "400". The top of the frame is stamped with a "3" Colt assembler's mark to the right of the disconnector hole. The pistol is fitted with an original and extremely Rare Type I magazine that has the all blued finish, with no temper line with the exposed edge of the magazine base with the lanyard loop on the underside of the plate. The sides of the magazine body actually show the double pins, with the small sideways stake mark on the head of the pin and magazine body. Later on in the type 2 magazines these pin heads were actually ground down flush with the magazine body and the base plate. This is an almost impossible magazine to find today!
Very fine with 75% of the original high polish blue finish overall with edge wear, and blue loss on the front edges of the slide, front grip strap, and mainspring housing. The grips are also in very good condition with nice distinct checkering on both sides with even honest wear across the tops of the checkering from field use and handling. This very rare, scarce early pistol retains most of the original early and correct parts. A scarce early example that are getting harder and harder to find today.
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