Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1667: Colt 1911 Pistol 45 ACP

Auction Date: April 30, 2016

Outstanding Early 1912 Production Colt Model 1911 U.S. Army Contract Pistol Serial Number 1171 with Colt Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $50,000 - $75,000

Outstanding Early 1912 Production Colt Model 1911 U.S. Army Contract Pistol Serial Number 1171 with Colt Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1911
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 2434
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 340
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun
Description:

This is an extremely rare and highly desirable example of an early 1912 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 extraordinary Colt automatic is accompanied by a Colt factory letter dated Sept 2015, validating this pistol as "1 of 200" pistols shipped to the US Army. This early pistol was probably manufactured in February 1912 during the first full month of production and was shipped to the Commanding Officer of Springfield Armory on March 2, 1912. The pistol has the very rare 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 commercial finish was replaced by the military "dull blue finish" 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. 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. 1171". This pistol is fitted with the correct 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 retains an all blue early style barrel, which carries no inspector proofs or markings which writer has seen on other examples but is most likely replaced. The rear face of the slide and the top of the receiver are correctly stamped with the small "H" provisional inspection mark of Frank L. Hosmer. The top of the frame is also stamped with a "3" Colt assembler's mark to the right of the disconnector hole. The pistol is fitted with an original early production (and extremely scarce) magazine that has the blued finish, with a temper line that is approximately 1 inch below the feed lips, 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 pin heads were actually ground down flush with the magazine body and the base plate. This is an almost impossible magazine to find today!

Rating Definition:

Excellent with 95% plus of the bright original high polish blue finish with minor high spot wear most noticeably on the very front edges of the slide, with slight thinning on the grip safety and mainspring housing. 90% plus bright original nitre blue remains on the appropriate small parts. The magazine is excellent overall with a few scattered dings present on the floorplate The grips are in excellent condition with nice distinct sharp checkering overall with a minor handling marks/nick on the lower right grip panel. Mechanically excellent. As noted this extraordinary early Colt Model 1911 pistol comes with a Colt factory letter. What an outstanding example of a highly desirable early U.S. Colt Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol.



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