Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3495: Savage Arms Corporation 1907 Pistol 45 ACP

Auction Date: September 11, 2016

Rare Savage Arms Co. Model 1907 U.S. Army "45 ACP" Test Pistol Serial Number 106

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $12,000 - $18,000

Rare Savage Arms Co. Model 1907 U.S. Army "45 ACP" Test Pistol Serial Number 106

Manufacturer: Savage Arms Corporation
Model: 1907
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 1/4 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut checkered
Item Views: 1236
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 207
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

This is a rare example of a Savage Arms Company Model 1907 semi-automatic pistol that was shipped to and tested by the US Military. In early 1904 John Browning had been developing a substantially larger and improved cartridge, (for both commercial and military sales) which resulted in the new "45 ACP" cartridge. In January 1906, based on the horrible experiences that the US Army had during the Philippine Insurrection, with the old Colt Model 1894 revolver, chambered in the anemic Colt 38 revolver cartridge; BG Crozier, (Chief of Ordnance) issued a letter of invitation to the gun manufacturing industry to develop and submit a new semi-automatic handgun based on utilizing this new and powerful "45 ACP" cartridge. Eighteen companies initially responded, however only eight actually submitted a test sample pistol; with two of the final companies being Savage and Colt. During the field testing phase of the competition the Savage Arms Company Model 1907 test pistols were issued to the 3rd, 6th and 11th Cavalry units, with comprehensive tests being conducted by the Army between 1907 and 1911. As we all know the Savage Arms candidate pistol was eventually eliminated from the competition and the Colt Firearms company received a contract award to manufacture the new Colt Model 1907 semi-automatic pistol. In total only 288 Savage .45 caliber automatic pistols were actually manufactured between 1907 and 1911. At the completion of the 1911 competition, the Savage Arms Company refinished and remarked all the test pistols and eventually sold them through the E.K. Tryon & Company for sale to the public. This rare early US Military test pistol is accompanied by a factory letter dated July 2010 indicating that this pistol was shipped from the Savage Arms company to E.K. Tryon in August of 1922 The original factory markings were removed from the top barrel rib when it was refurbished and it has now been remarked with the late third pattern barrel markings indicating it was sold to the general public, some time after WWI as a refurbished pistol. The new single line factory markings are offset to the left side of the barrel rib, which now read: "SAVAGE ARMS CORP, UTICA N.Y. U.S.A.", with the original caliber marking of "CAL 45." at the end of the rib. It still retains the narrow grip safety that is not integral with the rear of the frame and it has improved "FIRE" and "SAFE" markings adopted with the Model 1909. It still has the wider checkered walnut grip panels. It is serial numbered "118" on the back side of the slide release and magazine release, with the left grip numbered "84" and number "106" on the underside of the upper slide/bolt assembly. It is complete with one original magazine with the blued floor plate that is numbered "101" on the spine. Also accompanying this pistol are several articles that discusses the testing and eventually the commercial sale of this scarce pistol.

Rating Definition:

Fine as factory refurbished with a 85% of a dull matte blued finish overall with edge and high spot wear. The sides of the frame and slide shows edge and high spot wear mixed with right front side of both those are showing some light pin-prick type pitting under the bluing. The grips are in good condition with a nice distinctive checkering on both sides with some light wear across the tops of the checkering with the right side showing a vertical piece missing at rear and some minor small handling marks/ nicks in the checkering. Mechanically fine.

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