This is an exceptional, rare early production original Colt Model 1900 U.S. Navy contract sight safety pistol. These pistols are very rare and desirable as they were the very first original 250 Colt contract, Model 1900 semi-automatic pistols procured for the US. Navy under a U.S. Government contract. These pistols had a very unique rear 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 99% of the sight safety models were changed into a fixed rear sight. All of these were eventually replaced in favor of the later Model 1905 and eventually the Model 1911 in 45 ACP. This pistol is listed on page 39 of the book: "U.S. Military Automatic Pistols 1894-1920" by Scott Meadows. These pistols were all shipped in 1900 in five lots to the U.S. Government General Storekeeper, Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York. This specific pistol was shipped in the third lot of 49 pistols on Oct 22nd, 1900. The right side of the frame is marked with Colt serial number "1104", and the Navy serial number "USN 104" on the left side. The left side of the slide has the two-line, two-block markings of: "BROWNING'S PATENT/PAT'D APRIL 20.1897" followed by "COLT'S PATENT FIRE ARMS MFG. CO/HARTFORD. CONN. U.S.A.". The right side is marked: "AUTOMATIC COLT/CALIBRE 38 RIMLESS SMOKELESS". A small circled Rampant Colt is stamped on the left side 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, as used by Navy Lt. Charles A. Brand. 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 niter blued finish on the trigger and stock screws and color casehardened finish on the sight safety and hammer. Fitted with smooth dark walnut grips with brass escutcheons.
Excellent with 97% plus of the bright original high polish blue finish showing some very small nicks and handling marks in the blue finish overall. The hammer and rear sight retain 98% vivid original case colors. The grips are very fine with 85% of their original varnish finish with both sides showing numerous typical light handling marks and pressure dents overall. The markings are clear, sharp and distinct. The various handling marks and light nicks overall are strictly from poor handling and shipping by the Navy; without those, the pistol would be like new condition. A really super nice top condition U.S. Navy contract Colt Model 1900 semi-automatic pistol.
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