Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3600: North American Arms - 1911

Auction Date: December 2, 2018

Extremely Rare Documented North American Arms Model 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol Serial Number "73"

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $75,000 - $95,000

Extremely Rare Documented North American Arms Model 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol Serial Number "73"

Manufacturer: North American Arms
Model: 1911
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut checkered
Item Views: 7419
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 232
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

This is a very rare example of an excellent original North American Arms Company Limited Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol that was produced in Quebec Canada. In early 1918, the U.S. Government issued a contract for 500,000 Model 1911 pistols to the North American Arms Co., of Quebec Canada. Having no actual factory to produce these 1911s, the North American Arms Company leased the entire Ross Rifle plant along with their employees, to actually do the manufacturing. Additionally, as part of the contractual arrangement with the US Government they had to supply all the raw materials. Due to the shortages of raw material and frame forgings, they were only able to supply enough material to produce approximately 100 pistols, due to assistance from Winchester, whom the writer believes supplied most of the material. Due to the ending of World War I in 1918, the contract was terminated in December with no M1911 pistols ever officially accepted by the U.S. Government. This specific pistol is marked on the slide "MANUFACTURED BY/NORTH AMERICAN ARMS CO. LIMITED/QUEBEC CANADA" along with control number "73" on the upper left rear end of the slide, the trigger, and the lower left rear corner of the frame under the left grip. It is listed by serial number on page 203 of "Colt Automatic Pistols 1896-1955" by Donald Bady. It is fitted with a smooth flat main spring housing, a checkered thumb safety, serrated slide stop release, and a short horned grip safety. It also has a wide spur hammer, similar to the Colt production models, except the spur is not checkered. It has an all blued, unmarked and unproofed barrel. The grip panels are the standard checkered walnut versions. The magazine is a blued two-tone pattern.

Rating Definition:

Excellent with 95% of the original unique deep blue/black type finish overall with some very light brown spotting in areas on the top, left, front area of the slide at the transition line, the front underside of the frame extension, and a small area on the mainspring housing. The markings are sharp and crisp. The grips are also in excellent condition with nice sharp, distinct checkering on both sides showing only a few minor nicks in the checkered diamonds. A really spectacular, high condition original North American Arms Company Model 1911 pistol. The "holy grail" of Model 1911s!

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