This is a rare and desirable example of a First US Army Contract Colt Model 1900 semi-automatic pistol with the early low three digit serial number of "204". This pistol was produced in the very first US Army contract that was issued to the Colt's Manufacturing company in 1900. It was also John M. Browning's first successful automatic pistol design. The Colt factory only produced approximately 100 of these U.S. Army stamped Model 1900s pistols that were shipped in two different groups; 75 were shipped on 16 May 1900 with an additional 25 shipped in May 23, 1900. These pistols were made with a unique combination sight safety rear sight. All of the them were deemed unfavorable by the military with 99% eventually being removed/altered by the U.S. Army. This example still retain its original sight safety rear sight. The right side of the slide is marked: "AUTOMATIC COLT/CALIBRE 38 RIMLESS SMOKELESS" ahead of the ejection port and the two-line, two-block the left side marked, "BROWNING'S PATENT". The rear has the sixteen gripping serrations. The serial number (204) is roll marked on the left side of the frame, and it is correctly stamped "U.S." on the front left trigger guard bow. These pistol were originally manufactured with a Colt high polish commercial blue finish with niter blue barrel and trigger and casehardened rear sight and hammer. It is fitted a set of smooth walnut grips, that is correctly stamped with 1900 over a boxed "J.T.T." cartouche on the left side. It comes with an original seven round magazine marked "PAT'D SEPT. 9 1884" on the base plate. The pistol is listed by serial number on page 28 of the excellent reference book "U.S. MILITARY AUTOMATIC PISTOLS 1894-1920" by Meadows and Ellis.
Very good with 20% of the original blue still remaining overall mostly in the protected areas with the balance of the metal finish a mixed gray/brown patina finish. It has clear distinct factory markings. The grips are in fine condition with their original oil finish showing numerous handling marks and light handling scratches visible on the sides. The date and cartouche are clear. A very nice looking all original and untouched original Colt U.S. Army First Contract Model 1900 sight safety semi-automatic pistol.
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