Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1477: Colt Model 1909 Prototype Semi-Automatic Test Trial Pistol

Auction Date: June 6, 2020

Profound and Extremely Rare Historic Documented Colt Model 1909 Prototype 45 ACP Semi-Automatic Test Trial Pistol Photographed in the Government Models by Goddard

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $70,000 - $110,000

Profound and Extremely Rare Historic Documented Colt Model 1909 Prototype 45 ACP Semi-Automatic Test Trial Pistol Photographed in the Government Models by Goddard

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1909
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut checkered
Item Views: 3532
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 331
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

What an unbelievable and historic find that this pistol represents, being the original Colt Model 1909 Prototype pistol that was originally tested in June 1909 at Fort Meyer by a panel of four Ordnance Officers and John Browning himself. This specific pistol is pictured on page 104-105, in the iconic Colt reference book, "The Government Models" by W.H.D. Goddard. Although this pistol was never serial numbered, if you study the actual pictures in that book and compare them to this pistol they are identical! (Writer is quite familiar with the pistol!) Obviously this is an extremely rare, one of a kind Colt Model 1909 U.S. Army Test pistol chambered in 45 ACP. This model is the true forerunner pistol between the Model 1907 semi-automatic and the eventual final design of the Model 1911 pistol. This would certainly be a centerpiece of any Advanced Colt pistol collection, semi-automatic or otherwise! This pistol fired approximately 500 rounds with no malfunctions, which then convinced Colt to actually produced a limited number of these for further U.S. Army testing. That series of testing is also thoroughly discussed on pages 45-52 in the reference book, "Colt 45 Service Pistols Model 1911/1911A1" by Clawson. These additional tests lead into the Model 1910 and then later the 1910 "Army Special" model, which ultimately evolved into the successful standard M1911 pistol. The Model of 1909 was a dramatic redesign over the previous Model 1907 pistol with the following improvements, with most of them still in use today on the M1911/A1 pistols: 1) it replaced the old two link barrel lock up system with a "single link" barrel system 2) improved disassembly method via the removable front barrel bushing and recoil spring/plunger assembly, 3) the magazine release button was redesigned and placed on the left side of the frame, 4) the grip safety was redesigned and improved, 5) the ejector and ejector port were also redesigned and improved, 6) a new method for retaining the firing pin was developed i.e. the firing pin stop plate, 7) the loaded cartridge indicator was eliminated and 8) the slide lock release was made an integral part of the link pin. However, it still retained the long, exposed extractor on the right side of the slide, and the grip safety lock plate was still positioned on the right side of the frame. Also, the barrel retained the full locking lugs on the breech end of the barrel. The top of the slide has the early small, oval front sight with the early round top rear sight. It has a short pattern checkered spur hammer with the half-cock notch. The grips have the full checkering with a small diamond pattern area around the grip screws. Originally this pistol had the early Colt high-polish blue finish with the Colt niter blue finish on the trigger, extractor, grip screws and magazine release.

Rating Definition:

Very good with traces of the original blue finish still remaining overall mostly in the protected areas and on the top front area of the slide. The balance of the metal finish is a gray patina mixed scattered area of brown patches. The walnut grips are in very good condition with visible checkering on both sides with the right side showing wear across all the tops of the checkered diamonds with the left side having a large pressure dents/flat spot in the center section of the grip. Mechanically excellent. This is a truly historic and one of a kind Colt 1909 Prototype Pistol!

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