Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1439: Serial Number 137 U.S. Contract Colt Model 1911 Pistol

Auction Date: December 5, 2020

Very Fine and Highly Desirable, U.S. Contract Colt Model 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol with Early Three Digit Serial Number 137

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $18,000 - $27,500

Very Fine and Highly Desirable, U.S. Contract Colt Model 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol with Early Three Digit Serial Number 137

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1911
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 1277
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 312
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

This is a highly desirable early production U.S. military contract, Colt Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol with the early slide markings, nitre blue finish, early parts with the rare and very desirable early small serial number markings. This early pistol was manufactured in the first full month of production, being assembled on 25 January 1912. It was shipped to the Commanding Officer of Springfield Armory on Feb 3, 1912 in a shipment of 200 pistols. The pistol has the lustrous high polish Colt commercial blue finish with the nitre blue finish on the thumb safety, slide stop, hammer, trigger, mainspring cap and barrel bushing. The high polish finish was replaced by the military "dull finish" blue at approximately serial number 2,400 on April 24, 1912. The slide is marked with the early two-line, two-block Colt factory address and patent dates and circled Rampant Colt along with "MODEL OF 1911. U.S.ARMY" on the left and right of the slide respectively. The right side of the frame ahead of the trigger guard is stamped with the very early and highly desirable small serial number markings of "No. 137", the left side stamped with the early small size "UNITED STATES PROPERTY", and the circled "WPG" monogram of Ordnance Inspector Walter G. Penfield above the magazine release. It is fitted with a blade front sight that has been filed to a patridge style blade and round top notch rear sight, checkered wide hammer, checkered slide stop, thumb safety, and magazine catch, short grip safety, smooth mainspring housing, lanyard loop, diamond pattern checkered grips, and a correct pattern exposed floorplate two-tone magazine with lanyard loop on the bottom. The barrel is high polish on the tube and brush blued on the rear portion. There is a "question mark" style stamp visible on the bottom ahead of the lug, writer is not familiar with the aforementioned marking being used in this manner other than as a factory rework mark, or possibly replacement.

Rating Definition:

Very fine, retains 70% plus bright original high polish blue finish and 80% of the original nitre blue with the balance a smooth grey patina, primarily on edges and high spots, as well as the grip straps due to use. The left side slide markings are slightly softened and the right side are factory double stamped. The grips are also very fine with a few minor flat spots in the overall crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent.

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