Manufactured in 1908, this exceptionally scarce Military Model of 1902 pistol is one of only 801 manufactured by Colt under contract for the government of Mexico. Like this example, these contract pistols were all fitted with pearl grips and had the Mexican crest of an eagle clutching a snake roll stamped on the top of the slide. Apart from that, this pistol exhibits the mid-production high polish blue finish and rounded hammer which was completely phased out around serial number 33000. The included factory letter confirms the current configuration including the pearl grips and the Mexican crest stamp on the slide as well as being sold to Ministerio de Guerra Y Marina and shipment to A. Combaluzier in Mexico City for El Commandante Militar de Vera Cruz on 27 February 1908, in a shipment that contained 600 guns of the same configuration. This initial shipment would be followed by two subsequent shipments of 100 guns each, one on 13 May 1910 and one on 13 January 1911. Along with these 800 pistols there is another listed on p. 185 of "The Government Models: The Development of the Colt Model of 1911" by Goddard (this pistol listed in the shipment on p.184 of the same book). The additional pistol, serial number 31565, shipped with the initial shipment of 600 on 27 February 1908, but is listed in the ledger separately on the advertising account as engraved with "P.D." inlaid in gold on the slide along with the Mexican crest and pearl grips. The left side of the slide is marked with the two-line patent date and two-line address arranged in two blocks with the circled Rampant Colt behind the serrations. The right side of the slide has the two-line caliber marking, "AUTOMATIC COLT/CALIBRE 38 RIMLESS SMOKELESS". The left side of the frame has the serial number and "VP" and "6" on the left of the trigger guard. It is fitted with a blade front sight and a slightly ground down rounded top notch rear sight (likely for ease of drawing from a holster), a lanyard swivel on the lower left of the grip frame, a set of smooth pearl grips, and an unmarked full blue magazine. With a total production number of only 801 and even fewer surviving examples having returned to the United States in their original configuration, these pistols are truly scarce!
Fine, retains 50% plus of the original high polish blue finish, traces of the original case colors, and 40% of the original nitre blue with the balance having thinned to a smooth grey-brown patina, primarily on the slide and grips straps. The rear sight is period modified (see above). The grips are very fine with some scattered light handling marks. Mechanically excellent.
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