Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1545: Special Order Colt Officer's Model Target .32 Police DA Revolver

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Exceptional and Rare Special Order Colt Officer's Model Target .32 Police Double Action Revolver Inscribed to Colt Superintendent Carlos DeLeon with Factory Checkered Pearl Grips

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $16,000

Exceptional and Rare Special Order Colt Officer's Model Target .32 Police Double Action Revolver Inscribed to Colt Superintendent Carlos DeLeon with Factory Checkered Pearl Grips

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Officers Model
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 32 Colt police
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: checkered pearl
Item Views: 356
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 281
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun
Bore Condition: -

Manufactured in 1916. The revolver is chambered in scarce .32 Colt Police caliber and is fitted with target sights and special order checkered pearl grips. The barrel is stamped with the two-line address/patent dates marking on top and "OFFICERS MODEL 32 POLICE CTG." on the left side. The side plate is stamped with the standard Rampant Colt trade mark. "C. DELEON" is handsomely inscribed (likely factory) on the butt. The factory checkered pearl grips feature Rampant Colt medallions. A lanyard ring is mounted on the butt. At the time this revolver was manufactured, Carlos DeLeon was Colt's Superintendent of International Sales, and his Colt business card is included. He worked for Colt until approximately 1919. His tenure coincided with a growth in sales resulting from the Great War. According to U.S. Congressional records, Colt "sales totaled $5,308.903 in 1915 and $10,034,508 in 1916." Colt enjoyed "a practical monopoly in its field." As Colt pointed out, "At least 90 percent of the guns used by the United States and its Allies in the World War were manufactured under our patents." Included is a 1979 dated factory letter addressed to Fred Sweeney and a 1982 dated factory letter addressed to George Lewis, Jr. Both factory letters state that records for this revolver were not available. While certain Colt records are known to have been lost or destroyed, an unavailable record could possible indicate that the revolver never shipped. It is reasonable to concluded that the revolver was presented to or ordered by DeLeon. Lewis wrote the included article "A One-in-a-Million Chance" published in the Spring 2014 issue of "The Rampant Colt", and the article highlights Lewis' discovery of the revolver at a 1981 Las Vegas gun show and his efforts to research its background. Serial number 412887 is a special order Officer's Model Target made for firearms inventor and gunmaker Gene Reising (1884-1967) who tested and sold guns for Colt in the early 20th century and is interesting to note since 412887 has special order checkered medallion pearl grips matching the type fitted to this gun and will factory letter as being shipped to DeLeon (see the included R.L. Wilson letter pertaining to 412887). A Model 1903 (number 210209) is known to have been shipped to DeLeon (see included copy of factory letter). Also of note is a Single Action Army known to have been specially built for DeLeon and is inscribed with his name on the back strap. Provenance: The Doug Ellison Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent, retaining 98% plus bright original high polish blue finish with mild muzzle side wear, and a light cylinder drag line. The grips are also excellent with crisp checkering and highly attractive fiery colors. Mechanically excellent. This high condition special order Officer's Model Target .32 Police Revolver inscribed to an identified factory employee will bring added dimension to any Colt collection no matter how advanced.

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