Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 270: World War I Era Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Very Fine World War I Era Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol with British Military Marked Grip

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $7,000

Very Fine World War I Era Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol with British Military Marked Grip

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Government
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 1047
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 261
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

Manufactured in 1917, fairly early in the production of the Colt Government Model. This pistol represented the cutting edge of firearm technology and was highly sought after by military personnel and civilians alike. This particular example may be what is sometimes called a "Commercial Issue", or commercial Government Model pistols that were purchased by, or for military officers. Though it bears no other British proofs, the right grip is marked with a "4" and a "broad arrow/M" within an oval on the upper diamond and the leading edge near the bottom appears to be stamped "L1462", and both grip panels appear to have some faint flecks of yellow paint. In 1917 this pistol would have been an incredible deployment or discharge gift for any officer involved in The Great War. This pistol's serial number falls between two listed on p. 263 of "The Government Models: The Development of the Colt Model of 1911" by Goddard, C94119 which was shipped to General J.T. Stockton, and W94342 in .455 Webley which was shipped to Thomson Sutherland. The slide bears the two-line, two-block address and patent markings on the left side with the Rampant Colt behind the serrations. The right of the slide has the caliber markings. "VP" and "V" are on the trigger guard, and "GOVERNMENT MODEL" is on the right side of the frame above the serial number. The blued barrel has a polished chamber hood and is marked "P" on the bottom in front of the lug and "5" on the left of the lug. It is fitted with blade and flat top notch sights, checkered slide catch and thumb safety, wide checkered hammer, short grip safety, diamond pattern checkered grips, and a two-tone magazine with a lanyard loop base.

Rating Definition:

Very fine, retains 85% plus of the bright, original, high polish blue finish with the balance having thinned to mostly a smooth grey patina, primarily on the leading edges of the slide and the grip straps, and a couple very small patches of extremely light surface pitting on the left side of the slide. The grips are also very fine with the markings noted above, a minor dent in the upper right, and otherwise minimal handling marks and crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent.

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