Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 280: Russian Contract Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Very Scarce Documented Russian Contract Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol with Factory Letter and Holster

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $12,000 - $18,000

Very Scarce Documented Russian Contract Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol with Factory Letter and Holster

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Government
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 778
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 264
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun
Description:

Originally ordered in 1916 and 1917, the Russian Contract Colt Government Model pistols were ordered by the Imperial Russian government from Colt. The included factory letter confirms the current configuration, grips not listed, as well as shipment to the government of Russia in a 5,000 gun shipment on 3 August 1916. When placing the order, the government of Great Britain acted as an intermediary, using a line of credit established by the Russians and backed by hard gold reserves held in Britain to cover the bill. Britain's role as go-between is the source of the signature marking on the left side of the frame, "ANGL. ZAKAZIE"(transliterated) for "English Order". The Russian Contract pistols as-issued otherwise bore only standard Colt markings like this example. By 1916, the situation on the Eastern Front was already getting well out of hand for Russia, and in 1917 they went through the February and October Revolutions, which brought about both the fall of the Imperial government and the successor Provisional Government, which led to the rise of the Soviet Union. Additionally, some reports of the final assassination of Tsar Nicholas II and his family put a pair of Colt .45 ACP pistols among the weapons used by the Bolshevik party, in particular one used by Yakov Yurovsky, leader of the squad who is noted as having fired the opening shot directly into the Tsar's chest. Russian Contract Government Model Colts are scarce on the American market in any condition, as they saw hard use through multiple conflicts and virtually none were ever exported by the Soviet Union. The left side of the slide has the two-line, two-block address and patent dates with the Rampant Colt behind the serrations. The right of the slide has the caliber marking. The barrel is struck "N" and "P" underneath ahead of the lug and has a polished chamber hood. The left side of the frame is marked with the aforementioned contract marking and "VP" and "b" on the trigger guard, with the model marking and serial number on the right. There is a "Simpson LTD G'BURG.IL" import mark visible on the bottom left of the magazine well. It is fitted with the standard blade and notch sights, long smooth trigger, wide checkered hammer, short grip safety, smooth mainspring housing, diamond pattern checkered grips, lanyard loop, and an unmarked two-tone magazine with lanyard loop base. Includes a Swedish M1908 leather holster for a Browning M1907 pistol, faintly stamped with a crown on the outside of the flap, that fits the gun nicely but the two attached magazine pouches are undersized.

Rating Definition:

Fine, retains 40% of the original blue finish with the balance having thinned to mostly a smooth grey patina, a few scattered patches of light pitting. The front left of the slide has a significant dent/deformation that has the appearances of receiving an arsenal repair to return to service along with a hairline crack and the right has two small hairline cracks in the same area. The grips are good with moderate wear, some minor scuffs and dings, and otherwise well-defined checkering. Mechanically fine. The holster is fine with some mild wear.



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