Manufactured by an unknown party, this pistol bears a strong resemblance to known "underground" pistols from the Indochina/Vietnam region. Such weapons were pressed into service for the First Indochina War against the French, and would continue to be used by factions on both sides of the North/South split after the French left; such weapons are often associated with the Viet Cong, and a very similar weapon pictured on page 720 of "Small Arms of the World: 10th Revised Edition" by Ezell is identified to the "Cao Dai' religious sect from the South. Made mainly by hand in crude workshops, Ezell notes that these weapons have been seen with finish "surprisingly good considering the circumstances under which they were made". Made in direct emulation of the 1911A1, this example is marked "MADE IN-MI-NA/No 151-28-7-1.966" on the left of the slide, which may include the manufacture date and where it was produced. The writer believes the intended serial number is "151" while the date of manufacture is 28 July 1966, as multiple small parts bear the partial serial number "51". Fitted with a blade front sight and notch rear sight, hand-filed slide serrations, checkered narrow hammer, no functioning safeties, checkered hardwood grips, smooth slightly arched mainspring housing with lanyard loop, and handmade matching magazine numbered "51" on the base.
Very good, retains faint traces of the original blue finish in sheltered areas with the balance mostly a mottled grey-brown patina and some scattered light pitting, indicative of jungle use. The grips are also very good showing some moderate wear, scattered minor dings, and otherwise well-defined checkering. Mechanically excellent. A rare piece missing from many of the most extensive military collections!
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