Page 316 - Auction84-Book1
P. 316

 LOT 539
Rare Russian Contract Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol with Factory Letter - Serial no. C52421, 45 ACP cal.,
5 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut grips. Originally ordered in 1916 and 1917,
the Russian Contract Colt Government Model pistols were ordered by the Imperial Russian government from Colt. 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 very rare 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 and the caliber marking on
the right side. The left side of the frame is marked with the aforementioned contract marking and “VP” and “U” on the trigger guard, with the model marking and serial number on the right. It is fitted with the standard blade and notch sights, long smooth trigger, wide checkered hammer, long grip safety, smooth mainspring housing, diamond pattern checkered grips, lanyard loop, and an unmarked two-tone loop magazine. The included factory letter confirms the current configuration as well as shipment to the Russian government on 3 August 1916 in a 5,000 gun shipment.
CONDITION: Fine, retains 60% plus of the original blue finish with the balance having thinned to a smooth grey patina, primarily on the grip straps, edges, and top of the slide in front of the ejection port. The grips are very good with a few minor flat spots and otherwise crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent.
Provenance: The Gus Cargile Collection.
Estimate: 9,500 - 16,000
LOT 540
Scarce Documented Experimental Serial Number C8X Colt Model 1911A1 Factory Cutaway Semi-Automatic Pistol with Factory Letter - Serial no. C8X, 45 ACP cal., 5 inch round bbl., blue finish, absent grips.
This is a very scarce example of an experimental Colt factory cutaway intended for demonstration purposes, showing the inner workings of a Model 1911A1 pistol. It is likely
that this pistol was pulled from the production line to be made into a cutaway sometime around the transition from the Model 1911 to the 1911A1 as it has the old model slide markings along with some of the “improved model” features. The included factory letter lists the experimental serial number “C8X”, .45 caliber, 5 inch barrel, and blue finish. The letter also states that this pistol as an early experimental piece to illustrate the workings of the early 1911 automatic pistol and that is was auctioned at the Las Vegas Antique Gun Show on 2 February 1979 and shipped to Mr. Gus Cargile of Corpus Christi, Texas. The left side of the slide has the two-line, two-block patent dates and address, partially removed by a cutaway area. The right has the “MODEL OF 1911. U.S. ARMY” marking, also partially removed by a cutaway area. The left of the frame has the U.S. property marking, and the right has the experimental serial number. It is fitted with blade and notch sights, narrow checkered hammer, short serrated trigger, arched serrated mainspring housing, long grip safety, and a “COLT .45 AUTO” marked barrel and two tone magazine with cutaway right side.
CONDITION: Very fine, retains 95% plus of the factory blue finish with some scattered light edge wear and handling marks. Mechanically excellent as an experimental factory cutaway demonstration piece.
Provenance: The Gus Cargile Collection.
Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000
                SERIAL NUMBER C8X

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