Page 317 - Auction84-Book1
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   Collector’s Fact
One of only 200 Colt Model 1902 U.S. Army Contract pistols sold to the Government.
 LOT 541
Desirable and Scarce U.S. Inspected Colt Model 1902 Military Semi- Automatic Pistol - Serial no. 15126, 38 Colt auto cal., 6 inch round bbl., blue
finish, hard rubber grips. Manufactured in 1902, the first year of production, this pistol was in the second shipment of 100 Military Model of 1902 pistols sent
by Colt to Springfield Armory on 23 July 1902. This pistol was one of the first 200 pistols
ordered by the Ordnance Department for testing in their continued efforts to find an
automatic pistol suitable for military adoption. They incorporated many of the recommendations from officers in the field that were submitted during testing of the Model 1900, including very similar slide checkering to the sketch submitted
by Lieutenant Odus C. Horney, which is pictured on p. 34 of “U.S. Military Automatic Pistols 1894-1920” by Meadows. The purchase of these pistols had been approved by the Board of Ordnance and Fortification on 11 January 1902, after a sample pistol had been tested in December of the previous year. After receiving and inspecting these 200 pistols at the armory, they were sent to troops at Forts Riley and Leavenworth in Kansas, as well as Jefferson Barracks in Missouri for
field trials. Again, the feedback given from the field trials was mostly negative and they were deemed “...not as satisfactory
a pistol as the revolver.” In 1909, 62 of these pistols that were deemed serviceable were sold off as surplus
alongside some of the older Model 1900 pistols. A few Model 1902 pistols were retained for Ordnance
Department historical collections. This example is marked with the two-line Browning’s patent and Colt
address markings on the left of the slide arranged in two blocks, with a circled Rampant Colt at the rear. The
right side is marked “MODEL 1902” and with the two-line caliber marking. The right side of the frame and
trigger guard have the “R.A.C.” inspection mark of Rinaldo A. Carr and the “J.T.T.” acceptance mark of Captain
John T. Thompson. The left side of the frame and trigger guard have the serial number and “U.S.” marking.
The slide has the forward checkering on each side, and blade and notch sights. It is fitted with a rounded
checkered hammer, checkered hard rubber grips with “COLT” banners and Rampant Colts, a lanyard
loop stud on the left of the grip frame (with loop missing), and a correct nickeled magazine with “PAT’D
SEPT.9.1884” on the base.
CONDITION: Very good plus, retains 30% of the original high polish blue finish, 25% of the original niter
blue, and faint original case colors with the balance mostly a smooth grey patina and a few scattered
patches of very light surface pitting. The grips are also very good with some scattered minor handling marks and mild wear. Mechanically excellent.
Estimate: 5,500 - 8,500
LOT 542
Desirable World War I Colt Model 1911 U.S. Army Contract Semi-Automatic Pistol - Serial no. 221929, 45 ACP cal., 5
inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut checkered
grips. This is an outstanding example of a late WWI U.S. Army contract Model 1911 pistol as manufactured by the Colt
Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company in 1917. This pistol was correctly manufactured with the new late style block letter markings without serifs with the Colt military brushed blue finish and not the late “Black Army” finish. The left side of the
slide has the standard Colt factory two-line, two-block markings with the Rampant Colt behind the slide serrations. The right
side is marked “MODEL OF 1911 U.S. ARMY”. The left side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY” and has the circled “GHS” proof of Major Gilbert H. Stewert above the magazine release, and the right side is stamped with the
serial number “221929”. The pistol still retains the correct original WWI parts such as the
checkered Colt wide spur hammer, flat mainspring housing, checkered slide stop and thick
Type III thumb safety. It is fitted with a WWI Colt barrel that is marked over the chamber
area with the separated “H” and “P” proof marks with a partial “P” proof on the right side of
the lug and a very faint a number “5” on the underside of the barrel in front of the lug. This
fine pistol still retains the original WWI Colt diamond pattern checkered walnut grips and
is complete with a later production replacement all blued magazine manufactured by the
Little company with a capital letter “L” stamped on the front lip of the floor plate.
CONDITION: Excellent with 90% plus of the original military brushed blued finish overall with only a hint of wear on the front edges of the slide, some thinning blue on the main spring housing, and a hint of thinning on the front grip strap. The grips are in the same excellent condition with nice sharp distinct checkering overall. Mechanically excellent. A really nice condition WWI U.S. Colt Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol.
Estimate: 4,000 - 6,000

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