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P. 221

   LOT 3393
Scarce and Historic U.S. Army Second Contract Colt Model 1900 “Sight Safety”
Semi-Automatic Pistol Serial Number 1501 Presented to
the field, including a multitude of complaints and recommendations. In May of 1909, 126 Model 1900 pistols (not all second contract)
were turned in at Rock Island Arsenal for inspection. On 18
June 1909 the Commanding Officer of Rock Island Arsenal was approved to sell the pistols, with the price being set at $7.50 for
 Brigadier General Odus C. Horney
      Army Ordnance Brigadier General Odus C. Horney - Serial no. 1501,
38 Colt auto cal., 6 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut grips. Manufactured in 1900, this is a scarce example of one of 200 Colt Model 1900 pistols manufactured to fulfill the second contract for the U.S. Army. These 200 pistols were ordered by the Ordnance Department to further augment the initial 100 pistols ordered for testing in 1900 and was partially due to the high demand by officers stationed in the Philippines for automatic pistols. These 200 pistols ordered were serial numbered 1501 through 1700 and incorporated only two of the plethora of recommendations submitted after initial field testing, these being longer and deeper slide serrations moved to the front of the slide and coarsely checkered, thicker grips. This pistol was part of the first shipment of 50 pistols which was sent to Springfield Armory on 28 January 1900, which included the serial numbers 1501 through 1550. This specific pistol is listed separately front the other 49 however, as it was presented to Ordnance Department Brigadier General Odus C. Horney,
who had been in charge of coordinating feedback from field tests to Colt for improvements to these pistols. Horney played a pivotal role in changes made to the Model 1900 that led to the Model 1902. This specific pistol is pictured on p. 34 of “U.S. Military Automatic Pistols 1894-1920” by Meadows, and its shipment/presentation is listed on p. 172 of “The Government Models: The Development of the Colt Model of 1911” by Goddard. Apart from three which were retained for “cartridge testing” (likely including this example), all of these 200 second contract pistols were sent to New York Arsenal on 9 February 1901 in preparation for their shipment to the Manila Ordnance Depot for issuance to officers stationed in the Philippines for further field trials. The pistols received more mixed reports from officers in
a pistol, magazine, and holster. Of these 200 second contract
pistols, only 49 known surviving examples are listed on p. 35
of the previously mentioned reference by Meadows, making
this an incredibly rare U.S. military automatic. This example is
marked with the correct two-line, two-block “Browning’s patent”
and Colt address followed by the circled Rampant Colt on the
left of the slide, while the right has the standard two-line caliber marking. Both sides of the slide feature the forward oriented,
longer, and deeper slide serrations, as previously mentioned. The
left side of the frame is marked with the serial number “1501”. It is
fitted with a blade front sight and notch rear sight in its original
“sight safety” configuration, spur hammer with arched bottom checkering, coarsely checkered grips, and it is furnished with a full nickel magazine with base marked “PAT’D SEPT.9.1884”
CONDITION: Very fine, retains 85% of the arsenal refurbished dull blue finish with the balance having thinned to a smooth grey or brown patina, primarily on edges and the grip straps, and some scattered patches of very light surface pitting visible under the finish. The grips are fine with a hairline crack in the left, some scattered minor handling marks, and crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. A unique example of a rare U.S. military automatic pistol,
with the added history of being presented to one of the pivotal figures in its development!
Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection.
Estimate: 8,500 - 13,000
      Collector’s Fact
One of only 200 Colt 1900 Sight Safety pistols produced for the Second Army Contract, with this historic pistol being the very first of the contract and presented to General Odus C. Horney.

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