18. Extremely Rare Colt Model 1911 Sample Pistol Furnished to Springfield Armory Pre-Production of the 1911 Pistol

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serial #125567, 45 ACP, 5" Colt barrel with a bright about excellent bore which shows only some lightly scattered very light frosting about three quarters of its length. This is an exciting and very rare pistol for the advanced 1911 collector. Prior to Springfield Armory's production of the 1911 pistol, Colt did not have a complete set of up-to-date specification drawings to furnish to Springfield Armory. Colts rather relied on designated pistols and gauges to produce their pistols and component parts. It was therefore necessary for Springfield Armory to produce their own set of drawings based on 20 sample Colt pistols sent to them, which they actually had to purchase from Colts firearms. These arms were not serial numbered and were used by Springfield Armory to establish their own set of blueprint drawings for manufacture of the pistols and all the component parts. All 20 guns were disassembled, all the parts measured, an average taken, high and low end of the measurements were considered to be the manufacturing tolerances. These arms stayed with Springfield Armory until the end of the last Springfield production run, at which time they were stamped with the serial numbers 125,567-125,586, government inspected, and accepted as part of the Springfield Armory series of 1911-produced pistols. Colts very own records show "20 pistols not numbered" shipped to "Commanding Officer, Springfield Armory June 1, 1912". In the 19-teens and later in the '20s, many 1911 pistols were sold through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship, the sales being handled by the National Rifle Association. These model 1911 pistols were all marked "N.R.A." adjacent to the serial number on the frame, this example happens to be one of those "N.R.A."-marked guns, adding not only to its desirability but further to the rarity of the arm. The metal surfaces retain perhaps 70-75% original blue, showing even fading with wear to pewter gray along the high edges and contact points. The flat mainspring housing and frontstrap as well as the grip safety are a dull pewter and plum brown patina with remnants of some light oxidation present. The diamond checkered walnut grips rate very good to very good plus showing some light wear along the bottom edges along with some minor compressions or chipped points here and there. Included is a single two-tone, folded-base Springfield Armory lanyard loop magazine. As would be expected with these reference pistols, the arm is now mostly mixed parts (likely mostly original Colt) however the firing pin stop, sear and disconnector are all "S" stamped, additionally the mainspring housing pin is the very early style with both ends being domed, rather than the later pins which have one domed and one concave end; all parts are indeed early style consistent with their date of completion at Springfield Armory. The pistol is listed by serial number in The Model 1911 and Model 1911A1 Military and Commercial Pistols by Joe Poyer © North Cape Publications, and in Clawson's monumental work Colt 45 Service Pistols, as the very first of the 20 guns provided by Colt, which were serial numbered by Springfield Armory at the end of production. Additionally Springfield Research Service lists serial numbers 125,567-125,586 as "unnumbered pistols, shipping October 8, 1915, Springfield Armory". This arm is a singular rarity among Colt pistols, being one of only 20, provided by THE manufacturer of these venerable arms, to the Federal Government, pre-production of their 1911 runÉ.. The Springfield arms being sought-after pistols in their own right. Couple this with the fact that the arm was later marked and sold through the DCM by way of the N.R.A., this arm eclipses even Singer Sewing Machine-manufactured pistols in rarity. This is an extremely rare opportunity for the advanced Colt 1911 or martial pistol collector to acquire a very rare arm, an opportunity which will not likely be presented again for many decades. (38679-1) {C&R} (10000/20000) SOLD FOR $12,650.00

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