SOLD FOR: $7,775
Model: Service Model Ace
Serial Number: SM 2746
Year of Manufacture: 1942 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A. / PATENT NUMBERS  2.090.656  2.090.657? and with a rampant colt. The right side of the slide is marked “COLT”, “SERVICE / MODEL”, “ACE” in diamond, “.22” and “LONG / RIFLE”. The bottom of the slide at the rear under the extractor is marked “N” or “Z” and “0”. The rear face of the slide under the firing pin retainer is marked “27 / 46”. The left of the frame is marked “W.B.” in square (Waldemar Broberg, inspector mark). The front-left of the trigger guard has the “VP” in triangle proof and “T”. The right side of the frame is marked “SM 2746”. The top of the frame is marked “S” next to the disconnector. The floorplate of the two-tone magazine is marked “COLT / 22 ACE (in diamond) L.R. / SERVICE MODEL”.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramped blade fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a flat-topped square-notched Stevens adjustable rear sight dovetailed to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are fully checkered walnut panels. The grips have only a few scattered minor marks, the most notable a compression on the left panel behind the bottom screw. The checkering is well defined, mostly sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The grips rate in about Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 95% of its metal finish. The finish is lightly thinning at most edges. There are scattered minor scuffs, a patch of light finish wear on the bottom-front of the trigger guard and light handling wear in the frontstrap. The right of the slide has a light scratch at the bottom edge of the ejection port and there are a few other scattered minor scratches. There is infrequent minor surface oxidation, mostly in the fronstrap. The pistol shows light operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. Most markings are clear, the “W.B.” was stamped deeper on the bottom-left, becoming shallower toward the top-right with the corner of the box incomplete. Overall, this pistol is in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The trigger pull is crisp and there is a barely perceptible amount of side-side play between the slide and frame. The action functions correctly. We have not fired this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes in a dark red cardboard Colt box with the serial number hand-written on the bottom, one magazine, rampant colt hang-tag with instructions for adjusting the sight on the back face, and manual. The magazine is left unfinished on the top half with the bottom half blued. The thumbpiece slot, follower and floorplate markings are correct for a Service Model Ace. The magazine has light operational wear, intact feed lips and a strong spring, in about Fine condition. The box has light storage wear with some fraying at corners and light wear on the interior from the pistol, in about Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: The 1911 and 1911-A1 pistols served the military of the United States from 1911 to 1985, through two World Wars and the Korean and Vietnam wars. They gained a reputation as a reliable handgun with plenty of stopping power, and are held in high regard by those who have used them. Yet it could be expensive to train thousands of soldiers to use the 1911 while feeding it .45 ACP, moreso at the outset of WWII when the US Military would see the greatest expansion in its history. The Colt Ace had been introduced in 1931 as a .22 Long Rifle version of their Government Model, but it was dimensionally different and had significantly less recoil than the real thing. David “Carbine” Williams adapted his floating-chamber design to intentionally increase the recoil of the .22 LR cartridge to the point that it was similar to that of .45 ACP, even allowing the use of the same recoil spring. This became the Service Model Ace and allowed for drastically reduced practice costs when training GIs to use their 1911s. This example was produced in 1942 and is in Fine condition with light operational and handling wear in its beautiful Colt blue finish. About 1,000 pistols later, the finish would be changed to a less appealing phosphate. This is a fantastic specimen of a Service Model Ace, especially with its box, tag and manual, sure to take a prized place in a Colt or US Military handgun collection. Please see our photos and good luck!