SOLD FOR: $1710
Model: 1836-1981 Colt Signature Series Service Model Ace, 01981SA
Serial Number: SM32649
Year of Manufacture: 1980 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Action Type: Single Action, Floating Chamber, Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The right of the frame is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A. / SM32649”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “D” and “VP” in triangle, the right is marked “2”. The chamber is marked “COLT / CAL. .22 L.R.”. Each side of the slide is engraved with gold foliate scroll and banners and behind the serrations with a gold Colt Custom Shop crest. The banner on the right is marked “Colt Ace .22 Long Rifle – Hartford, Ct.” and with the Blue Dome of the Colt factory, the banner on the left has the same dome and “1836 1981” with Sam Colt’s signature between the two years.
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a flat-topped square-notched leaf in a fully adjustable base pinned to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth walnut with Colt Custom Shop medallions. The grips have only a few scattered minor marks. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Gold
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 98% of its metal finish. The action shows light operational wear. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp and there is very little play between the slide and frame. 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 two-piece blue Colt box with a white cardboard sleeve, serial matching label, an assortment of factory paperwork including manual, and a single 10-round magazine. The magazine is marked “COLT .22 L.R.” on the floorplate, showing minor operational wear, intact feed lips and a strong spring. The box shows very faint wear, its sleeve has a little more notable storage wear.
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. The model was discontinued at the close of WWII, but was reintroduced by Colt in 1977. It was chosen for the Colt Signature Series in 1981 to celebrate the man who gave his name to Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company. Built by the Colt Custom Shop, this is a gorgeous specimen of a Service Model Ace, sure to take a prized place in a Colt collection. Please see our photos and good luck!