SOLD FOR: $4375
Serial Number: 3231
Year of Manufacture: 1908 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .45 A.C.P.
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto Pistol with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “PATENTED / APR. 20. 1897. SEPT. 9. 1902. DEC. 19. 1905.”, “COLT’S PATENT FIRE ARMS MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.”, and at the rear with a circled Rampant Colt logo. The left side of the frame is marked “3231”. The right side of the slide is marked “AUTOMATIC COLT / CALIBRE 45 RIMLESS SMOKELESS”. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle, the left-rear “6”. The right side of the frame rail at the muzzle is marked “3”.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a rounded-top “U” notch dovetailed into the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered wood with smooth diamonds around the grip screw escutcheons. The grips have light handling wear. There are a few scattered light nicks and scuffs. There are some smoothed checkers around the edges. Otherwise, the checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is worn, but legible. There is light-moderate erosion scattered through the bore with less frequent minor pitting.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 87% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. Most of the balance is in handling wear in the grip area. Each side of the frame has a spot of defined wear above and in front of the grips, the spot on the right has some minor erosion in the worn area. There is other scattered light wear, mostly above the slide flats on each side and the worn areas show light surface oxidation and some minor erosion. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The pin heads have finish wear, but do not show tool marks. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The slide wedge is present and its indexing stud is intact. The trigger pull is crisp. The slide shows no play to the frame, but slides smoothly. This pistol does not have a safety but does have a half-cock position on the hammer. The magazine release is on the bottom of the butt. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a single 7-round Colt 1905 magazine. The magazine has operational wear and some light surface oxidation, the feed lips are intact, the spring is strong.
Our Assessment: The Ordnance Department of the U.S. Army convened a board of two men, Capt. John t. Thompson and Maj. Louis A. La Garde to determine a minimum handgun caliber for use by the U.S. Military in 1903. In 1904, a month before the report was released, Union Metallic Cartridge Company (U.M.C.) received “figures for the proposed ctgs.”. UMC began work on cartridges, and shortly thereafter Colt set to work experimenting on a .45 caliber pistol based on their 1902 Military model. U.M.C. came up with a rimless .45 cartridge that they were producing by April 1905. Meanwhile, Colt had John M. Browning try to figure out how to handle the stresses caused by higher powered cartridges using the M1902 pistol as a baseline. By May 1905, Browning had applied for a patent covering a new barrel design with locking lugs on the bottom to lock it to the frame. In 1907, Army tests began on guns from 8 different manufacturers, which was narrowed down to Colt’s Model 1905 and pistols from Savage and Luger. Changes were requested, and Colt came up with a prototype of the new Model 1907 by Sept.1907. Only about 207 of this new model were made, making them some of the most desired collector guns in the world. Further modifications resulted in the Model 1911, which was adopted by the Army and is still in use until this day as the M1911-A1. Although the M1905 wasn’t adopted by the Army, they were made and sold commercially except for those used in government testing. The oil polished mirror finish Colt put on the pistols, with a fire blue or case-colored finish on the smaller parts, made them very desirable. This M1905 pistol was made in 1908, right around the middle of production. It has about 87% of its original blue finish remaining, and is in Very Good condition. The pistol has proper features for its serial number including both the slide markings and the rounded hammer which would later be changed to a spur-type profile. The mechanics are still quite good with excellent slide-to-frame fit, a crisp trigger, and the indexing stud on the slide wedge is still intact, frequently these are broken from improper assembly/disassembly. The grips have pretty minor wear for their age. This model, along with its M1900 and M1902 predecessors, is a must-have amongst Colt collectors as being the first of the large framed Colt semi-automatics. As only 6,210 of the M1905 pistols were made, they become even more desirable with every passing year. We expect the collectors of Colt autos are going to be interested in this pistol. Please see our photos and good luck!