SOLD FOR: $2625
Model: Gold Cup National Match, Pre-Series ’70 Gold Cup
Serial Number: 36332-NM
Year of Manufacture: 1970 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Automatic Pistol fed by Detachable Magazine
Markings: The right side of the slide is marked ”COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.”. The left side of the slide is marked “NATIONAL / *MATCH*”, “COLT”, “AUTOMATIC / CALIBER .45” and with the rampant Colt logo. The right side of the frame is marked “36332-NM”. The barrel is marked “COLT 45 AUTO N.M.”. The right side of the trigger guard has a “Z” and the left is marked “S” and “VP” in triangle.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the full-length serrated rib on the top of the slide. The rear sight is an Elliason target sight adjustable for windage and elevation pinned to the rib.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut with gold-colored Colt medallions. There is some minor finish wear on the medallions. Otherwise, the grips have only light handling marks. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 98% of its metal finish. The action shows light operational wear. There is a spot of odd discoloration on the left of the dust cover. There are a few scattered minor marks, most notable under the slide stop. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is light and crisp. The slide to frame fit has barely perceptible play. We did not fire this firearm. As with all used firearms, it may need a thorough cleaning to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a single 7-round magazine, marked on the floorplate with a rampant colt, “COLT / 45 AUTO” and “M”. The magazine has light operational wear with intact feed lips and a strong spring.
Our Assessment: In the mid-1900s the 1911 was used for all manner of pistol competitions, but the base Government model typically needed some tweaking and modification to get the best performance. In 1957, Colt introduced their Gold Cup National Match, an out-of-the-box, purpose-built target pistol with adjustable target sights, hand-fit parts, serrated grip frame with a straight mainspring housing, and a wide, serrated trigger with an adjustable over-travel stop. This example is from 1970, one of the very last of the “pre-Gold Cup” pistols made. The earliest were marked National Match, but the term “Gold Cup” was only used on packaging and marketing materials. It wasn’t until the introduction of the Series ’70 in 1970 that the pistols would actually be marked “GOLD CUP”. These earlier National Match pistols utilized a chamfered recoil spring plunger with a matching chamfered bushing to align the barrel after each shot, as opposed to the later collet-style bushing. As the most popular loads for target shooting in this era used lighter semi-wadcutter bullets, the pre-Gold Cup slides were lightened for use with these lighter loads, and if you’re going to shoot this pistol it would be best to stick with lighter rounds or replace the recoil spring before using heavier rounds. This example appears to have seen little use, retaining about 98% of its metal finish, a great bore and strong mechanics. All of these old National Match pistols are collectible, this example of a very late pre-Gold Cup will make a great addition to a collection, but should also prove to be a great shooter. Please see our photos and good luck!