SOLD FOR: $8125
Model: Government Model, Commercial 1911
Serial Number: C147922
Year of Manufacture: Colt’s serial-lookup indicates production in 1926 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup), the included Colt letter indicates that this pistol shipped in 1928.
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action, Semi-Automatic, Detachable Magazine Fed Pistol
Markings: The left of the slide is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A. / PAT’D APR. 20. 1897. SEPT. 9. 1902. DEC. 19. 1905. FEB. 14. 1911. AUG. 19. 1913”. The right of the slide is marked “COLT”, “AUTOMATIC / CALIBRE .45” and with a Rampant Colt. The back of the slide under the firing pin plate is marked “147 / 922”. The right of the frame is marked “GOVERNMENT MODEL / C147922. The left of the trigger guard has “1” and a “VP” in triangle, the right has “51”. The top of the frame is marked “G” by the disconnector. The bottom of the barrel is marked “S” in front of the lug.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a rounded blade fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut. The left panel has a chip-loss at the top-front. There are a few light nicks, most notable at the bottom edge of the left panel at the front. The checkering is generally sharp. There are no cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good 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 96% of its metal finish. The finish is generally strong throughout with light thinning at some edges, a few minor nicks and scratches, and a light “idiot mark” under the slide stop. The action shows minor operational wear. The screw heads have light tool marks in their sharp slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp. The slide has barely perceptible play to the frame. 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 hinge-lid cardboard Colt box, a single 7-round two-tone magazine, Boyt zipper case, a Colt letter and a Lou J. Eppinger 1925-26 Fall and Winter Sporting Goods catalog. The magazine has minor operational wear, infrequent faint surface oxidation, intact feed lips and a strong spring, with “BHS” hand-scribed on the floorplate. The box doesn’t have a serial number on it, but the label is model-matching and “BHS” is hand-written on the bottom. The Colt letter confirms that this pistol shipped in its present configuration on August 3, 1928 to Lou J. Eppinger in Detroit, Michigan as one of three guns of the same type in the shipment.
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. The design was the end-result of a series of developments by famous gun designer John Browning, starting with the Model 1900. The advances made by Browning were revolutionary at the time, and were so successful that they are considered commonplace today. Browning not only developed first a pivoting and then a tilting barrel to allow for a locked system, he developed the concept of “the slide”, which is now synonymous with semi-automatic handguns.
Having secured a contract for the US Military sidearm, Colt also offered the pistol to the commercial market as the “Government Model”. This is a Colt commercial Government Model made in 1926, shortly after the updates were applied which would result in the 1911A1. Namely, the new design had relief cuts in the frame on each side behind the trigger, a short, checkered trigger, and arched mainspring housing. During this period, Colt also serial-marked the slide, so it is nice to know that the slide is original to the frame. The pistol is in Fine condition, appearing to have seen little use and gentle handling over the last 95 years. Of note for the collectors, a Colt Archives letter is included which indicates that this pistol was shipped in 1928 to the sporting goods seller Lou J. Eppinger and a vintage Eppinger catalog is also included! All of the old 1911 Colts are collectable, and this will be a great example to add to any collection. Please see our pictures and good luck in your bidding!