Make: Kongsberg Vapenfabrik, Norway, under license from Browning through Fabrique Nationale
Model: 1914, known as the “Kongsberg Colt”
Serial Number: 28681
Year of Manufacture: November 1942, Under Occupation By Germany
Caliber: 11.43×23 ACP (.45 ACP)
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked 11.25m/m AUT. PISTOL M/1914==No 28681” and with a crowned proof mark. We can’t make out the marking under the crown but we think it is the script “K” used by Kongsberg. The left side of the slide is also marked “28681” and the left front of the trigger guard is marked “eS”. The left side of the trigger, slide release and safety, as well as the grip safety and mainspring housing, are marked “681”. The underside of the barrel in front of the lug is marked “681 / N”. The right side of the slide is marked “1942 / N”. There is a small “*” mark on the front face of the slide. There are no markings visible on the barrel bushing or recoil spring plug.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is rounded blade fixed to the slide. The rear sight is a “U” notch dovetailed into the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered hardwood with smooth diamond shapes around the grip screws. The grips appear to have been painted black originally, and the paint has mostly worn off except for in the grooves of the checkering. There are a few light marks in the smooth diamonds and a compression mark in the bottom surface of the right grip. The checkering shows moderate even wear without mars. The grips rate in about Very Good to Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: The pistol has a wartime military black matte finish with a case colored hammer.
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is light frosting the length of the bore with light erosion at the breech and chamber.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 83% of its metal finish. There is thinning on the edges of the slide, frame, safety and slide release, the front of the slide and the front strap. There is a spot of pinprick surface erosion on the front strap and a small spot on the left front edge of the slide. There are tiny dings scattered over the sides of the frame with light handling marks in most areas. The serrations on the slide are sharp except for a tiny ding in one of the edges on the right side. The hammer and recoil spring plug checkering shows light wear. The safety checkering shows moderate wear and the slide release checkering is sharp to the touch. The screw heads are sharp except for the upper screw on the right side, which is distressed. The markings are clear except for the proof mark on the barrel, which was lightly struck. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good to Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a barely perceptible amount of side to side play between the slide and frame. The trigger pull is a little stiff but crisp. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with one 7 round magazine with a parkerized finish. The magazine has a lanyard ring in the floorplate. The body of the magazine shows thinning and there are a few spots of erosion on both the body and the floorplate. The magazine is in about Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: In the early 1900’s, the Norwegians were looking around for a pistol to replace their aging Nagant revolvers. They held several commissions to evaluate pistols, but they all came back recommending Colts – at first the Model 1902 in .38 ACP and finally the Model 1911. The Norwegian parliament kept refusing funding for the pistol, holding out for a “homegrown’ design. They finally gave up in 1914 and allowed the 1911 to be adopted. Norway held discussions for Fabrique Nationale, Browning’s representative in Europe, to secure a license to produce the pistols in Norway. Production finally began in 1917 with a few hundred produced. In 1918, a few slight changes were made, which resulted in a slide release that was both extended and lowered, which makes one wonder “Why didn’t we think of that?”. The German occupied the Kongsberg factory in 1940 and remained there until 1945. During their occupation, production of pistols ceased in 1943 and 1944, with priorities given to rifles, and only the few hundred guns made in 1945 were German proofed (http://www.nramuseum.org/media/940612/other%201911s.pdf). To add further value to these guns, the Kongsberg Colt and the Argentine Model of 1927 are the only two legitimate licensed copies of the Browning designed Colt 1911 produced overseas. This pistol was made in 1942 and is in about Very Good to Fine condition with about 83% of its original finish remaining. It has matching serial numbers on the external parts, but couldn’t find any on the barrel bushing or recoil spring plug. The pre-war guns were known to have every part serialized, but one reference indicated this procedure was dropped during German occupation and this range of guns should not have these parts numbered. This pistol shows thinning in the front half of the slide, the edges of the slide, frame, safety and slide release and on the front strap. There is a spot of pinprick surface erosion on the front strap and another at the left front edge of the slide. There are also several handling marks scattered over the slide and frame. The checkered wood grips resemble Colt grips with smooth diamonds around the grip screws. The grips were painted black originally, but the paint has mostly worn off except in the grooves of the checkering, which shows moderate even wear. The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is light frosting the length of the bore with light erosion at the breech and chamber. The slide has very slight side-side play on the frame and the trigger is crisp. This is a very nice find for collectors of European firearms as used during WWII, and for those of Scandinavia in particular. There were only about 30,000 of these pistols made in total, and only about 8200 during WWII. To find one in this nice of a condition is rare indeed.