SOLD FOR $3,725
Serial Number: 6202
Year of Manufacture: 1912
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 PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.”, and at the rear with a Rampant Colt logo. The left side of the frame is marked “6202”. 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 and at the rear with “W”. There is a small box with a “1” in the center on the right side of the frame rail at the muzzle.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is short brass covered steel blade with a flat top fixed to the top of the slide. The top of the sight was cut-off, exposing the steel in the center, or maybe the brass was just braised to the original sight. The rear sight is a “U” notch dovetailed into the top rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut with smooth diamond patterns around the grip screws. There are a few sharp compression marks in the bottom shoulder of the left grip and a few very shallow marks in the right bottom shoulder. There is a light mark in each of the diamonds on the left grip with a minor surface crack at the edge of the left lower grip screw. The checkering shows moderate wear with a large mar in the center of the left grip. The grips are in about Good overall Condition.
Type of Finish: The pistol has a bright blue finish. The trigger and ejector have a fire blue finish and the hammer is case colored.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with moderate wear in the rifling. There is light erosion in the grooves the length of the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 35% of its metal finish. There is pinprick surface erosion scattered over the slide and the sides of the frame. There is surface loss on the slide, front strap, backstrap, and the edges of the frame, with thinning on the sides and underside of the frame. The backstrap is developing a plum colored patina. There are four dings in the front strap, tool marks around the trigger pin on the right side of the frame, tool marks around the takedown plug on the slide and the link pin at the front of the frame. There are also marks on the left side of the frame above the front of the trigger guard. There is very light wear in the checkering of the hammer and the slide release checkering shows moderate wear on its edges. The grip screws are sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and the slide is tight to the frame. This pistol does not have a safety other than a half-cock position on the hammer. The magazine release is on the bottom of the butt. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with one blued seven round magazine and a letter from Colt. The magazine shows surface loss on the feed lips and light wear. There are several isolated spots of pinprick surface erosion scattered over the body. The floorplate shows thinning on its edges and light surface frosting. The magazine is in about Very Good condition. The Colt letter indicates that this pistol was shipped on May 17, 1912 to Montgomery Ward & Company in Chicago.
Our Assessment: From http://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/1905ACP/1905acp.html: “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, about 6100 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 finish on the smaller parts, made them very desirable. This M1905 pistol was made in 1912, the last year of production, and the Colt letter that comes with the pistol indicates it was shipped to Montgomery Ward in Chicago. It has about 35% of its original finish remaining and is in about Good condition. There is pinprick surface erosion scattered over the slide and the sides of the frame, surface loss on the slide, front strap, backstrap and the edges of the frame, and thinning on the sides and underside of the frame. the sides of the slide and frame show tool and handling marks. the grips are checkered walnut with moderate wear in the checkering and a large mar in the center of the left grip. The bore is gray with moderate wear in the rifling and light erosion the length of the bore. The front sight has been cut-off flat on the top, exposing a steel core surrounded by brass, so maybe a brass sleeve was brazed over the original sight and then cut off. The slide is tight to the frame. The pistol seems to be in great mechanical condition for its age, and still has remnants of its fire blue finish on the trigger and ejector. 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 about 6200 of the M1905 pistols were made, they become even more desirable, and with a serial number of 6202, this was undoubtedly one of the very last of the 1905 Models made. We expect the collectors of Colt autos are going to be very interested in this pistol.