SOLD FOR: $2550
Model: Commercial Government Model 1911, Argentine Navy Purchased
Serial Number: C6336
Year of Manufacture: 1914 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup), shipped April 11, 1914 to New York Shipbuilding Company in Camden, New Jersey for battleship ARA Moreno which was under construction.
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “PATENTED APR. 20. 1897 / SEPT. 9. 1902. DEC. 19. 1905. FEB. 14. 1911.”, “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.” and behind the serrations with a rampant colt. The right is marked “COLT AUTOMATIC / CALIBRE 45” and “MARINA ARGENTINA”. The right side of the frame is marked “GOVERNMENT MODEL / C 6336”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in triangle. The top of the frame is marked “5”, with a small diamond and stylized “RA” at the disconnector. There is another small diamond marked to the right of the feed-ramp on the frame rail. The “RA” marking is also found on the rear of the slide above the firing pin plate and on the top of the chamber. The bottom of the barrel is marked “5” in front of the lug. The bottom of the frame has import mark “KASC G’BORO NC” to the left of the magazine well (through the finish).
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short rounded blade fixed to the slide. The rear sight is a U-notch dovetailed into the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The installed grips are two-piece checkered walnut with smooth diamonds around the grip screws. The grips have light handling wear with some scattered small nicks and scratches. There is some more notable wear at the bottom-front of the left panel. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is scattered light erosion and some minor pitting in the bore, mostly in the grooves. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 5 out of 10.
Many military and C&R eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide. For example, the U.S. used corrosive ammunition throughout WWII. The U.S. military did not begin to phase out corrosive-primed ammunition until the 1950’s.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 85% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The most notable finish wear is handling wear in the grip areas. There are several scattered minor nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are infrequent spots of minor surface oxidation. There are “idiot marks” on the left slide flat and below the slide stop on the left of the frame caused by the slide stop during reassembly. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear, though the import mark is quite small. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp. There is barely perceptible play between the slide and frame. This pistol has manual and grip safeties. We have not fired this pistol. 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 magazine with a two-tone finish and lanyard-ring floorplate. The magazine shows moderate finish wear and scattered minor erosion, but retains intact feed lips and a strong spring.
Our Assessment: In 1914, the Argentine military adopted the Colt M1911 as their standard military sidearm with the first purchases made by the Ministerio de Marina (Department of the Navy). Originally, Argentina contracted with Colt to produce the pistols, but in 1923 they started a program of increasing the domestic production of their military equipment. Argentina procured about 21,000 Government models between the Army, Navy and Federal Police orders, the Navy receiving the fewest with 2,290. The pistols were purchased in a series of orders ranging from 1914 to the 1940s with some distinguishing characteristics between the various orders.
This pistol comes from the first 1914 order of 321 pistols by the Ministerio de Marina, specifically from a group of 100 which shipped to Camden, New Jersey. It was here that the battleship ARA Moreno was under construction. The pistols were to equip the sailors of the dreadnought, the second of its class, and the most recent ship in the South American dreadnought race of the early 20th Century. The pistol would languish in New Jersey until May of 1915 when the ship finally was delivered to Argentina.
This pistol is a nice example of one of the Argentine Navy’s earliest purchase of Colt Government Model pistols. It retains about 85% of its original metal finish, a fair bore, and quite strong mechanics. While the pistol does have an import mark, it is small and unobtrusive. It will make a great display with other Argentine handguns or in a 1911 collection. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California -Bud