SOLD FOR: $2500
Model: Commercial ACE
Serial Numbers: 904
Year of Manufacture: 1931 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup), 1st Year Production
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Action Type: Single Action, Semi-Automatic with Exposed Hammer and Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side 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.” and with a rampant colt. The right side of the slide is marked “COLT”, “ACE” in a diamond, “.22″ and “LONG / RIFLE”. The bottom of the slide at the rear on the left ear behind the firing pin plate is marked “A”. The right side of the trigger guard is marked with assembler’s mark “20”. The left side of the trigger guard is marked with inspector’s mark “3” and “VP” in triangle proof. The top of the frame to the right of the disconnector is marked “R”. The right side of the frame above the trigger is marked “904”. The rear face of the slide, under the firing pin plate is marked “904” over the firing pin. The floorplate of the magazine is marked “COLT” over “ACE” in diamond over “22 L.R.”.
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the slide. The top surface of the blade has been polished bright and reprofiled. There is a spot of weld visible on the bottom-left edge of the front sight. The rear sight is a square notch adjustable for windage and elevation, dovetailed to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut. The grips have minor handling wear with a few small marks and a spot of stubborn residue at the front edge of the left panel. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-plus 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. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 80% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is handling wear in the grip areas. The right of the frame has some surface erosion which is mostly concealed by the grip when it is installed. There is finish loss around the erosion from scrubbing. There is finish wear at the front of the dust cover on each side, on the top edge of the right slide flat in front of the ejector, and at the leading edges of the slide. There are scattered small nicks, scratches and spots of minor surface oxidation. There is an “idiot mark” under the slide stop on the left of the frame. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp and the slide has barely perceptible play to the frames. This pistol does NOT have the floating chamber used on the Service Ace. There is a manual safety as well as a grip safety and the hammer has a half-cock notch. 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 10-round magazine. The magazine has blue finish on the bottom 2/3 with the top 1/3 in the white. The body has light operational wear and scattered minor surface oxidation with intact feed lips and a strong spring.
Our Assessment: This is a very early Colt Commercial Ace. The development of the Ace began in 1915 as Colt attempted to create a .22 caliber pistol based on the 1911 Government model design. The first Ace was assembled in 1930 and nearly 11,000 were made through 1947. While the intent was to produce a .22 version of the Government model, the Ace has a 1/4? shorter barrel, functions as a blowback rather than tilt-barrel and has significantly less recoil than the Government model, as compared with the later Service model Ace.
This is serial 904, an early production pistol which would make a fine target pistol or recreational plinker, but would also make a great addition to a Colt collection. It retains original finish as well as a serial-matching slide, desirable traits for the collectors. It also retains a great bore and strong mechanics. Whatever your interest in this Ace, it will be a fine addition to any safe in America. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud