WWI Colt Model of 1911 US Navy .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, MFD 1912 C&R

SOLD FOR: $6524.99

LSB#: 230721GH001

Make: Colt

Model: Model of 1911, U.S. Navy

Serial Number:  13228

Year of Manufacture: Shipped November 9, 1912 To U.S. Navy Yard, Brooklyn

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” and “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD. CT. U.S.A.”, with a Rampant Colt logo in circle at the rear of the slide. The right side of the slide is marked “MODEL OF 1911. U. S. NAVY”. The rear face of the slide is marked “H” above the firing pin plate (vertical, no serifs). The right side of the frame is marked “No 13228”.  The left side of the frame is marked “UNITED STATES PROPERTY” and behind the trigger with a circled “WGP” (Major Walter G. Penfield, Colt1911 Pistols 1909-1914). The flat on the top rear of the frame is marked “H” and “4”. The top of the barrel at the chamber is marked “H” and “P”, the bottom is marked “5”.

Barrel Length: 5”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short rounded blade fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a round-top “U” notch dovetailed into the slide. The rear sight has dings to each side of the notch.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut with smooth diamonds around the grip screws. The grips have light handling wear with some scattered compressed checkers. There is some more notable wear at the bottom of the left panel. There are some tool marks around the screw heads. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original to the parts. The hammer has been replaced, some other small parts may be replaced.

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is infrequent minor erosion in the bore, mostly in the grooves just in front of the chamber. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates about 8 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.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 80% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is some surface erosion, mostly in the frontstrap with less notable erosion on the trigger guard and the bottom of the dust cover. There are scattered light nicks and scratches with a few more notable dings at the bottom edge of the right slide flat over the dust cover. There is some scattered minor oxidation, again most notable in the frontstrap. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from tool marked with usable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp and the slide has light play to the frame. 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 total of two 7-round magazines, a canvas magazine pouch and an M1916 leather flap-holster. The pouch is marked “L.C.C. & CO. 1918” on the inside of its flap. The holster is marked “US” in oval on the flap and “BOYT / E.T.C.” on the belt loop.

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.

Early production saw alternate shipments of pistols to the Army and Navy and this pistol was shipped in early November 1912 to the U.S. Navy Yard in Brooklyn, NY. It has a number of early features including its square-edge thumb safety, long-leg guide rod, under-cut slide release and small radius firing pin plate, though the barrel is a later WWI-era part and the hammer has been replaced with the improved long-spur design.

The U.S. Navy contract pistols are among the more desirable of early 1911 production, and this pistol is from the last shipment of the Navy’s first order for 7,000 of the pistols. This order was completed in the first year of production, 1912, with an additional 6,500 Navy marked pistols delivered between 1913 and 1915. Thousands more were delivered in 1918 and 1919, but these late Navy pistols were actually marked “U.S. Army”!

This early Navy Model 1911 is in Very Good condition retaining about 80% of its blue finish with a good bore and strong mechanics. All in all, it is a nice example of an early Navy Model 1911 and comes with a brace of magazines, an M1916 holster and a magazine pouch for display. This pistol is destined for a high-end Colt collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

WWI Colt Model of 1911 US Navy .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, MFD 1912 C&R
WWI Colt Model of 1911 US Navy .45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol, MFD 1912 C&R