SOLD FOR: $2,606
Serial Number: 5676
Year of Manufacture: 1911
Caliber: .45 A.C.P.
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto Pistol fed by Removable Magazine
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a rounded-top “U” notch dovetailed into the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered wood with smooth diamonds around the grip screw escutcheons. The grips have light-moderate handling wear. There are some scattered light nicks and scratches. There is a spot of compressed checkers on the right panel toward the bottom-front and a more notable ding at the top-rear of the left panel with a little material loss. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is worn, but visible. There is light-moderate erosion and minor pitting scattered through the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 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.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 65% of its metal finish. The most notable finish loss is handling wear in the grip areas. There is some other scattered finish wear with thinning at all edges. There is some scattered minor surface oxidation. There are some light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The slide wedge’s indexing stud is intact. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, the rampant colt is incomplete at the bottom, but this appears to be a poor strike. Overall, this pistol is in Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The firing pin is bronze. The slide wedge is present, its indexing stud is intact. The trigger pull is crisp. The slide shows very little play to the frame and slides smoothly. This pistol does not have a safety but does have a half-cock position on the hammer. The magazine release is on the bottom of the butt. We did not fire this handgun. 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. There is a small crack in the floorplate, the magazine appears to be a reproduction. A Colt Archives letter is included which confirms that this pistol shipped September 8, 1911 to Anderson Hardware Company in Atlanta, Georgia as the only gun of its type in the shipment.
Our Assessment: 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, they 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 or case-colored finish on the smaller parts, made them very desirable.
This M1905 pistol was made in 1911, toward the end of production. The pistol is in Good condition, retaining some original finish, a bore showing signs of use with corrosive ammo, and strong mechanics. The grips have fairly light wear for their age. 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 6,210 of the M1905 pistols were made, they become even more desirable with every passing year. We expect the collectors of Colt autos are going to be interested in this very late production pistol, especially with the included Colt Archives letter showing its original shipment to Atlanta, GA. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud