Make: Colt Custom House
Model: MK IV Series 70 1911A1 San Diego Police Department Special Edition
Serial Number: 70B14931
Year of Manufacture: 1982 (Colt Website)
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Automatic with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is engraved with a banner that has detailed scroll engraving at each end and at the rear of the slide with the seal of San Diego. The center section of the banner is marked “San Diego Police Department / Special Edition”. The right side of the slide is engraved with a scene of a police car with two officers, and another scroll engraved banner with a shield in the center marked with “SDPOA” and with a figure of a man holding a torch in one hand and a sword in the other. The right rear of the slide is engraved with a San Diego Police Badge and the date 1981. All of the engravings are gold filled. The right side of the slide is also marked “COLT GOVERNMENT MODEL .45 CAL. HARTFORD, CT”. The right side of the frame is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.” and “70B14931”. The barrel is marked “-COLT .45 AUTO- / MK.IV /SERIES ‘70”. The left side of the trigger guard is marked “1” at the front and “VP” in a triangle at the rear. The right front of the trigger guard is marked “A”.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short serrated ramped blade fixed to the top of the slide. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed into the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are polished rosewood with brass Colt Custom medallions in each grip. The left grip shows a small tool mark at the lower edge of the bottom grip screw hole. The right grip shows two light marks behind the medallion. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: The sides of the slide and frame have a bright blued finish with gold filling in the engraving on the slide. The top and underside of the slide and the underside of the frame, front strap and mainspring housing have a black matte finish. The mainspring housing is also serrated.
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 98% of its metal finish. There are a very few light marks on the underside of the slide, the underside of the frame and the front strap. Some of the gold filling is starting to flake off from the right rear of the slide. The hammer and mainspring housing serrations are sharp and all of the knurling is sharp. The screw heads are sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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: The pistol revolver comes with a single blued magazine, a white Styrofoam box with a red and black faux wood colored cardboard sleeve, paperwork and an oak presentation case. The floorplate of the magazine is marked with a Rampant Colt logo, “COLT / 45 AUTO” and “M”. The magazine shows minimal wear and is in Excellent condition. The top of the sleeve is marked “COLT” in gold letters and one end panel has a label from the Colt Custom Shop that correctly describes the make, model and serial number of this pistol. The lid of the Styrofoam box is marked “COLT” and has a square cutout for paperwork. The inside of the box is fitted for this pistol. There sleeve has scotch tape stuck to the top surface and the top is torn in two places at the left edge. The corners are slightly frayed and there are spots of surface loss along the edges of the sleeve. The Styrofoam box shows no wear. The box and the sleeve are in Very Good condition. The paperwork consists of manual with green cover marked “Colt Gold Cup National Match MK IV/Series 70”, a list of Colt authorized repair stations, a congratulations letter from Colt and Colt Companion pamphlet. All are in Excellent condition. The presentation case has a near full length brass hinge at the back and a lock at the front, with supplied key. The corners are joined with mitre joints and the bottom of the box is covered with brown felt. The inside of the box is lined with dark blue velvet and the bottom is fitted for this pistol. The inside of the bottom section also has a large rectangular brass plaque attached marked “San Diego Police Department / Special Edition”. There are no marks in the outside of the case and no marks on the inside that would indicate that it ever held a pistol. The case is in Excellent condition.
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 Army requested design changes from Colt and in 1923 issued them a contract for 10,000 “Improved Automatic Pistols, Caliber .45, Model of 1911”. It wasn’t until May 20, 1926 that the Ordnance Committee finally approved the change in nomenclature to the M1911A1. (“Colt Service Pistols” by Clawson). Among the improvements were a wider front sight, knurling on the mainspring housing and trigger, the frame scooped out behind the trigger and the tang on the grip safety was extended. This is a Colt 1911A1 MK IV Series 70 pistol built by the Colt Custom Shop to commemorate the San Diego Police Department. The pistol is really beautiful with gold filled engraving on the sides of the slide and polished rosewood grips. It comes with a Styrofoam box with cardboard sleeve, an unused oak presentation case and all of its original paperwork except for the warranty card. The pistol shows only a few light marks in its finish but is starting to lose some of the gold filling on the right side of the slide. The grips show a tiny tool mark at the edge of the lower grip screw hole in the left grip and two light marks behind the medallion in the right grip. The bore is bright with sharp rifling. This special commemorative is rarely seen on the open market and is a great find for the Colt collector.