Serial Number: R0005
Year of Manufacture: 1927 – 10,000 were built between July 28, 1927 and Feb. 16, 1928.
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with 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.”. The top of the slide in front of the rear sight is marked “NO R 0005”. The right side of the slide is marked the Argentine crest, “EJERCITO ARGENTINO / COLT CAL. 45 MOD. 1927” and “R 0005”. The right side of the frame above the trigger is also marked “R 0005”, and this number and the number on the right side of the slide are both milled, not roll stamped. The top of the barrel is marked “0005”. The left front side of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and the right front side is marked with a “12” (Colt inspection mark). There are no markings on the frame under the mainspring housing nor under the grip panels. The top of the frame in front of the hammer is marked “S”.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The pistol is mounted with a “U” notched rear sight dovetailed into the slide and a short rounded blade front sight fixed to the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut. The left grip shows moderate oil staining and is noticeably darker than the right grip. There is a tiny ding in the bottom surface of the right grip and a light scratch in the bottom surface of the left grip. The checkering shows very light wear with a mar in the center of the left grip. The grips rate in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: The finish is blued. The mainspring housing is checkered.
Finish Originality: The finish is somewhat of a mystery to us. It does not appear to be a Colt finish, a few of the numbers on the left side of the slide appear to be touched-up by engraving, and there are wire wheel marks on the sides of the trigger guard under the finish. Probably arsenal refinished.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with light wear in the rifling. There is light erosion throughout the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 70% of its current metal finish. There is finish loss on the front edges of the slide and frame, and thinning on the remaining edges, front strap, grip safety, safety, slide release and magazine housing. There is extremely light pinprick surface erosion scattered over the slide, front strap and grip safety, with spots of light pitting under the finish on the sides of the trigger guard. There are light handling marks scattered over the slide and frame, with a thin scratch in the top of the slide and various scratches, tiny dings and scrape marks in the front strap. The edges of the slide serrations are ground flat and the grooves show pitting under the finish. The hammer knurling shows light wear. The grip screws are sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. It has both a manual and grip safety and the trigger pull is crisp. The slide is tight to the frame. We did not fire this pistol. The pistol has a lanyard ring on the bottom of the mainspring housing. 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 seven round blued magazine. The floorplate of the magazine is marked “6055”. The magazine has been refinished and shows light pitting and grinding marks under its finish. The magazine is in about Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: From https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=68064: “In 1914, the Argentine military adopted the Colt M1911 as their standard military sidearm and contracted with Colt to supply these guns. Argentina took shipment of 2,151 of these weapons between 1914 and 1919. In 1923, Argentina adopted an armaments bill that would eliminate dependency on foreign arms. Under this bill, the Congress authorized appropriations for a military modernization program and prepared the infrastructure for a domestic arms industry. In accordance with the new law, an aircraft factory was established in 1927, a munitions factory in 1933, a small steel mill in 1934, and a small arms factory in 1936, all of which were managed by Argentine army officers. In 1927, the Argentine Commission for Foreign Acquisitions negotiated a contract with Colt for the manufacture of M1911A1 .45 caliber self-loading pistols specially marked and serial numbered in a separate series, and secured a licensing agreement giving the Argentine government the right to manufacture these pistols using drawings, material specifications, instructions, etc. supplied by Colt. The 10,000 pistols were delivered by Colt from 1927 to 1933, and have become known as the Hartford Colts. Argentine production of the “Sistema Colts” began in 1927, and 14,000 were produced by 1942.”. This pistol has markings indicating it was made by Colt in 1927, under the second Argentine contract. From the Colt “VP” proof on the trigger guard, this pistol could have been a very early pistol in that contract (“Colt .45 Government Models”, pg. 140 by Clawson). However, the left side of the slide is missing the Rampant Colt logo which would have been on the slide, along with any Argentine inspectors markings. The Model 1927 Colts were produced with serial numbers from 1-10000, and yet the serial number on this pistol has a “R” prefix, stamped both on the top and right side of the slide and the right side of the frame, while most pistols had the number stamped on the top of the slide and the inside of the frame under the magazine well. The serial number on the right side of the slide and the frame were engraved with a mill, not roll stamped, while the number on the top of the slide appears original. Was this pistol made prior to the beginning of the production run as a prototype, and then later arsenal refinished? Why the “R” prefix and why aren’t there any Argentine inspection marks on the gun? The pistol is in about Very Good condition with about 70% of its current finish remaining. The bore is gray with light wear in the rifling and light erosion throughout. The magazine has a four digit serial number characteristic of the 1927 Argentine Colts. This is a very uniquely marked pistol and probably has a very interesting history if it could be told. Experts on Argentine Colts should do their homework when bidding on this pistol, as it could be very rare.