SOLD FOR: $2,185.00
Make: Kongsberg Vapenfabrik, Norway, under license from Browning through Fabrique Nationale
Model: 1914, known as the “Kongsberg Colt”
Serial Number: 31247
Year of Manufacture: It is believed that the pistol was assembled in the 1946-1947 time frame from parts made during WWII.
Caliber: 11.25×23 ACP (.45 ACP)
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked 11.25m/m AUT. PISTOL M/1914==No 31247”, a crowned shield with a “7” in the center (probably an inspection mark) and a “Crown / Script K” proof mark. The left side of the frame is marked “31247” and the left front of the trigger guard is marked with a script “B”. The underside of the barrel in front of the lug is marked “.247” and with a script “B”. The right side of the barrel at the chamber is marked “8”. The right side of the slide is marked “1945” and with a mark that looks like a boxed “A” with a slanted instead of horizonal cross bar. The left side of the trigger, safety and slide release and the bottom of the grip safety and mainspring housing are marked “.247”. The top rear of the slide behind the rear sight is marked “F” and the front underside of the frame is marked “*”.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is rounded blade fixed to the slide. The rear sight is a “U” notch dovetailed into the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered hardwood with smooth diamond shapes around the grip screws, and the left grip is cut-out at the top front for clearance for the slide release. The grips have been stained black. There are tiny dings in the bottom of the right grip, a deep drag line in the bottom diamond in the right grip, and surface chips under the finish in the smooth diamond around the upper right grip screw. The smooth diamonds in the left grip show a few small dings and tool marks through the finish. The checkering shows moderate wear with several tiny mars through the finish in the left grip. The grips rate in about Good to Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: The pistol is blued over a roughly finished surface, giving it a matte finish. The hammer appears unfinished.
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is a mottled bright/gray with light wear in the rifling. There is light erosion scattered throughout the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 72% of its metal finish. There are light tool marks below the surface on the underside of the frame and the front strap, characteristic of late war finishes, typical of what one expects to see on a 1945 produced pistol. There is thinning at the front of the slide, on the upper edges of the slide, and the edges of the frame. There is surface loss on the lower edges of the slide, and on the safety and slide release, with thinning on the front strap, grip safety and magazine housing. There are several tiny dings in the slide and the left side of the frame in front of the grip, with light handling marks scattered over the slide and frame and spots of finish loss on the exposed portion of the barrel at the port. The serrations on the slide are ground flat in places under the finish. The magazine release and recoil spring plug knurling shows moderate wear. The screw heads are distressed and the markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The slide is tight to the frame. The trigger pull is a little stiff but crisp. 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 one 7 round magazine. The magazine is blued with a flat floorplate. It shows wire wheel marks under the finish and light handling marks in the body, with thinning on the edges of the floorplate. The magazine is in about Fine condition.
Our Assessment: In the early 1900’s, the Norwegians were looking around for a pistol to replace their aging Nagant revolvers. They held several commissions to evaluate pistols, but they all came back recommending Colts – at first the Model 1902 in .38 ACP and finally the Model 1911. The Norwegian parliament kept refusing funding for the pistol, holding out for a “homegrown’ design. They finally gave up in 1914 and allowed the 1911 to be adopted. Norway held discussions for Fabrique Nationale, Browning’s representative in Europe, to secure a license to produce the pistols in Norway. Production finally began in 1917 with a few hundred produced. In 1918, a few slight changes were made, which resulted in a slide release that was both extended and lowered, which makes one wonder “Why didn’t we think of that?”. The German occupied the Kongsberg factory in 1940 and remained there until 1945. During their occupation, production of pistols ceased in 1943 and 1944, with priorities given to rifles, and only the few hundred guns made in 1945 were German proofed (nramuseum.org). After the war, a few thousand more were assembled in 1946 and 1947 from spare parts made during the war. The Norwegian armed forces liked them so much, those surviving WWII were kept in service until they were replaced by the Glock P80 in 1985 (Wikipedia). To add further value to these guns, the Kongsberg Colt and the Argentine Model of 1927 are the only two legitimate licensed copies of the Browning designed Colt 1911 that were produced out of the country. This pistol was one of those assembled after the war and has a slide marked 1945. The pistol has matching serial numbers on all of the major parts including the barrel, with the magazine unmarked. This is a very nice find for collectors of European firearms and for those of Scandinavia in particular. There were only about 30,534 of these pistols made prior to and during the war, and only a few thousand assembled after the war, making any that survived to today a rare find, especially those with matching serial numbers.