SOLD FOR $4,282.98
Model: 1903 General Officer’s Pistol
Serial Number: 568389
Year of Manufacture: 1943
Caliber: .32 A.C.P. (7.65mm Browning)
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto Pistol with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A. / PATENTED APR.20, 1897. DEC.22, 1903.”, and at the rear with a Rampant Colt logo. The left side of the frame is marked “568389”, found again on the underside of the slide. The right side of the slide is marked “COLT AUTOMATIC / CALIBRE 32 RIMLESS SMOKELESS”. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and the left rear with “X”. The right front is marked “7”. The right side of the frame is marked “U.S. PROPERTY”. The left side of the frame has a crossed-cannons ordnance mark.
Barrel Length: 3 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramped blade fixed to the top of the slide. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed into the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut with nickel plated Rampant Colt medallions near the tops of the grips. The left grip panel has a patch of 7-8 compressed checkers at the bottom-front, the right has a patch of about 8-9 compressed checkers at the bottom rear and there are light handling marks. The other checkers are well-defined. There are no chips or cracks.. The grips are in about Fine-Plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Original.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 98% of its metal finish. There is no notable damage, only light handling marks and light operational wear on the trigger and barrel. The slide serrations, safety knurling and grip screw head are sharp. The markings are clear, though the ordnance mark and the rampant colt are a little shallow. Overall, this handgun rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and the slide is tight to the frame. It has a grip safety and a manual safety but does not have a magazine disconnect. The safety can be used to lock the slide back. We did not fire this handgun. As with all firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a Department of the Army Certificate of Ownership listing this pistol by serial number being presented to Major General Joseph L. Bernier dated 26 January 1965, a letter from Headquarters, U.S. Army Weapons Command issuing this pistol by serial number to General Bernier on the same date, original wooden shipping crate addressed to General Bernier with five nails, presumably from the lid, original wax paper wrapping for the pistol, two 8-round magazines wrapped in wax paper in addition to one 8-round magazine installed in the pistol (total of three provided), one yellow Winchester-Western cardboard box with 50 cartridges and an instruction manual and black leather belt, holster and buckle. The documents have light discoloration from age, light wrinkling and the Certificate of Ownership has some folded corners, in about Fine condition. The shipping crate has some small chips on its edges and light surface wear, in about Very Good-Fine condition. The wrapped magazines have no notable wear or damage, in Excellent condition, the installed magazine has very light operational wear, in about Fine-Excellent condition. The ammunition box has no notable wear or damage and the cartridges show very slight discoloration, in about Fine-plus condition. The belt has some scattered light scuffs and verdigris at its metal parts with all stitching intact. The holster has some wrinkling on the retention strap with no other notable wear or damage, in Excellent condition. The buckle is in its cardboard box with each piece wrapped in paper and has no notable wear or damage, in Excellent condition.
Our Assessment: August 1, 1960 Col. Joseph L. Bernier was promoted to major general and sworn in as Chief, Dental Division, OTSG, Assistant Surgeon General for Dental Services, and fourteenth Chief, Army Dental Corps (now numbering 1,747 officers). General Bernier is well known for initiating an aggressive Army-wide preventive dentistry program in November 1960. This was of particular importance as, during the buildup for the Vietnam War, when his program cut the number of personnel withdrawn for “emergency dental” by 50% over the course of a year. For his efforts he was, in 1968, awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal. He used the Army preventive program as a model for promoting the prevention movement in civilian practice. Among specialists in oral pathology, Dr. Bernier is given credit for leadership in organizing oral pathology as a specialty and specifically for establishing the American Academy of Oral Pathology. It appears that as an Assistant Surgeon General, Bernier did not find he needed to use his Colt 1903 very frequently as it and its accessories are in exceptionally good condition. Complete with its original shipping crate, belt, buckle and holster as well as documentation from the Department of the Army, this is the dream of a Colt, Military Pistol, or US Militaria collector, sure to take a prized place in any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This C&R eligible pistol CAN be transferred as a dealer sale in California but CANNOT be sold as a Private Party Transfer (PPT) at our Simi Valley shop. All cartridge firing handguns (even C&R’s and antiques) sold to a California resident must be DROS’d. This does not apply to out of state residents.