SOLD FOR: $1,765.00
Serial Number: 1708
Year of Manufacture: 1909
Caliber: .45 A.C.P.
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto Pistol with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “PATENTED / APR.20.1897.SEPT.9.1902.DEC.19.1905”, “COLT’S PATENT FIREARMS MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.”, and at the rear with a Rampant Colt logo. The left side of the frame is marked “1708”. The right side of the slide is marked “AUTOMATIC COLT / CALIBRE 45 RIMLESS SMOKELESS”. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and at the rear with “1”. The right side of the frame rail at the muzzle is marked “3”.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is rounded thin blade fixed to the top of the slide. The rear sight is a “U” notch dovetailed into the top rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut with smooth diamond patterns around the grip screws. The right grip is dark with oil staining. The smooth diamonds and the bottom surfaces of the grips show a few dings and bruises, and there are tool marks around the bottom screw in the right grip. The left grip checkering shows light to moderate wear without mars. The right grip checkering shows moderate to heavy wear with a few dings and bruises, and two marred areas near the top of the grip. The grips are in about Very Good overall Condition.
Type of Finish: The pistol was originally blued, but now appears to have a gray finish we think is cold blue.
Finish Originality: We think the pistol was refinished in the distant past.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with heavy wear in the rifling. There is light erosion the length of the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 20% of its current metal finish. There is light pitting scattered over the surfaces with heavier pitting at the right rear of the slide and frame. There is heavy thinning in most surfaces. There is a deep ding in the right edge of the backstrap, several small dings at the bottom of the front strap and a few more in the slide. The slide serrations show light wear. One of the grip screws is disfigured and the others show marks from a screwdriver. The markings are very shallow but readable, except for the “V P” proof on the trigger guard which is sharp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fair to Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is still and the slide shows a small amount of side-side play on the frame. This pistol does not have a safety nor does it 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 does not come with a magazine.
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, about 6100 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 finish on the smaller parts, made them very desirable. This M1905 pistol was made in 1907, the third year of production. It has been refinished with cold blue, has about 20% of its current finish remaining, and is in about Fair to Good condition. The bore is gray with heavy wear in the rifling and light erosion in the bore. The pistol seems to be in good mechanical condition but is missing its magazine. 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 about 6100 of the M1905 pistols were made, they become even more desirable. We expect the collectors of Colt autos are going to be very interested in this pistol.
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This C&R eligible pistol CAN be transferred as a dealer sale in California and CAN 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.