SOLD FOR: $4,100.00
Serial Number: 2965
Year of Manufacture: 1908 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
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 FIRE ARMS MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.”, and at the rear with a circled Rampant Colt logo. The left side of the frame is marked “2965”. 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 “6” (inspector James Donlin). The right side of the frame rail at the muzzle is marked “E” (assembler Wallace Wetherell). The bottom of the slide and the top of the barrel are each marked “1” (inspector/assembler John Kinnarney).
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade with a white bead fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a rounded-top “U” notch dovetailed into the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are hand-checkered walnut with smooth diamond patterns around the grip screws. The grips have only a few scattered light marks and compressions, the most notable across 5 checkers in front of the top diamond on the right grip panel. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is well defined and sharp where not compressed. The grips are in about Very Good-Fine overall Condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is light erosion scattered through the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 85% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The slide has spots of finish wear at the front on each side above the flats, on the right below the ejection port and at the bottom-rear with some scattered light marks. The frame has a spot of marring at the front-left of the dust cover, tool marks around the hammer screw, light handling wear in the straps and some scattered light marks on the bottom of the dust cover. The trigger has light operational wear in its bright, fire-blue finish. The round-spur hammer has strong case-coloring with a small impact mark on the left edge at the end of the spur. The slide block has finish loss on each side and its indexing nub is still intact. The slide serrations are sharp. The markings are clear. The screw heads are sharp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good-plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp. The slide shows no play to the frame. This pistol does not have a safety but does 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 comes with a single 7-round Colt 1905 magazine with bright blue finish on the floorplate, dull blue finish on the body and a catch notch on the spine toward the bottom. The magazine shows operational wear with infrequent light surface oxidation, intact feed lips and a strong spring, in about Very Good condition.
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, they 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 or case-colored finish on the smaller parts, made them very desirable. This M1905 pistol was made in 1908, the fourth year of production. It has about 85% of its original finish remaining, and is in about Very Good-plus condition. The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling and scattered light erosion in the bore. The pistol is in excellent mechanical condition and even comes with a Colt 1905 magazine. The front sight appears to have been replaced with a beaded blade, but we find the new sight to be something of an improvement, coming up quickly and providing a more precise sight-picture than the standard half-moon sight. 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 6,210 of the M1905 pistols were made, they become even more desirable with every passing year. We expect the collectors of Colt autos are going to be very interested in this pistol. 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 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.