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       LOT 137
Historic Colt Lightweight Commander Semi-Automatic Pistol with Soft Case, Engraved to Commemorate the Retirement of Texas Ranger Captain Manuel T. Gonzaullas, aka “El Solo Lobo” - Serial no. 1340-LW, 38 super cal., 4 1/4 inch round bbl., blue/black anodized finish, smooth grips. According to the included factory letter, this pistol was shipped on September 28, 1950, to the Southwest Sporting Goods Company of Tulsa, Oklahoma, as part of a 5-piece order in 38 Super with blue finish, “Not Listed” grips, and 4 1/4 inch barrel. In addition to the standard markings, the left side of the slide is engraved “Texas Rangers/1920-1951” at the front, “El Solo Lobo” above the caliber and model markings, and a rendering of Texas behind the serrations, and the right side features a Texas Rangers star behind the serrations, “PRESENTED/UPON RETIREMENT” between the serrations and ejector port, “Captain/Manuel T. Gonzaullas” backed by a crucifix, and the metal-backed smooth grips inscribed “M/T/G” on the left and with a Rampant Colt-
style horse in a desert scene on the right. Additionally, the triggerguard has been “bobbed”, leaving the face of the triggerguard open and exposed. An included letter from Robert D. Moser, author of the book “Texas Iron: Guns of the Texas Rangers” notes that while there is no specific record of this pistol as the personal property of Captain Gonzaullas, famed Texas Ranger nicknamed “El Solo Lobo” (literally “The Lone Wolf”) for his ability to solve cases and handle situations on his own, the decoration and “bobbed” triggerguard are in line with his known opinions and preferences, the service dates line up with his record, and that the Captain was a very active collector of weapons, with “580 guns and other weapons” in his inventory; it’s certainly plausible that he received this pistol from an admirer upon his retirement. Included with the pistol is a padded leather case with extensive Texas Ranger themed tooling, copies of Texas Iron, and the biography “Captain M.T. Gonzaullas: Lone Wolf ” by Malsch.
CONDITION: Very fine as engraved and customized, with 98% of the blue/anodized black finish, with bright steel visible in the engraving, black touch-ups on the ends of the triggerguard, and minor handling marks overall. The grips are in equal condition, showing a bit of aged color and attractive decoration. Mechanically excellent.
Estimate: 8,000 - 12,000
LOT 138
Historic U.S. Colt Model 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol, Attributed to Famed Texas Ranger Captain
Manuel T. Gonzaullas, “El Solo Lobo”, with Display Stand and Book - Serial no. 148588, 45 ACP cal.,
5 inch round bbl., nickel finish, silver grips. Manufactured in 1917 on military contract, this U.S. Colt 1911
pistol has been modified and custom embellished. The barrel address, model marking, serial number, and
the “29” on the triggerguard shoulder have been preserved, with about 80% of the pistol surface covered
in floral motif engraving with punch dot accents and backing, notably distinct from the more traditional Colt
scrollwork. The triggerguard has been professionally cut away, with only a small amount of the lower shoulder remaining, and a set of holes have been drilled,
tapped and filled on the underside of the frame and shoulder. The “HS” marked High Standard barrel retains original blue, but the other components, including the bushing,
spring plug, and magazine are finished in a polished nickel. Finally, a set of Lopez Engraving .925 silver grips have been installed, with engraved and blackened fields on both
sides, “M/T/G” in gold lettering down the left panel, and a Ranger Captain’s badge on the right. Born in Spain in 1891, Gonzaullas performed brief stints with the Mexican
Army and the Treasury Department before joining the Texas Rangers in 1920 as a mounted ranger on the Texas/Mexico border. In service he earned the nickname “El Solo
Lobo” (literally “The Lone Wolf”), with a reputation for handling more or less whatever was thrown at him from simple vice crimes all the way up to murder. In the 1930s the Rangers
were on the wrong end of both massive budget issues and in the political crosshairs of Governor Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, who effectively shut down the organization in 1933. During the
time between the shutdown and the formation of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Gonzaullas applied his skills in the private sector for oil companies. With the founding of the DPS
in 1935 Gonzaullas was brought back on board, first as superintendent of the Bureau of Intelligence and then as Captain of Company B of the Rangers in 1940; his work in both areas was
noted as helping the DPS establish its bona fides as a newly forged agency and helping the Rangers recover their prestige. Retiring in 1951, he became a consultant to radio, television, and
film makers, notably the radio and television series Tales of the Texas Rangers. The pistol has been attributed as part of Gonzaullas’ personal inventory by a previous owner; while not explicitly documented, the Captain can be seen in vintage photographs from his service with the Rangers and DPS carrying similarly decorated and modified 1911/Government Model semi-automatics while on duty, and while the grips are more modern the pistol and barrel would be contemporary to his service time. Included with the pistol is a padded hardwood case, a hardwood and glass display stand with Gonzaullas-themed decorations and carving, a thick hardwood plaque with additional info on his life and career, and a copy of the biography “Captain M.T. Gonzaullas: Lone Wolf” by Brownson Malsch.
CONDITION: Fine as custom upgraded to current configuration, with 95% plus bright
nickel overall, showing some light
wear and handling marks overall.
Some pitting is present, mostly
on the frame beneath the grips,
which are excellent with minor
wear on and around the screws,
fine color and sharp decoration.
Mechanically excellent.
Estimate: 10,000 - 15,000 119

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