Page 474 - 4090-BOOK2
P. 474

 LOT 1711
Scarce and Desirable
Springfield Armory Inc.
Custom Shop “FBI” Prefix Bureau
Model Semi-Automatic Pistol Serial Number
“FBI 200” with Certificate of Authenticity and Extra
Magazines - Serial no. FBI200, 45 ACP cal., 5 inch round bbl., Black T
finish, checkered grips. Beginning 1994, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation
sought a new handgun to equip its regional Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams,
tasked with resolving a wide range of hostile situations deemed too dangerous for normal
agents or law enforcement. Due in part to the outcome of the near disastrous 1986 Miami
Shootout, in which two agents were killed, several injured, and the performance of the 9 mm
pistols they used was considered less than ideal, the FBI released a contract request for a .45
caliber semi-automatic pistol design, with exact specification requirements drawn up by SWAT
team input. These requirements (which did not outline a 1911 based design outright, but implied
it) included stringent reliability, fit, and accuracy thresholds, expectations normally reserved
for National Match or competitive pistols. Seven well-known American manufacturers answered
the request with bids, including Colt, Kimber, and Les Baer, with test samples from each being put
through a battery of tests. At the conclusion of the tests, a tailored Model 1911A1 pattern design
submitted by Springfield Armory’s Custom Shop was selected, due to the quality of the submitted sample
pistols, the impressive performance they displayed during the tests, and the shop’s ability to meet a production quota
of 500 pistols a year, with a contract total of 5,000 per the initial contract in 1998. Being made by Springfield Armory’s Custom Shop, these pistols were extensively tooled and fitted by hand, resulting in tight and exceptionally fine fit and finish normally not found in an agency duty pistol. The Springfield Custom pistols proved so popular that the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) also joined the contract. The first of these Springfield Custom FBI contract pistols were serialized with
a “FBI” prefix and dubbed the “Bureau Model.” Springfield Custom knew it would also prove popular in private hands, and offered the same model to the civilian market. This fact did not sit well with the FBI, and it subsequently requested that Springfield Custom discontinue the prefix and change the model name. Springfield Custom honored the Bureau’s request, changing the model name to the “Professional,” without the prefix. Because of this change, only around 260 Bureau Models were produced with the “FBI” prefix, with less than 48 sold to the civilian market. The number of original Bureau Models in FBI inventory has also decreased over time as FBI HRT and SWAT teams have requested continued upgrades to the pistols, including the addition of dust cover Picatinny rail mounts which required the complete replacement of the frames by Springfield Custom, making original variants such as this increasingly hard to find.
Features dovetailed blade front and Novak rear sights with Tritium inserts, a “NOWLIN 45 ACP” marked barrel, ambidextrous thumb safeties, an extended beavertail grip safety, fitted speed trigger, aggressive 20 lines-per-inch checkering on the front strap, and checkered mainspring housing with integral flared magazine well. The barrel bushing, trigger, and skeletonized hammer are left bright, with the slide and frame finished with a proprietary “Black T” coating. The frame is marked with the two line Springfield Armory address, serial number “FBI 200,” and “CAL .45” on the right side, along with “S” on the trigger guard. The slide is marked with the Springfield Armory “crossed cannons” logo, “SPRINGFIELD ARMORY,” and “SPRINGFIELD/Custom” on the right, with “BUREAU MODEL/CAL .45” and matching serial number on the left side. Fitted with a set of attractive checkered coco bolo grips. Includes a generic hard case, six extra magazines, and a matching Springfield Custom certificate of authenticity dated December 3, 1998.
CONDITION: Excellent overall, retaining 98% plus original “Black T” finish with limited handling marks, most noticeably on the recoil spring plug and right of the slide near the muzzle, light cycling wear on the chamber, and crisp front strap and mainspring housing checkering. The grips are also excellent with minimal handling evidence and crisp checkering. The action is tight as was requested by the FBI contract, but mechanically excellent. Of the original “FBI” prefix Bureau Models, very few remain in their original configuration today and even fewer were released into private hands, making examples such as this exceedingly scarce and desirable.
Provenance: The Tom Selleck Collection.
472 Estimate: 14,000 - 22,500

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