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  According to "U.S. Military Automatic Pistols 1894-1920" by Meadows, only 100 Colt Model 1900 Sight Safety pistols were in the First Army Contract.
  LOT 3454
Rare and Desirable U.S. Army First Contract Colt Model 1900 “Sight Safety” Semi-Automatic Pistol Serial Number 101 - Serial no. 101, 38 Colt
auto cal., 6 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut grips. Manufactured in 1900, this is a rare example of one of only 100 Colt Model 1900 pistols manufactured to fulfill
the first contract for the U.S. Army. These initial 100 pistols were ordered by the Ordnance Department to test the feasibility of an automatic pistol in the hands of army
officers. Later, a further 200 Model 1900 pistols were ordered, at least partially due to the high demand by officers stationed in the Philippines for automatic pistols.
These initial 100 pistols were serial numbered 11, 12, 59, 60, 87-132, 133-157, and 183-207. Pistols 87-132, including this example, were shipped to Springfield Armory on
16 May 1900. These pistols were inspected by Captain John T. Thompson, whose cartouche can normally be found on the left grip with “1900” above it, as pictured on p. 25 of “U.S. Military Automatic
Pistols 1894-1920” by Meadows. Following their shipment to Springfield Armory, 50 of these pistols were sent to the Philippines, 25 to Cuba, and 25 to Puerto Rico, where they were issued to officers
who were expected to test their merits and provide feedback. Overall, the reports were mixed, though there were several reoccurring negative comments, those being: two hands were required to fire
the first shot, the pistols were muzzle heavy, and the officers felt that they were inherently more dangerous than revolvers. In May of 1909, 126 Model 1900 pistols (a mix of first and second contract)
were turned in at Rock Island Arsenal for inspection. On 18 June 1909 the Commanding Officer of Rock Island Arsenal was approved to sell the pistols, with the price being set at $7.50 for a pistol,
magazine, and holster. Of these 100 first contract pistols, only 30 known surviving examples, not including this example, are listed on p. 28 of the previously mentioned reference, making this an
exceptionally scarce U.S. Military automatic. This example is marked with the correct two-line, two-block “Browning’s patent” and Colt address followed by the circled Rampant Colt on the left of the slide, while the right has the standard two-line caliber marking. Both sides of the slide feature later style plunge mill serrations at the rear. The left side of the frame is marked with the serial number “101,” and the trigger guard bow is marked “U.S.” It is fitted with a blade front sight and the original “sight safety”, spur hammer with arched bottom checkering, a pair of smooth walnut grips with legible “1900” date and cartouche on the left, and it is furnished with a full nickel magazine with base marked “PAT’D SEPT.9.1884”. The markings “F.0.” and “F.1.” are hand carved on the left and right grip panels respectively.
CONDITION: Very good, showing a mixture of refinished blue and plum brown patina throughout with some brighter grey patina on edges and crisp markings overall. The refinished grips are also very good with some scattered minor handling marks and clearly legible cartouche. Mechanically excellent. A solid representative example of a rare first U.S. contract Colt Model 1900 “sight safety” semi-automatic pistol to complete
your early U.S. automatic collection!
Estimate: 9,500 - 16,000
LOT 3455
U.S. Springfield Armory Model 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol - Serial no. 117762, 45 ACP cal., 5 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut grips. Manufactured in 1914 in one of the serial number blocks reserved for Springfield
Armory production, this is a fine original example of a U.S. Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol manufactured by Springfield Armory for the United States Military. The left side of the slide has the standard three-line Colt patent dates
and two-line “SPRINGFIELD ARMORY/U.S.A.” markings in two blocks, as well as an ordnance bomb behind the serrations. The right side of the slide is marked with the Department of Defense eagle and “MODEL OF 1911.U.S. ARMY.” The left side of the frame has the U.S. property marking and an ordnance bomb near
the trigger guard, and the serial number is marked on the right. Features blade and notch sights, checkered wide hammer, short grip safety, and a smooth straight mainspring housing with a lanyard ring. The blued barrel is marked “P” on the left of the lug and “S” on the right. It is fitted with a pair of checkered, large diamond
pattern, correct walnut grips and a correct magazine with a lanyard ring “wrap around” base. Includes a Kraft style box with hand marked matching label.
CONDITION: Fine, retains 50% plus of the original
blue finish with the balance having thinned to mostly a smooth grey patina and some scattered patches of light pitting, primarily on the right side of the slide. The grips are also fine with some scattered minor handling marks and blemishes in the otherwise crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. Estimate: 3,000 - 4,000

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