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his frame was at some point over
LOT 3483
Historic Documented Prototype U.S. Rock Island Arsenal/Remington-Rand Model 1970/M15 General
Officers Semi-Automatic Pistol with Case and Belt Rig, from the Personal Collections of Inventor Dale Hoffman and Author Edward S. Meadows - Serial no. 1600080, 45 ACP cal., 4 1/4 inch round bbl., nickel finish, original grips. Originally manufactured in 1943 by Remington-Rand, hauled at Springfield Arsenal before being delivered to the
     Director of Civilian Marksmanship for disposal as surplus, where blind fate would bring it into
the program that would create the M15 General Officers Pistol. Initiated in 1969, the project
was the brainchild of Dale W. Hoffman, Superintendent of Small Arms, Machinery, and Plating
at the Rock Island Arsenal. A veteran of both military and law enforcement service and avid
pistol shooter, Hoffman noted that the Army’s stock of “Model M” Colt hammerless pistols used
for general officer sidearms was growing dangerously thin, and, since Colt stopped making the
pistol in the 1940s, they’d need to pursue another option. Hoffman’s concept was a shortened
1911A1 pistol that could made using the Army’s existing stock of parts and frames, for a pistol
that would give a general a distinct and compact personal defense weapon while sharing ammo, magazines, some parts, and manual of arms with the main service pistol. Initially building out one pistol on his own initiative for an unsolicited proposal, Hoffman would build four total sourcing more pistols from the DCM; on page 130 of ‘The Colt U.S. General Officers Pistol” by Greeley, this pistol is identified by serial number and features as one of the three procured by Hoffman to become the prototypes for the “Model 1970 General Officers Pistol”, and page 169 shows Hoffman with three of the prototypes and a case, one of which may be the pistol in this lot. Further, a signed and notarized letter from noted author and military pistol expert Edward Meadows describes meeting Hoffman c.1974, seeing this pistol (and the other 1970 prototypes) in his custody, and eventually purchasing this one with the included case, rod, and extra magazines (no mention of the belt rig) when Hoffman’s estate went up for sale. With some adjustments, these prototypes would pave the way for the M15, which would be the
issue sidearm for Army generals through the 1970s and up to 1982. This example has the early “General Officers Pistol/ Model 1970” on the left side of the slide and a set of raised fixed combat sights, with “45 AUTO/7791193” on the chamber hood and the original serial number and “SA” overhaul mark on the right side of the frame. A flat mainspring housing, short serrated trigger with adjustable stop, and long grip safety are installed, along with a pair of smooth grips with a
blank inscription panel on the left and a Rock Island Arsenal badge on the right. Three chrome plated magazines are included, one numbered to match
with electric pencil and the other two blank, along with a chromed cleaning rod, all of which fit in the included hardwood case. Also included is a black leather Bianchi belt rig fitted with a gold plated buckle, holster and magazine pouch. The accessories are traditional for the M15, though the case would traditionally be reserved for special presentations. Also included is a signed copy of the book “U.S. General Officer Pistols: A Collectors Guide” by Williams and Brunner, which notes the pistol by serial number as a prototype on page 138.
CONDITION: Very fine as arsenal developed/modified to Model 1970 pattern, with 98% plus bright nickel finish with light handling marks. The original markings are a bit faded, though the serial number remains legible. The grips are very good, with minor age cracks and attractive color, though the lower left screw is a bit long and interferes with the magazines. The accessories are all in excellent condition, with some flaking on the buckle and light wear
on the leather. Mechanically excellent. A rare opportunity to own one of four Model 1970 General Officer prototype pistols, and a chance for a unique addition to a U.S. service pistol collection that would be nearly impossible to duplicate and extremely hard to top.
Provenance: The Dale Hoffman Colelction; The Edward S. Meadows Collection; Property of a Gentleman.
Estimate: 8,500 - 13,000
LOT 3484
Documented Prototype U.S. Rock Island Arsenal M15 General Officer Pistol, Serial
Number “RIA1” - Serial no. RIA1, 45 ACP cal., 4 1/4 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut grips.
Developed in the 1970s, the Rock Island M15 was conceived in response to a shortage of Colt 1903/1908 pistols in
Army inventory for issue to generals as a distinctive sidearm. Working from stocks of 1911/1911A1 components, Rock Island essentially produced an in-house custom variant of the Colt Combat Commander pistol. This particular feature shows markings and
features from earlier in production and is noted on page 138 of the book “U.S. General Officer Pistols: A Collectors Guide” by Williams and Brunner as
being among the early RIA-manufactured prototypes. Finished in a commercial-quality blue, polished on the flats and matte on the curves, the slide is fitted
with a set of raised blade and square notch sights, with “General Officers Model” on the left side of the slide, and “RIA 1” on the right side of the frame; these markings deviate from the production standard. The barrel and bushing are National Match marked components, the former shortened
      and nickel plated, the latter chrome lined around the interior, the recoil spring is fitted with a full length guide rod, and the serrated long trigger has an adjustable stop. Fitted with a checkered frontstrap and mainspring housing, long grip safety, thin hammer, a pair of checkered grips with a Rock Island Arsenal badge inlaid into the right panel, and a magazine with “1” electro-penciled on the side.
CONDITION: Excellent, 99% plus original blue finish, showing some light handling marks overall. The grips are equally excellent. A thin, scratched ring is visible inside the bore immediately behind the crown, possibly an artifact from the shortening process. Mechanically excellent.
Estimate: 7,500 - 12,000 265

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