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   LOT 282
Exceptional and Scarce U.S. Navy Contract Colt Model 1900 “Sight Safety” Semi-Automatic Pistol - Serial no. 1191, 38 Colt auto cal., 6 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut grips. Shipped on 29 October 1900, this pistol falls in the middle shipment of Model 1900 “sight safety” pistols sent from Colt to the U.S. government general storekeeper at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Colt produced only 250 of these scarce pistols under contract for the United States Navy, all of which
were shipped in the fall of 1900. These automatic pistols were the pinnacle
of firearms technology at the time and were ordered by the navy to test
the feasibility of the automatic pistol as a seafaring weapon. The left side
of the slide carries the two-line “BROWNING’S PATENT” marking and the
two-line Colt address arranged in two blocks, with the circled Rampant
Colt following behind the serrations, which are at the rear of the slide. The
right side of the slide is marked with the “AUTOMATIC COLT/CALIBRE 38
RIMLESS SMOKELESS” caliber designation. The right side of the frame is
marked with Colt’s production serial number, which ran from 1001 to 1250
for the contract. The left side of the frame bears the U.S. Navy inventory
number “U.S.N. 191”, these numbers corresponding to the serial numbers,
ran from U.S.N. 1 to U.S.N. 250. The left side of the trigger guard has the
“B” inside a triangle proof and the right side has the iconic trident navy
inspection mark. The pistol is fitted with a blade front sight and notch rear
sight in its original “sight safety” configuration, a checkered spur hammer,
a pair of smooth walnut grips, and a full nickel magazine marked “PAT’D
SEPT.9.1884” on the base.
CONDITION: Excellent, retains 97% plus of the bright original high polish
blue finish with some minor dings and scratches scattered throughout,
typical of the rare Colt variation. The nicely figured grips are very fine with
scattered minor dings and scruffs scattered throughout. Mechanically
excellent. A piece often missing in even the most extensive U.S. military
automatic pistol collections!
One of only 250 U.S. Navy Contract Model 1900 Pistols produced.
    266 Estimate: 20,000 - 35,000

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