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Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings

Article about: Here for your perusal is Colt .45 ACP 1914 Government Model Pistol serial number C9591 which was 1 of 20 shipped to Remington Arms-UMC Company Bridgeport CT on October 5 1914. The Canadian C

  1. #1

    Default Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings

    Here for your perusal is Colt .45 ACP 1914 Government Model Pistol serial number C9591 which was 1 of 20 shipped to Remington Arms-UMC Company Bridgeport CT on October 5 1914. The Canadian C broad arrow property mark is stamped on the magazine floor plate and British Birmingham commercial proofing on the slide and barrel. Looks like it saw British and Canadian service in WWI and WWII. The BNP proofs seem to be added when pistol is sold off as redundant. From what I can determine from Birmingham Proof Mark Chart below the mark going clockwise looks like B (3 o'clock)-4(6 o'clock)-J(9 o'clock) which would indicate it was proofed in 1958. Also it seems the 1914 Canadian Government Model pistols were shipped with just one unmarked two-toned blue lanyard loop magazine normally supplied with Colt Government Model pistols due to necessity to get the pistols supplied quickly to the Canadian Expeditionary Force and later in 1915 spare magazines were ordered and marked with the C-Broad Arrow mark. According to a reply received from the Imperial War Museum in London: "During the autumn of 1914, the Canadian Government purchased 5,000 Colt M1911 pistols to equip its military forces. These were issued to officers, NCOs and cavalry troopers, but could also be purchased by officers wishing to acquire their sidearm permanently. Unfortunately, apart from a few pistols that received unit marks on the grip-strap, or were inscribed with the name of the officer who purchased them, there is no way of ascertaining which unit or formation they were issued to.I can’t see very clearly from your photos, but it appears that the proof mark on it post-dates the First World War. This would imply that the pistol was put through proof at Birmingham at some point after its First World War military career – and prior to it re-crossing the Atlantic."
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings   Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings  

    Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings   Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings  

    Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings   Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings  

    Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings  

  2. #2

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    I sent information and photos of the pistol to the American Rifleman Magazine's Dope Bag and got this interesting reply from Field Editor Bruce Canfield.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings  

  3. #3
    MAP
    MAP is online now
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    That is a nice piece of history! Very nice.

    I always read the Dope Bag submissions. The best part of the magazine!
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  4. #4

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    The letter author has a few errors, Government to Government sales of weapons don’t require proof. I believe also that the BPH didn’t date code the proof during and just after the war.

    It’s quite possible that this was a (post service) civilian owned gun that found its way overseas. Is it marked England?

    When we had to hand in our handguns after the Dunblane shootings, the surrendered guns were supposed to be destroyed however I heard a rumour that compensation was well over the estimation and the Government sold these guns off to recover some of the costs.

  5. #5

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    Here are the barrel markings on my 1914 Canadian Colt; looks like it's a military-marked WWII barrel with the Birmingham proofs; I've seen many of the WWI 1911s updated with WWII military marked barrels. Colts from serial #710001 to serial #712349 (1937 production) will have barrels with a Gothic “COLT .45 AUTO” marking on the chamber area, along the axis of the barrel, at about 7:30 O’clock, when the barrel is viewed from the rear, with the lug down. A “P” mark will be applied to the left lug. These barrels are blued with a semi-matte semi-reflective finish. Clawson mentions “Top of barrel chamber bright unfinished, the same as commercial barrels. Full bluing in the military style began at or near the end of 1937 production.” At this point, insufficient pistols have been examined to determine the point when full bluing occurred and the chamber area was no longer in the white. However it is likely that barrels started in the white. The "G" stamp started to appear on the bottom of the barrel forward of the lugs at serial 711,000 and represented it is a "Government" contract barrel this stamp was was present until around May 1943. At about s/n 935,000, the G mark was eliminated due to the suspension of commercial sales on January 23, 1942 by order of the United States Government thus removing the requirement to differentiate if the barrel was for government contract or commercial sales. The are three different G variant barrels; A large G, a small G, and a large G in combination (over the top of) with either an N, F or 7. Those marked with the N, F or 7 were the last ones before the G was omitted. Colts from serial #712350 to somewhere in the 2 million range number range, (1945 production,) will have barrels with a Gothic “COLT .45 AUTO” marking on the chamber area, along the axis of the barrel, at about 7:30 O’clock, when the barrel is viewed from the rear, with the lug down. A “P” mark will be applied to the left lug. These barrels are fully blued with a semi-matte semi-reflective finish. Forward of the lugs on the bottom of the barrel the "F" or "7" stamping has been observed starting at Colts produced around serial number 930,000 until the end of production.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings   Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings  

    Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings  

  6. #6
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    a great piece!!

  7. #7

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    Nice example!

  8. #8

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    A great gun with a very interesting history.

  9. #9

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    You picked up a great gun with a long history, congrats. Thank you for sharing.
    John

  10. #10

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    Took a look at the inside of grips and looks like there are some initials/numbers "1 WV" on top grip and "15" on the lower grip. Any ideas about these; owner's initials/unit designator; (19)15?
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian Markings  

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