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Old 07-16-2010, 09:39 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Default Holy shit! Colt 1905!

Well, in spite of my promise to myself not to buy any more guns this year, I had one come up I just couldn't say no to. It's a Colt 1905 Military automatic, which was the first .45 ACP pistol. It was made for US army trials and was a big step on the evolution of the 1911 - this is the gun which competed against the Luger and Savage in the initial trials (the field trials between Colt and Savage was the 1907, but that's another story).

The really cool thing is one of the major reasons Colt was so successful in the trials is that they could deliver pistols with interchangable parts at a much lower per-unit cost than Savage. DWM took the Luger out of the competition because they weren't willing to tool up to make 200 pistols without a guaranteed return for their investment. Savage hand-made 200 pistols, which meant a much higher per-unit cost and the non-interchangable parts gave no end of trouble in trials.

Colt, on the other hand, had the brilliant idea of having the same shop that was working on the new pistol make a small run of 1905s for commercial sale to cover their costs, meaning they could deliver a semi-mass-produced (but hand finished) gun at a fraction of Savage's cost. That had more than a little to do with their winning the competition.

Because the 1905 wasn't (and was never intended to be) a fully mass-produced gun, it has a few neat features. Most importantly the grips - which are literally the single worst-made item Colt has ever put out. The guys making them were either apprentices or the actual engineers on the military development project - either way they're BAD. And that's really cool to me.

Anyways, one came up on my favorite buy / sell board and I absolutely had to have it - particularly when I was sent the information from the factory letter, which states that it was one of a small shipment to Colt's London agency in 1911 specifically-ordered with lanyard loops. The final purchaser isn't known but it's believed to have been a trial run for the British army. It's also British commercial-proofed, as any firearm coming into the country that wasn't directly a military contract had to me.

I'm really excited - a Colt 1905 was on my top-5 list of (realistic) guns to own before I die. It wasn't cheap by any stretch but it's worth it!
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:08 PM
PersonOfInterest PersonOfInterest is offline
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It looks like a poorly drawn M1911.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:22 AM
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S&Wshooter S&Wshooter is offline
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Nice! Is it in shootable condition?
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:25 AM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Oh, it's definately in shootable condition, but I won't be shooting it, at least with commercial ammo. It's designed for a 200 grain bullet going about 700fps, and the locking wedge is a definate weak point in the design. There's a whole subset of collecting guns with factory replacement slides (this one is original) because shooting them with the 230 grain ammo intended for the 1911 tends to cause cracking in the slide.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
Oh, it's definately in shootable condition, but I won't be shooting it, at least with commercial ammo. It's designed for a 200 grain bullet going about 700fps, and the locking wedge is a definate weak point in the design. There's a whole subset of collecting guns with factory replacement slides (this one is original) because shooting them with the 230 grain ammo intended for the 1911 tends to cause cracking in the slide.
I was just asking if you COULD shoot it if you felt like it, not are you going to shoot it.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:46 PM
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I didn't even know there was a such thing as a 1905.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:01 PM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonOfInterest View Post
It looks like a poorly drawn M1911.
It's not in your nature to be complimentary or even positive is it? That's is one heck of a find.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:11 PM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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On the other hand way to go Nyles. That specimen is in excellent condition. The old parallel ruler Colt autos are great pistols. I compare them to a Bulldog. So ugy they look good.

For those who care (and appreciate the great old guns) Colt only manufactured 6,100 Model 1905's. The production run was from 1905 - 1911. But it really didn't gear up until 1906. And yes this is a John Browning design.

Truly a great collector's piece. Congratulations.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:38 PM
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What Checkman said. That is one heck of a find.

Though I gotta admit POI's comment about it looking like a poorly drawn 1911 did make me chuckle.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan198 View Post
Though I gotta admit POI's comment about it looking like a poorly drawn 1911 did make me chuckle.
You have a poor sense of humor.
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