1912 Colt M1911
SN 14xxx

This late 1912 production Colt M1911, serial no. 1415X was shipped with 500 other 1911s on November 19th, 1912 to the San Antonio Arsenal, Texas. This pistol is a original Army 1912 pistol.   This pistol has a barrel stamped with the “H” without serifs marked on the rear of the barrel hood.  The finish of the barrel would appear to be a coarse black/blue non-reflective color with coarse abrasions along the axis of the barrel when viewed through the ejection port. This barrel would have been used from about serial #7500 to about serial #19600, however there is some uncertainty about the high end. Reference Charles Clawsons “Colt .45 Service pistols”.

Notice the 1911 patent date and early rounded rear sight and slightly lighter smoky blue color of the small parts. wpe1.jpg (60606 bytes) Click on image for larger version.
At 7500 they moved the Serial Number to the back of the frame.  This was done for ease of manufacturing because the metal was very thin in the forward part of the frame and could be deformed easily when the markings were stamped unless the front of the frame was well supported and proper precautions were taken.
wpe3.jpg (103812 bytes) Colt 2401 to about 140,000:  Fine Finish, furnace blued, small parts have a blued finish that closely match the slide and frame.
WGP Cartouche:
Shows the Ordnance Department final acceptance cartouche containing the initials WGP, for Walter G. Penfield, Major, whose initials are found from S/N 1-about 101,500.  It is highly unlikely that Major Penfield ever inspected or stamped so much as a single pistol during his term as head of the Springfield ordnance district.  Officers did not do manual labor.  Inspecting and marking was done by civilian employees at Colts.  Note the slightly beveled edges to the slide stop.
wpe5.jpg (33630 bytes) Most small parts of these early pistols are made from machined forgings or machined from bar stock.  Castings were not used and the only sheet metal parts are the leaf spring and magazine.
Colt 2401 to about 140,000: Fine Finish, furnace blued.  Small parts have a slightly lighter smoky blued finish. The color of the small parts generally match each other, but are lighter than the frame or slide.  The color of the slide and frame also generally matches each other.
wpe7.jpg (28387 bytes) Michael Chop collection

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