.455 Eley RAF
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oyeboten View Post
    Well, none of these 'Thumbnails' enlarge if 'clicked' on.

    What is the Serial Number? ( Last digits as "X"s is fine ).

    In WWI, England had various Purchasing Agents for acquiring American Arms and may also have made purchases directly, I can not recall off hand on the latter.

    Sometimes there were blocks of Serial Numbers, other times it was piece meal.

    Your Colt is a Government Model ( rather then an m1911 ) which had been heavily buffed and refinished sometime along the way, and which has later or likely aftermarket Stocks.

    Magazine appears to be correct.

    Is the Barrel stamped ".455"?

    And are there any British 'proofs' anywhere?


    The "R.A.F." began in Aril of 1918 if memory serves.

    I myself had supposed that most Country's WWI Aviators had usuaully carried their own private Purchase Arms, which would of course then have no Organization Stamps.

    Your Pistol's serial number would allow some fairly close idea of when in what year, it had been made.


    The Round Lanyard Loop on the Receiver is not Colt so far as I know, but is a nice one, and likely was installed back when.

    I am not able to open any additional internet pages at the moment, to verify, but, if memory serve, the .455 Webley Automatic Cartridge was a little chubbier than the .45 ACP Cartridge, thus making for difficulty or disappointment, if trying to interchange the two.

    I recall a magazine article from maybe 45 years ago about the .455 Automatic Cartridge which stated that the in a pinch, the .45 ACP could be fired in the .455 caliber Govt. Model, but not vice versa. Their diameters are approx. the same, but the .455 case is slightly longer and is semi-rimmed meaning it won't fit all the way into an ACP chamber, but the extractor on the .455 pistol will hold the .45 round close enough against the breech face to allow its use in an emergency. The article did not mention functional reliability when this practice was followed, but knowing first hand how forgiving the Govt. Model Colt is, I would suspect it would work more often than not.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Gahimer View Post
    The pistol was shipped 28 February 1919, as part of a contract dated 7 May 1918. The contract was for 10,000 pistols, but the contract was suspended and only 5000 were shipped.

    There isn't anything wrong with the magazine lanyard loop. That's a British replacement magazine for the .455 manufactured by Beesley in London.

    Beesley also manufactured these 20-round magazines. However, there were only (57) sets made, making them quite rare.






    Excellent post! Where else are we going to get information like this?
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  3. #33
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    The information above comes from a large book published in 1920 , "Admiralty Technical History...". The copy above is a photo copy of this particular page which I made in the Library of the Royal Armouries in Leeds some years ago. I supplied it to Mr Clawson some time ago with information on the William Evans spent case catcher. The fifty seven pistols referred to above were in .45acp and were purchased from the trade, so far 10 of these have been identified as having been purchased from the Army & Navy Co-operative Stores, I have a record of the serial numbers. I am still on the hunt for the remaining 48 pistols, however as so many gun retailers records are missing I doubt I will find many of them.EVANS CASE CATCHER.jpg

    In addition to the 57 pistols purchased from the trade an order was placed with Colt for X100 Government Models in .45acp. Why such a small quantity in this caliber was purchaser from Colt remains a mystery.

    Regards

    AlanD
    Sydney
    Last edited by AlanD; 03-12-2016 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Said 9 pistols , should be 10.
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  4. #34
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    Beesley Colt.jpg

    Here is a second variation of the marking of the magazine. PAT.PROV. instead of just PAT.

    Interestingly the name of the owner is written inside the flap, as these outfits were supplied to the Royal Naval Air Service in August 1916 it may be possible to find out more about T.A. Dunning by posting on one of the British forums such as the Gear War Forum.

    As Beesley sold these magazines and pouches privately as well as to the military - although a military marked one has yet to surface, it is not known how many were made. The Beesley records have no record of these mags/pouches unfortunately, so it is not really accurate to say that a specific quantity was made, until further evidence comes to light, which is unlikely.

    Regards

    AlanD
    Sydney
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