Are there any documented Fitz Special Government Models. I know Lone Wolf Gonzaullas had a couple in that style but don't know if they were factory or aftermarket. I have checked my Clawson, Goddard and Poyer books with no luck.
Mike, I'm not an expert on Govt Models and Fitz Specials. From what I remember reading here from our experts there aren't any known examples of factory Fitz Government models.
Thanks Malysh. I got this responce on the 1911 Forum so I will be pursuing the book mentioned.
In the book American Beauty: The Prewar Colt National Match Government Model Pistols by Timothy J. Mullin he reports two documented Fitz pistols and shows a photograph of one that was shipped to Sheriff J.E. Decker in Dallas, TX in 1940. A factory letter supports the trigger guard modification. Posted by oldcop.
Mike, maybe I don't remember the posts I was thinking of correctly! I was pretty sure that's what a few guys said.
It's a lesson for me to keep my mouth shut unless the question is about one of the few Colt models I'm very familiar with.
Thanks for the additional information.
According to what I've read, the Gonzales Colt 1911's were altered and heavily engraved by Colt.
T.J. Mullin shows a detail photo of a "Fitz" National Match model on page 40 of his book "American Beauty....." (as noted by Mike F. above). Mullin states that there were two such pistols which are authenticated by Colt Archive letters and they were shipped to Sheriff J.E. Decker in 1940. The two pistols mentioned (C201178 and C201184) are shown in full color in a photo on page 222 of "Colt and It's Collectors". The guns are Class C engraved with some gold inlay and with custom grips.
Several "Fitz Special" short barrelled revolvers are also shown on page 144 ("Colt and It's Collectors"), although it is not stated that these revolvers were factory modified.
- - - Buckspen
According to American Rifleman....
"Questions have come up as to whether or not Fitz applied his “Special” treatment to semi-automatic pistols. Captain Manuel T. “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas, a legendary Texas Ranger from 1920 to 1951, carried a pair of gold, engraved Colt commercial .45 ACP M1911 pistols now on display in the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, Texas. These two pistols had their trigger guards almost completely cut away and are sometimes referred to as Fitz Special pistols. While such modifications may have been inspired by FitzGerald’s work on revolvers, there is no evidence that the pistols were modified by him. Sheriff James E. “Bill” Decker, of Dallas, Texas, owned another pair of Colt M1911 pistols closely resembling those of Gonzaullas, but these guns also have no known connection to FitzGerald."
Here's the entire article..... The Fitz Special
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