In the movie, The Wild Bunch, the German adviser states that the 1911 pistols that William Holden and his gang have are impossible to get because the US government was regulating who could buy them. I realize it is just a movie but for sake of argument I looked up the civilian production numbers for the time frame that the movie was supposedly taking place (1914). What I found was that while Colt was producing the government model, they were also producing a civilian model in the following numbers:
Colt Commercial Production: Govt. Model: 1912 to 1981
Serial Numbers Date Number Made
S/N C1 to C1899 1912 1899
S/N C1900 to C5399 1913 3500
S/N C5400 to C16599 1914 11,200
S/N C16600 to C27599 1915 11,000
S/N C27600 to C74999 1916 47,400
S/N C75000 to C98999 1917 24,000
S/N C99000 to C105999 1918 7000
S/N C106000 to C120999 1919 15,000
S/N C121000 to C126999 1920 6000
S/N C127000 to C128999 1921 2000
S/N C129000 to C129999 1922 1000
S/N C130000 to C133999 1923 4000
So unless I am missing something, the statement made in the movie was false and the Mexican Federal troops should have been able to procure them on the open market.
Am I missing something?
No need to worry about dialog, when they were using Model 1903-A3 rifles which weren't manufactured until 1942.
Or WWII shirts and Campaign hats, Star automatics, M1917A1s and Enfield revolvers, for that matter.
It's a movie - not a documentary - try to suspend disbelief...
Even the machine gun was post time frame, but it was overall excellent.
Yes the Star pistol functioned with blanks whereas the Colt pistol did not.
"I like Colts and will die that way"
It is rather strange that Colt was selling so many commercial Government Models during WWI, but sold none during WWII.
Possibly many of those sold during WWI were sold to Canada or England.
WWI,---28 July 1914 to 11 Nov 1918.
Clawson covers descriptions of Foreign Sales in Chapter 7 of his GM book. There is a table (or listing) of the foreign sales, from "1912 through April 1919", on page 159. The total from THAT Period was 80,978 going to eight foreign GOVERNMENTS. Canada is listed with 5,000. Great Britain is listed with 4,200 From May 1912 through Nov. 1916, and 13,300 (plus a few) from Jul. 1915 through Apr. 1919. The Majority, 51,100 Pistols, from Feb. 1916 through Jan. 1917 are listed going to RUSSIA!!!
"Colt was selling so many commercial Government Models during WWI, but sold none during WWII." There were SOME GM Pistols Assembled and Sold after 7 Dec 1941. Those 1942 Government Model Pistols are Very Rare. There are examples listed in the Clawson big book and descriptions in His Collector's Guide. (There are very few known 1942 examples in collections.)
Last edited by stan3; 04-20-2019 at 01:59 PM.
Also, there was no need for foreign governments to buy the pistols, as the U.S. gave between 75 and 80 thousand Model 1911A1 pistols to our allies through Lend-Lease during WWII.
great post OP!