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Showcase cover image for A look back at the Colt Gold Cup National Match .38 Special Mid Range semi-automatic pistol (Part#2)

General Information

Make
COLT'S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD. CONN. U.S.A.
Year
1960-1973
Model
Gold Cup National Match .38 Special Mid Range (Model O5450)
Caliber
.38 Special (Full Wadcutter only)
Barrel
5" barrel without locking lugs (Blow-back operated)
Sight/Scope
Front Patridge, Rear Colt-Accro then changed to Colt-Elliason
Part#2.....

1974 Colt Catalogue National Match pistols.jpg


PART#2 (CONTINUED)
**
-The 2nd version of Colt shipping boxes that shipped with the Colt Gold Cup National Match .38 Special Mid Range pistols. Known by collectors as the "Picture" box. These boxes were used by Colt from about 1964 to about 1970.

Box pic#3.jpg


-The 3rd and last version of Colt shipping boxes for the Gold Cup National Match .38 Special Mid Range pistol. This box is very similar to the 1st version but missing the yellow end label. The pistols serial# and abbreviated description is written in white grease pencil on the lid end flap. This version of box used from about 1970 to 1974.

Colt-M1911-Gold-Cup-National-Match-.38-Special-Mid-Range-6-rdiflorio_photobucket.com_.jpeg


-Gold Cup National Match .38 Special Mid Range pistol box contents were fairly consistent during production. Shown here are the contents from a late production pistol. Missing from this pic is the Colt orange coloured warranty card and blue NRA membership mailer card.

Test Target Type 5.jpg


-The small brown manila envelope contained in the shipping box contents were unchanged during the course of production of the Gold Cup National Match pistols. The only change was the size of the barrel bushing wrench. This (pictured) manila envelope packet from a 1964 era pistol. The contents of the manila envelope consisted of a small allen wrench for trigger over travel adjustment, a keychain style sight adjustment tool (3 bladed screwdriver) and a metal bushing wrench.

Colt GCNM box contents#2.JPG


-There were 6 different styles of test targets including 5 different styles of black ink stamps included with the shipping box contents used during production of the Gold Cup National Match .38 Special Mid Range pistols. There was also a different style of test target used by Colt's Service Department. The first version of shipping box test target that is shown here were not dated. Colt factory Targeter Otto Engelhardt test fired them all until his death in 1969. His grave marker can be viewed here: Otto T Engelhardt (1909-1969) - Find A Grave...

Target.jpg


-This is the 1st observed test target (by me) that is dated and included with the box contents for pistol serial# 3077-MR. Dated May 13th, 1963. Note that this style of test target is a small square piece of a larger target that was shot at 50 yards with 10 shots.

Colt Test Target Type 1.jpg


-Same style of shipping box included test target as shown above but a better view. This one is also from 1963.

Type 1 Test Target #2.JPG


-This style of shipping box test target was used and included with the Gold Cup National Match .38 Special Mid Range pistols from about 1964 to about 1974. The paper T-10 target is the same but the black ink stamp changed 3 times. Note that this (pictured) target is from a Gold Cup National Match .45ACP pistol.

Colt Test Target.jpg


-This is the same style of shipping box test target as shown above that was used from about 1964 to about 1974. On this (pictured) test target the black ink stamp has changed. Note that the black ink stamp was applied by Colt factory Targeter Michael Tistaridis. I believe he was the only Colt factory Targeter for these pistols from about 1970 to about 1972.

Colt Test Target Michael Tistaritis.jpg


-This is the same style of shipping box test target as shown above that was used from about 1964 to about 1974. On this (pictured) test target the black ink stamp has changed again for the 3rd time. This style of black ink stamp used from about 1972 till the end of pistol production. Note that the Colt factory Targeter has changed again and now only includes his (or her) initials.

Test Target Type 5.jpg


-This is a test target from the Colt Service Department that was included with the shipping box contents of pistol serial# 790-MR. Included with the box contents of serial# 790-MR is a Colt Service Department repair order invoice #55433 dated October 25th, 1962. The invoice shows that serial# 790-MR received Part# 50206-Plug, Part# 53620-Bushing, Part# 51901-Barrel MK. III, Part# 52443-Sear. I'm assuming serial# 790-MR was originally equipped with either a 1st version barrel or a MK. II barrel and was returned to the factory under warranty and all the parts included with the 3rd barrel version (MK. III) were installed. Note that the test target does not have a black ink stamp but is marked for serial# 790-MR and was shot at 50 yards with 10 shots. This is the only Colt Service Department test target that I have encountered (so far).

Earliest MR test target?.jpg


-The Gold Cup National Match .38 Special Mid Range semi-automatic pistols were produced from November 1960 to November 1973. Serial#d 100-MR to 9409-MR with a total production of 9310 pistols. Last catalogued by Colt in 1974. My pistol (pictured) serial# 6477-MR was produced on Thursday May 8th, 1969 and shipped on Friday May 16th, 1969 to North Silva Distributing, Toronto, Ontario.

IMG_1217.jpg

GCNM box pic 2.jpg

IMG_2093.JPG

IMG_2400.jpg


-I have been a student of the Gold Cup National Match .38 Special Mid Range pistols since 2014. I have been keeping a data base on these pistols that tracks shipping dates/ production dates/ test targets/ shipping boxes/ shipping box contents/ pistol features/ magazines.....etc etc etc........If you have one of these pistols I would really like to hear from you. Please contact me via the Forum Conversation feature and I would love to talk everything "Mid Range" and include your pistol in my data base. Thanks for reading!
Regards,
Robert
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