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Discussion Starter #1
hi all, can someone tell me what the defence marks on the side of slide. A/F.
This colt is in australia, but have not seen this marking for australian defence, could it be Canada etc.?
thanks in advance
tony
 

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I did a quick look in Brunner's fine book and did not find this mark nor model M shipment info for this 142xxx range. Very interesting. There are many collectors with greater knowledge than I that may chime in, good luck.
 

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Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum document FS-001 " Markings on Australian SMLE Rifles " has A^F listed under Issue Marks as Australian Forces. But it is a ^ and not the arrow on the pistol. I hope someone with more knowledge than me can help you further.
Pete
 

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An interesting gun similar to this one: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C239202

A Colt Archives letter probably won't be much help and without documentation the markings must be viewed with healthy skepticism. However, quite a few Colt M1908 pistols in .25ACP were acquired by the OSS, given to their English counterparts (SOE) and were passed along to other special units in Norway, Australia, Canada and others. Note the example above is SN 127032 and was carried by a member of the Z unit, an Australian special forces unit during WWII. I hope you find more information and will share it here if you do.

BTW, here is the same mark on an Australian forces S&W Victory Model revolver:
702049
 

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Discussion Starter #7
An interesting gun similar to this one: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C239202

A Colt Archives letter probably won't be much help and without documentation the markings must be viewed with healthy skepticism. However, quite a few Colt M1908 pistols in .25ACP were acquired by the OSS, given to their English counterparts (SOE) and were passed along to other special units in Norway, Australia, Canada and others. Note the example above is SN 127032 and was carried by a member of the Z unit, an Australian special forces unit during WWII. I hope you find more information and will share it here if you do.

BTW, here is the same mark on an Australian forces S&W Victory Model revolver:
View attachment 702049
Thanks for the info,much appreciated.I am waiting on some better photo's, but one thing i can say is the pistol,has a mat blue finish no colour case, the triger and palm saftey are all blue and appears to be an arsonal blue.may have came like that or could have been refinished at the Lithgow arms factory.
we are still digging deep on this one. may have more info next week.
ill keep you all updated.
thanks again
tony
 

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Interesting pistol. The marking looks genuine enough to me. Its hard to say what purpose the pistol was put to if indeed it did see Australian Military Service. Looking at the serial number it would seem to date to around 1916. That being the case it may be that the pistol was swept-up in the big imprestment operation that was undertaking in Australia in WW2. This was mainly intended at collecting rifles owned by the public in .303, .32/20 and .310. Quite a bit of info is in the various State archives about this and eventually around 70,000 rifles were impresed. Another fellow in Australia is writing a booklet on this very subject and is up to around a hundred thousand word. Unfortunately, the records do not reveal much about handguns that were impressed. I was interested in this because i was looking to see if any handguns were shipped to the U.K for use by SOE, which was the case with Canada. However, this does not appear to be the case.
SOE did use some .25acp pistols with female agents being offered them, as if discovered they could claim it was for personal protection, something that was not especially unusual in France at the time. 5,000 rounds of .25acp ammunition were purchased in America by SOE. As the Colt on this thread is A /|\ F marked and still in Australia there is no suggestion that it has an SOE connection. A Colt letter will show where the pistol was originally shipped too, it would be interesting to see if it was originally Australia as it would seem fairly certain that the pistol was in Australia at the start of WW2. I have contacted Ian Skennerton to find out when the A broad arrow F marking was first used and will post back when I hear from him.
I do not think the pistol was refinished at Lithgow as it would normally be marked F.T.R. but there will always be exceptions.

Regards

AlanD
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Interesting pistol. The marking looks genuine enough to me. Its hard to say what purpose the pistol was put to if indeed it did see Australian Military Service. Looking at the serial number it would seem to date to around 1916. That being the case it may be that the pistol was swept-up in the big imprestment operation that was undertaking in Australia in WW2. This was mainly intended at collecting rifles owned by the public in .303, .32/20 and .310. Quite a bit of info is in the various State archives about this and eventually around 70,000 rifles were impresed. Another fellow in Australia is writing a booklet on this very subject and is up to around a hundred thousand word. Unfortunately, the records do not reveal much about handguns that were impressed. I was interested in this because i was looking to see if any handguns were shipped to the U.K for use by SOE, which was the case with Canada. However, this does not appear to be the case.
SOE did use some .25acp pistols with female agents being offered them, as if discovered they could claim it was for personal protection, something that was not especially unusual in France at the time. 5,000 rounds of .25acp ammunition were purchased in America by SOE. As the Colt on this thread is A /|\ F marked and still in Australia there is no suggestion that it has an SOE connection. A Colt letter will show where the pistol was originally shipped too, it would be interesting to see if it was originally Australia as it would seem fairly certain that the pistol was in Australia at the start of WW2. I have contacted Ian Skennerton to find out when the A broad arrow F marking was first used and will post back when I hear from him.
I do not think the pistol was refinished at Lithgow as it would normally be marked F.T.R. but there will always be exceptions.

Regards

AlanD
Some good points there Alan.the reason i thought Lithgow refinish,is it has the military finish as seen on the little 03 auto's that were shipped to the US gov. for military service. A civilian gun would look like this having CC on palm safety triger and slide lock.
like you said a letter would at least show were it went.
 

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Some good points there Alan.the reason i thought Lithgow refinish,is it has the military finish as seen on the little 03 auto's that were shipped to the US gov. for military service. A civilian gun would look like this having CC on palm safety triger and slide lock.
like you said a letter would at least show were it went.
 

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