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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to buy a 1911 model O colt serial C1995xx sent to Argentine Navy 85/90 % condition.

it is stamped 1941 & with the crest on slide all matching ,slide,barrel,lower,stocks,mag too.

it also has the swartz firing pin safety.My question is does the swartz safety give it extra value and is it a rare system to have.

asking price is 1650 is this about right or to much , or under valued ???

heading says 1911a1 that is not correct ,it is a model O commercial (my bad)
 

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The Swartz safety is a part of Colt history, and not often encountered. Approximately 6600 Colt Government Models were transferred by Colt to the Model 1911A1 military contract, and the Swartz safety was removed from these pistols. This represents a large block of Swartz safety equipped pistols, making the remaining examples scarce. If the finish is original it sounds like an excellent buy.

As to the model designation, the Model O refers to the original basic frame design from which all the others are built. The model you have is the Government Model.

The S on top of the receiver is the designation of Civilian Sales and not Swartz.


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
is this one you are showing have the swartz safety,cause the one i'm looking at has the same build exactly on frame and slide
The Swartz safety is a part of Colt history, and not often encountered. Approximately 6600 Colt Government Models were transferred by Colt to the Model 1911A1 military contract, and the Swartz safety was removed from these pistols. This represents a large block of Swartz safety equipped pistols, making the remaining examples scarce. If the finish is original it sounds like an excellent buy.

As to the model designation, the Model O refers to the original basic frame design from which all the others are built. The model you have is the Government Model.

The S on top of the receiver is the designation of Civilian Sales and not Swartz.


 

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Johnny...what was the source of your info regarding the number of Swartz safety numbers? I know Colt removed the parts in the Comm models transferred to the Military but is there info on the number of total guns made with these new safeties?
 

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I own C-200814 "Republic Argentina Armada Nacional 1941" , mfg 1938 with slide numbered to the frame and the Swarz safety. Clawson page 56, states that only 416 Swarz safeties were noted in Colt's production records from serial C185006 - C215083. "... a maximum of 1500 but likely fewer than 1200 gov't models with the Swarz safety were sold in the US. ... Most were returned from foreign countries."
Interestingly, many were sold in 1996 for under $400, as was mine. Won't make any more!!
 

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Johnny...what was the source of your info regarding the number of Swartz safety numbers? I know Colt removed the parts in the Comm models transferred to the Military but is there info on the number of total guns made with these new safeties?
On page 51 of Clawson's "Collector's Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols" he notes in the section on the commercial to military transferred pistols:

"All or most of these pistols were originally manufactured with the Swartz safety designed by William L. Swartz in 1937, which locked............"

I have never seen one of the Commercial/Military pistols without the cuts for the Swartz Safety.

On page 56 quoted above from Clawson's "Colt .45 Government Models", Clawson states that there were rougly 25,000 pistols in the Swartz safety serial number range, and of those some 13,000 were sold overseas plus the almost 6600 transferred pistols accounts for almost 20,000 of the pistols. Pistols produced on contract for foreign governments did not have the Swartz safety, therefore Clawson states that a maximum of 1500, but probably less than 1200 Swartz Safety Government Models were sold in the U.S. We will probably never know the total number sold, as only 416 Government Models were noted in the production records as having been fitted with the safety. The letter on my Swartz safety GM does not list it. Clawson also notes that many of the Swartz Safety fitted pistols were NM pistols.
 

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eagleeye...congrats on your new acquisition ...looking for more pics after you receive it.

Thanks Ted and Johnny for the info on the Swartz safety. Would the pistol purchased by the OP and Ted's, both having the Swartz safety, contradict this statement from Clawson or am I misinterpreting this statement?

"Pistols produced on contract for foreign governments did not have the Swartz safety"
 

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Here is mine with Swartz safety still installed. These often have a small import mark on the magazine well bottom, almost invisible. Any and all Swartz safety guns are hard to find!


Firearm Gun Trigger Gun accessory Gun barrel Firearm Gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Gun Firearm Trigger Revolver Gun barrel Material property Gun Trigger
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
T.MAY , if you re-read the auction description it mentions the 500 pistols the government of Argentine bought of the shelf.

this lot of 500 were randomly picked and it does not say how many had the swartz safety. if you have Clawson's other book,

Colt 45 Government Models ( commercial series) 1912-1970 page 141-142. also it explains in detail on page 55 the system itself. (Pistols produced on contract for foreign governments did not have the Swartz safety") on page 51 of the collectors guide is talking about the 803xxx-866xxx serial frame 1937.

from serial 198xxx-208xxx the Argentine govern. came in 1941 and randomly bought an additional 500 lot off the shelf these i think had the swartz safety( i am not sure ) lots of reading going back and forth on two Clawson books.
hope i did not get myself confused or anyone else.
someone will come along with a lot lot more knowledge than me.the one i purchased on GB is C199540 so i know it was in the first block of 250 sent to the department of the Navy in Buenos Aires, the other 250 went to Argentine Navel Commision in Washington D.C. .
EE
 

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EE..thanks for the info. I didn't realize that the 500 purchased by Argentina were off the shelf and not produced on foreign contract.
If that is the case..it's funny that so many of these guns appear to have the Swartz safety (3 examples in this thread alone) or possibly all of them.
 

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interesting thread. I had one and until today and other than clawson's book I had never seen another one in pics or in person. speaking of clawson. after he wrote his first book he ran across me selling mine at a gun show. he wanted to borrow it and take it to photograph with the promise of sending it back to me in a couple weeks. I declined. at that time I just wanted to sell it and even though clawson was a friend of a friend of mine I wasn't going to just give it to him to let him take it to his out of state home.
I wish I had kept mine but then again there have been an awful lot of colt's that I wish I kept over the years.
 

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Ace...do you happen to recall if yours also had the Swartz safety?

I'll bet at that time..his book wasn't selling for over $600.00 :bang_wall:
 

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Enjoying this thread. We're caretakers to C199306 with the Swartz Safety. Finish is less than pristine which makes it easier for me to rationalize taking it to the range every once in a while. It's tight and is a pleasure to shoot. Ours has the two-tone magazine with "COLT .45 AUTO" base.
 

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I own C-200814 "Republic Argentina Armada Nacional 1941" , mfg 1938 with slide numbered to the frame and the Swarz safety. Clawson page 56, states that only 416 Swarz safeties were noted in Colt's production records from serial C185006 - C215083. "... a maximum of 1500 but likely fewer than 1200 gov't models with the Swarz safety were sold in the US. ... Most were returned from foreign countries."
Interestingly, many were sold in 1996 for under $400, as was mine. Won't make any more!!
Ted, I've re-read this page for possibly the 20th time and I still would not bet money that I completely understand Clawson's intention. I now believe that he intended to communicate that there were 416 examples of the safety listed in the Colt production records between 185006 and 198000.

The entire range was 185006 to 215083..about 30K but he discounts the number of examples before 190000 as insignificant...leaving 25K (190000 - 215083) as the Swartz safety serial range. Of these 25K .... 13K were sold overseas and 6575 were x-fered to the Military in 42 leaving about 5425 unaccounted for.

Then he goes on to say that most pistols produced for the US market between 199000 and 215083 contained the NSD. (not sure why he jumped to 199000). All in this range but 1100 were sold overseas or transferred to the Military. "Consequently, a max of 1500 but likely fewer than 1200 GM's pistols with safeties were sold in the US." I don't see where he addresses the pistols between 198000 and 199000 other than their inclusion in the entire overall serial number range 185006-215083.

I now believe that this 1500 estimate is a combination of the 416 from (185006 - 198000) and the 1100 (previously mentioned as not sold overseas) from (199000 and 215083)

It's like you need to develop an algebraic equation to put all of this together to arrive at the total number...that number being the total guns sold in the US with Swartz safeties.....not the total number of guns produced overall with these safeties. Assuming the former quantity is of more significance to us collectors because we didn't intend to actually ever see again most of the guns that originally left the country that contained the safety and the guns transferred to the Military had the parts stripped out.

Any alternative interpretation of this info is welcome for discussion. (Clawson's Commercial book, page 56)

Incidentally, my interest in this information is more than just passing...I own C188036 which includes the Swartz safety and lettered as such but after reading this info, I now determine its inclusion in the range of guns before 190000 to render my gun insignificant :bang_wall: ;)
 

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Ace...do you happen to recall if yours also had the Swartz safety?

I'll bet at that time..his book wasn't selling for over $600.00 :bang_wall:
Mine was the Armada Nacional with a Swartz safety. it was also easily high 90s condition, much nicer than the one in that gunbroker link. and yes clawson's first book was selling for right around retail price at that time.
 
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