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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For many decades it was U.S. Army policy to give a soldier when promoted to general his choice of .32 or .380 Colt Pocket Autos or a 1911 .45. I have had the good fortune in the last few years to borrow, photograph and even shoot a couple of those. One belonged to a General Smart who flew B-17s over Europe and was later a 4 star in the Korean War. Right off I cannot remember the name of the general who owned the second. It now belongs to his grandson so I need to ask him someday.
 

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The practice of issuing a Colt Pocket Hammerless to a General Officer is thought to have started in 1944. Originally the GO pistols were .380 ACP, but as the supply of the .380 pistols ran out the .32 auto was issued. While the pistol was issued to the General, at his retirement the GO had the option of either turning the pistol back in or purchasing it.
 

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Not sure that anyone cares but I don't believe either of the holsters pictured are correct for 1908/1903 GO. They're for 1911A1.
Thanks for bringing that up. When I looked at the GO rig I noticed the belt slide as being unusual, but thought no more about it. The GO holster for the Pocket Hammerless slide onto the belt where the 1911/1911A1 holster had a belt slide to attach it.

This is the GO holster for the 1911/1911A1 pistol.

 

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I have a very nice GO pistol issued in 1945 with full documentation and bio of the
General it was issued to. What I'm missing is the picture shown by EI8HT in
post #2 (the belted rig). I've looked for one of these for years to no avail.

Very nice!!
The G.O. rigs are out there...
IMG_3531.JPG IMG_3533.JPG IMG_3530.JPG IMG_3532.JPG
...an example of a NIB from the collection I care for.
 

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Wow...awesome pieces of history MLV...Thanks for sharing !!

...And Johnny P and the others...thanks for sharing your knowledge on those holsters...

I learn something new here everyday...and I like that !!


...and my main man ei8ht...You, my friend...you KNOW where you stand with me.
 

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I am hoping that Charlie Flick can jog my memory as well as provide information on this one dated to 1999. The bag contains a GO holster in black leather that is virtually identical to the early 1911/1911A1 GO holsters. I remember that the stock number is for a holster, but don't remember the rest. The bag is still sealed, but have seen another still with the bag but opened.

 

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For many decades it was U.S. Army policy to give a soldier when promoted to general his choice of .32 or .380 Colt Pocket Autos or a 1911 .45. I have had the good fortune in the last few years to borrow, photograph and even shoot a couple of those. One belonged to a General Smart who flew B-17s over Europe and was later a 4 star in the Korean War. Right off I cannot remember the name of the general who owned the second. It now belongs to his grandson so I need to ask him someday.
Here is General Smart’s GO pistol:


http://www.coltautos.com/mmusp_smart.htm



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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I am hoping that Charlie Flick can jog my memory as well as provide information on this one dated to 1999.
Hello Johnny:

I feel like Carnac The Magnificent trying to divine what is inside of your bag and the meaning of the cryptic markings.



Here is what it is: It is a black M1916 style GO holster for the M1911A1 pistol. The maker is unknown as the holster was re-packaged from its original packaging and, as you know, GO holsters of this type are unmarked. Atchison Leather Products would be a good bet, however. The re-pack was done at Rock Island Arsenal, based upon the CAGE code (19204) on the label. The holster was manufactured in the time frame late 1950s through the '60s. The M15 GO pistol began to be issued in the 1970s so procurement of these holsters would have ended by then. The FSN/NSN corresponds to the Drawing Number/Part Number (7791580) for these holsters. Just why these holsters were still hanging around in government storage is another mystery but not surprising.

I hope that helps to jog your memory.

Best regards,
Charlie Flick The Magnificent :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That photo of General Smart's shoulder ring is the one he carried his Colt .32 in. My friend - his son - has a photo of him packing it. The other belt also came with the pistol for me to photograph. His grandfather was the general. By the way that fellow also has the invitation sent to his grandparents to Patton's daughter's wedding. Interesting stuff.
 

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While the pistol was issued to the General, at his retirement the GO had the option of either turning the pistol back in or purchasing it.
JohnnyP has it correct; the pistol was issued (not "given") to the General. As in, signed for on an appropriate hand-receipt with the expectation that it would be returned to government stocks upon retirement or separation, unless the General decided to purchase it. Many years ago, an old friend was aide-de-camp to a Brigadier General who surprisingly decided not to purchase his issued pistol, and it had to be turned back in (along with the holster).
 

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The M15 GO pistol began to be issued in the 1970s so procurement of these holsters would have ended by then. <snip> Just why these holsters were still hanging around in government storage is another mystery but not surprising.
Have never seen the M15 GO pistol except in photos. My understanding is that they were essentially a Commander model with a spur hammer, slightly different internals (compared to an M1911A1), and high polish.

The subject of these pistols actually came up a couple of months ago during a conversation with a retired flag officer who informed me that the M15's are no longer being issued, having been replaced by the M9 (Beretta model 92) in 9mm. He had purchased his upon retirement and noted that the government charged him full price for it. It was suggested that he create a short write-up about it to establish provenance for his heirs, and to store it with his holster and leather belt.
 

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Not sure what full price was, but the M15 I have came with all the paperwork, and the purchase price was $147.00 in 1979, which seems a bargain. The paperwork that came with the pistol when issued and when purchased by the retiring GO is the best airtight provenance they could have.
 
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