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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a decent example of a New Service Model 1909 revolver showing 93% original blue finish. The butt is U.S. Army marked, serial number is 41754, and it has Rolando A. Carr's inspector's marks on the bottom of the barrel next to the frame, right side of the frame beneath the hammer, and on the bottoms of both grips. It also has "F B" in slightly larger characters featuring serifs in the top corner of the right side of the frame just below the rear sight notch.

I'm hoping the astute Colt experts on this forum will answer a few questions.

How common are Model 1909's in 90% plus condition?

Where would serial No. 41754 fall in the production run of the Model 1909?

What do the characters "F B" indicate? I'm most curious about these markings. I've never observed another Model 1909 with the F B markings.

Can anyone provide a description of proper holsters, accessories, or other equipment that would have been issued with this revolver?

Could anyone provide photographs of their Model 1909 revolver or any accessories?

Can anyone provide any snippets of Model 1909 facts and history?

Can anyone recommend the best reference works on Model 1909 information?

I obtained this Model 1909 from a good friend who was given the revolver by his dad. The family owned an ice cream plant and ice house in San Antonio, Texas. This revolver was one of five Model 1909's his dad purchased for $5.00 each from the San Antonio Arsenal in 1920. The other four were given to the plant nightwatchmen. I'm guessing that the honest holster wear occured after it was "mustered out" and that it was likely in new, unissued condition when he got it.

Anyone care to speculate on this.

Aren't Colt New Service revolvers grand?!
 

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90% plus 1909s are NOT all that common and bring some money on the market. Less than 3000 were made orginally and almost all of them went to the Philippines and saw service under tropical conditions. Mine has a very crispy shiny bore but has been refinished.

Most people refer to this revolver as being chambered for the 45 Colt which it is not. It is chambered for the 1909 Colt 45 which has a slightly longer case than the 45 Colt and has a wide rim like the 45 Smith & Wesson or Schofield. I have a military issue box of these cartridges, they make an interesting accessory for the revolver.

The 1909 was intended to use a 45 Colt cartrdige as a secondary back up when the 1909 cartridge was not available, but will not shoot precisely to the sights since they are set for the 1909 cartridge with a different weight of bullet.

The 1909 was adopted as a stop gap between the 38 Colt and the 1911 Colt. The military had already decided on a 45 self loader but had not yet adopted a specific design. Most went to the army, a few to the navy

Everybody has heard how the 38 Colt didn't reliably stop a charging Moro but the dirty little secret is that the 45, or for that matter, the 30-40 Krag didn't reliably stop 'em either. Moral of the story is that non-expanding bullets just don't make reliable stoppers.

I'm not up to speed on variations in the markings.
 

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Hi,
In answer to your question:

On December 17,1908 The war department ordered 6000 .45 caliber New Service revolvers from Colt. The first shipment was made on May 28, 1909. Additional orders were placed with Colt during 1910 and 1911. A total of 19,503 Model 1909 Revolvers were delivered to The Army and were serial numbered consecutively from 30001 to 49503. A total of 19,153 revolvers were shipped to the Manila Ordnance Depot PI and 350 went to Springfield Armory.

RINALDO A. CARR was the Ordnance sub-inspector and the Model 1909 revolvers were accepted by Col. Frank Baker (the FB on your gun) and Major Walter G. Penfield for the Ordnance department.

The Marines purchased 1,300 Model 1909 revolvers and numbered in the general serial number range 23101 to 26300.These have USMC and butt numbers from 1 to 1300.

The Navy ordered 1000 revolvers and they are numbered in the 52201 to 53200 serial number range.

There were some other misc shipments to gov't agencies as well...

The M1909 uses holsters similar to the Model 1917 revolver except you will find a 1909 or higher (Pre 1917)inspection date.

I have seen many many Model 1909 revolvers in 95% or better condition over the years and I have a couple in my collection. I recently bought one in about 90% condition for less than $500, but most in 95%+ condition seem to be selling for $700-1000.
Hope that helps .... Bob Best
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rinaldo, that's the dude, not Ronaldo.

That clears up the F B for me too.

Wonder how unissued Model 1909 revolvers could have ended up in the San Antonio Arsenal. Seems like the bulk that were sent to the Phillipines would have shown use.

I've heard that some Model 1909's saw service in France in World War I. I suppose that is possible.

Thanks for the responses guys.
 

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We have a 1909 that has been refinished. It is however in excellent condition for its age. Good bore, and tight all the way around.

Our presumption is that is was sent home by a service guy that served in the Phillipines, and has most of the government markings, although he did grind off the serial # on the grip frame, and lanyard ring.

Paid $350.00, and was glad to get it. Most never made it back from the Phillipines. If you have one that has not been refinished in 93%, I would guess its worth to be around $900.00. There just are not many of them around.

That is what I would want for it if it was mine.

Bob
 

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Here's mine . Sorry , no accoutrements .


 
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