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I posted this last week on the 1911Forum and thought I'd share it here. My apologies for the duplication to those who are members of both forums.

Several years ago I picked up a Russian Contract Government Model at the Show of Shows in Louisville. I had the pistol lettered by Colt, serial number 42265, it was shipped to the Russian Government on June 13, 1916, one of 5,500 guns in the shipment. A month or so ago a close friend of mine told me about a British proofed Government Model that he had the opportunity to acquire, serial number 42349. I assumed that it was an early British contract gun, but it did not fall into the serial ranges listed by Clawson. Given the asking price and condition, I advised him to get it. I never compared the serial numbers of the two pistols until after my friend did acquire it and had it lettered by Colt. The serial umbers are only 84 apart. Low and behold, it also was shipped to the Russian Government on June 13, 1916, one of 5,500 guns in the shipment. Now the questions! My pistol has the Russian "English Order" stamp, my friends pistol does not. His is completely British proofed. When was the Russian stamp placed on the pistols? I assume that the mark was placed on the pistols in England by the Russian government inspector.
Why was my friends pistol British proofed if it was one of the Russian contract guns? Did the British keep it for their own use for whatever reason? I assume so. Any information, comments, and any thoughts would be greatly appreciated including any thoughts as to the value of my friends pistol.

Several responders in the 1911 Form suggested that maybe the Russian script had been removed, but very close examination of the area on the dust cover and measurements of that area comparing the Russian marked pistol, the English proofed pistol, and an original finish 1916 commercial Government Model all show that the markings had not been removed and the pistol refinished. Exactly where did the Russian markings get placed on the pistols??? I thought I had read that a Russian inspectors was assigned to England to inspect these Colt. In general terms no one has come up with a solid answer, and there may well not be one. Possible an English employee of the armoury made it a lunch box special. Maybe the Russian inspector gave it to an English friend or official. We may never know the answer, but I welcome your comments.

I have just spent two hours trying to figure out how to attach pictures to no avail, and I have learned that I can only insert 5 pictures, so I will attempt, again, to do that. If this fails, I invite you to go to the 1911Forum and look my post up under fredh46. I even went to FORUM HELP and was directed to google.....GEEEEZ! So here goes, let's see if the pictures appear!!!!!
 

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interesting. Try to get Clawson's "COLT 45 Serv​ice Pistol... " and particularly read pages 153-157. Talks at length about shipping to England, J P Morgan and the Russia Inter-Department Committee. To quote Clawson, "as far as known, all Russian Colt pistols were marked with the English Order inscription which indicates they were ordered through the British gov't. " Clawson and I agree that the Russians did not stamp these pistols, especially since the Russians have no inspections or acceptance marks on these Colt's.

Russian arms purchased in the US with British credit including Remington, New England Westinghouse Moissin Nagant rifles and Winchester M1895 rifles were rigidly inspected and stamped by Russian inspectors. The Brits must have stamped these Colt's. 1911 C 75153 (800x600).jpg 1911 C 75153 R (800x600).jpg
 

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Compare your VP and the horizontal lines on the frame where the English Order should be. My thoughts from the pictures suggest removal of the original markings. They were awfully shallow so may be hard to discern that the markings were removed. That's my bet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks tedm for the suggestion about Clawson's first book. I do have it, but had restricted my research to his Commercial book. So much more info in his big book!! THANKS! I'm not sure what you mean by comparing the VP and the horizontal lines on the frame. I have had three collectors personally inspect the pistol, under different light conditions, magnification, and measurements and they see no anomalies to suggest removal of any Russian marks and subsequent reblue. I know the Russian marks were very shallow, and I'll never say never, but pictures rarely can tell it all. All in all, what I find so amazing and interesting is that two rather rare Colts, 84 numbers apart, were shipped out of Hartford on the same date one hundred years ago, in the same shipment, to the Russian Government have found themselves back in North Texas and are now sitting side by side in my Man Cave. Who would have ever imagined that could happen? I love it!
 

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I have talked to knowledgeable Colt collectors that suggest many of these 1911s bound for Russia via Britian, never actually made it overseas. I find that hard to believe, but who knows. Also, I agree that pictures are hard to make judgements on finish, alterations... Always better in person. If you are close to your dentist or have a radiographer as a friend, consider bringing both frames in for digital imaging. I've never had great luck with it, but by varying KVP, time,contrast and density - you may be able to discern if the English Order was ever stamped. Worth a try.
 

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My guess is that the guns were part of the Russian contract and either never made it out of the country after the October revolution or got held up in Britain when The Russian Empire collapsed and Colt didnt get payment for the guns.
 

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Russian Contract - some more facts....

Just to make things a bit more interesting.
I have four Colt Government from (date of Shipment to "Government of Russia" - 5000 pistols) August 3, 1916. They are all in 75 - 95% condition and not refinished. Numbers are 48732, 49336, 49387 and 50016. Only 50016 carries the rollmark "English Order" in Russian. Here are two of those...

All these pistols come P1020251.jpg from Finland and have been lettered by Colt....

I also have No. 68418 (Shipping date November 16, 1916 - 6000 pistols) with the rollmark - it came from Finland too. And I have No. 28623 that is lettered as Shipped to "His Britannic Majeesty"s Government For: Russian Government - date of shipment March 3, 1916 (2000 pistols) without rollmark - but probably reblued and from Finland too.

A friend of mine in Finland tells me that very few pistole under No. 50000 carry the "English Order" rollmark; almos all above No. 50000 are marked that way. It is not clear whether those Finns captured these pistols during WW I from the Russians or they just dropped from a truck passing through Finland on their way t Russia....

My Question: Has anyone another pistol from these shipments?????

Have a good 2019
Peter
 

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1916 Colt Government Model s/n C56415

Original and unaltered. Acquired from the Charles W. Clawson collection and featured in his Government Models book on page 138 and on page 81 in the 3rd Edition Collector's Guide. Back when Chuck acquired this pistol, it too came out of Finland.




 

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There are many like it, but this one is mine.
I inherited this from my dad a few years ago. No idea where or how he came by it. The first time I remember seeing it was about 40 years ago. He simply referred to it as “an old Russian 45”. It was one of his many WW II era hand guns but not considered his prize possession or favorite. I will more than likely pass it to my son one day. I would however like to get an idea of what is worth for his edification. Also what is and what is the purpose of the white fill in the roll marks? I know the photo’s aren’t much but all I have at the moment.

 

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There are manylike it, but this one is mine.
I inheritedthis from my dad a few years ago. No idea where or how he came by it. The firsttime I remember seeing it was about 40 years ago. He simply referred to it as “anold Russian 45”.... Alsowhat is and what is the purpose of the white fill in the roll marks?
Gunorr,

To High-Light the roll stamps. Most likely, "the white fill in" was added to aid in taking pictures?

Best Regards,

P.S. "the white fill in" can be removed with some light penetrating oil (or similar) and a soft bristle tooth brush. (However, sometimes that "the white fill in" was applied by someone that may be important, like your Dad. And/or, for example, most likely "the white fill in" on C 56415 (post # 10) was applied by Charles W. Clawson.) Most likely "the white fill in" will not harm the Pistol finish.
 

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This is great... Now we have two pistols with the inscription "English Order" and two without it out of the same shipment of August 3, 1916!!!!!

Both above No. 50000 are inscribed.

Peter
 

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I posted this last week on the 1911Forum and thought I'd share it here. My apologies for the duplication to those who are members of both forums.

Several years ago I picked up a Russian Contract Government Model at the Show of Shows in Louisville. I had the pistol lettered by Colt, serial number 42265, it was shipped to the Russian Government on June 13, 1916, one of 5,500 guns in the shipment. A month or so ago a close friend of mine told me about a British proofed Government Model that he had the opportunity to acquire, serial number 42349. I assumed that it was an early British contract gun, but it did not fall into the serial ranges listed by Clawson. Given the asking price and condition, I advised him to get it. I never compared the serial numbers of the two pistols until after my friend did acquire it and had it lettered by Colt. The serial umbers are only 84 apart. Low and behold, it also was shipped to the Russian Government on June 13, 1916, one of 5,500 guns in the shipment. Now the questions! My pistol has the Russian "English Order" stamp, my friends pistol does not. His is completely British proofed. When was the Russian stamp placed on the pistols? I assume that the mark was placed on the pistols in England by the Russian government inspector.
Why was my friends pistol British proofed if it was one of the Russian contract guns? Did the British keep it for their own use for whatever reason? I assume so. Any information, comments, and any thoughts would be greatly appreciated including any thoughts as to the value of my friends pistol.

Several responders in the 1911 Form suggested that maybe the Russian script had been removed, but very close examination of the area on the dust cover and measurements of that area comparing the Russian marked pistol, the English proofed pistol, and an original finish 1916 commercial Government Model all show that the markings had not been removed and the pistol refinished. Exactly where did the Russian markings get placed on the pistols??? I thought I had read that a Russian inspectors was assigned to England to inspect these Colt. In general terms no one has come up with a solid answer, and there may well not be one. Possible an English employee of the armoury made it a lunch box special. Maybe the Russian inspector gave it to an English friend or official. We may never know the answer, but I welcome your comments.

I have just spent two hours trying to figure out how to attach pictures to no avail, and I have learned that I can only insert 5 pictures, so I will attempt, again, to do that. If this fails, I invite you to go to the 1911Forum and look my post up under fredh46. I even went to FORUM HELP and was directed to google.....GEEEEZ! So here goes, let's see if the pictures appear!!!!!
I posted this last week on the 1911Forum and thought I'd share it here. My apologies for the duplication to those who are members of both forums.

Several years ago I picked up a Russian Contract Government Model at the Show of Shows in Louisville. I had the pistol lettered by Colt, serial number 42265, it was shipped to the Russian Government on June 13, 1916, one of 5,500 guns in the shipment. A month or so ago a close friend of mine told me about a British proofed Government Model that he had the opportunity to acquire, serial number 42349. I assumed that it was an early British contract gun, but it did not fall into the serial ranges listed by Clawson. Given the asking price and condition, I advised him to get it. I never compared the serial numbers of the two pistols until after my friend did acquire it and had it lettered by Colt. The serial umbers are only 84 apart. Low and behold, it also was shipped to the Russian Government on June 13, 1916, one of 5,500 guns in the shipment. Now the questions! My pistol has the Russian "English Order" stamp, my friends pistol does not. His is completely British proofed. When was the Russian stamp placed on the pistols? I assume that the mark was placed on the pistols in England by the Russian government inspector.
Why was my friends pistol British proofed if it was one of the Russian contract guns? Did the British keep it for their own use for whatever reason? I assume so. Any information, comments, and any thoughts would be greatly appreciated including any thoughts as to the value of my friends pistol.

Several responders in the 1911 Form suggested that maybe the Russian script had been removed, but very close examination of the area on the dust cover and measurements of that area comparing the Russian marked pistol, the English proofed pistol, and an original finish 1916 commercial Government Model all show that the markings had not been removed and the pistol refinished. Exactly where did the Russian markings get placed on the pistols??? I thought I had read that a Russian inspectors was assigned to England to inspect these Colt. In general terms no one has come up with a solid answer, and there may well not be one. Possible an English employee of the armoury made it a lunch box special. Maybe the Russian inspector gave it to an English friend or official. We may never know the answer, but I welcome your comments.

I have just spent two hours trying to figure out how to attach pictures to no avail, and I have learned that I can only insert 5 pictures, so I will attempt, again, to do that. If this fails, I invite you to go to the 1911Forum and look my post up under fredh46. I even went to FORUM HELP and was directed to google.....GEEEEZ! So here goes, let's see if the pictures appear!!!!!
Here is another 1911 C40108, unfortunately refinished, in the same shipment without the angl zakaz. The gun arrived in Italy from Germany (Frankonia) about in 1995.
certificazione Colt.jpg
1.jpg
3.jpg
 

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I posted this last week on the 1911Forum and thought I'd share it here. My apologies for the duplication to those who are members of both forums.

Several years ago I picked up a Russian Contract Government Model at the Show of Shows in Louisville. I had the pistol lettered by Colt, serial number 42265, it was shipped to the Russian Government on June 13, 1916, one of 5,500 guns in the shipment. A month or so ago a close friend of mine told me about a British proofed Government Model that he had the opportunity to acquire, serial number 42349. I assumed that it was an early British contract gun, but it did not fall into the serial ranges listed by Clawson. Given the asking price and condition, I advised him to get it. I never compared the serial numbers of the two pistols until after my friend did acquire it and had it lettered by Colt. The serial umbers are only 84 apart. Low and behold, it also was shipped to the Russian Government on June 13, 1916, one of 5,500 guns in the shipment. Now the questions! My pistol has the Russian "English Order" stamp, my friends pistol does not. His is completely British proofed. When was the Russian stamp placed on the pistols? I assume that the mark was placed on the pistols in England by the Russian government inspector.
Why was my friends pistol British proofed if it was one of the Russian contract guns? Did the British keep it for their own use for whatever reason? I assume so. Any information, comments, and any thoughts would be greatly appreciated including any thoughts as to the value of my friends pistol.

Several responders in the 1911 Form suggested that maybe the Russian script had been removed, but very close examination of the area on the dust cover and measurements of that area comparing the Russian marked pistol, the English proofed pistol, and an original finish 1916 commercial Government Model all show that the markings had not been removed and the pistol refinished. Exactly where did the Russian markings get placed on the pistols??? I thought I had read that a Russian inspectors was assigned to England to inspect these Colt. In general terms no one has come up with a solid answer, and there may well not be one. Possible an English employee of the armoury made it a lunch box special. Maybe the Russian inspector gave it to an English friend or official. We may never know the answer, but I welcome your comments.

I have just spent two hours trying to figure out how to attach pictures to no avail, and I have learned that I can only insert 5 pictures, so I will attempt, again, to do that. If this fails, I invite you to go to the 1911Forum and look my post up under fredh46. I even went to FORUM HELP and was directed to google.....GEEEEZ! So here goes, let's see if the pictures appear!!!!!
Very interesting that Russia was buying 1911's in 1916. It is also revealing that Russia bought 70% of the ENTIRE Winchester M1895 production 1915-16 (294,000 purchased).
 

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Here is another 1911 C40108, unfortunately refinished, in the same shipment without the angl zakaz. The gun arrived in Italy from Germany (Frankonia) about in 1995.
View attachment 717018 View attachment 717019 View attachment 717020
It is not the same shipment.... I was talking about the sipment of 5000 on August 3rd, 1916. I have four pistols from this shipment: 48732, 49336, 49387 and 50016 - only 50016 is marked with the famous "anglo....". Your shipment is a bit earlier and larger (5,500)

Peter
 

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It is not the same shipment.... I was talking about the sipment of 5000 on August 3rd, 1916. I have four pistols from this shipment: 48732, 49336, 49387 and 50016 - only 50016 is marked with the famous "anglo....". Your shipment is a bit earlier and larger (5,500)

Peter
I was refering to the first post about serial number C42265 (with angl zakaz print) and C42349 (without angl zakaz), both shipped like mine June 13, 1916 in a 5500 shipment
 
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