Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian shipped to Remington/UMCMarkings

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varifleman
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:47 am

Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian shipped to Remington/UMCMarkings

Post by varifleman » Mon May 04, 2020 9:15 am

Here for your perusal is Colt .45 ACP 1914 Government Model Pistol serial number C9591 which was 1 of 20 shipped to Remington Arms-UMC Company Bridgeport CT on October 5 1914. I'd like the forum's opinion on why the pistol was shipped to Remington/UMC and how it wound up in apparent British and Canadian service. The Canadian C broad arrow property mark is stamped on the magazine floor plate and British Birmingham commercial proofing on the slide and barrel. Looks like it saw British and Canadian service in WWI and WWII. The BNP proofs seem to be added when pistol is sold off as redundant. From what I can determine from Birmingham Proof Mark Chart below the mark going clockwise looks like B (3 o'clock)-4(6 o'clock)-J(9 o'clock) which would indicate it was proofed in 1958. Also it seems the 1914 Canadian Government Model pistols were shipped with just one unmarked two-toned blue lanyard loop magazine normally supplied with Colt Government Model pistols due to necessity to get the pistols supplied quickly to the Canadian Expeditionary Force and later in 1915 spare magazines were ordered and marked with the C-Broad Arrow mark. According to a reply received from the Imperial War Museum in London: "During the autumn of 1914, the Canadian Government purchased 5,000 Colt M1911 pistols to equip its military forces. These were issued to officers, NCOs and cavalry troopers, but could also be purchased by officers wishing to acquire their sidearm permanently. Unfortunately, apart from a few pistols that received unit marks on the grip-strap, or were inscribed with the name of the officer who purchased them, there is no way of ascertaining which unit or formation they were issued to.I can’t see very clearly from your photos, but it appears that the proof mark on it post-dates the First World War. This would imply that the pistol was put through proof at Birmingham at some point after its First World War military career – and prior to it re-crossing the Atlantic."
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aardq
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Re: Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian shipped to Remington/UMCMarkings

Post by aardq » Tue May 05, 2020 4:59 am

While I’m far from an expert, I have picked up a few bits of knowledge along the way, so I’ll start the guessing on this gun.

First off, you probably already know that the C serial means it is a commercial gun. Then and now, gun companies buy products from other companies, just to find out what the competition is doing, and how well the are doing it. Or, there could have been talk of contracting out production to other companies. Thus, Rem was sent the guns to study with the idea they may be called on later to make the guns. Which Rem did end up doing later in the war.

My understanding is that all guns entering England must be proofed first, so the BNP marking would have been done when the gun entered, not when it left.

The experts will have to jump in and tell us if the guns bought by Canada in 1914 were produced as military contract guns or bought from commercial stocks.

Once Rem was done with this pistol, they may have sold it off in the commercial market. As to how this gun saw both Canadian and British service, and when, is nothing but conjecture on our part, unless some sort of documentation is found. British officers were allowed to purchase their own side arms, and it is possible that this gun was bought by a Canadian officer. From there is just more guessing.

This is an interesting gun, that comes with lots of questions, and very few answers. I suggest the Colt forum (www.coltforum.com) for the real experts on Colts. Now we wait for the experts to jump in and educate us.

Good luck, and enjoy your pistol,
Dan

varifleman
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:47 am

Re: Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian shipped to Remington/UMCMarkings

Post by varifleman » Tue May 05, 2020 8:50 am

Dan; thanks for your valuable comments. It's a very interesting pistol and I'm looking forward to any other comments.

varifleman
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:47 am

Re: Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian shipped to Remington/UMCMarkings

Post by varifleman » Sat May 23, 2020 8:25 am

I sent information and photos of the pistol to the American Rifleman Magazine's Dope Bag and got this interesting reply from Field Editor Bruce Canfield.
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ChuckD
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Location: Northern IL

Re: Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian shipped to Remington/UMCMarkings

Post by ChuckD » Sat May 23, 2020 3:09 pm

Every thing stated is very interesting, but doesn't explain why it was first sent to Remington-UMC before it's
world travels. Might I suggest that it was sent to UMC for cartridge development and function.
Then forwarded to either Colt or directly to Canada, Just my guess?

varifleman
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:47 am

Re: Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian shipped to Remington/UMCMarkings

Post by varifleman » Mon May 25, 2020 8:45 am

ChuckD; sounds like a plausible scenario; thanks.

AlanD
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:39 am

Re: Colt 1914 Government Model .45 ACP British/Canadian shipped to Remington/UMCMarkings

Post by AlanD » Sat May 30, 2020 7:32 pm

Supply to Remington UMC for testing of ammunition would seem the most logical explanation. If you are making tens of millions of rounds on a government contract you will need a number of pistols to test the ammo.

All the big cartridge manufactures did this.

Regards

AlanD
Sydney

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