The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Curios and Relics

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 14, 2018, 10:11 AM   #1
highpower3006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2011
Location: Reno NV
Posts: 894
New (old) 1911 Model 1927 Sistema Colt

Just picked this up the other day. I had one of these many years ago that was stolen in a break in at my house. I have been kind of half heartedly looking for another for the last couple of years, but even mediocre examples have gone up much higher in price than I was willing to pay. Anyway, I found this at Cabelas here in Reno for $399 and I couldn't resist picking it up.

To anyone not familiar with these, the Argentine government contracted with Colt to produce 1911A1's. The agreement was reached in 1941, but the onset of war had resulted in there being an embargo on raw material to Argentina and actual production didn't start until 1948. They are in all respects the same as a WWII era Colt 1911A1

They are extremely well made and the fit and finish is every bit as good as a Colt from the same period. This particular one was made in 1951 and still has about 85%+ original finish and has all matching numbers including the barrel, slide and magazine. The finish wear seems to be mostly from a holster as the bore is absolutely pristine and it is as tight as any new 1911 that I have owned.









highpower3006 is offline  
Old August 14, 2018, 10:31 AM   #2
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 7,699
$399 is a screaming deal.
I think the last one I saw at a gun show was $699.
__________________
Runs off at the mouth about anything 1911 related on this site and half the time is flat out wrong.
RickB is offline  
Old August 14, 2018, 10:35 AM   #3
jonnyc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 1,354
That might be the nicest Sistema I've ever seen. Original grips, too!
__________________
2016 PA Cartridge Collector Show!!!
Buy...Sell...Trade All Types of Ammunition & Ordnance
Details: http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...75#post6228275
jonnyc is offline  
Old August 14, 2018, 01:34 PM   #4
Bill DeShivs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 9,647
Beautiful example!
To my knowledge, the Sistemas were not built by Colt, but were built in Argentina on machinery purchased from Colt.
__________________
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
www.billdeshivs.com
Bill DeShivs is offline  
Old August 14, 2018, 01:56 PM   #5
highpower3006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2011
Location: Reno NV
Posts: 894
Quote:
To my knowledge, the Sistemas were not built by Colt, but were built in Argentina on machinery purchased from Colt.
That is my understanding also. Although I did hear somewhere that the machinery came from Remington-Rand as they had no more use for it after the war.
highpower3006 is offline  
Old August 14, 2018, 05:56 PM   #6
lamarw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2010
Location: Lake Martin, AL
Posts: 3,170
Congrats Very nice score at a great price.
lamarw is offline  
Old August 14, 2018, 06:00 PM   #7
Mike38
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 2,030
Very nice! I picked up a M1927 about 15 years ago, serial number about 2000 less than yours. Mine was in fair condition at best, but I only bought it for the frame. Stripped it completely down to frame only, and parted it out, selling all the small parts on a gun auction web site and got almost enough to give me a free frame. Built it up into a Bullseye pistol. Very accurate still to this day. Those are excellent frames, especially the early ones.
Mike38 is offline  
Old August 14, 2018, 06:05 PM   #8
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 7,699
Quote:
To my knowledge, the Sistemas were not built by Colt, but were built in Argentina on machinery purchased from Colt.

That is my understanding also. Although I did hear somewhere that the machinery came from Remington-Rand as they had no more use for it after the war.
Argentina bought pistols from Colt in the '20s, and those are, for some reason, called "Hartford Colts" by collectors, to differentiate them from the Sistemas manufactured in Argentina.
The slide markings are similar, but the guns made by Colt also have their markings on them.
__________________
Runs off at the mouth about anything 1911 related on this site and half the time is flat out wrong.
RickB is offline  
Old August 15, 2018, 05:57 AM   #9
highpower3006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2011
Location: Reno NV
Posts: 894
I did some research and this is what I came up with as far as the background on Argentine 1911's:

In 1914, the Argentine military adopted the Colt M1911 as their standard military sidearm and contracted with Colt to supply these guns. Argentina took shipment of 2,151 of these weapons between 1914 and 1919. Among them were the following: 321 pistols received in 1914 marked MARINA ARGENTINA (Argentina Navy), S/N C6201-C6400 and C11501-C11621; 1000 received in 1916, S/N C20001-C21000; 400 received in 1919 within the S/N range of C86790-C116594. These pistols went through two different channels. The battleships that were being made in the USA for Argentina received the Navy pistols directly. Pistols delivered to Argentina went through the London Armoury Company. The 1,000 pistols received in 1915 were marked with Argentine crests and property numbers 1 to 1,000 on the tops of the slides. These pistols were designated "Pistola Colt Modelo Argentino 1916.

In 1923, Argentina adopted an armaments bill that would eliminate Argentine dependency on foreign arms. Under this bill, the Argentine Congress authorized appropriations for a military modernization program and prepared the infrastructure for a domestic arms industry. In accordance with the new law, an aircraft factory was established in 1927, a munitions factory in 1933, a small steel mill in 1934, and a small arms factory in 1936, all of which were managed by Argentine army officers.

In 1927, the Argentine Commission for Foreign Acquisitions negotiated a contract with Colt for the manufacture of M1911A1 .45 caliber self-loading pistols specially marked and serial numbered in a separate series, and secured a licensing agreement giving the Argentine government the right to manufacture these pistols.

The agreement specified: 1) that Colt would manufacture 10,000 Colt automatic pistols, caliber .45, Ejercito Argentino Modelo 1927, for the Argentine Army; 2) that the complete knowledge base for future production of the pistols in Argentina, including drawings, manufacturing instructions, material specifications, tool requirements, etc., would be transferred to Argentine control; and 3) that Argentine technicians would be trained in manufacturing operations and inspection.

THE 1927 HARTFORD ARGENTINE ARMY MODELS

The 10,000 Hartford Colts made for Agentina prior to production of Sistemas were delivered from 1927 to 1933, serial #’s 1-10,000." The production period was from July 28, 1927 to February 16, 1928. Serial numbers were stamped in Colt’s italic numbers on top of the slides, under the mainspring housing, and (usually) on top of the barrel.

On the left side of the slide (the Colt logo is stamped behind these lines):
"COLT'S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT. USA"
"PATD APR. 20, 1897,SEPT. 9, 1902,DEC. 19, 1905,FEB. 14, 1911,AUG. 19, 1913."
On the right side of the slide is the Argentine Crest and:
"EJERCITO ARGENTINO"
"COLT CAL. 45 MOD. 1927"

Ejercito Argentino is the Argentine Army, but some of the Hartford's were issued to Policia Maritima, Argentinas Shore Patrol. For production of Colt 1911A1's in Argentina, Colt engineers supervised the set-up of the production equipment, which was acquired from the Fritz Werner company in Germany, a maker of arms-manufacturing machinery still in business today.

From 1927 to 1942, 14,000 Sistema pistols (from Sistema Colt, indicating made on the Colt system (machinery) were produced at the Esteban de Luca Arsenal in Buenos Aires, S/N 10,001-24,000, the serial numbers continuing from the Hartford run.

In 1941, after a decade of planning, Argentines established a large and diversified military-industrial complex under the overall supervision of the Direccion General de Fabricaciones Militares (D.G.F.M.), the Military Manufacturing Agency. Similar to the US Ordnance Department, the agency was run by the military and military officers managed the manufacturing plants. Among other products, this agency would eventually, through contractual agreements, oversee the production of identical copies of Colt M1911-A1, Brownings Hi Power, and FN FAL rifle.

In 1945, after construction of the state-owned Fabrica Militar de Armas Portatiles (F.M.A.P.), Small Arms Factory in Rosario, Santa Fe (250 miles from Buenos Aires), assembly of Sistemas was transferred to the new plant and another 88,494 pistols were produced through 1966. This factory was named for Domingo Matheu, a 19th century military official who was active in the early development of the nation's arms industry.


Sistema Colts were manufactured in accordance with Colt's 1927 drawings. They were identical to US military M1911-A1 pistols except for 6 minor cosmetic differences, and parts were interchangeable.

The differences were: a) the markings, b) the grips, c) a black oxide bluing, d) a sharp edge on the rear of the hammer, e) a sharp edge on the heel of the grip safety, f) indented checkering on the mainspring housing.

Reposted from a thread on the 1911 forum. My thanks to member "butchblocs" for posting this over there.
highpower3006 is offline  
Old August 15, 2018, 10:54 AM   #10
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 7,699
Quote:
a sharp edge on the heel of the grip safety
I put a Sistema grip safety on a Colt that would have the safety "pinned" in the depressed position, as the sharp edge blended much better with the top of the mainspring housing than would one with a heavy bevel on it.

__________________
Runs off at the mouth about anything 1911 related on this site and half the time is flat out wrong.
RickB is offline  
Old August 18, 2018, 09:25 AM   #11
kenny53
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2015
Location: My back yard
Posts: 470
Highpower3006, What a great find. I think I would have bought myself. Hope you get many years of use from it.
kenny53 is offline  
Old August 19, 2018, 07:23 AM   #12
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 5,130
Ballister-Molina

Another Argentinian offering. I have SN 19XXX which places its manufacture sometime late in the range from 1942 to 1944. The operation and performance of this pistol is equivalent (in my minimalist way of judging) to a Zig and a RIA .45ACP in my accumulation and to my recollection of the 1911s which I used while I was on active duty in the Navy. It appears to be very forgiving in its cycling of rounds, possible due to its age and the fact that it is not as tight as my two new pistols.

I think posterity has assigned the B-M to a lower status than other versions of 1911 built in Argentina such as the one Highpower was fortunate enough to find.

Nice addition, 3006!

I bought mine at a gun show here in VA.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old August 19, 2018, 09:50 AM   #13
highpower3006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2011
Location: Reno NV
Posts: 894
The Ballister-Molina pistols are really pretty good handguns and you are right in that they have never really gotten the respect that they should. I missed out on a couple of nice ones over the years due to my short sightedness and general lack of knowledge about them.

But then I remember that the M1927 Sistemas were looked down on for many years also and only recently have nice examples started to climb in price. Argentina has a history of making very good firearms in general and I would not feel undergunned if I had to protect myself with either a Sistema or a B-M.

Thanks for reminding me about them, the Big Reno show is coming up next weekend and since I am going to be working there for a friend of mine, I am going to actively be hunting for a nice B-M as well as a Kongsberg M1914.

My current wall-o-1911's. The oldest was made in 1914, the newest in 2013. Mostly US Property marked Colts with a couple of foreign (Norinco, RI & Argentine) thrown in.
highpower3006 is offline  
Old August 21, 2018, 07:11 PM   #14
Centurion
Member
 
Join Date: May 9, 2016
Posts: 89
Just a short comment. The machineries that were used to manufacture argentinian Sistemas were not of Colt or Remington origin but german Fritz Werner ones.
Centurion is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08156 seconds with 8 queries