This Colt Service Model Ace was shipped to Captain Edward C. Crossman of Santa Monica, California on June 17th, 1938 in a single gun shipment. A Colt Service Model Ace that was sold commercially is rare, as the majority of these pistols were sold to the US Military for training purposes.
Captain Edward Carthart "Ned" Crossman (1889 - 1939) was a very prominent writer of his time, and he was fortunate enough to make a living full time writing for magazines and publishing books.
He was a regular contributor to "Arms and the Man" and it's successor "American Rifleman". He also wrote some books of his own, some of the more well known tiles are "Military & Sporting Rifle Shooting", "Small Bore Rifle Shooting" and "The Book of Springfield".
Ned was born in Iowa and and at an early age began learning the use of firearms for gathering food, providing protection and for recreation. Eventually he would make a name for himself by becoming a member of the Muscatine Guards-Company-C of the 9th Regiment of the Iowa National Guard.
Crossman eventually moved to California where he came into public notice at the age of 23 when his contribution to the Arms and the Man was published. The "Arms and the Man" would eventually become what was the National Rifle Association's "American Rifleman". His knowledge of firearms and the outdoors allowed him to write a wide range of articles for a variety of different magazines.
He was very active in the establishment of the Los Angeles Rifle and Revolver club and served as secretary for many years. While in LA he met his future wife Blanche Brown. They eventually had their only child on July 8th, 1909. The family would often go together to explore the back country of the west, ranging from New Mexico to Oregon in pursuit of game, adventure and content for his articles.
On April 6th, 1917 General Peyton March Chief of Staff of the Army, signed orders creating "The Small Arms Firing School of Instruction of Officers and Enlisted Men in Rifle and Pistol Shooting". In recognition of his skill and knowledge as a marksman Crossman was ordered to active duty as a Captain where he would join the great small-bore rifleman, T.K. "Tackhole" Lee. Lee was a long range specialist who trained with William Leusher and James Keogh and a host of others at Camp Perry, Ohio.
At the conclusion of WWI, Crossman stayed in the Army while still writing articles for the popular outdoor press. In 1919 he was sent to Daytona Beach, Florida to serve under Lieutenant Colonel Glenn P. Wilhelm in checking the range tables of the 30 Caliber M1 cartridge and determining it's true maximum range.
Crossman was eventually mustered out of the Army soon after his tour at Daytona when it was discovered that he had developed stomach ulcers, but his attachment to his days in the service were so strong that he would often use the honorific of ‘Captain’ in the ensuing years. He branched off into a relatively new field of firearms forensics and soon became associated with the Bureau of Forensic Ballistics eventually dealing with over 200 cases. When his son Jim graduated from California Institute of Technology in 1931 he joined his father in his practice.