Colt Government Model 45ACP SN:C208930 MFG:1942 Norwegian Navy

  • Caliber: 45ACP
  • Era: Pre-War
  • Factory Order Number: 396
  • Finish: Fine Brushed Blue
  • Serial Number: C208930
  • Shipment Type: Foreign
  • Shipped To: Royal Norwegian Legation
  • Year: 1942

This Government Model is loaded with interesting history. It was originally manufactured as part of a contract for Shanghai Municipal Police officials in the Shanghai French Concession in China. This part of central Shanghai had been administered by the French since 1849 but delivery became impossible when the Japanese occupied the area during WWII.

Colt opted to to use these pistols to fill an order placed by the Norwegian Navy, which was in exile in Nova Scotia after Norway was overrun by the Germans. This order consisted of just 200 pistols in total and the bulk of the order were to be placed aboard Norwegian whaling vessels that had been outfitted to function as shipping convoy escorts.

These pistols had already been marked "CONCESSION FRANCAISE CHANGHAI" (Concession French Shanghai) on the right side of the frame so Colt simply overstamped/canceled the marking with an existing die (an upside down "PT.F.A.MFG.CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A."). A Norwegian property number was then added to the right side of the frame (this pistol is No.104).

The magazines were also quite unique in that instead of having staggered cartridge viewing holes on both sides of the mag, they had vertically aligned viewing holes on the rear and the left side only (apparently .45 cartridges were valuable on the Shanghai black market and this set-up allowed ranking officers to easily check a subordinate's weapon to see if the mag contained live cartridges with both bullets and primers, or just empty brass cases!).

The pistol is otherwise a standard "off-the-shelf" Colt Government Model as produced in the early 1940's. The slide is serial numbered beneath the firing pin retainer and is matching to the frame. All of the components, including barrel and grips, are period correct. The barrel is properly marked "COLT 45 AUTO" beneath the chamber. Wear patterns between the contact surfaces of the frame, slide, and barrel mirror one another perfectly and it is apparent that the barrel is original to the gun.