This Colt Government Model was shipped to the Russian Government on October 7th, 1916 in a 5,000 gun shipment. In total the Imperial Russian Government would purchase some 51,000 commercial Government Models from Colt From Feb 19th, 1916 through January 18th, 1917.
The serial numbers of these pistols range from C23000 to C89000 but they are not inclusive. The majority of these pistols were marked on the left side dust cover with a Russian inscription "АНГЛ ЗАКАЗЬ" which is abbreviated when translated to "English Order" signifying that it was ordered through and agency of the British government.
During 1914 the Russian army was severely short of arms and ammunition. Government factories were unable to satisfy the demand, and Russian-designed weapons ordered from abroad could not be manufactured in time to equip the rapidly growing army. The solution was the rapidly available .45 Caliber pistol from Colt.