The second question is often "What Colt do I have"? Before you can determine when a Colt was made, you first have to determine WHAT Colt model you have. First, identifying a Colt revolver can be frustrating because beginning in 1840 Colt always started each new model at serial number "1", and progressed upward until the model was discontinued, OR until the mid-1960's when the serial number system changed to meet Federal law.Since all Colt's started off at number "1" it's possible to have a number of older Colt firearms all with the same serial number. This law mandated that from then on all new firearms had to have a serial number and that number had to be unique.Since many of these guns used the exact same barrel except for the model name stamped on it, we have situations where an owner is convinced he has a rare, unknown model of aluminum frame Detective Special. What he has is an aluminum frame Cobra someone installed a Detective Special barrel on.When he attempts to determine when his Colt was made, it comes back as a totally different model than what is stamped on the barrel. Several have posted over last couple of months asking how to ID the M1911A1 Govt 45 Auto, as in "I've got one, who made the darn thing? I'm certainly no Govt 45 expert but I dug up some info, maybe it will help...first a bit of history. The slide is also not original if it has a drawing number on the side, usually 7790314." Good question since the frame usually just says "GOVERNMENT MODEL" or "UNITED STATES PROPERTY M 1911 A1 U. World War I production: Four (4) manufacturers made M1911 pistols that actually saw use during the war years: * Colt * Remington-UMC * Springfield Armory (U. Government owned & operated) * North American Arms Co. These are replacement slides made long after WWII by Colt and San Col Mar.
They were: S/N U1 to U112.) 1) Colt M1911 Canadian Contract: S/N C5400 to C16599 = Sept.As example in the late 1960's Colt started combining all small "D" frame models like the Detective Special, Cobra, Agent, Diamondback, Viper, Police Positive Special, etc in the same serial number ranges.Because of Colt's serial number systems it may not be possible to identify what model a Colt is based on just the number.They provide every spec about the gun, who is was shipped to, when it was shipped, and even how many other firearms were shipped at the same time as yours.You can find the order form and specifications of Colt Manufacturing's archival service here.of Quebec (just a VERY FEW) Seven (7) manufacturers were tooling up to produce M1911 pistols but the Armistice stopped it all and program was cancelled: * National Cash Register Co. The same is true if the slide is marked Drake - the company that built National Match slides for the government.