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Old 12-12-2010, 11:03 PM
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Default A very nice1909 Army Colt I picked up today

A rare 1909 Army Colt you usually don't see in this condition.It's almost like seeing the beauty and the beast. A very large pistol with a beautiful early Colt finish. Amost too nice to put in a holster. It's much nicer than the pictures. ****** I think 10,000 Army 1000 Navy 1000 marines ? Altogether 12000?
Thanks for looking! Joe
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Last edited by english; 12-13-2010 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:16 PM
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I love Smith & Wessons but sure will appreciate Colt New Service revolvers whenever I see them. The Model 1909 versions are painfully hard to find in nice condition. You've turned up with one though.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:06 AM
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They're great revolvers. The M1909 cartridge, with a somewhat wider rim than the usual 45 Colt is also pretty scarce; I've only been able to find a blank.

I can't understand why the Army adopted the M 1909. There was no national emergency that would give cause for undue haste. The process of developing a satisfactory automatic pistol was well underway, and it was apparent that one would be adopted soon. Any enlightenment, or if no enlightenment, any SWAGs?.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:28 AM
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The Philipine Insurgency in the first ten years of the 20th century emphasized the urgency of a serious caliber Army sidearm. This was the same experience fighting Moro guerillas that proved the lack of stopping power of the existing .38 Long revolvers, and necessitated bringing out old Colt M1873 .45 revolvers in storage.

The purchase of Colt New Service M1909 revolvers was indeed an emergency measure before the new service automatic pistol was adopted.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:32 AM
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I forgot to mention that the US Marine Corp also purchased M1909 Colt revolvers, also due to their combat experience during the Philipine insurgency.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:27 AM
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Nice old Colt. John Traveler is correct about the M1909 having its origins in the failure of the Army's .38s during the Moro Insurrection.


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Old 12-13-2010, 08:57 AM
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The serial no. is 46037. This 1909 seems to be bigger than the 1918 Colt or the 1918 S&W? Are the caliber of bullets the same in power (45 long 45acp?) Can you use 45 ACP in the 09. Also would this pistol be safe to shoot and would it affect the finish?
Your comments are appreciated,
Joe

Last edited by english; 12-13-2010 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:42 AM
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I think the USMC version had a narrower butt than Army and Navy versions. Or, maybe that was just with the preceeding .38's?

The M-1917 (not 1918) Colt is the same size as the M-1909, and is basically the same gun, other than for caliber. The extractor rod head on the 1909 model had three lobes, and many M-1917's had only two, as did other later New Service Colts.

The M-1909 takes a special version of the .45 Colt, with a wider rim, to give more certain extracton in a swingout cylinder.

Finally, the 1909 had a conventional blue finish, while many 1917's had a dull gray finish.

Neither gun will fire the cartridge of the other, although power level is similar.

Frankford Arsenal loaded the special M-1909 ammo. I don't think it was ever made commercially, although I could be wrong.

Last edited by Texas Star; 12-13-2010 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:12 AM
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There are some things I don't understand about the 1909. They definitely needed some new pistols. All they had were underpowered .38s and obsolete single action .45s, all well worn by that time. They could not know that Mr Browning and Colt would come up with a satisfactory automatic in only two more years.

What I don't get is the large rim .45 Colt a la Frankford Arsenal.
There was an official .45 revolver cartridge defined in 1906 for the upcoming trials. It was just like the .45 auto cartridge except it had a rim. Not the thick rim of the 1920 .45 Auto Rim, but a normal .060" rim on a case the same length as .45 auto. Which itself looked suspiciously like what Colt was already selling in the 1905 guns. So why didn't they buy revolvers in .45 1906 instead of modifying the .45 1873 for simultaneous extraction and smokeless powder?
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:18 AM
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I've got some Frankfort Arsenal .45 Colt cartridges marked F. A. 4-12. The rim style is more similar to modern factory .45 Colt cartridges than it is to the really old commercial stuff which has almost no rim. I can see how they wouldn't have been suitable for use in a revolver featuring simultaneous ejection. I have a Model 1909 and ought to try to dig out some old black powder .45 Colt cartridges with the small rims to see how they work with the extractor. Finding them would be a chore.

"So why didn't they buy revolvers in .45 1906 instead of modifying the .45 1873 for simultaneous extraction and smokeless powder?"

Perhaps it was easier to just buy "off the shelf." for a design that was apparently known to be an interim acquisition until the time the coming .45 automatic pistol was standardized. The Ordnance Dept. was still constrained to supply ammunition for the M1873 revolvers they had trotted out of mothballs in order to supply to units stationed in the Philippines. It was an easy matter to chamber the New Service design for the same cartridge as used in the rehab'ed "Artillery Models" then in use.

Last edited by bmcgilvray; 12-13-2010 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:19 PM
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A very nice M1909 indeed! Congrats Joe!
I too love the big Smith N frames, but the bigger Colt New Service is a big favorite of mine as well! I heard a rumor about a year ago that Colt was thinking of bringing the NS back, but I guess that fell through. Too bad!
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:58 PM
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If anyone needs the 1909 long Colt rounds, my friend has them for $2.00 a round. (A collector of ammunition since 1934). He's saving me a box of twenty rounds. He said "this Colt long ammo can only be used in those military pistols". Leave a note if interested?
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:31 PM
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TGexas Star: The USMC version of the M 1909 did indeed have a birds head butt, and the grips were checkered rather than smooth. The different shape to the butt required a different forging, for a rather small run of pistols (I think somewheer around 1000).

A friend interested in USMC history told me that he could find no record, either at HQ USMC or Colt, of there ever having been a specification submitted for the pistol, or for Colt ever having billed for the guns or receiving payment!! Interesting, if it's true.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:24 PM
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Spectacular 1909. While I am a diehard S&W guy, there are a few Colt models that I aspire to own. A 1909 is one of them, and I can only dream of finding one as good as yours. Congratulations!
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:53 AM
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Default Colt model 1909 Ammo

The box in front of me says 20 caliber.45 ball cartridges, Model of 1909; for Colt's double action revolver, Model of 1909; smokeless powder; muzzle velocity 725 / 25 feet per second; manufactured at Frankford Arsenal; class 47, division 1, drawing 3; R.S.Q.Lot NO. 4, of 1911. Iv'e had this box for years and never knew anything about it, another reason this Forum is so much fun. Another notice on the box says to de-prime as soon as possible and throw them in water, clean with a brush, and dry for storage.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:54 PM
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Absolutely beautiful condition 1909. They are difficult to find looking like that.

I had # 47724 a few years back. A very nice condition gun also,,, but not up to the standard of yours.
Traded that for a Gov't issue 1915 mfg. Mod 1911. That's gone too.
Oh Well...
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john traveler View Post
I forgot to mention that the US Marine Corp also purchased M1909 Colt revolvers, also due to their combat experience during the Philipine insurgency.
And I believe according to Serven, they had round butts.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:01 PM
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That one of the ones I had always wanted but never got. Best chance I had was one a guy had and he sent me pictures. It was almost devoid of blueing but in otherwise tight and original. He wouldn't back off his price which would have been good for a gun with finish so no deal.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:31 PM
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Very nice 1909! Most of these went to the Philippines, and most stayed there for use against the Moros. Not too many came back to these shores, so it's a rarity in almost any condition. Leather holsters, high humidity and a blued finish caused unfortunate damage to most. Very few VG to Exc. condition specimens exist. I'm lucky enough to have one. Here's a pic:



This one was made in 1910 and carries the serial number 36862. It also shows the inspector mark R.A.C. (Rinaldo A. Carr) and the acceptance mark FB (Frank Baker) on the right side of the frame.

The Model 1909s were made from 1909 to 1911, and there were a total of 21,933 made. They chamber the .45 Colt (modified) which is the same as the .45 (long) Colt cartridge, but it has a wider rim to make ejection more reliable. Present-day .45 Colt cartridges work just fine, as they have slightly wider rims than those used back in the day. If the grips are original, they will have the serial number penciled inside the grips. The Model 1909 was made for the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Special military serial numbers are on the butt. USN 1 to USN 1000, and USMC 1 to USMC 1300.
Colt's SNs were on the butt, crane and frame on the Army models. The last 4 digits of Colt's SN should be on the cylinder latch and inside the side plate of these.

Incidentally, very early U.S. Model 1917 Colts had the same configuration barrel (straight, no flare near the frame) as the Model 1909. The barrel was quickly changed to the flared type on the '17s as production got under way.

Hope this information helps.

John
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Last edited by PALADIN85020; 12-17-2010 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:24 PM
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The "S&W forum members" have provided enough valuable information to fill a book on the Colt 1909. I never realized there was so many knowledgeable people on that particular subject. A military revolver with a very short history but still holds a lot of interest for military and Colt pistol collectors.
Your responses are welcomed and appreciated,
Joe
( John, Your 1909 is in excellent condition.)
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:30 PM
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Ooohh, very nice indeed. I have my wife's grandfather's M1917 WWI issue in about that same condition.
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