COLT .455 BRITISH 1911

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by MARTIENS, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. MARTIENS

    MARTIENS New Member

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    I have a very nice and pristine Colt .455. I have owned it for 30 years and never fired it and doubt whether it was ever fired.I have since found that it is not a RAF model, rather a Commercial model sold in 1915 to the British Army. All parts match up. See attached photographs. My concern is that American Collectors do not value these Pistol as much as Pistols with a more American provenance ? I also believe that should I export to America, the Pistol will be defaced with American markings that will devalue the value.
    What is the real Retail value ?

    Attached Files:

  2. MARTIENS

    MARTIENS New Member

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    Some more pictures

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  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I don't see any British military proof marks or a broad arrow, so it does not appear to have been in British service. According to Clawson, out of 17,500 Government Model pistols shipped to England, 600 were on commercial sales; that appears to be one of them and thus quite rare. I don't know the current laws about marking guns in single gun imports. Prior to 1968, that gun would not have been marked since it is of U.S. origin. And I have been told that a special request can be made to forego the marking on single collectors' items but I don't know how that works.

    Just FWIW, that gun differs in some subtle ways from the standard government model. The magazine well is wider, the magazine is wider (the .455 magazine will not fit a standard .45 pistol), the barrel hood has a special counterbore for the .455 Webley Auto rim, and there is no barrel shoulder.

    Jim
  4. MARTIENS

    MARTIENS New Member

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    Jim K,
    Thanks for the info. I have been led to believe that the RAF models are more valuable than the Commercial models. If only 600 were made available, then it is quite rare, how do I properly value my gun. (I have had her for 30 years and am quite sentimental about her) As you can see from the Photographs, it is really in excellent condition.
  5. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    I should think the value would be high. High to me means over $2,000. The .455 caliber reduces the "shooter" value but increases the "collector" value.

    It is in beautiful condition, which makes more sense for a privately purchased gun, as JimK suggests, than for a government-purchased gun.

    Thanks for putting up excellent photographs, MARTIENS, and welcome to the Forum!
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    At a gun show a couple of years ago, a dealer had a nice Air Service .455 Government Model. I made the mistake of remarking, casually, that the .455 magazine would not fit the standard .45. He told me I was wrong and stupid to boot and that he would prove it. He took a .45 from the table, tried to put the .455 magazine in it. It didn't go in. So he hammered the gun on the table, trying to force the magazine in. In the process he smashed the lanyard loop over, and bent the magazine base plate. He got the magazine almost in, with only an inch sticking out, then he showed it to me with a triumphal, "See!" He kept pounding away, though, and was still at it when I left.

    He ruined a $250 magazine just to "prove" to me that I was wrong. There are fools, damned fools, and real idiots.

    Jim
  7. MARTIENS

    MARTIENS New Member

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