"COLT MODEL 1911 NORTH AMERICAN SEMI-AUTO PISTOL. SN 66. Cal. 45 ACP. One of only 100 production North American Arms Co. built 1911 pistols during WWI. These 100 pistols were built by North American Arms in the old Ross Rifle Factory in Quebec, Canada under contract from U.S. Government for 500,000 pistols. This limited number was produced probably as test & machinery setup pieces prior to commencing production. Just as the factory was ready to begin producing pistols the Armistice of 1918 was signed and the contract was immediately suspended. A settlement was reached between U.S. Government & North American Arms & no additional 1911 style pistols were ever produced by that company. In total there appears to have been approx. 104 pieces produced with the first 100 numbered consecutively from 1 to 100 and additional pieces, made for presentation, were numbered "111", "222", "333", etc. in multiple digits. A few of these presentation pieces are known. Regardless, the North American 1911 is the single most rare model ever produced under the 1911 design and is only found in the most advanced collections. This pistol was brought home from European theatre by Pvt. Harlan Benner who was a truck driver for the 208th Field Artillery at Normandy. He was driving supplies to the front & returning bodies to the beach and removed this pistol from the body of a deceased officer. He stated he mailed it home in pieces. Built almost precisely like a standard 1911, with only minor, subtle differences. It has a standard 5" bbl with normal lug & link with seven lands & grooves & is completely unmarked. Slide is marked on left side "MANUFACTURED BY / NORTH AMERICAN ARMS CO. LIMITED / QUEBEC, CANADA.". The word "LIMITED" has what appears to be a capital "L" with shorter remaining letters and the last three are tapered in descending height. This is an identifying feature for authentic North American Arms 1911's. It has orig fixed sights with serial number at rear left side behind grasping grooves. It has a long smooth trigger & long spur hammer without checkering & short spur grip safety with straight mainspring housing without lanyard loop, all of which are identifying features for the North American 1911. Additionally the serial number is also found on left side of heel, under grip & adjacent to grip escutcheon. Third location of serial number is on left side of trigger and is obscured by frame and was not disassembled to ascertain its presence. Fitted with large diamond checkered walnut grips and accompanied by an orig 2-tone Colt style magazine. Slide lock has serrated top edge & bears the number "46" on inside. Thumb safety is checkered on top & bottom. This is truly one of the great rarities in automatic pistol collecting. Accompanied by a 1920's-30's period Audley flap holster with long belt loop marked on back with maker's name & a "1914" patent date. Flap is attached to a wire loop which passes through belt loop & when flipped open falls away clearing access to pistol. Pistol is held in place by a spring loaded nickeled brass catch through trigger guard & must be depressed before pistol can be removed. CONDITION: Good. Slide retains 20-25% orig blue with balance a mottled gray/brown patina. Frame retains 10-15% thin orig blue, only in most sheltered areas, with balance a mottled gray/brown patina. Rear edge of slide spring housing is battered. Recoil spring is weak & should be replaced before anyone would attempt to fire it. Grips show heavy wear & dark oil staining but are sound. Bottom right side grip screw is battered & cannot be removed. Mechanics are fine, strong dark bore. Holster is dry with heavy flexing on flap & top of belt loop with nicks & scratches elsewhere and loose stitching around stud reinforcing, otherwise is sound, missing the leg strap. 4-35876 JR343 (8,000-12,000)"
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