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Remembered Today:

Colt New Service .45 Colt Army Model of 1909


varifleman
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Here for your perusal is Colt New Service .45 DA Colt Army Model of 1909 serial number 30443 which was 1 of 750 shipped to United States Government Commanding Officer Ordnance Depot Manila, The Philippines on June 17, 1909. Army Inspectors of Ordnance R.A.C (Rinaldo A. Carr) is visible underneath barrel; on back of cylinder and left side of frame and FB (Major Frank Baker) is seen on left side of frame.733185

 

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Varifleman,

 

Another beautiful looking piece.

I have never handled one of these, so have a couple of comments.

 

1. With the hammer well below the line of the front sight, how do you aim accurately?

2. The barrel marking is ‘COLT D.A. 45; what does D. A. represent?

3. The ninth photo shows that the wooden grips do not appear to be the same size; is it the photo or my eyes, or is this usual with Colt’s?

 

Regards,

JMB


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15 minutes ago, JMB1943 said:

Varifleman,

 

Another beautiful looking piece.

I have never handled one of these, so have a couple of comments.

 

1. With the hammer well below the line of the front sight, how do you aim accurately?

2. The barrel marking is ‘COLT D.A. 45; what does D. A. represent?

3. The ninth photo shows that the wooden grips do not appear to be the same size; is it the photo or my eyes, or is this usual with Colt’s?

 

Regards,

JMB

 

Hi JMB; I haven't shot it yet but have 200 rounds of .45 Long Colt ammo on the way so I'll post a report when I shoot it re accuracy etc. The D.A. stands for "Double Action; 45 ()Long) Colt cartridge." The pistol can be shot in both single action and double action. As for the grips, maybe the shorter one on the right was originally like that or perhaps a replacement or shrinkage (high humidity) since this 1909 like almost all others saw extensive service in the Philippines under harsh conditions.3811353

 

 

Edited by varifleman
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When talking about the Colt 1909 revolver it is essential to mention its forerunner, the Colt 1892 in .38 Long Colt caliber that fought with the US military in the Philippine War between 1898 and 1902. During this bloody conflict US officials were given the opportunity to recognize the low stopping power of the .38 Long Colt cartridge, in particular when Uncle Sam’s troops found themselves fighting against the Moros Juramentados, the implacable Filipino Islamic warriors who carried out suicide attacks, often under the influence of drugs. Although hit at short range by several bullets fired from .38 Long Colt revolvers, the Moros often managed to kill several soldiers and officers with their krisses and barongs before collapsing dead. The disastrous Philippine experience was decisive in convincing the US military to use a more powerful pistol caliber and this led to the designing and adoption of the .45 ACP and the Colt 1911. The simplest solution to the problem of the 38 Long Colt poor stopping power was actually at hand. Already on the market there were reliable and accurate double action, large-caliber revolvers, so in 1909 the General Staff decided to adopt the Colt New Service revolver in .45 Long Colt caliber, renaming it Model 1909 precisely. The New Service 1909 revolver has the distinction of being the sidearm with the shortest operational life in the history of the US army, since already in 1911 – only two years after its adoption – in officers’ holsters it was replaced (or rather complemented by) the legendary Colt 1911 semi-automatic pistol in. 45 ACP. About 21000 Model 1909s were produced 1909-1911 and almost all were send to and saw service in the Philippines. (Allshooters.com)

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I am not expert on guns, but i assume D.A. is for Doubble Action system.

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17 hours ago, JMB1943 said:

Varifleman,

 

Another beautiful looking piece.

I have never handled one of these, so have a couple of comments.

 

1. With the hammer well below the line of the front sight, how do you aim accurately?

2. The barrel marking is ‘COLT D.A. 45; what does D. A. represent?

3. The ninth photo shows that the wooden grips do not appear to be the same size; is it the photo or my eyes, or is this usual with Colt’s?

 

Regards,

JMB

 

Isn't that exactly what you want, to avoid the hammer obstructing the line of sight in any part of its travel? :)

Edited by MikB
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MikB,

 

With a long gun, you align the front & rear sights with the target, shoot and hit the target.

What is the procedure with a revolver— just point and shoot?

If not, how is the front sight used?

 

Regards,

JMB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The fifth and sixth photos show the rudimentary rear sight.  Granted, it's not much of a sight, but using it is the same as with any other firearm.  In my opinion, the rear sight is far too small to be effective, no different from a 1911 of a few years after this revolver was made.

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Old War Skule,

 

Thanks for showing me where to look for the rear sight, otherwise I never would have found it.

I suppose that with the short sight radius and the short barrel, you would be using this gun for close-quarters work only.

 

Regards,

JMB

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6 hours ago, MikB said:

Isn't that exactly what you want, to avoid the hammer obstructing the line of sight in any part of its travel? :)

Yep....and some earlier single action cap and ball revolvers actually had the groove cut into the hammer so it acted as the rear sight for exactly this reason.

Chris

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1 hour ago, JMB1943 said:

Old War Skule,

 

Thanks for showing me where to look for the rear sight, otherwise I never would have found it.

I suppose that with the short sight radius and the short barrel, you would be using this gun for close-quarters work only.

 

Regards,

JMB

 

Sorry, I didn't know you wouldn't recognise the notch-and-groove on the top strap. 

Yes, pistols and revolvers were typically used at 2 - 20 yards or so. A good offhand shot would be dangerous out to maybe 50, perhaps 100 if he had some support to rest against. When I was pistol shooting in the 80s, there were some who used elaborate steel fabrications, sometimes called 'Flying Machines', to shoot pistols out to 300 or so - but these were real specialists, not least because pistol bullet trajectories can get quite steep at such distances. I'd imagine the practice is still pretty active in the US and elsewhere.

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2 hours ago, JMB1943 said:

Old War Skule,

 

Thanks for showing me where to look for the rear sight, otherwise I never would have found it.

I suppose that with the short sight radius and the short barrel, you would be using this gun for close-quarters work only.

 

Regards,

JMB

 

You're most welcome.  The .45 Colt cartridge was a black powder round that made the jump to smokeless powder.  It was, and still is a potent man-stopper.  As MikB said, they're intended for close quarters work.  When I trained with the M1911A1, we typically shot at 25 yards, with the instructor saying we'd probably never use a pistol at that range.  Incidentally, the rear sight on the Smith & Wesson Mk II Hand Ejector, or Model 1917 is almost identical.

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While the military teaches that the pistol is a short range weapon, remember that old school bullseye pistol matches consist of relays at both 25 and 50 yards. With some practice one can become quite good at 100 yards with any of the 45 caliber rounds. When I was shooting on a weekly basis a couple of fellow shooters and I would put a water filled plastic milk jug at the base of the 100 yard berm. After the first couple of sessions it was routine to get 3-4 of 6 on target and the rest close. You would certainly be able to hit a man size target at that range. Granted the milk jugs never shot back and usually stayed pretty still while we potted them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's some original military issue 20-round boxes from the Frankford Arsenal for the Colt 1909 revolver.

1909ammo4.jpg

1909ammo2.jpg

1909ammo3.jpg

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