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Colt Collectors Association Fall 2020 Colt Quiz Answers

1. What is one of the primary differences between 2nd and 3rd Series Colt Woodsman .22 pistols?

A. 2nd Series Woodsman pistols have a push button magazine release mechanism similar to that found on the Colt 1911 Government Models and 3rd Series Woodsman pistols employed to a magazine catch mechanism on the butt of the pistol similar to many European semi-automatic pistols of the era

Please see page 462 of the 3rd edition of The Book of Colt Firearms for additional information on the differences between 2nd and 3rd Series Woodsman pistols.

2. Colt shipped many of its early production percussion guns with nipple wrenches with a screwdriver on the opposite end and later shipped cartridge guns with a two-bladed L-shaped screwdriver. First generation Single Actions and some of the Model 1878 Double Action revolvers were both shipped with L-shaped screwdrivers. What is the difference if any between the L-shaped screwdrivers shipped with the First Generation SAAs and those shipped with some of the Model 1878 revolvers?

C. The L-shaped screwdriver shipped with the Model 1878 revolvers was slimmer than the L-shaped screwdriver shipped with 1st generation SAA revolvers.

Please see page 156 of Robin J. Rapley’s 2006 published book, The History and Identification of Colt Accoutrements 1834-1911 from Paterson to Automatic.

3. For several years Colt shipped its guns with a letter of congratulations for becoming an owner of a Colt firearm. If you purchased a Python produced and shipped in 1988 which Colt President’s signature should be on the letter that accompanied that gun.

D. Gary W. French

Gary W. French was President of Colt from 1981 to 1990.

4. What is the largest gauge Colt ever manufactured the Model 1883 Hammerless Double Barrel Shot Gun in and what famous person did they specifically manufacture one in that gauge for?

D. 8 gauge, President Grover Cleveland

Please see the NRA National Firearms Museum webpage and the embedded video on this special order gun: http://www.nramuseum.org/guns/the-galleries/wwii,-korea,-vietnam-and-beyond-1940-to-present/case-43-presidential-and-royal-guns/president-grover-cleveland%27s-8-gauge-colt-shotgun.aspx#

5. What year did Colt first list the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in their catalog for civilian sales and what was the retail price?

B. 1964, $189.50

While Colt did some magazine advertisements for the introduction of the AR-15 in 1963 and produced a small quantity of the AR-15 that year, the gun was first cataloged in the second variation of the 1964 R 60 Colt Rifles and Shotguns Dealer Catalog with a retail price of $189.50.  Please see page 229 of The Book of Colt Paper by John Ogle for the 1964 catalog.  In The Book of Colt Firearms by R.L. Wilson, it shows a page from the 1965 catalog with the retail price of $189.50.   Also, the June 1964 dealer price list for Colt Rifles, Shotguns and Accessories also lists the Suggested Retail Price of $189.50 with the Dealer Cost with Government Excise Tax of $145.74.

6. The earliest first generation Colt Single Action Army revolvers displayed what patent dates on the left side of the frame?

B. July 25, 1871 and July 2, 1872

Many of the first 25 SAA revolvers were marked with the July 25, 1871 and July 2, 1872 patent dates while some in this range may not have received any patent markings at all.  The small population of this early variation exists within the range of the iconic group of SAA pinched frame revolvers. See pages 10 and 11 of the 2006 edition of A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver by Ron Graham, John Kopec and C. Kenneth Moore as well as earlier editions of their work and other works including The Book of Colt Firearms by Robert Q. Sutherland and R.L. Wilson.

7. Late WWII Colt production 1911A1 pistols used what style mainspring housing and who produced them?

A. Serrated mainspring housing with 7 ribs manufactured by Cayuga Motors of Ithaca, NY

Please see pages 331 and 342 of Charles Clawson’s Colt .45 Service Pistols Models of 1911 and 1911A1 Complete Military History Development and Production 1900 Through 1945. Please also see page 70 of Charles Clawson’s 1998 printed Collector’s Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols Models of 1911 and 1911A1 Enlarged & Revised Edition From 1911 to the End of Production in 1945 Complete Military Identification,  Including All Contractors

8. What trade name did Colt acid etch on the left side of the barrel of some early Colt Model 1878 Double Action Army Revolvers and who ordered the preponderance of these specially marked revolvers?

D. Omnipotent, B. Kittridge & Co., Cincinnati

Benjamin Kittridge & Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio special ordered Colt Model 1878 revolvers chambered in 45 Colt and 7 ½ inch barrels with the Omnipotent acid etched barrel panel marking between August of 1878 and May of 1882.  For additional information, please see pages 232-240 of Colt’s Double-Action Revolver, Model of 1878 by Don Wilkerson.

9. If a Colt Model M 1903 .32 ACP or 1908 .380 ACP was produced and shipped in 1920, what would be the correct code number on the four page instruction sheet included in the box with the gun?

C. M-77-R2d

Colt started applying codes to their paperwork around 1911 so by 1920 a code structure was well established but not always inherently followed. Please see page 57 of The Colt Pocket Hammerless Automatic Pistols II by John W. Brunner or page 49 of his earlier 1996 edition.

10. In 1927 Colt made several name changes or additions to their firearms line up. Name three changes that occurred that year.

D. Colt changed the name of their E frame revolver from Army Special to Official Police, branded their 22 caliber Automatic pistol as the Woodsman and branded the 2 inch barreled Police Positive Special as the Detective Special

In February 1927 Colt sent out a four page flyer announcing the branding of the Colt Automatic Pistol Caliber .22, Target Model as the Woodsman. The (A-70-8th) 1927 catalog has Official Police printed below Colt Army Special on page 6 of that catalog. Colt also included a flyer in the (A-70-9th) a later 1927 catalog that announced the name change from Army Special to Official Police as well as the introduction of the Colt Detective Special. Colt printed two versions of the April 1927 Price List (PL-11-R) with the early version still listing the Army Special and no mention of the Detective Special while the later version includes both. Also, both versions of the April 1927 Price Lists denote the Woodsman pistol where the March 1927 Price List still called it the Target Model, Hammerless , 22 Cal. Please see page 198 of John Ogle’s book, The Book of Colt Paper. Please also note that this information does not perfectly align with the Historical Outline of the Colt Firearms Company on page 610 of the 3rd edition of R.L. Wilson’s The Book of Colt Firearms.