1916 Colt British M1911
SN W586xx Calibre .455


The Colt .455 was primarily issued to The British Royal Flying Corps, Royal Horse Artillery, and the Royal Navy. This Colt was ordered by the British War Office under contract with the London Armory Company, contract 94/P/1118 on June 29, 1916 and shipped September 7, 1916.

This gun was assembled and inspected by James Donlin his stamp is the "T" located in Figure 3 and 4. The "E" stamp in Figure 4 on top of the receiver indicates it was a English contract order. The Cross Pennants in Figures 3 & 6 are British Military proof marks. The Broad Arrow in Figures 3 & 7
are British military property marks (Figure 7 is the inside, under view of the slide. Arrow is on the right track). In Figure 3 there is also a crown stamp above the Colt VP stamp, this is the military acceptance mark for the Royal Small Arms factory at Enfield, England.  W prefix Pistols serial numbered in the forty thousand and earlier range usually received a “JJ” marking on the Left curved portion of the frame above the trigger.  This mark was probably applied at the London Armory Company.

The Colt commercial slide marking is designated .455 instead of the .45 as shown in Figure 5. Magazines are found with several different marking configurations.  One of the configurations is pictured in Figure 8. This is the standard Colt supplied magazine. Note that these magazines may also have a military broad arrow stamped on the bottom. Later magazines shipped in the 1918 time frame may also have matching serial numbers. For more information on the British .455s

The Rampant Colt on the back of the slide with no circle around it is proper to approximately late 1917 when it was moved to the middle of the slide and font type was changed from serifed (Roman) style lettering to block style (Gothic) lettering.  Colt barrels made in Caliber .455 have an E for English or W for Webley stamp forward of the lugs on the barrel to indicate the caliber.

Reference Charles Clawsons “Colt .45 Service pistols”.

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Figure 5

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Figure 8
From the T. Moore collection

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