Texas Pre-War Colt Automatic Pistols
The Great State of Texas has always been well known as the final destination for some of the finest and most desirable Colt firearms. From the Walker Colt to the Single Action Army, many famous soldiers, lawmen and outlaws alike have all relied on Colt firearms.
From the early 1900s, Colt Automatic Pistols have also played a part in Texas history. Presented here are a few Colt pistols that were shipped to Texas as well as one that was shipped to a guy names Tex!
Colt National Match Serial Number C189556 with adjustable sights, Swartz safety, factory nickel finish and checkered walnut grips. Colt factory letter indicates pistol shipped with nickel finish on September 10, 1938. Letter also indicates that this pistol was furnished with a new safety device and adjustable rear sight on Colt Factory Order Number # 8085. Shipped to Wolf & Klar Wholesale Sporting Goods, Inc, Ft. Worth, TX as a single gun shipment. The Swartz safety is a device that blocks the firing pin when the grip safety is not engaged.
This pistol was carried by Buck Dietze (1904 – 1966) of Karnes City, Texas from 1945 – 1948 when Mr. Dietze was appointed to the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He was a brand inspector.
In 1877, 40 Texas cattlemen joined together out of their common interest to end unbridled livestock theft and formed what was to become Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Commissioned as Special Rangers by the Texas Department of Public Safety and/or the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, these “field inspectors” assist in recovering stolen livestock and equipment and apprehending the thieves.
Accompanying the pistol is a carved leather holster marked “Buck Steiner, Austin, Tex” which was purchased by Mr. Dietze in 1945.
A factory inscribed Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless in .32 ACP. This pistol is inscribed “H.G.W. From H.S.B. 1919” on the left side of the frame where the serial number is typically located. The serial number was relocated to the right side of the frame, above the trigger, to allow for the inscription. Colt factory letter confirms these features and indicates that this pistol was a single gun shipment to H.S. Bettes Hardware Company, Paris, Texas on February 2, 1920.
Colt Model N serial number 385727 with Factory Carved Steer head Ivory Grips. Carved ivory is the least common type for both the Model N and M. In 1930, the additional cost for carved ivory grips for the Model N was $15.00 option, making it the most expensive grip option. This was a very deluxe option considering that the gun alone sold for $16.50, bringing the total price of this pistol to $31.50 before tax. Of the few known carved mother-of-pearl and ivory grip variations for the pocket hammerless models, this is the only known pair with the carved image on the left grip. These grips are in absolutely pristine condition with no cracks or chips whatsoever. All others in either mother of pearl or ivory have either a steer head or eagle on the right grip. The right grip on this gun is a standard medallion ivory grip. This pistol letters blue finish with ivory grips and was a one gun shipment to “Tex Baker” on June 25, 1930. Tex Baker was a radio personality from the 1930s who performed on WWRL radio in New York City. The act was called Tex Baker and his Texas Ramblers.
Colt Model N 1908 .25 ACP Pocket Hammerless Pistol sn 397049 – This is one of the guns shipped from Colt’s fitted with factory carved mother of pearl grips. The pistol is in original condition and the grips are perfect with no cracks or chips. Factory carved mother of pearl grips are an uncommon variation to locate for this particular model of Colt pistol. Another example of these grips fitted with ruby eyes can be seen on the Colt Model N Special Order Grips Page. Factory letter confirms these features and indicates that the gun was a single gun shipment sold to Harkins Drug Store, Refugio, TX and shipped to Corpus Christi Hardware Company, Corpus Christi, Texas on November 7, 1934.
Factory Silver Plated and Factory Engraved Model N. This special order gun was shipped to Shelton-Payne Arms Co., El Paso, TX in March 1916 in a two gun shipment. Silver plating was the least common of the special finishes for the Model N. Of approximately 410,000 guns produced, there were only 64 factory silver plated .25s, only a handful of which were also factory engraved. This gun is sitting on top of its’ original factory presentation case.