Texas Pre-War Colt Automatic Pistols
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
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.
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
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.
Close-up of the factory inscription.
Right side showing relocated serial number.
Close-up of relocated serial number.
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 pf
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
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.
1939 Super .38 serial number 32239 - in new condition with original box, instructions and
special instructions. Factory letter indicates that pistol was one
of five shipped January 30, 1939 to Zork Hardware Company, El Paso, Texas
in a 5 gun shipment. Letter further indicates that the pistol is
"furnished with a new safety device." The safety device to which the
letter refers is the Swartz Safety. Zork was successor to Krakauer,
Moye & Zork, well known Colt dealers as early as about 1895.
Colt Model 1911 serial number 145555. One of 1000
pistols shipped to San Antonio Arsenal, San Antonio, Texas on April
Non-factory double casing for Colt Model Ns. These guns are
serial numbered 334651 & 334653 and were shipped to Wolf & Klar, Ft. Worth, TX on December 4, 1923.
334652 was not in the shipment. Both are factory nickel plated with Type III mother-of-pearl grips (square-top with recessed medallions).
A uniquely engraved set featuring an
late 1946 production Government
Model, Serial Number C220405 that is fully engraved with matching engraved .22 caliber
Conversion Unit. Both the pistol and conversion unit are nickel
plated. The grips are also fully engraved and feature a steer head on
the right and saddle on the left. Both items are cased in a Colt
factory casing. These cases are fairly uncommon and were used to
case the Government Model with .22 caliber conversion unit, as well as the
Service Model Ace with .45 caliber conversion
unit. This pistol was one of 30 shipped December 17, 1946
with a blued finish to J.S. Oshman Company, 520 Preston Avenue, 4th Floor,
Hampshaw Building, Houston, Texas. Letter further indicates a Special
Notation: 30 Conversion Units were also included in this shipment.
Rich DiFlorio Collection
Colt Ace serial number 1711 - Early Ace pistol, blue
with medallion mother of pearl grips, shipped to Max Cook, Wolf and Klar,
Fort Worth, Texas on August 22, 1931 in a three gun shipment.