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Greetings Addicts,

In my quest for interesting C&R 1911 related guns, I have been intrigued by the Argentine Sistema series of Colt 1911's and their locally produced clones. Are there any of you mil-surp guys that have knowledge of these?

I have already done all the Google searches and know the basics.
  • Colt produced 10,000 1911's under contract for the Argentine military in 1927/1928.
  • They bear the serial numbers 0001 through 9999 (or 10,000?).
  • These were shipped to Argentina in lots between 1928 and 1936.
  • These bear the Hartford, CT and rampant pony rollmark on the left side of the slide, and the Argentine crest and EJERCITO ARGENTINO on the right.
  • They also bear the caliber designation of "Colt CAL 45" and not "11.25mm."
Then the shift:
  • Colt licensed Argentina to produce their own clone versions in-country.
  • Urban legend has this production on Colt machinery and by Colt employees or Colt-trained individuals. The variations/varieties of the legend are many - just as with the guns . . . .
  • These do NOT bear the Hartford, CT or pony markings, but do usually bear a DGFM-FMAP designation.
So, I was hoping to pick the brains of those who make the study and collection of these part of their world. Thanks in advance (as always) to the eternal wellspring of knowledgeable folks that haunt these interwebz . . . . . . .

Oh yea, SME = subject matter expert . . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I saw a few folks commenting on these on other threads.

@zaskar017
 

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Interesting topic, I'll certainly be following along. A local pawn shop has a 1934 with Colt Pony, but no DGFM-FMAP markings. I assume it's an early Colt supplied model. He's asking $1,000.00 and I know it's way over priced, but it is in outstanding condition. You can walk into the bluing, it's absolutely beautiful. May have even been refinished? Almost too nice.

I look forward to learning more about these Sestemas too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Interesting topic, I'll certainly be following along. A local pawn shop has a 1934 with Colt Pony, but no DGFM-FMAP markings. I assume it's an early Colt supplied model. He's asking $1,000.00 and I know it's way over priced, but it is in outstanding condition. You can walk into the bluing, it's absolutely beautiful. May have even been refinished? Almost too nice.

I look forward to learning more about these Sestemas too.
Charlie,

This ^^^ is why I am asking. Those old EARLY "Sistemas" are not Argentine clones, but actually produced by Colt in Hartford. They mix an older style hammer, a unique trigger and MSH, but it is 100% Colt production. AND there were only 10,000 of them produced.

Does that one have all matching serial numbers? I am assuming the number is in the range between 0001 and 9999, right?

I recently saw a non-Colt Sistema sell on GB for a little over $4k. This was at auction, a real sale, not Buy It Now hopeful fishing. I'll post up a link when I can. I'm at work and can't get to GB here . . . . .

Not so sure an original Colt that nice is overpriced . . .

You just don't see them that often. One of the reasons I am inquiring. How common are these original contract Colt's . . . guys?
 

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Here is the link . . .

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=547349583

Interesting topic, I'll certainly be following along. A local pawn shop has a 1934 with Colt Pony, but no DGFM-FMAP markings. I assume it's an early Colt supplied model. He's asking $1,000.00 and I know it's way over priced, but it is in outstanding condition. You can walk into the bluing, it's absolutely beautiful. May have even been refinished? Almost too nice.

I look forward to learning more about these Sestemas too.
 

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We have one in .22 I'll try and get some pics later this week.
 

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Whoa!

Perhaps I'm off base, but I was thinking they were $600.00 pistols all day long. Granted, I've never seen one as nice as that one with the box. But I was always under the impression, the slide material hardness was sub par. Of course that could just be Internet legend...
Charlie,

I think you are probably correct for generic, well worn, non matching serial number guns. The matching number guns (with magazine), or those with unusual markings / attributes seem to go for close to $1,000 - even in well loved conditions. Here are a couple examples . . . .

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=539954183

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=532645918

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=548634169

Point being, I have been watching GB for several months and I cannot find one example of an original 1927 contract Colt (with pony) ever coming up for sale. Not saying the one in the pawn shop is worth $1,000 - just trying to get more information to determine if it is . . . . .

I'm thinking, it might be worth twice that amount.

But get it for $750 or less, if you can . . . . .
 

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I read up on them years ago, around 2010, when they were a bit more affordable.
I was able to find a contract Colt on gunauction.com and it cost me about $600 after shipping and transfer. It had all the correct parts but it looked liked it had been reblued at some point and the slide was 6 or 7 digits off from the frame. Think 3180 and 3187 or something like that. I can't remember the number.

When I was looking in 2010, I realized I was a few years late to the game. Sistemas that used to sell for $250ish years prior were going for $500. I remember seeing a beat to $hit one with no finish left sell for over $400 on gunbroker. I can't say I was surprised but it definitely wasn't giving me much hope to find an affordable one. Then the market saw a big increase in supply of some really bad condition ones with that giant import stamp on the slide. IIRC a lot of them were refinished and sold as "Arsenal refinished"

I occasionally look to see what they are selling for, and again I'm not surprised in the least to see they continue their climb. Looking at the links you have provided reinforced my decision to stop worrying about them. There is no way I would spend $1000 on a blued sistema. F that noise. The checkered parts aren't worth $600.
The $4k NIB one isn't far off from one I saw sell in similar condition all those years ago. It might even be the same one for all I know. I think it went for $2400 back then.

The contract Colts pop up on gunbroker, but it's rare. If they do, they are usually mismatched, refinished, way overpriced, or a combination of all three. It was a neat variation to own, but the juice just isn't worth the squeeze these days.

This is the one I owned but eventually sold.




I would have been cheaper and easier to replace the sights, but I sold it and eventually replaced it with this overly posted pistol:
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
@zaskar017

I recently located one (original contract Colt) very similar to yours. The one I found is all matching s/n, and the finish looks original at about 75% - 80% intact. Yours was a higher numbered gun. Mine is in the 49xx range.

I'll try to get some photos up tomorrow. Because these are so rare on GB, there is no way to establish a current valuation, but I've got to believe it will be higher than the mass produced Argentinian models.
 
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I forgot to mention there is a section about them in Clawson's commercial book. I had a page or two copied from it but eventually lost the copy.

I have been wanting to ask to borrow a member's book to make scans, but figured it might be seen as inappropriate.

I keep a scanned copy of Clawson's big book and his Collector edition on my phone in the off chance I need to reference them. It would be nice to have all 3.
 

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Fun facts you may already know, but I'll repeat them anyway:
They didn't originally have the serial number stamped on the right side of the frame. If you see one stamped or rolled it was done after the fact. If you see one etched like the Sistema models it is safer to assume it was done in service.

To get the real number off the frame you need to look under the sear spring. That is where Colt stamped them.

Look for circled RA on the frame, slide, and small parts. I can't remember all the parts I had stamped but there were a number of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Fun facts you may already know, but I'll repeat them anyway:
They didn't originally have the serial number stamped on the right side of the frame. If you see one stamped or rolled it was done after the fact. If you see one etched like the Sistema models it is safer to assume it was done in service.

To get the real number off the frame you need to look under the sear spring. That is where Colt stamped them.

Look for circled RA on the frame, slide, and small parts. I can't remember all the parts I had stamped but there were a number of them.
Didn't know that about the stamp on the side of the frame, but it makes sense. The font is different than the font used for the barrel and slide.

I did know about the circle RA on all the parts. I'll try to get photos up tomorrow, but this one has that stamp on everything - slide, barrel, frame . . . . .

The grips on this one even have a proof mark in the bevel along the bottom. And it has been confirmed they have the obligatory 28 rows of checkering between the screw holes. The grips have some very interesting writing/inscriptions on the back. Again, photos tomorrow . . . . . .
 

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This is the one I owned but eventually sold.




I would have been cheaper and easier to replace the sights, but I sold it and eventually replaced it with this overly posted pistol:
Man, that's a really nice one. I probably would have kept it . . . . .
 

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That was my dilemma.
It was nice and I enjoyed owning and shooting it, but I worried about the slide cracking and then dealing with having to fit a new slide and what not.
I know it wasn't super collectible but chose to put the money I had tied up in it into something I would use more often, while letting someone else enjoy it for what it was.
 

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That was my dilemma.
It was nice and I enjoyed owning and shooting it, but I worried about the slide cracking and then dealing with having to fit a new slide and what not.
I know it wasn't super collectible but chose to put the money I had tied up in it into something I would use more often, while letting someone else enjoy it for what it was.
Man, shouldn't have worried about the slide on THAT one. It was manufactured here in the US by Colt . . . .
 
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