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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For Zoid and anyone else that may offer some insight. I may have inquired about this before but dang if I can remember. Sistema has matching 4 digit serial #s on bbl and slide. Right side of frame has 5 digit number. The finish wear is too identical to think the bbl and slide were slapped on afterwards but suppose it could be. Question being is the frame # the pistola’s serial number??
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Sistema Serial Numbers


The Colt Sistema was produced by Fabrica Militar de Armas Portatiles (FMAP) in Argentina. Production began at the Esteban de Luca Arsenal in Buenos Aires, with the first pistols actually being assembled at the Domingo Matheu plant in Rosario, Argentina in 1945. It is also known as the Pistola Sistema "Colt" Modelo Argentino 1927, Calibre 11.25mm, which is basically a 1911 of 1927 vintage built on Colt equipment to Colt specifications.

Sistemas were built from 1945 to 1966, and represent one of the best deals available in a genuine GI 1911. Here are the serial numbers by year, along with the production numbers.

1945 - 6,000 - #24,001 - #30,000
1946 - 7,628 - #30,001 - #37,628
1947 - 5,000 - #37,629 - #42,628
1948 - 7,000 - #42,629 - #49,628
1949 - 5,000 - #49,629 - #54,628
1950 - 8,000 - #54,629 - #62,628
1951 - 8,011 - #62,629 - #70,639
1952 - 7,016 - #70,640 - #77,655
1953 - 2,500 - #77,656 - #80,155
1954 - 5,000 - #80,156 - #85,155
1955 - 2,500 - #85,156 - #87,655
1956 - 2,500 - #87,656 - #90,155
1957 - 5,626 - #90,156 - #95,781
1958 - 5,547 - #95,782 - #101,328
1959 - 5,000 - #101,329 - #106,328
1960 - 2,066 - #106,329 - #108,394
1961 - 1,000 - #108,395 - #109,394
1962 - 0
1963 - 600 - #109395 - #109,994
1964 - 750 - #109,995 - #110,744
1965 - 1,250 - #110,745 - #111,994
1966 - 500 - #111,995 - #112,494
 

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Frame, slide, barrel, and magazine numbers should match on a correct, matching gun.

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Unfortunately, the magazine in this one is a few hundred off.

Z
 

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So to answer the question, yes, according to US law and convention, the number on the frame will be recorded as the serial number of the gun.

My ZOIDS1911 build has slide no. 1991, but the serial number of the gun is ZOIDS1911.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So begs the question...what years did the bbl and slide come from? Are they a Sistema origin?
 

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So begs the question...what years did the bbl and slide come from? Are they a Sistema origin?
I was going to comment on that, but wanted to do some research first.

According to records, No.#1 through #9,999 (or 10,000) were manufactured in Hartford Connecticut at the Colt factory and shipped to Argentina. These guns would have born the Argentinean crest on the right hand side, and the Colt rampant pony with patent dates on the left.

The US manufactured slides would not have borne the caliber marking of 11.25mm or (D.G.M.F. - F.M.A.P.) on the left. Those slides were entirely Argentinean.

What I need to research is the application of the serial numbers. I think I remember that Colt only stamped the serial number under the mainspring housing and the Argentinean government stamped the italicized numbers on the barrel, slides, and frames upon receipt during inspections.

I think I read something about discrepancies in the stamping of some of the earliest Argentinean guns, but I need to confirm all of the above.

Here are some photos of the Hartford Colt that I have. Checking under the mainspring housing won't answer the questions on your slide, but photos of the left side would help. I did see the caliber listed as 11.25mm and not Colt Cal 45 like the one below.

Z



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Frank,

Your slide also bears the inscription, "POLICIA FEDERAL" and not "EJERCITO ARGENTINO" as the Hartford contract Colts were.

The original shipment of 10,000 guns happened in 1927 / 1928. Argentina didn't start manufacturing these until 1945, some 17 years later. There was a second shipment of either 5,000 or 10,000 guns from Hartford to Argentina around 1936 or 1938. I need to research how those slides were marked as well.

It was during this 17 year period that Argentina got set up to produce their own guns.

I'm thinking your gun is fully Argentinean produced an the numbering of the slide and barrel may be an early 1945 anomaly.

Z
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I’ll field strip it tomorrow to see if there are other stampings / markings. Were Argentine Sistemas stamped under the MSH like the Hartfords?
 

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I don't believe there will be. I can check my Argentinean Sistema to see as well.

Original Hartford Colt guns had the following traditional stamps as well. These are not seen on the Argentinean produced guns.

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The G on the top of the frame indicates government production. The 5, 8, and triangle P are all standard Colt stamps.

The circle R and RA are Argentinean stamped acceptance marks applied upon receipt in Argentina.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My Hartford has similar markings. Field stripped the Sistema, no markings. Side by side shot of my Hartford and Sistema. Serial # on Hartford has the No. and serial # running from the rear sight forward. The Sistema runs from the ejection port towards the rear sight. One stamped horizontal, the other vertical. Could the bbl and slide been stamped after delivery to the Federal Police agency for inventory purposes?
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My Hartford has similar markings. Field stripped the Sistema, no markings. Side by side shot of my Hartford and Sistema. Serial # on Hartford has the No. and serial # running from the rear sight forward. The Sistema runs from the ejection port towards the rear sight. One stamped horizontal, the other vertical. Could the bbl and slide been stamped after delivery to the Federal Police agency for inventory purposes? View attachment 389067

Yes, I am thinking the numbering for the Federal Police Sistema's might run contrary to the military guns. I didn't get time to do my research on it today.

The hammer on your Hartford looks a bit off. The checkered portion should be wider than the body I believe.


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How about a few photos of the rest of that one?

Z
 
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Frank,

The hammer on the Argentinian sistema looks closer to original than the one currently in your Hartford. All Hartford Colts small parts should be stamped with the RA in an oval, similar to the photos below and in post #10 above. This is what a proper hammer should look like for that gun.

I was thinking that hammer might have come from a Ballester Molina or Ballester Rigaud, but I don't think either of those are compatible with a 1911 frame.

I would definitely like to see the rest of that gun.

Z

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Frank,

I was able to dig into my books today. As noted, your pistols frame was manufactured in the regular series for the DGFM production during the early part of 1949. However the serial number from that gun does NOT appear in the series that were delivered to the Argentinian Army (EJERCITO ARGENTIO). See serial number list below.



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There is a gap of 1,999 guns, between SN 45500 and 47501 that your gun seems to be a part of. According to my Clawson book, these guns with the Argentinian crest were produced for official government issue to various government agencies such as the federal police. Your slide is marked as being delivered to the Argentinian Federal Police.

There were Crested guns marked for the Air Force (AERONAUTICA ARGENTINA), the Navy (REPUBLICA ARGENTINA MARINA DE GUERRA), and the Federal Police (C.F.S. - Consejo Federal de Seguridad). There were other pistols delivered to non-governmental agencies that did NOT contain the Argentinian crest on the slide.

The markings on your slide, POLICIA FEDERAL, is not listed and does not appear in the Clawson book. This leads me to believe that the quantities produced for this agency were very small and not readily available for Clawson to document.

I was able to find a couple of examples of dual serial numbered guns through Google-fu online. Here is an example of an Air Force model.

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The gun above is currently listed on GunBroker with and opening bid ask of $2,500.

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/846454753

I couldn't find any other examples in Clawson's book of dual serial numbered guns, leading me to think that the slide might just be original to that frame, and it might be a bit of a rarity.

The only examples I could find of a gun marked even close to yours was a Ballester-Molina marked POLICIA FEDERAL with the Argentinian crest.

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Your gun (from what I can see) is clearly NOT a Ballester-Molina, but the hammer is very reminiscent of the Ballester guns (from a width and pattern perspective).

What does any of this mean? Who knows.

Hope this helps.

Z
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here are some pics of the Hartford...there's an explanation of the hammer discrepancy..in speaking to someone who had worked on the gun some time ago, because of having to replace some internal, a new hammer had to be fitted...I'll have to follow up to see why...

But here are some pics of the rest of the pistol. Who knows where the magazine is from..unknown serial number...with C.../ 45 barely visible ....two dimples appear on topside of the lip of the base. RA is also stamped under the firing pin plate
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As to the Sistema, Mr Zoid, I truly appreciate all the research and thoughts...
So the serial number wasn't included in shipment to the Army...but more than likely to the Federal Police...makes sense based on your research.

So the only remaining mystery are the #s on the bbl and slide..
 
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