Rare Army (Colt) Ace surfaces
The original Colt Ace (the current one is a German pot-metal piece of trash) was a neat little blow-back action .22 rimfire version of the Colt Government similar to .45 ACP National Match, useful in training. However, the 10-shot .22 M1911A1 never really caught on, with less than 11,000 made between 1931-41 then in a “clean up” done post-WWII on everything left. A variant of the model, the Service Ace, which used a floating chamber design for better reliability as the .22 cartridge did not always have the power to move the slide backward for proper ejection and reloading, was lumped into the line after 1937 and about 13,000 were made, with the serial numbers starting with “SM” for Service Model.
Both the Navy and Army purchased small quantities of the pistol during this era, with the latter acquiring no less than 206 Aces.
Speaking of which Milestone has a really nice– and possibly historic– Ace up for auction this weekend.
The pistol is reported to be in the first group of Service Model Ace pistols obtained by the United States Gov’t for trials and consideration.
The pistol is accompanied by a copy of the sales receipt from Rock Island Arsenal to Captain Mark Jartman, Office of Deputy Chief of Ordnance, Washington DC and is dated Dec 30 1954. It is housed in Rock Island Arsenal shipping box with a label and the box has the serial number SM15 scribed on top with the matching federal stocking number that is indicated on the sales paperwork. The serial dates to the first run in late 1936, before the Service Model went into serial production.
The pre-sale estimate is $8,500-$15,000.
My Father was in the 4th Cavalry at Ft. Meade, S.D. 1935-1941 when they were mechanized and left. He told me about shooting .22/.45 Colts upstairs in quarters on Post. I’m lucky enough to have a real Colt conversion for my 1911. With good ammo it is quite reliable.