“In 1914, the Argentine military adopted the Colt M1911 as their standard military sidearm and contracted with Colt to supply these guns. Argentina took shipment of 2,151 of these weapons between 1914 and 1919.
In 1923, Argentina adopted an armaments bill that would eliminate Argentine dependency on foreign arms. Under this bill, the Argentine Congress authorized appropriations for a military modernization program and prepared the infrastructure for a domestic arms industry.
In accordance with the new law, an aircraft factory was established in 1927, a munitions factory in 1933, a small steel mill in 1934, and a small arms factory in 1936, all of which were managed by Argentine army officers.
In 1927, the Argentine Commission for Foreign Acquisitions negotiated a contract with Colt for the manufacture of M1911A1 .45 caliber self-loading pistols specially marked and serial numbered in a separate series, and secured a licensing agreement giving the Argentine government the right to manufacture these pistols using drawings, material specifications, instructions, etc. supplied by Colt.
The 10,000 pistols were delivered by Colt from 1927 to 1933, and have become known as the Hartford Colts. Production of the Sistema Colts began in 1927, and 14,000 were produced by 1942. In 1945, a new factory (FMAP) was brought on-line and produced another 88,494 pistols through 1966”.
The Sistema Colts continued to be used in Argentina until the 1990’s, when they were replaced by Browning High Powers. The Sistema Colts were not Colt clones, but except for finish and markings, they were identical to 1911A1 pistols produced by Colt, and the parts were interchangeable.
Top quality steel was used in the construction, and they are known to be as tough and reliable as those made by Colt. This pistol was made at the FMAP factory in 1945 and is marked with the Argentine crest, indicating it was issued to the army.
This pistol appears to have been arsenal refinished before it was exported and has about 70% of its finish remaining. The serial numbers on the frame, barrel and slide are matching, but the magazine has a different number.
The high quality of the Sistema Colts and the relatively few produced make them very collectable, especially ones like this with matching numbers.