This is a rare Colt US Model 1909 Revolver in .45 Long Colt (modified), which was probably shipped directly from Colt to the Philippines in the fall of 1910.
Only about 19,500 of these were made and almost all of those went straight to the Philippines and few survived in any condition, let alone as nice as this one. The Model 1909 was an "emergency" attempt to provide a double action .45 caliber side arm to US Army forces in the Philippines to fight the Moros in the Southern Philippine islands. Prior to the Model 1909, the US Army’s standard sidearms were .38 caliber, which had very little effect on attacking fanatical Islamist Moros, who were often under the influence of drugs.
In response to an urgent call from the field for a larger caliber weapon, the Army brought out old Model 1873 Revolvers in .45 Long Colt as a stop gap measure until the Model 1909 was fielded. This Model 1909 is serial number 40494, and it is all matching with the serial number on the frame, crane, cylinder release latch, and butt.
The Cylinder retains considerable arsenal blue finish and has the "RAC" inspector mark on the rear cylinder face, which stands for Rinaldo A. Carr, who is the famous Colt inspector of the Model 1873 Models. Wear is generally on the front edges and to the sharped edges of the cylinder between the chambers. There is a spot of old pitting adjacent to one of the cylinders externally. The cylinder chambers remain very clean. The Star Extractor is remarkably clean and the extractor spring is still very strong. On the extractor body is a serif “K” stamp. The extractor works perfectly.
The Barrel is marked "COLT D.A. 45" on the left side, on top it has the two-line Colt Patent information and the bottom of the barrel is marked "UNITED STATES PROPERTY," and Rinaldo Carr’s serif "RAC" inspection stamp. Just to the left of the “RAC” stamp is a serif “P” firing proof stamp. The Barrel retains about 95% of dull arsenal blued finish with wear along the left and right side and around the muzzle. The bore is very clean with evidence of old pinprick pitting present, but it retains very strong rifling. The original shark fin Front Sight is present, and it retains 95% of its blued finish.
The Frame has a slightly worn Rampant Colt in the stylized Colt “C” emblem on the left side. The right side of the Frame has the inspection initials of Rinaldo Carr ("RAC") as well as the Army acceptance stamp of “FB,” which stands for Colonel Frank Baker, US Army, who inspected and approved the first Model 1909s from serial number 30,001 through 42,800. The Frame retains 95%+ of the arsenal blue finish. The Cylinder Latch has the last 4 matching numbers “0494” on the thumb side and retains 90% of its arsenal blue finish. On the face of the latch is the serif “K” inspection stamp.
The inside of the Frame has the serial number “41561” over a sans serif “E” inspection stamp. On the corresponding part of the crane is the matching serial number “41561” and a serif “K” inspection stamp. The interior portions of the frame in the cylinder recess still retain the majority of the original blued finish.
The Hammer remains correctly in the white on the sides and there is still considerable original fire blue finish on the top and bottom edges of the outer surface of the hammer. The thumb checkering is still very strong with minimal wear. The Main Spring remains in the white in fine condition and is still very strong. The sides of the Trigger still retain considerable original fire blue finish near throughout.
The Butt is marked "US/ARMY/MODEL/1909/No/40/494" and has the original lanyard loop present. The loop still rotates freely. The original Model 1909 walnut grips are in excellent condition and both are inspector marked "RAC" on the bottom, one in larger sans serif letters, the other in the smaller serif letters. The front grip exhibits a largely plum patina with evidence of old pinprick pitting towards the bottom. The back grip strap also exhibits a plum patina.
This Colt Model 1909 still locks up tight in battery. The cylinder release is smooth and the cylinder rotates smoothly in single action and double action mode. The trigger release is still crisp in single action mode.
This is a very rare Colt revolver with a unique history fighting the Moros in the Philippines and is in incredible arsenal re-furbished condition given that service. Of the 19,503 Model 1909 Army Revolvers manufactured from 1909-1911, 19,153 of them went straight to the Philippines, often straight from the Colt plant in Hartford without going through a stateside arsenal. The majority of these Colt Model 1909 revolvers stayed in the Philippines after American troops left and many were still found in Philippine Army service when WWII began in 1941.