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Argentine Colt 1927 Sistema 1911 A1

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Just picked this 1954 Colt Sistema.  The Argentine Colts have an interesting history.  They are generally considered the only 1911 made outside of Hartford that is still a colt.  Here is some background taken from various reference books.


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. 

The agreement specified: 1) that Colt would manufacture 10,000 Colt automatic pistols, caliber .45, “Ejercito Argentino Modelo 1927,†for the Argentine Army; 2) that the complete knowledge base for future production of the pistols in Argentina, including drawings, manufacturing instructions, material specifications, tool requirements, etc., would be transferred to Argentine control; and 3) that Argentine technicians would be trained in manufacturing operations and inspection. 

For production of Colt 1911A1's in Argentina, Colt engineers supervised the set-up of the production equipment, which was acquired from the Fritz Werner company in Germany, a maker of arms-manufacturing machinery still in business today. 

From 1927 to 1942, 14,000 Sistema pistols (from “Sistema Colt,†indicating “made on the Colt system (machinery)†were produced at the Esteban de Luca Arsenal in Buenos Aires, S/N’s 10,001 – 24,000(*), the serial numbers continuing from the Hartford run.  

In 1941, after a decade of planning, Argentines established a large and diversified military-industrial complex under the overall supervision of the Direccion General de Fabricaciones Militares (D.G.F.M.), the “Military Manufacturing Agency.†Similar to the US Ordnance Department, the agency was run by the military and military officers managed the manufacturing plants. Among other products, this agency would eventually, through contractual agreements, oversee the production of identical copies of Colt’s M1911-A1, Browning’s Hi Power, and FN’s FAL rifle. 

In 1945, after construction of the state-owned Fabrica Militar de Armas Portatiles (F.M.A.P.), “Small Arms Factory†in Rosario, Santa Fe (250 miles from Buenos Aires), assembly of Sistemas was transferred to the new plant and another 88,494 pistols were produced through 1966. This factory was named for Domingo Matheu, a 19th century military official who was active in the early development of the nation’s arms industry. 

Today FMAP manufactures a wide range of small arms and ammunition and is known in the industry as “FM.†The Rosario arsenal closed in 1991 and much of its production was transferred to FMAP’s Fray Luis Beltran arsenal, about 15 miles from Rosario. 

Sistema Colts were manufactured in accordance with Colt's 1927 drawings. They were identical to US military M1911-A1 pistols except for 6 minor cosmetic differences, and parts were interchangeable. 

The differences were: a) the markings, B) the grips, c) a black oxide bluing, d) a sharp edge on the rear of the hammer, e) a sharp edge on the heel of the grip safety, f) indented checkering on the mainspring housing. 



They made these for various military, government and police agencies.  The ones with the Argentine crest were made for government agencies.  This on is Stamped C.F.S.  That stands for Consejo Federal de Seguridad or Federal Council of Security/Safety(Federal Internal Security).  Other markings include the Army, Air Force, Navy and Border Patrol.


This one has the wrong grips on it.  I do have a period correct set of grips on the way.  Other than that it is pretty great shape.  Tight fit and feels just like a Colt as it should.  I gave it a good cleaning and just need to get it out to the range.








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  • 6 years later...
58 minutes ago, JustEd said:

The pic does not show up for me


would like to see it

It appears we have a new resident thread excavator. This one was started 7 years ago. Probably why the pic no longer exists.

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