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Colt .45LC Philippines Model of 1902


varifleman
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varifleman

Here for your perusal is Colt .45LC Philippines Model of 1902 serial number 45642. Frame; rear face of cylinder and left front trigger guard bow show inspector mark RAC (a civilian employee of the War Department and was the sub-inspector on the revolvers). The right side of the frame has a "U.S." property mark stamped above the trigger guard bow and the Ordnance inspector's initials "JTT" (LTC John T. Thompson, Chief of the Small Arms Division for the Ordnance Department) stamped just above the top of the right grip and the date "1902" in front of it.
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A very nice example of the so-called ""Philippines Colt" revolver.  The bright lighting makes it appear to be carefully re-blued.  You have it in hand, so is it a re-blue?  Perhaps an arsenal refinish?

 

 

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varifleman

Yes, good re-blued, possibly arsenal/Colt refinish?

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mohawkALSE

Very interesting piece, never saw one. The barrel reminds me of a Single Action Army.

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varifleman
20 hours ago, mohawkALSE said:

Very interesting piece, never saw one. The barrel reminds me of a Single Action Army.

Good observation, especially given this info from Wikipedia. The Model 1878 had a larger frame than the Model 1877, which allowed it to fire larger and more powerful cartridges such as the .45 Colt and .44-40, and used the same barrel & ejector parts as the Single Action Army revolver and a very similar cylinder. At one time, the factory modified Model 1878 cylinders for use in single-action revolvers in an attempt to use up spare parts. In 1902, 4,600 Model 1878 revolvers were produced for a U.S. Army contract. They were intended to equip the Philippine Constabulary under Brigadier General Henry T. Allen in the Philippine Insurrection. These revolvers had 6-inch barrels, hard rubber grips, and were chambered for the .45 Colt round. They had strengthened mainsprings and longer triggers to give the user more leverage, resulting in larger trigger guards. The strengthened mainspring was necessary to fire the .45 Government rounds which had a less sensitive primer compared to the civilian .45 LC ammunition. Many people have incorrectly assumed that this was to allow the revolver to be operated while wearing gloves, so "Alaskan Model" is a misnomer. These revolvers are unofficially designated the Model 1902 (M1902).

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ludwigh1980

Very cool piece. Always though the 1902 Colt Philippine revolver was under appreciated. From what I understood and might be just some old collector lore, that the main service revolvers at the time being Colt's in 38 caliber were found to be insufficient to bring down the fierce Moro warriors. So the army went back to the 45 caliber. I think I read that in an old gun auction catalog, quite historically credible information I am sure. However one will see quite a few old US issue Colt SAA army cavalry models that were re-worked / refurbished with barrel shortened into so called Artillery models with 1902 grip date stamps which might illustrate that there was certainly a need from the Army for 45 caliber revolvers.     

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dalbert

Great pistol.  It appears to have been commercially reblued, based on the buffing and high polish.  Every time I see one, I seriously consider adding it to my collection.

 

Your pistol bears the inspection mark of "JTT" for Captain John Taliaferro Thompson, who was the Army Inspector of Pistols at the time, and who later became the namesake of the Thompson Submachine Gun.  If memory serves me, he was the inspector from 1901-1903, but it may have been 1900-1902.  You can find his inspection mark on some Colt New Army Revolvers, Smith and Wesson Model 1899's, Model 1902's like yours, a few Lugers, and some early Colt automatics.

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

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