Need Help finding information about this Colt Government 1911


March 17, 2009, 01:31 AM
I am trying to find information about this Colt Government 1911 45 acp, I have. It has been in the family for years and I had been told by family members that it was made for the Mexican President back in 1913, the gun has never been fired and just sits in a safe. The serial number is four digits, 4XXX. The grips are gold with the Aztec Calander and Aztec God. The trigger, hammer, slide release, safty button and mag release are all gold. Here are a couple of pictues, I was hoping somebody on here would know something about it.

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March 17, 2009, 07:13 AM
No photos, at least on my computer.

Jim Watson
March 17, 2009, 09:00 AM
A COLT 1911 with serial number in the 4000's was made in 1912 if a military model (marking actually No 4000) or in 1913 if a commercial pistol (marking actually C 4000).

Unless you have absolutely solid provenance in the form of factory records, newspaper accounts, photographs, etc., I doubt anybody will pay any attention to the family legend of the president of Mexico. Gold plating the small parts was a common and relatively inexpensive way to dress up a surplus pistol in the days after both world wars. Gold plated grips with Mexican motifs have been available for some time.

Get those pictures to show up and we will see what is going on.

And check out the history. General Huerta deposed President Lascurain in February 1913 and took the office by some weird parlimentary maneuvers. He was not approved of by the USA which led to the Marines taking over Vera Cruz in 1914 and further dances with Pancho Vila. Nobody here was giving Gen. Huerta a fancy pistol.

March 17, 2009, 12:43 PM

You are right it does have a C in front of the serial number. Again, it is a very low serial number and it is unfired, I knew the legend couldn't be true, but is a very beautiful that makes it very something in my book.

Thank you for your help and I don't know why the pictures go erase, but they are now up

Jim Watson
March 17, 2009, 01:16 PM
Oh, you didn't say the rest of the gun was nickel plated and the slide flats engine turned. That is only about the third gun I have ever seen with the whole slide flats engine turned like that.

The underlying pistol appears to be a correct and likely original Colt 1911 of 1913. Whoever dressed it up had his own ideas, for sure and will have the Colt collectors crying in their beer. Heck, maybe he DID do it for one of the several presidents of Mexico who were in and out of power in those days. It is definitely what has become known in Texas and the rest of the Southwest as a Barbecue Gun.

March 17, 2009, 02:39 PM

I was wondering you would know how much something like this is worth, or is just a wall hanger... I am thinking about parting ways with this gun are their any Colt collector gun shows coming up where i can show it off.

oh what is a barbecue gun, is that a term where people are standing around just talking about the gun


Jim Watson
March 17, 2009, 02:53 PM
Sorry, I just don't play Internet Price is Right. You can look on sales sites like,, and the classifieds at and see if some fancied up guns have changed hands recently. Do not confuse the value of a factory original gun with one done aftermarket.

A barbecue gun is one that is rather flamboyantly decorated, and is worn in a very nice looking holster TO a barbecue. It is part of the wardrobe and is to be admired, not necessarily discussed.

March 17, 2009, 06:06 PM
This is not an aftermarket gun, this is an original 1911 from Colt, I have sent off for paperwork on the gun and I am just waiting for it to return.
Plus, a couple of colt dealers i have shown the pistol to have said that they only seen one other one like it in a museum.

Thank you for the information Jim, you have been great help

Jim K
March 17, 2009, 10:02 PM
The family legend may well be true, but there is likely no way to know.

Most fancy guns made for a high official or for presentation to the official are marked or engraved in some way with the VIP's name, office, date, etc. Even those, of course, can be faked (and have been), but they are usually present in a genuine VIP gun.

I agree that family records, documents, etc., are the first place to seek information. Contemporary newspapers and the like may also help.

BTW, Jim W. did not mean the gun was not factory original, only that the decoration could have been done outside the factory. The factory letter should say if the gold work was done by Colt.


March 18, 2009, 02:40 AM
Jim K.

Thank you for the information. I am not super worry about the legend of the pistol. I think it is very nice peace of history and was just wondering if anybody had ever seen one before.
Thank you to all who have reply...

March 18, 2009, 01:00 PM
I have sent off for paperwork on the gun and I am just waiting for it to return.

Let us know what they say - would be interesting to hear the history (from the factory) of this fine 1911.

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