Savage pistol question


March 19, 2011, 04:26 PM
This month's American Rifleman has the "100 years ago" segment story about the adoption of the Colt .45acp pistol. In it they mention that a pistol from Savage was 2nd on their list. Was this a .45 version of the semi auto pistols we still see sometimes chambered in .32 and .380?
Can anyone give me any history on it or a good informative link? Sounds like one of those, "what if---" stories. Colt and Savage's fortunes could have been reversed if Savage had won the contract for that pistol.

If you enjoyed reading about "Savage pistol question" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 19, 2011, 04:49 PM
It was a much larger gun that the 32 and 380 pistols, but in mechanics they are virtually identical.

Warning: Bad comparison to an improply IDed Colt revolver as the gun we used for 80 years.

There was one recently on Gunbroker that sold for over $20,000

It's a big, robust piece with streamliner styling.

Best history I found:

Jim K
March 20, 2011, 01:11 AM
That article was wrong in one respect, even though it was written in 1911. The current service revolver that was (to be) replaced by the Model 1911 pistol was not the .38 Colt, which basically dated from 1892, but the Model 1909 Colt, in .45 caliber. It is sometimes called the forgotten service pistol.

It was a Colt New Service, but was adopted and marked as the Model 1909, and Frankford Arsenal made ammunition for it when the .45 Colt it was made for proved unreliable due to its small rim. It was adopted to provide a .45 caliber sidearm in a period when the Army did not know when, or even if, a suitable auto pistol would ever be found. While that happened only two years later, it could have been five or ten years for all anyone knew, and a more effective handgun was a priority.

It is of interest that in the testing of the Colt and Savage pistols, two Model 1909's were fired as controls, keeping pace, shot for shot, with the auto pistols. While both the pistols had problems (the Colt fewer than the Savage), the revolvers had exactly two failures, both due to lack of powder in the cartridge case.


March 22, 2011, 05:59 AM
Interesting stuff, thanks.

March 24, 2011, 08:39 AM
There is a good chapter on the Savage pistol in Sweeny's latest book The 1911 - the First Hundred Years. While the book has numerous grammar issues (it looks like it was rushed to print with some chapters not going through an editor), the chapter on the Savage is quite interesting and good. Great photos too.

If you enjoyed reading about "Savage pistol question" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!