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Revolver, Gift From G. S. Patton?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Bonden, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Bonden

    Bonden Member

    A family friend, who is a veteran of WWII and served three years in the South Pacific, has a revolver and a paper to the effect that it was one of six similar revolvers given as gifts by Patton, and that this particular one was given by Patton to his driver (I'm not sure the connection to my friend...). This friend wishes to know any details that may be suggested on this matter, and also is curious as to the value. I told him I would put this out where knowledgeable folks might comment.

    The particulars: "Colt D.A.45" and "C8500" inscribed on revolver, Serial #151xxx. It appears to be nickel plated and has white handles. Photo below (hopefully...).

    Any information or comments will be appreciated. I'll print out whatever results from this inquiry and mail it to my friend.

    IMG_4101c by hdclear, on Flickr
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Well, the first thing I see wrong with that story is, the gun has pearl grips on it.

    Patton was famous for saying, "Only a New Orleans Pimp would carry a gun with Mother of Pearl grips".

    SO it strikes me as pretty odd he would be handing them out to his friends like that one there.

    The other thing is, the gun has been refinished, poorly, as the hammer & trigger are plated too, and they shouldn't be on an old Colt nickel finish.

    The other other thing is, the serial number dates to about 1901.
    Well before Patton was handing out anything when he was 16 years old.

    Was I a betting man, I would bet your friend got snookered into a great deal by another GI, and the gun actually had no connection to Patten at all, except for the forged papers.

  3. oldbear

    oldbear Well-Known Member

    AA +1. Also I don't believe that general Patton ever served in the Pacific area of operations.
    Perhaps a letter to the Colt company could shed light on where it was shipped to.

    The old saw the only difference between a fairy tail and a war story is. A fairy tail starts with, "once upon a time." A war story starts with, "this ain't no ****." I think someone may be telling war stories in this case.
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    The "pearl grips" are I believe made of plastic, with a rosewood inside backer. If so, they were made by the Jay Scott company long after the General had left us.
  5. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Well-Known Member

    consider reading post #1 again

    Nowhere in post #1 does it say anything about Patton serving in the Pacific.

    I didn't read anywhere in post #1 that Patton had the gun nickel plated and switched out the stocks.

    Maybe Patton once passed out some older than he was at the time 1917 Colts because they were cheap and available.

    Maybe the gun was plated by the recipient or other owner years later.

    Maybe the Jay Scott pearls were added to the gun years later by the recipient or some other owner.

    just saying :scrutiny:
  6. brnmw

    brnmw Well-Known Member

    Don't really know just how accurate this is but I do remember reading that the year following the strike of 1930's, the factory was hit by a hurricane and flood. Many company shipping records and historical documents were lost as a result. :uhoh:

    I guess you could still give it a try and see what you get. :)
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Maybe... But no model 1917's were made in 1901... :uhoh:

    If General Patton wanted to present a few close friends or associates with a handgun he would have likely gone to the factory (Colt or S&W) and with his influence he would have got a super deal. What he bought would not have looked like what we see here.

    If anyone believes this story I have a much better one. For a very reasonable price (only six times what anyone else would charge) I can get you the 1911 .45 pistol that Wyatt Earp used in the big Tombstone gunfight, and later gifted it to Doc Holliday... :what:
  8. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Well-Known Member

    And it was made by Ruger.
  9. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Well-Known Member

    @ old fuff

    LOL X 1000000.

    Thanks for that = I really needed to see a reality check to the other poster.

    And hell yes to any who knew that G.Patton hated 'pimp' grips on his guns.

    So danged unlikely that he would gift um to another.
  10. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    I would like to see the paper your friend has on this revolver before I make any calls.
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I hate to disagree with rcmodel, but Colt New Service SN 151000 shows in 1918 on Proofhouse.com. I don't know what the C8500 stands for but it is not the serial number.
    And, unlike S&W, Colt did nickel plate their hammers and triggers.

    The picture is not good enough for me to judge whether it is factory or aftermarket plating, but I do not have good vibes about it.

    The semi-circular front sight is not the usual form, but I can't say it was never used.

    The "pearl" grips are as said, Jay Scotts from well after WW II.
  12. vicdotcom

    vicdotcom Well-Known Member

    Here is the deal... what is on the paperwork and what is the provenance? I mean if the paper is a notarized hand written note from Patton or someone close to him.... then you have something.

    Maybe he gifted his driver an old colt and the driver had it re-finished.

    On an item like this, the money is in the paperwork.
  13. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Well-Known Member

    If anyone believes this story I have some ocean front property here in Minnesota I want to sell them .

    The gun simply doesn't match the story. The document would have to be realy something special to act as proof. It would have to spell out the details of just what happened, and when, along with supporting information.
  14. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Well-Known Member

    uhh, you are right...on that for certain. :eek:

    The rest is speculation. :scrutiny: A doubtful story but no one really knows.
  15. Bonden

    Bonden Member

    Thanks much for all the replies. More or less what I expected, in general.

    Yeah, I had found the Patton quote on pearl handles some time ago. The info you all provided on the model, the date(s), finish/refinish job, and date and maker of the grips is very interesting and useful. I'll write up a summary of all the facts, observations and speculation contributed here.

    As for Patton (not) being in the Pacific theater, I agree, though apparently he wanted to be. I think the vet said he got the revolver some years after returning home, but I don’t remember if he said from the driver, or from a friend of the driver, who served in Europe.

    I'm just looking to find out some info and send it to the guy, who appeared pretty interested when I told him I would look into it. It seems the least I can do after going to visit him, hearing his stories and seeing his box of pictures, papers, medals, maps and other souvenirs for a couple of hours. Anyone, any vet of WWII, who was age 18 in 1942 will be at least age 89 in 2013...

    Wife and I will be down that way again for Xmas and I plan to drop in on him for another visit when my wife is busy doing other stuff with family. Gotta say, I do respect the man for what he did, as well as his attitudes and accomplishments, and also just because he's 35 years my elder and no fool. And I've always been fascinated by WWII, and the human side of war and history in general, starting in high school when I read _The Great Escape_, then dozens more of the WWII greats from the school library.

    It was a helluva huge thing America and Americans did together back then in the 40s, maybe in our prime as a nation in that respect, but ten years before I was born. I don’t guess we could mount an effort like that again today, the way things are now. Brings a tear to my eye, and some anger to my heart, as well... Anyway, thanks very much to all who have served - I do sincerely appreciate it!
  16. Maia007

    Maia007 Well-Known Member


    It was a helluva huge thing America and Americans did together back then in the 40s, maybe in our prime as a nation in that respect, but ten years before I was born. I don’t guess we could mount an effort like that again today, the way things are now. Brings a tear to my eye, and some anger to my heart, as well... Anyway, thanks very much to all who have served - I do sincerely appreciate it!

    Well stated, sir.
  17. Leanwolf

    Leanwolf Well-Known Member

    I've read about when Bat Masterson was working in New York City, as a sports reporter for one of the newspapers, he was a celebrity with a lot of the sporting folk of the city. One of his friends was the famous writer Damon Runyon.

    Runyon later wrote that Masteson would go down to the city pawn shops and buy old Colt revolvers for a couple of dollars each, then pass them out to various people telling them, "Yep, here's the pistol I carried in Dodge," or at Adobe Walls, or Abilene, or at ... etc. etc.

    Seems that a lot of old guns later showed up as being "Bat Masterson's own personal six shooter." ;)

    Of all the old shootists of the "wild west," Masterson was one of the most colorful.

  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Yes and one of the few to live to an old age.
    Most men of his profession tended to die young as a result of bottom dealing or consumption.
  19. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Next to "I tooken it off old Adolf hisself...", the second biggest gun story of WWII was "General Patton gave it to me..."

    Nod and smile.


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