Author Topic: RIA General Officer's Pistol Model 15  (Read 297 times)

Offline MRC

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RIA General Officer's Pistol Model 15
« on: September 01, 2020, 11:16:49 AM »
Here is another General Officerís Pistol I own and it is an authentic one.  This maybe gets a little long but I think the story needs to be told.

I walked into my Gunsmithís shop about 4 or 5 years ago and the Rock Island Auction catalog was open on his counter.  It was the listing for a military 1911 produced by the Rock Island Arsenal.  The Rock Island Arsenal is a government defense facility located in our metropolitan area and is actually on an island in the Mississippi River.  I knew my Gunsmithís father was an armorer who had retired from the Arsenal.

I asked my Gunsmith about the listing and he explained that his Father was instrumental in the design and development of these GOPís designated the Model 15.  He and his boss both built prototypes and his bossís would never function right so they adapted and further developed his fatherís design.

The Generals had always been offered a 1903 hammerless, designated Model M in 380 and then 32 acp as part of their commission for a personal sidearm.  The Government was running out of them to give them so the Model 15 GOP was developed as a replacement.  Only 1004 of them were made and they started distributing them in 1972.  When the 1004 were all gone they went to a commercial 1911A1 and then to a Berretta.

I bid on the GOP at the Rock Island Auction but I did not win it.  I posted a question on the Colt Forum about these guns and learned more about them and their value.  I also mentioned that they were produced in my home community and a friend of mineís father was one of the original developers.

A Gentleman from Pennsylvania who had one for sale read my post.  He thought his should go back to my area and offered it at a fair price so I bought it.  It included all the paper work from the General that it was issued to including his resume, a photo of him in uniform, the paperwork when he received it in 1979, and the bill of sale when he bought it upon retirement in 1980.  I also received the belt and holster that was issued, 3 magazines as issued, a double mag holder as issued, and a copy of The Rampant Colt Magazine with an article on the Model 15ís.  The seller of this pistol had originally bought it directly from the General who it had been issued to.

Pictures of the package.

Offline MRC

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Re: RIA General Officer's Pistol Model 15
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2020, 11:21:23 AM »
More pics

Offline MikeInTexas

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Re: RIA General Officer's Pistol Model 15
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2020, 03:38:30 PM »
Very interesting story and a nice looking sidearm.


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Offline MRC

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Re: RIA General Officer's Pistol Model 15
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2020, 03:33:53 PM »
Very interesting story and a nice looking sidearm.


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They are super Collectible and are very hard to get your hands on.

An interesting fact is that all 1004 pieces were issued to active duty Generals accept one.  GO384 was issued to Retired General of the Army Omar N Bradley.



Offline MikeInTexas

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Re: RIA General Officer's Pistol Model 15
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2020, 04:54:19 PM »
I would much rather have one of those as opposed to the M18 they issue to those folks now.

Offline MRC

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Re: RIA General Officer's Pistol Model 15
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2020, 05:09:12 PM »

Here is one of the 1903 Model M's that are made for Colt by U.S. Armaments.  It has as nice of bluing as I have ever seen.

Offline MikeInTexas

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Re: RIA General Officer's Pistol Model 15
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2020, 07:25:56 PM »
So is that an actual GOP or a reproduction of one?  I see US Armaments is a modern company selling a number of different versions of that pistol.  Lots to do in researching this area of interest.

Seems like $10K is the basic entry price into this club for anybody not an O-7.  Do admirals get the same benefit?  Not finding anything that says they do.

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Offline MRC

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Re: RIA General Officer's Pistol Model 15
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2020, 08:01:06 PM »
The 1903 is the new issue that U.S. Armament is putting out.  The original Colts did not have the Royal Blue.

U S ARM. does blue, parkerized, nickel, and royal blue.  They are very nicely done.

I have this book which is the "bible" on all the GOP that were issued, I could look up answers but I believe it was just issued to the Army.

https://www.amazon.com/Colt-U-S-General-Officers-Pistol/dp/0917218418/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=general+officer+horace+greeley+book&qid=1599091068&sr=8-1