POTD: Offensive to My Eyes – Prototype Colt Offensive Handgun
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a Colt Offensive Handgun prototype from the 1990s. This neat 1911 looking monster was designed in response to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) solicitation for a pistol that could meet the needs of their operators. The Beretta M9 had long since been a stable, common-house pistol in the United States Armed Forces, but it was decided that the 9mm cartridge and specific features were not good enough for USSOCOM. The list of requirements were things like a 10 round minimum magazine, silencer capable, an integral slide lock, and a few others. Ultimately, the Heckler & Koch Mark 23 was decided on and the Colt Offensive Handgun that was supposed to be a star ended up flickering out and being forgotten.
“According to the included factory letter, this pistol was retained by the Colt Archives to serve as a reference for the Custom Shop, Engineering and Historical Departments. The U.S. Government is notorious for destroying demonstration models supplied by contract contenders, and being held by Colt may be the only thing that saved this one. The sights are not installed, with a slot for a pin-in front sight on the novel quick-detach frame mounted muzzle brake/silencer mount and a conventional dovetail cut for a rear sight on the slide, which is serrated front and rear and cut through in two places on the upper rear to reduce weight. The barrel is an All-American style with rotary locking, and the frame draws many elements from the Colt Double Eagle, with the addition of a proprietary grooved mounting rail on the full length dust cover, ambidextrous manual safety, and a blackened steel takedown bar which doubles as the slide lock. The grips and mainspring housing are both checkered plastic, and the front strap is serrated; all three have been factory lengthened to accommodate the single stack 10-round magazine, which is fitted with a Shooting Star brand anti-tilt follower and marked with the Rampant Colt, “G/S” and “COLT/45 AUTO/10-RD” on the base.”
Lot 1610: Colt Offensive Pistol 45 Acp. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved November 15, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/63/1610/colt-offensive-pistol-45-acp.