Norwegian M1911 Pistols, Models 1912 and 1914

From The .45 Automatic, ” Service Pistol Surrogates” by J.B. Roberts, Jr.

Colt .45 Autos have been copied, both here and abroad, almost since the first ones were made. The first of the foreign copiers was Norway. Seeking a suitable semi-automatic pistol, the Norwegian military decided on the M1911 as early as 1912. In 1913 and 1914, the Norwegians purchased 300 commercial .45s from Colt and then, having established that no Norwegian product was acceptable, began to negotiate for a license to build guns in Norway. Under an agreement signed in January, 1915, payment of 25,000 kroner bought the Norwegians a set of Colt’s drawings and the right to make M1911 pistols at their Kongsberg Weapons Factory for as long, and in whatever quantity they desired.

Formally adopted as the “Colt Automatisk Pistol Model 1912,” the first 500 guns are virtual twins of the Colt product, differing only in marking. The second production lot, begun in 1919, carried a different slide marking-—11.25 m/m Auto. Pistol M/1914. The M/1914 also features a slide release lever that is distinctly different from those on both Colt and M/1912 Norwegian pistols.

The Kongsberg plant turned out about 20,000 M/1914 pistols between 1919 and the early ‘30s. Then, military demand satisfied, the line shut down. Under German occupation during World War II, the production of M/1914 was re-started, and another 10,000 were produced. Following the war, a few M/1914s were assembled from parts to bring the total made to just under 33,000.

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