This exceptionally rare US test pistol was designed by Grant Hammond and made by the Grant Hammond Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut in a plant owned by Liberty Motors of New Haven, an ownership that led to the nickname “LIBERTY PISTOL”. This single action, delayed blow back pistol was made circa 1917-1918 in two variations with an external hammer. The bolt included a spring loaded stop that protruded as a 3/8″ circular extension from the right side. Towards the rear was a stiff retarding spring that assisted in the final lock-up. After the last cartridge was fired, the bolt would lock open while the magazine was automatically expelled out of the pistol via a spring loaded accelerator loaded under the left panel. Inserting a loaded magazine released the bolt to a chamber the first cartridge. The gun was tested on two occasions in 1917, and then sent to Springfield Armory for additional testing in early 1918. In several respects, the gun was superior to the Colt; the Grant Hammond was more accurate and had a higher magazine capacity (8 versus 7). Unfortunately, there were a number of malfunctions during the Army and later Navy testing and concerns regarding fabrication and endurance precluded its being selected as a standard service arm. Nevertheless, the Grant Hammond was a well documented contender that was taken very seriously by the US military. This example is a 2nd variation pistol Grant Hammond with a 6.75″ round barrel, fixed front sight and drift adjustable rear sight. The left side marked “PATENTED MAY 4, 1915 OTHER PATENTS PENDING”. The top of the slide is marked “HAMMOND” while the right side of the receiver references the company and its location in Conn. The receiver just below the bbl is numbered “6” as is the corresponding frame that has a push button magazine release behind the trigger. The magazine accelerator is in place under left grip. Later, replacement grips with shallow thumb rest over a field of checkering. A super rare gun, total production of both the first and second variation Grant Hammond was fewer than 20 pistols.
Fabulous Grant Hammond, U.S. Military Test, .45ACP, replacement grips.
VG with handling wear and fading as one might expect from an extensively tested pistol, especially the grip straps that are now a uniform grey. Later era grips near excellent. Dull bore with well defined rifling. Perfect manual mechanics. An incredibly rare American made pistol, tested by our military just after WWI, whose accuracy easily out-performed the Colt 1911!