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Catalog Number 2014.018.027
Description San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Pearl-handled Colt .45 ACP Model of 1911 U.S. Army, c. 1915. Colt Firearm patented April 20, 1897; September 9, 1902; December 19, 1905 and February 14, 1911 and model of the 1911 U.S. Army. Silver colored metal gun has white pearl handles attached with two screws on each side.
Object Name Pistol, Automatic
Collection 3D - Armaments
Title SMCSO Pearl-handled Colt .45 ACP Model of 1911 U.S. Army, c. 1915
Date c. 1915
Creator Colt
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "PATENTED APR.20.1897 / SEPT.9.1902 DEC.19.195.FEB.14.1911" and "COLT'S PT.F.A.MFG.CO. / HARTFORD.CT.U.S.A." (stamped into proper left side); "MODEL OF 1911.U.S.ARMY" and "NO100943" (stamped into proper right side)
Provenance This artifact was owned and used by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.
Notes []
"Colt 1911 Facts
"Commonly referred to the as the M1911, the Colt 1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic pistol that is actively used by the military in as many as 28 countries, including the United States. The U.S. military originally made it standard issue for several reasons, in part due to its stopping power, reliability, durability, accuracy and feel.
"This classic Colt pistol was heavily used by the U.S. during World War II, and it was also utilized in World War I, the Korean War, Vietnam War and Gulf War."

This Pearl-handled Colt .45 was used by Keith C. Sorenson shortly after he replaced Louis B. DeMatteis as San Mateo County District Attorney in 1953. In a San Mateo County Historical Association (SMCHA) production entitled '57 Years of Justice in San Mateo County,' written and directed by John Rubin and made possible with funding provided by The Charles and Ann Johnson Foundation, Sorenson describes the situation where he used the Colt 45:
"One day there was word that there was a big operation going on and people being limousined in from San Francisco and making a lot of money gambling. I decided this is going to stop and we're going to make some arrests. My chief investigator had checked out what was going on and agreed to a raid. And I said, 'Well, I'm going with you.' And they said, 'You'd better get a piece' and I said, 'Well. Oh. Oh, I'll ask Wal Moore if he'll lend me his piece.' He lent me a big 45 and I put that gun in the pocket of my jacket and it reached practically down to my knees, it was so heavy.
"When we burst in, they had known by some secret communication that they were going to be raided in a minute. So what were they were doing? They were playing poker. They weren't bookmaking or gambling. They were playing poker and I jumped up on the table and yelled in a loud voice, 'Stop what you are doing! I want you all to stand up and I want you all to identify yourselves.' And, when nobody stood up, I jumped up on the table and pulled my weapon out and said, 'Now do you hear me?!' And they did. They all stood up. That was the first real raid, down to earth raid, that I participated in."
Dimensions H-6.75 W-8.5 D-1.5 inches
Search Terms Firearms
Moore, Walter H.
San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
San Mateo County-Sheriffs
Sheriff's Department
Sorensen, Keith
Subjects Arms & armament
People Moore, Walter H.
Sorenson, Keith C.