American Beauty: The Prewar Colt National Match Government Model Pistol by Timothy J Mullin
About this Book:
Times were different then. The stock market crash of "Black Monday" in October, 1929 heralded the beginning of the worst depression in American history. At the same time, the sport of one-handed target shooting was very popular, and was viewed by men of position and influence as a highly respectable pastime, akin to the way golf or tennis are seen by many today.
In January, 1932, amidst the darkest days of depression and general economic decline, the Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company introduced their handfitted, premium-grade National Match Government Model pistol. These fine arms were eminently suitable for match shooting, but they carried a sticker price of $40.00 in the days when a brand-new commercial Government Model retailed for $21.00 or $22.00. Not surprisingly, the prewar National Match model was originally produced in small numbers, and was in fact only in production for a brief period of nine years, from 1932 until 1940. During these nine years a total of only 42,987 Government Model .45 pistols were made, and Charles Clawson, author of the excellent book Colt .45 Service Pistols, believes only 21,500 of these were made for the U.S. retail market. Clawson estimates that 5,000 National Match pistols were produced in total, a figure which seems high given the number surveyed in this book, their relatively very high cost at the time, and a comparison with the numbers of postwar Gold Cup and standard Government Models made.
In fact, after years of research which have turned up only about 150 National Match serial numbers, the present author believes that this finely-crafted arm was actually made in much fewer numbers than previously thought. Surprisingly, the prewar National Match .45 Government Model may well be rarer, in terms of numbers produced, than the ultra-rare Colt .44 Walker, of which only 1,000 military and 100 civilian examples were ever made. Nevertheless, no finer semiautomatic handgun than the prewar Colt National Match ever left the factory, and anyone who owns one of these American Beauties holds a national treasure in his or her hand.
About the Author:
Timothy John Mullin comes from Scottish-Irish stock, back to 1690. As his ancestors would no doubt agree, he views individual firearms ownership as a critical component of liberty and democracy. Mr. Mullin was made a member of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society during his junior year at St. Louis University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He was later awarded his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School. He then served seven years in the U. S. Army, first as an infantry officer and later with the Judge Advocate General's Corps, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID). He was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal upon leaving the military with the rank of Captain. During 1976 and 1977 he served as Chief of Police for the St. Louis Area Support Center, and as a Deputy U.S. Marshal.
Since that time Mr. Mullin has engaged in the practice of law while maintaining the position of Training Officer with local law enforcement agencies, establishing a modern firearms training program which emphasizes the legal as well as tactical aspects.
Mr. Mullin has written three prior books, Training the Gunfighter (1981), which Elmer Keith said was one of the ten best books he had ever read, The 100 Greatest Combat Handguns, and Testing the War Weapons (a practical user's guide to rifles and light machine guns from 1870 to date), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1997. He has a similar book on submachine guns, machine pistols and combat shotguns scheduled for release in the summer of 1999. He has also written numerous articles for a variety of firearms periodicals and law journals, and is a frequent speaker on such topics.
Mr. Mullin is married, and his wife Eleanor works with him in his St. Louis law office. They have one daughter, Catherine, aged 14.