Image Lot Price Description


NSN. Cal. .45ACP. This extremely well recognized prototype, pictured in every reference covering early US military arms development, is offered for the first time at auction. This exact pistol is illustrated as plate IV in The War Dept Annual Report, Vol. 6, 1907. The Knoble is one of very few toggle mechanism pistols and is the only example outside the Luger to have been submitted for military testing. This particular double action gun was patented by W. B. Knoble of Tacoma, Washington in 1902 and submitted as one of a pair (the other a single action) in November 1906 to Springfield Armory for formal review. Although impressive in any size, the examiners cited “they were so crudely manufactured as to render any test without value – smooth working being impossible. It was, therefore, decided that these arms would be given no further consideration by the board”. The pistol being offered at auction, without any markings/NSN, has a 5.5″ rnd bbl and fixed sights. The geometry of the toggle action is different from the Luger, requiring that it be pulled upward and slightly forward so as to disengage from the breech before being pulled backward for casing ejection. There is no hold-open. Fitted with a deeply checkered spur hammer and a mechanism that allows both single and double action. The frame is fitted with separate, smooth walnut panels and has a checkered magazine release at the bottom of the backstrap. The frontstrap has a large, rectangular window that allows exposure/contact of the forward magazine spine. Should the single column magazine be stuck, it can be removed by exerting downward pressure on the exposed portion in addition to pulling on the small checkered ears that extend from each side of the base. Magazine presents as a single column design with a brass follower having open sides and a rounded base to conform with the bottom of the pistol. Included with this gun is a hang tag from early owner, Alex Montgomery. Montgomery was one of the very first major collectors of early experimental pistols. PROVENANCE: The Frank H. Wheaton, III Collection. CONDITION: The submitted pistol was presented in an unfinished form with the parts having been heat treated rather than blued. The bbl was heat treated to a fire blue with approximately 50% remaining. The receiver is now grey. The frame appears to have been heat treated to a fire blue, or given an oil quench blue, with moderate fading around the sharp edges and patchy discoloration. Grips retain most of their org varnish. Magazine in the white with comparable discoloration of the tinned surface. Bright bore with sharp rifling. Perfect manual mechanics with sticky action and tightly fitting magazine. 51516-1 LMA (30,000-60,000) C&R – Lot 1620

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Auction: Firearms - April 2017
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.