From the Delta to the DMZ, young Americans answered the call to duty and proudly served—many with “Old Slabsides,” better known as the “.45.” In military nomenclature, Uncle Sam called it the “M1911A1 Service Pistol.” It was the most powerful military sidearm ever issued in the world. And with it in Vietnam, American servicemen drove more nails in the coffin of Communism, which would lead to its eventual fall. But Vietnam would be the .45’s last war as America’s official military sidearm. Soon afterwards, so America could comply with NATO ammo logistics, it was retired and replaced by the less-powerful 9mm. So now, the “.45 era” and our Veterans who fought with it are passing into military history. As America honors the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, The American Historical Foundation is proud to salute those who served in the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War by appropriately, issuing this firing, museum-quality, Limited Edition on the classic Colt .45 military pistol. Each Vietnam Tribute .45 is a working Colt® Government Model® pistol and fires .45 ACP ammo.
24-Karat Gold Plating
When you pick up this almost two and a half pound slab of steel and gold, you will know you are holding a special, firing Limited Edition, custom finished to museum quality. Like the polished black granite of the Vietnam Memorial, you can see your reflection in its mirror-polished steel, blued to gloss black and richly plated with genuine 24-Karat Gold.
Craftsmen commissioned specifically for the Tribute by the Foundation polish and decorate each pistol. Deep bas relief etchings, selectively plated with 24-Karat Gold, form the central panoply, with borders of strapped bamboo and dragons, the Asian symbol of power and protection. Historical inscriptions include the dates of the war and General Westmoreland’s praise of all who served, along with the Republic of Vietnam Service Medal surmounted on napalm flames. The Asian-motif artwork of bamboo and dragons continues, in etching and 24-karat Gold plating, across the reverse of the slide.
The trigger, hammer, slide stop, magazine catch, safety lock and grip screws are 24-Karat Gold plated. (The gold plated hammer is not available to California residents, as this variation cannot be added to the Roster of Approved Handguns. The trigger will have the standard finish for a Colt .45.) The grips are finely checkered in the classic “Double Diamond” pattern. Inset in each grip is a full-color, cloisonné medallion, incorporating the flag of the Republic of Vietnam (South).
Fires .45 ACP
With the development of new tactics and advances in warfare technology since Vietnam, many military men, reflecting on it now, feel the Vietnam War marked the end of an era in American military history. Part of that passing was the Colt .45 military service sidearm, Vietnam was its last war.
As of January 14, 1985 – after 75 years of uninterrupted and faithful service – the old .45 was no longer the standard-issue sidearm of our U.S. Armed Forces. It was replaced by the 9mm handgun, which chambers and fires ammunition common to sidearms carried by our NATO Allies.
From the trenches of World War I to the close-combat fighting of World War II, from the frigid mountains of Korea to the steaming jungles of Vietnam, the old .45 pistol served our American forces well. Ask any Veteran from World War I to Vietnam about their .45. They will remember. They called it a “hand cannon” for good reason. It was the most powerful, military-issued sidearm in world history!
The legendary .45 military pistol created a common bond between grandfathers, fathers, and sons who had served in the military. American fighting men in all theaters of operation from 1911 to 1985 carried essentially identical .45 Autos. The .45’s used in Vietnam originally saw action in World War II and Korea. That’s combat-proven effectiveness!
An American military tradition has passed into history, but it will not be forgotten. This firing limited edition Vietnam War Commemorative .45 is issued in honor of our Vietnam Veterans and our last war that saw the proud service of the venerable .45 as our standard-issue sidearm.
For this historic Tribute, we started with the best of raw material, the Colt® Government Model® .45 Pistol, built by skilled Colt craftsmen in Hartford, Connecticut. This model has a very special significance. You see, even though the Colt .45 was our official military sidearm until 1986, it’s a little-known fact that Colt’s last shipment of pistols to the military took place in September of 1945. The pistols used by our troops in Korea, Vietnam and Grenada were all built between 1911 and 1945. In 1991, Colt renewed production of its traditional parkerized Government Model, and started the serial number range exactly where they left off 46 years earlier.
The Vietnam War Tribute .45 is strictly limited to only 2,500 pistols, worldwide. Each pistol is engraved with its special registry number between 0001 and 2500, with the prefix VN for Vietnam and a Certificate of Authenticity will accompany your Tribute. Your ownership and display of this firearm today—and as a family heirloom tomorrow—says you’re proud of America’s Armed Forces and those who served, honoring that which President Reagan concluded, “Ours was, in truth, a noble cause.” Continue the mission…lest we forget®.
Also available is a custom made, luxuriously lined Display Case with locking glass lid and engraved identification plaque to display and protect your Tribute from dust and unauthorized handling.
Since the Tribute is a working pistol, we will arrange delivery through a licensed firearms dealer of your choice. (Not available in California or Massachusetts.)
I wish to reserve the “Vietnam War Commemorative .45“, a working pistol, at the price of $1,995*. Each pistol is numbered and registered within the limited edition of 2500, and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Thirty-day return privilege.
Please charge my credit card a deposit of $195 per pistol. I will pay the balance prior to delivery at the rate of $100 per month, with no interest or carrying charge.
* All orders are subject to acceptance and availability. If I cancel my reservation prior to delivery, I will receive a full refund, less a commissioning fee of $195. Shipping and handling will be added to each order. Virginia residents please add sales tax.