Steyr - Chilean Contract
The M1912 was developed as the Model 1911, a military pistol, but it was not accepted into service until 1914 as the M12. It was originally issued to the Austrian Landwehr while common army units were issued Roth–Steyr M1907 handguns and Rast & Gasser M1898 revolvers. Orders were also placed by Chile and Romania. During World War I, Austria-Hungary experienced shortages of handguns and production of the M1912 was increased. Germany also placed an order for 10,000 Model 12s. After World War I, a commercial model the Steyr M1911 was produced and was quite popular with army officers, but Steyr had to rely on foreign exports to sustain production. After Germany annexed Austria in 1938, the Wehrmacht ordered 60,000 M1912 pistols rechambered to 9mm Parabellum which remained in service until the end of World War II.
This is one of the initial order of 5000 pistols that were taken into Service by the Chilean Military. It is easily distinguished from the M1912 Steyr Hahn by virtue of the fixed front sight
Chilean Model. Made at the Steyr factory in Austria for Chile. Will have crest on left front side that is of a huemul (deer) and a condor on either side of a shield with a star in the center. In the center of the left slide it will state STEYR 1912, and to the rear left slide MOD.1911. On the left rear slide it will state 'EJERCITO DE CHILE'. There will typically be a "crossed miners' hammers" proof on the top of the slide. Fixed front sight. There were 5,000 Chilean M1911's manufactured. The serial numbers are unusual in that they run nnn, 1nnnA, 2nnnB, 3nnnC, and 4nnnD