Prototype Colt-Vektor: A 1911 on the Outside and a Beretta on the Inside

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In the late 1990s Colt was looking for pistols it could license for sale in the United States, in the wake of the failures of both eh Double Eagle and All-American 2000. They approached CZ, and also Vektor in South Africa. Vektor was just at the end of its production of the SP1 and SP2 pistols, which were derivatives of the Beretta 92, and quite well regarded.

In 1998 or 1999, Vektor produced two prototype models of a potential Colt-licensed gun. They were fundamentally SP1s, but with the grips and slides reshaped to by more 1911-like, to fit Colt’s brand image. One was a standard 5″ barrel, and the other had a 4.25″ Commander-length barrel. A group of Colt officials visited and liked the guns, and a further 20 were made under the name “ProTec”.

These ProTec pistols were made in both lengths and in both 9mm and .40 S&W calibers, and Colt imported them into the US in 1999. However, the project went no further. It is not clear whether Colt or Vektor called off the deal, but at the same approximate time Colt cancelled its sales of the “Z40” licensed form CZ, and Vektor was in the process of shutting down its handgun production altogether.

Both the 20 ProTec pistols and the original prototypes were held by Colt for about 15 years, and then a few were sold to employees in the 20-teens.

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