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The Rarest 1911: North American Arms Co

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In the summer of 1918, the US government wanted to increase production of M1911 pistols, but all current manufacturers were working at capacity. So they looked to issue new contracts, and someone realized that the Ross rifle factory was a potential option. Now, the Ross Rifle Company was bankrupt by this time, and its factory lay essentially abandoned. So in June of 1918, two Canadian lawyers by the names of James Denison and Edmond Ryckman incorporated the North American Arms Company Ltd in Quebec, signed a contract to manufacture 500,000 1911 pistols for the US, and then leased the Ross factory for a term of 18 months. Whether they would have been successful in producing pistols at scale is unknown, because their contract was cancelled on December 4, 1918 before any deliveries were made. With the end of the war, arms requirements plummeted, and pretty much all ongoing weapons contracts were cancelled, not just this one. However, parts for 100 pistols had been produced, and these were assembled and sold commercially after the contract was cancelled.

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