The Camp Perry Model was Colt’s top-end target pistol between the world wars. Based on the same frame and grip as the Officer’s Model revolver, it was designed to look like a revolver while actually being a single shot pistol with a monolithic barrel (no cylinder gap). It has a couple other differences from Colt’s other pistols, such as the use of a coil mainspring in place of the then-standard flat spring. Development began many years before the gun came onto the market, as this particular example is serial number 35 of a 63-gun preproduction batch made for national and Olympic targets shooters, and it was shipped out of the factory in 1920.
Commercial production began in 1926 and would run until 1941, when Colt’s wartime obligations superseded the production of competition pistols. In total, only about 2500 were actually made during that 15-year production run, all in .22LR. The Camp Perry Model was much less popular than the Colt Officer’s Model (which offered a 6-shot cylinder) and the Colt Woodsman semiauto .22 pistol. Two variations exist, as the early guns have 10 inch (254mm) barrels, and after 1933 the barrel was reduced to 8 inches (203mm) and the hammer travels was reduced to improve lock time.