In the 1930s, You Could Legally Turn Your Colt 1911 Into a Carbine

WIB history February 6, 2017 0

Colt 1911 with Monarch Arms stock. Photos via the author Monarch Arms sold a handy, detachable stock by MATTHEW MOSS In the 1920s and ’30s. the...
Colt 1911 with Monarch Arms stock. Photos via the author

Monarch Arms sold a handy, detachable stock


In the 1920s and ’30s. the Monarch Arms & Manufacturing Sales Company, based in Los Angeles, produced a range of detachable stocks for pistols including the Colt 1911 and Colt Woodsman.

The Monarch Arms stock was similar to numerous other detachable pistol stock designs that preceded it. The idea was to make a pistol more stable and thus more accurate.

Monarch Arms appears to have marketed these stocks under various names including “Steady Fire” and “Rifle-ette.” The company also sold a kit that included a stock and an extended magazine, calling this package the “Multi-Shot Riot & Anti-Bandit.”

In the photograph above, a Colt Government Model has been outfitted with a Multi-Shot extended magazine and a Rifle-ette shoulder stock, essentially resulting in a light pistol carbine.

A Los Angeles police officer apparently invented the Monarch Arms stock. It was compatible with a variety of Colt pistol models, including government models chambered in .45 ACP and .38 Super.

Colt Woodsman with Monarch Arms stock

To minimize weight, Monarch Arms made its stocks from cast aluminum and applied a crackle-paint finish. The multi-shot extended magazine grip, which held 18 or 22 rounds, was also aluminum.

To attach the stock, you replaced the gun’s left-hand grip panels with a special Monarch-made panel that had additional holes for two thumb screws that attached to the stock. The standard set-up was for right-handed shooters. It’s unclear whether Monarch offered a left-handed version.

At the wrist of the stock there was a pivoting joint, held in place by two screws, that could move up and down to adjust the angle of the stock. Unlike the 1911 version, the stock for the .22LR Colt Woodsman had just one thumb screw at the bottom of the grip.

Monarch Arms marked each stock with the words “Pat Appld For,” but in fact I couldn’t find any corresponding patent. On the butt of the stocks there was a manufacturer’s nameplate.

With the passing of the 1934 National Firearms Act, any firearm with a buttstock and an overall length less than 26 inches required a $200 tax stamp.

This presumably ended Monarch Arms’ sale of pistol stocks. Today the Multi-Shot Riot & Anti-Bandit and Rifle-ette stocks are classed as curios and relics.

Originally published at Historical Firearms.

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