Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Around 1912, Savage sought a slice of the lucrative .25 ACP pocket pistol market increasingly dominated by Colt and FN/Browning. Their entrant became the little-known Savage 1912, designed but never commercially released. Barely 40 examples left Savage’s workshops across two small batches with slight variances. The initial twenty .25s wore wide slide serrations echoing earlier Savage automatics along with full factory markings. These first Savage 1912s also bore “M” prefixes in their serial numbers starting from 1000. A second run of twenty emerged later boasting Savage’s updated slimline slide striations but with unadorned metal. Mechanically, the straight blowback Savage 1912 operated distinctly from Savage’s familiar 1907 locking system. Yet classic Savage DNA like the safety latch and heel magazine release persisted in the Savage 1912. Economics likely doomed the 1912’s production hopes rather than quality or design. Today, the Model 1912’s rarity places prices comparable with elaborately engraved .45 caliber Savage Trials pistols.
“These pistols, loosely termed the Model 1912, never made it to full production, making them incredibly scarce. This example appears to be from near the end of the first of two fairly distinct phases of production, pistols from which are believed to have been manufactured in 1914-1915. These pistols are discussed on p. 133-136 of “Savage Pistols” by Bailey Brower Jr., and similar examples to this pistol are pictured on p. 135 and 137. Unlike the examples pictured, this pistol bears no serial number and no slide legend, meaning it is likely a transitional prototype, as the other serial numbered examples are noted as being prototypes themselves and having a slide legend. This example has the distinct “first phase” wide serrations on the slide, similar to the Model 1907. Interestingly, the pistols in the “second phase” of development are noted for having no slide legend, like this example, but also feature narrower slide serrations, lending credence to the theory of this being a transitional prototype. These pistols were a straight blowback design with a slide much the same shape as the Savage Model 1907, a grip safety, and a magazine capacity of six rounds. It is fitted with blade and notch sights and a pair of checkered hard rubber grips with “SAVAGE” at the tops and the Savage logo at the center.”
Lot 1470: Savage Prototype Semi-Automatic Pistol in .25 ACP – Excellent and Incredibly Rare Savage Prototype Semi-Automatic Pistol in .25 ACP. (n.d.-f). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved January 12, 2024, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/87/1470/savage-prototype-semiautomatic-pistol-in-25-acp.