Colt Government Model C99459 - Owned by Champion
Target Shooter John W. Hession (See
September 2005 Gun
of the Month). Pistol has been professionally
refinished and is fitted with an unusual rear target sight.
Finish is polished on the flats of the slide and frame and
is matte on the top radius of the slide, under side of the
slide, frame, trigger guard, grip straps and grip safety.
Grips are later replacements. Barrel is WWII vintage High
Standard "HS" marked.
This Government Model was one of two
shipped to Remington Arms UMC Co., Inc., Bridgeport,
Connecticut on January 29, 1918.
Colt Government Model C99459 - Right side view of
Major Hession Still Serves; Crack Shot Adviser to All -
Winchester Arms Representative Once Held Shooting Records
From 200 to 1200 Yards -- Washington Post, July 7, 1943
Major John William (Jack) Hession
1877 - February 1, 1962
Maj. John W. Hession, center above, was an
accomplished rifle shot and Winchester's Shooting Promotion
Manager. Posted below are his obituary and American
Rifleman short that chronicle his remarkable life and series
of outstanding accomplishments and achievements within the
sport of shooting sport. Major Hession was truly a pioneer
in the world of competitive shooting.
click the image for
full page view
Clearwater Beach, Florida
OBITUARY - February 1, 1962
HELD MANY NATIONAL RECORDS
Maj. Jack Hession, 84,
Greatest Rifleman, Dies
Maj. John W. (Jack) Hession, 84, who some claim was the
greatest rifle shot that ever squeezed the trigger, died in
Clearwater yesterday. He lived in the Carlouel section of
Hession won more than 500 matches during his long career,
once held every record from 200 to 1,200 yards and was a
member of 12 teams that represented the United States in
Once Walter Chrysler asked for a demonstration of the
major’s skill and Hession promptly obliged by shooting the
ashes off the auto pioneer’s cigar with a target pistol.
Less than two months ago Hession chalked up a perfect score
at the Clearwater Rifle Club range with 40 straight bulleyes
from 100 yards, putting 39 of the shots in the one-inch “X”
HESSION was born in 1877 at Clinton, Canada. He worked as a
ballistics engineer for both the Remington Arms Co. and
Winchester Co. His “beavertail” design for a gun stock –
which provided a wider and less tiring grip – earned him
credit for improving scores of all shooters.
Maj. Hession made the 1908 U.S. Olympic Team and in 1918
finished 63 points ahead of the runner-up in the U.S.
tryouts at France for the inter-allied rifle competition.
He once clicked off 102 straight bullseyes with a .22 rifle
on a 200-yard course and had 79 in a row during practice at
1,000 yards. His best competitive run was 57 at 800 yards at
Camp Perry, Ohio.
During a Camp Perry match in 1913, the major scored 19
“bulls” out of 20 shots at 1,000 yards shooting across a
42-mile gale that forced him to aim 25 feet to the right of
the distant target.
Hession was still winning titles in 1942, when he copped the
New York State Championship hitting 43 straight bullseyes at
UNTIL LAST SUMMER the major played golf weekly at Clearwater
He was a crack trap shot, in addition to his rifle and
pistol target ability. During his younger days the major was
a bicycle champion too, winning the Dunlop Trophy in 1898.
Hession moved here 15 years ago from Hew Haven, Conn. He has
memberships in Episcopal Church of the Good Shepard,
Dunedin; National and English Rifle Associations; Army and
Navy Club, Washington, D.C.; Retired Officer Club,
Clearwater, and Explorers Club.chester
Model 21 Page
Front view of rear target sight.
View of hammer and rear sight.
Left profile of rear sight and hammer.
Factory letter from 1962 as requested by the previous owner
who purchased this gun from an auction featuring many of
Major Hession's firearms.
Original listing from auction.