Colt introduced the National Match .45 ACP pistol in 1932 during the American national matches in Camp Perry. In 1933, Colt introduced this match pistol based on the model 1911-A1 on the market as a series in .45 ACP caliber. The weapon was completely assembled by hand, using parts with the smallest possible tolerances. Initially, the pistol was fitted with a standard Stevens micrometer sight. In 1935, the weapon was also made in .38 super caliber. However, in the Second World War the National Match became less important. It was relaunched in 1957 under the name Colt Gold Cup National Match. Special featured of this Gold Cup National Match pistol are the broad match trigger with an adjustable trigger stop, a Colt Elliason sports sight from 1965, an enlarged ejection port in the slide, and a flattened hammer spring housing. In addition, the pistol has very small tolerances and therefore a high degree of shooting precision. Initially the post-war weapon was only available in .45 ACP caliber. The different types of National Match model are reffered to as Mark I, Mark II, Mark III and Mark IV. The Mark I was the ‘old’ National Match which was made from 1933 to 1942. Colt produced the National Match Mark II from 1957 to 1960. From 1960 to 1974 Colt also made the weapon in .38 Special Wadcutter Mid-Range caliber, and the model was called Gold Cup MK III National Match. Altogether, about 7,000 pistols were made in this caliber.
The Gold Cup National Match Mark IV/Series 70 was introduced on the market in 1970 with a caliber limited to .45 ACP. Colt modified the barrel-bushing for improved shooting precision. The Gold Cup was available in the blued Colt Blue or in a nickel-plated finish. Following the introduction of the Gold Cup National Match Mark IV/Series 80, the pistol is also available in stainless steel in a sandblasted or polished finish. Pistols in the Series 80 have automatic firing pin safety. Because of its increasing popularity, Colt also produced this model in 1989 in 10 mm Auto caliber under the name Gold Cup Elite and the Delta Gold Cup. The Gold Cup National Match has a total length of 216 mm, a barrel length of 127 mm and a weight of 1106 g. In 200, Colt had to scrap the manufacture of large number of models because of major reorganization. Only the Gold Cup Trophy model is still available.