“Black Army” 1911 Making a Return?

“Kamerad” by Frank Schoonover for Ladies Home Journal, 1919, showing some Doughboys making friends with German headquarters staff, with some very dark-hued 1911s at hand.

The so-called “Black Army” is a designation often used by collectors to describe the late World War I finish techniques applied to Colt’s M1911 GIs between May 1918 and March 1919. Although given the standard brushed Colt “Carbonia Blue” finish, it was applied to more roughly finished frames and slides, which resulted in a noticeably darker hue that looked more black than blue.

As few of these wartime guns escaped later arsenal parkerization and mixmaster modification to the M1911A1 standard, original “Black Army” models are highly sought after, commanding prices in the $7K range.

A correct WWI-vintage Black Army 1911, via RIAC

Now it seems that Colt is set to debut a limited run of brand new Black Army repros.

While externally it looks trench-ready with a smooth straight mainspring housing, WWI style manual thumb safety and lanyard loop, these new Colts are missing the rampant pony in the center of the rollmark. Still, very close.

More details in my column at Guns.com 

 

One comment

  • The new version seems to feature the slightly longer grip safety of the 1911A1 rather than the short version of the 1911, if the photo is anything to go by.

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