Tag Archives: hard to find gun

Ever Seen a General Officer Beretta?

Typically, the only way to get one of the coveted and extremely rare General Officer pistols is to become a general in the U.S. military. About that…

The Army’s General Officer Pistol program dates back to at least 1972 when the service’s Rock Island Arsenal began producing M15 pistols for general officers, a gun that led to the now-popular Officer series of M1911s.

U.S. Army issue an M15 General Officer pistol (S/N GO481). The M15 pistols were manufactured solely by Rock Island Arsenal starting in the early 1970s through approximately 1985 when the US Army adopted the Beretta M9 pistol. This gun was sold at an RIA auction a few years ago for $6,900.

Marked with serial numbers prefixed with the letters “GO,” the program switched to issuing M9 Berettas in the 1980s then in 2018, in a story I previously broke for Guns.com, to Sig Sauer M18 GO models.

Other than the special serial number range, GO models are issued for operational use and are essentially no different from standard-issue pistols. However, the average Joe can’t buy his gun when out-processing from the military, whereas generals can.

According to U.S. law, at the end of their service, generals can purchase their issued pistols, which are unfathomably rare, museum-worthy collectibles if not retained by the family. As noted by the Army, famed WWII Gens. Omar N. Bradley, George S. Patton, and Dwight D. Eisenhower all purchased their guns when they left the military

A rarity, the General Officer M9 I’ve been checking out lately was obtained directly from a retired U.S. Army general who had more than thirty years of successful military service spanning the Cold War and Desert Storm, including more than five years with the famed 82d Airborne Division.

Boom

More in my column at Guns.com. 

Sure, sure, but do you know of the Colt BOA?

The Colt BOA was only made in limited numbers for a single year, then sold through a single distributor, making it probably the most elusive and desirable of the company’s double-action revolvers.

Between 1950 and 2003, Colt delivered to wheel gun aficionados a series of seven now-classic “snake” guns: Cobra, Python, Diamondback, Viper, BOA, King Cobra, and Anaconda. Some of these were more popular and widespread, such as the Diamondback which was made in both .22LR and .38 Special, while some were less frequently encountered, such as the Anaconda which was made in .44 Mag and .45 Colt. For seekers of the seven serpents, however, a couple of these guns are almost impossible to find: the Viper, which was just a regular catalog item for Colt in 1977, and the BOA, which is even rarer.

In fact, for many Colt fans, it is kind of a holy grail.

More in my column at Guns.com, where I checked out BOA #513.