Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3466: World War I U.S. Colt Model 1911 ''Black Army'' Pistol

Auction Date: December 6, 2020

Outstanding World War I U.S. Colt Model 1911 ''Black Army'' Semi-Automatic Pistol

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,500 - $5,000

Outstanding World War I U.S. Colt Model 1911 ''Black Army'' Semi-Automatic Pistol

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1911
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut checkered
Stock:
Item Views: 1694
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 271
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun
Description:

This exceptional U.S. Colt Model 1911 U.S. Army automatic pistol was manufactured between November 11 and November 29, 1918, and shipped to the Ordnance Depot at Bush Terminal, Brooklyn, New York. This pistol has the distinctive dark, brush blue, ''Black Army'' finish used by Colt on government contract Model 1911 pistols from mid-1918 until the end of production in early 1919. The pistol has checkered, oil-finished black walnut stocks with diamonds surrounding the screw escutcheons. The receiver has the heart-shaped grip openings introduced about serial number 466705 and long hammer with rounded edge and borderless checkering that were adopted to speed Model 1911 production in 1918. The safety lock is the mid-1918 style with thick thumbpiece. The right side of the receiver is roll-stamped: "UNITED STATES PROPERTY/No537004" in two lines behind the slide stop hole. The United States Property markings were moved from the left side of the receiver to the right side between serial number 500,000 and 510,000. The left side of the receiver is stamped with the Type I "Eagle Head/S17" Ordnance provisional Inspection mark adopted May 15, 1918. The top of the frame is stamped with a Colt "G" government contract mark behind the disconnector hole. The slide has the new style recoil spring housing adopted about serial number 29000. The right side of the slide is roll-stamped with the larger "MODEL OF 1911.U.S.ARMY" markings with "7/64" letters adopted about serial number 260000. The left side of the slide is roll-stamped with the 1897-1913 patent dates in a two lines followed by the Rampant Colt trademark and "COLT'S PT.F.A.MFG.CO./HARTFORD, CT.U.S.A." in a two-line block. The barrel has the same dark, brush blue finish as the other pistol components and is stamped with the connected letters "HP" on the chamber perpendicular to the axis of the bore. The pistol is complete with a WWI production two-tone magazine with flat base. The late production Colt Model 1911 "Black Army'' pistols like this example have very distinctive finish, markings and features from the Colt Model 1911 U.S. contract pistols made prior to the spring of 1918.

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The pistol is completely original and appears to be in un-issued condition, retaining 95% plus original ''Black Army'' brush blue finish. The grips are in excellent plus condition. The stop of the slide and the mainspring housing have traces of the finish loss attributed to factory surface preparation prior to bluing which is typical of late production ''Black Army'' pistols; this is only visible in strong light and does not detract from the outstanding appearance of the pistol. The barrel chamber shows light cycling wear and retains 85% of the original finish. All of the markings on the slide and receiver are crisp. This is an outstanding example of a late WWI Colt ''Black Army'' Model 1911 pistol.



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