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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
S/N is 56xxxx, which comes up for me as mfg in 1918..When was pony moved to middle of slide? was there any rear pony's past the 280000 number? I think I may have a mismatched slide to frame..What say you please.


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It was a BA. Now its a Parkerized mixmaster. The slide is a late '17/early '18, I believe.
 

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My 1918 Colt, in the 296k range has a transition slide with the pony in the middle and the early stirrup cut contours; the slide is probably too early even for my gun, so any "early" features would be long gone, 200,000+ guns later.
 

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Like the others said you have an earlier slide on a later frame. The fabled, legendary, mystical and almost magical Black Army serial range began somewhere around #320000 or so and continued until the last of M1911 production in early 1919 in the low six-hundred thousands.
 

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Unfortunately, like others have said, it's a mix-master. At over 100 years old, it's hard to find a nice 'Black Army'. I'm a fan of them, though.
 

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The only thing that really makes a Black Army valuable is if it still has most of its original blued finish. THAT is rare. These days most look like they've developed the mange after several decades, and are either a brown oxide color, bare metal, or a mix of both.
 
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Unfortunately, like others have said, it's a mix-master. At over 100 years old, it's hard to find a nice 'Black Army'. I'm a fan of them, though.
I received this from my father-in-law who brought it back from Korea...he said "it saved my ass several times"

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73stang; that's all you need to know about it - now its a priceless heirloom regardless of any 'incorrect' feature.
 

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1911s proved to be worth their weight in gold in Korea. More than one GI had to fend off a Chicom or KPA soldier right inside his own foxhole, and a one-handed weapon like a .45 pistol was the best tool available. It's something I often think about whenever I read articles claiming that handguns are almost never used in modern wars, or else ineffectively.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's one, No 5522XX, that's original.

View attachment 596996

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S/N is 56xxxx, which comes up for me as mfg in 1918..When was pony moved to middle of slide? was there any rear pony's past the 280000 number? I think I may have a mismatched slide to frame..What say you please.


View attachment 596933 View attachment 596933
Would there be a consensus as to when the BA started and ended. Can I assume that there are no BA with a rear pony on the slide?
 

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Understand that there's nothing special about the Black Army. It merely represents a change in the finishing process, which was economized to increase the speed of production. The metal prep ended at the rough polish stage, and on later pistols other shortcuts (such as simplifying some of the machining cuts on the frame) were made as well. It's hard to tell exactly when the BA changes were made because on a 100 year-old pistol the difference in finish between a pistol made just before the change and just after may not be apparent. The earliest observed pistols are somewhere in the 320,000 range and it continued up until the end of M1911 production in early 1919 at around 629,500. So that means there were around 300,000 "Black Army" pistols, produced in the span of less than a year... an amazing production feat but not exactly a rare item if you ask me.

As for the location of the pony, there was a transitional period between the 275,000-290,000 range where the shape of the recoil spring tunnel cuts and the location of the pony varied. By the time the Black Army changes were implemented the pony had been firmly corralled in its new spot between the slide patent rollmarks.
 
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Here is my “silver Army” used to be a black army but a few wars later it has little finish ( also a Korea bring home).
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My BA has the pony in the middle of the slide. S/N 425XXX. Surely a WWI original, family heirloom. Unfortunately stored in the original brown leather holster, the finish isn’t pristine. But when very nice oiled,
I haven’t shot it for a few years, after being advised it could damage the gun. When I did shoot a few years ago, once accustomed to the tiny sights, it was reasonably accurate. Certainly a killer at close foxhole range.
 

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I have only shot mine on special occasions. The last time was two years ago, when I shot it on its 100th "birthday" (July 22, 2018) and then again on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day alongside a new reproduction Colt "Black Army".

 

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I received this from my father-in-law who brought it back from Korea...he said "it saved my ass several times"
...
That is the "mark" of a rare and valuable pistol.

Thanks for posting.
 

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Also here many gun-stores use the name "Black Army" to imply they have something special, a bit like "Black Widow" for late P08 Lugers.
These COLTs are special only if they are 100% original and in fairly good shape, nothing else; after all their finish was only a hurried black finish to implement production, and most of the times now has almost completely flaked off.
 
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