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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone! I'm new to Colt 1911's but not collecting. There is so much to learn about Colt's 1911 lineage. It's very intriguing to me and I love to geek out on stuff like this.

I'm looking to pickup a 'Black Army' 1911 from my LGS. The seller to the store was born in 1932. The pistol was a bring back from the war from his dad. Through my limited knowledge yet high'ish attention to detail as well as some feed back from the Colt collector FB group, I've confirmed this specimen to be original finish and original parts. When I posted the first photo of it in the case many said there is no way the finish is original if it's that color. I then got the pistol out of the case and took some photos under light to find that it does appear to be original. However, I've seen a black army on here years ago through the search function that looked original to me but others said it was a modern refinish. It must have had me fooled.

This gun has 95%+ finish remaining. The only areas I see that have degraded finish at all are the front and rear straps, and they aren't bad. There is slight freckling on the slide in the finish but it's just in the coloring. I'm looking to spend a little under 3k since it's all original. I see most black army's selling for closer to 1,500-2,000 but the condition is a long way's from this one. Through some acquaintances on the FB group I'm looking at a good price for such a nice gun.

I'm hoping this will be a good way to start my Colt 1911 collection. I've hopefully got 50+ years left on this planet so there is no better time to start than now. Am I making a bad choice going for a high grade typically low value cost cut pistol rather than a brushed blued gun or something?
 

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A couple of scenarios:

1. You can spend too much on junk, and you will have expensive junk.

2. You can spend too much on gems, and you will have expensive gems.

Which scenario would you rather be in?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A couple of scenarios:

1. You can spend too much on junk, and you will have expensive junk.

2. You can spend too much on gems, and you will have expensive gems.

Which scenario would you rather be in?
As an HK collector, I have no fear of spending when necessary. My fear here is that I may not know enough about these Colt 1911's to keep me totally safe from this purchase ending up having something wrong with it that totally destroys the value of which I paid for it. I would MUCH rather pay too much for a gun that's worth it than one that turned out to be refinished or something like that.

Well put though.

Thanks.
 

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Now that the pictures are up, if someone refinished that gun, it was an extreme professional job. All the lines, machine and finish patterns are just right.

But we wish we could see detailed photos of all the markings without the flash.
 

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Am I making a bad choice going for a high grade typically low value cost cut pistol rather than a brushed blued gun or something?
If I understand your question, you're asking if it makes sense to buy a gun that was known for having a low-grade polish ("cost cut pistol"). Black Army 1911s in high condition are very collectible, because the finish on so many of these guns didn't hold up well over time.

Assuming it's all original, the gun is probably a very good investment at under $3,000.
 

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Beautiful gun OP but at that price point it had better be absolutely right as rain. Honestly, there are better deals to be found. If you’ve got 50+ good years left in you I’d say wait it out man. At 88, that shop owner will be leaving those guns to his video gaming, skinny jean wearing, SBR toting kids pretty soon and they’ll be throwing that prized collection up on armslist for a 3rd of its value. Sad, but definitely been my experience in this neck of the woods. I see a BIG shift coming for the collectors grade firearms market in the next 20 years. Or buy it now and you’ll forget what you have in it in short order. How about some more pics of rear of pistol: MSH, Thumb Safety, Hammer etc. Also what’s the magazine situation?
 

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I would certainly get an expert opinion on that finish. I don’t know if it’s light or angle but in the first picture the front of the trigger guard would cause me hesitation. Again a hands on inspection would tell a lot. Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The magazine isn't the best. It appears it was stored outside of the gun and got some rust. It feels totally smooth since the gunsmith for the store cleaned it up and oiled it but its discolored. The inside of the grip is clean, no rust.

I don't have any detailed photos of the hammer unfortunately. The barrel is marked HP but I haven't disassembled the gun to check everything else.

The photos were taken with a flashlight shining on the gun, not the flash from the phone. There isn't much natural light in the middle of a store. It would probably look pretty different outside. The finish is very dark in person.
 

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I enlarged the SN on the gun and it looks strange. There seems to be some mis-alignment of numbers. Can you post a better picture of that SN area?
 

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Thanks for the better pictures! I will wait for some of our experts to comment on the serial number. The finish is very nice! The grips are also in fine condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I enlarged the SN on the gun and it looks strange. There seems to be some mis-alignment of numbers. Can you post a better picture of that SN area?
This is the only other one I have of the serial. Some collectors I've spoken to regarding the finish of the pistol have said that original finish guns have a slight halo'ing around the numbers as this one does.
 

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This is the only other one I have of the serial. Some collectors I've spoken to regarding the finish of the pistol have said that original finish guns have a slight halo'ing around the numbers as this one does.
The eagle head acceptance mark also appears to have a slight halo. The serial number and acceptance mark were applied after finish.
 

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I don't have any detailed photos of the hammer unfortunately. The barrel is marked HP but I haven't disassembled the gun to check everything else.

The photos were taken with a flashlight shining on the gun, not the flash from the phone. There isn't much natural light in the middle of a store. It would probably look pretty different outside. The finish is very dark in person.
Banshee365,

Here's some pictures for you to compare. You can see more here: https://www.coltforum.com/forums/colt-semiauto-pistols/340357-1918-colt-m1911.html

Best Regards,





 

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Discussion Starter #18
Banshee365,

Here's some pictures for you to compare. You can see more here: https://www.coltforum.com/forums/colt-semiauto-pistols/340357-1918-colt-m1911.html

Best Regards,
Very nice! What is the story in squiring that example? I made a deal to purchase the pistol this thread is regarding. The manager is a fantastic gentleman and the store is really great. I hope they can make a new model for new gun stores in the future to bring firearm purchases back to the local guys a bit. Before closing the deal he wants to wait until the historical letter comes back to make sure it isn’t a USMC gun or something that would really screw him over on price. I’m 99.9% sure it was shipped to Bush terminal for the Army.

The next order of business will be what products to use to clean the pistol after a detail strip. I’ll probably try to find a nylon pin punch for the MSH pin. The rest of the pins should just slide out.
 

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It looks ok to me. I’ve seen plenty of 1918 Black Armys where the serial numbers aren’t perfectly aligned , etc.
 
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