Colt Announcing World War I-Era 1911 Black Army

in Industry News, Max Slowik, This Week
Colt Announcing World War I-Era 1911 Black Army
Colt is putting their 1918 design back into production. (Photo: Colt)

Colt just announced a new, or rather, a very old, Model 1911 pistol. Called the 1911 Black Army, these freshly minted 1911s are based on a 1918 version of the most iconic American military sidearm.

Although they aren’t the earliest version of the 1911, the Black Army pattern 1911 pistols are highly sought after by collectors and they often command an outstanding premium over other government-issued 1911 pistols.

Colt is faithfully reproducing the design with all of the original features, or more accurately, lack of features and small changes made to later models.

“Throughout American History, Colt’s weapons have given American Servicemen the ability and confidence to succeed in combat,” said Colt. “A reproduction based on the original blueprints of the World War I Model 1911 U.S. Military sidearm, this vintage limited run is an accurate reproduction of the design after the early 1918 ‘Black Army.'”

“In order to increase production for the US Military needs during WWI, the standard Carbonia Blue finish was changed to a finish that was almost black, hence the ‘Black Army,” Colt added.

These new production Black Army pistols have a matte blued finish, a Series 70 firing system and rollmarks and inspector marks fashioned after the originals. They are of course full-size pistols with 5-inch barrels chambered for .45 ACP with a standard 7+1-round capacity.

Other touches include a wide hood, a straight, smooth mainspring housing with a lanyard loop, World War I-style manual thumb and passive grip safeties, tapered blade front sights and period-correct knurling on the thumb safety, magazine catch and forged slide stop.

See Also: Colt Debuts Full-Size King Cobra Target .357 Magnum

With reproductions like these the price can determine how successful the final product is and it’s clear Colt wants to do right by even hobby 1911 collectors. The suggested retail price for the Black Army pistols is just $999.

Often real-world prices are below MSRP for Colt products but because this is a limited edition and a period-specific replica production run in-store and online pricing will be hard to predict. It’s safe to say that anyone interested in picking one up should just go ahead and buy them as soon as they become available.

Colt hasn’t published an official release date yet but there are several major gun industry trade shows coming up in the next few months and it will be surprising if Colt makes people wait a long time for these Black Army pistols.

Visit to learn more about the Black Army 1911.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

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  • Todd October 21, 2019, 12:32 pm

    While on the one hand, I sincerely applaud Colt’s on offering this product as an entry-level item for collectors and as a place holder for collections until a true vintage piece can be had but……

    I despair the certain ill-effect this will have on righteous vintage pistols once ne’er do wells start using frames and components to fake legitimate period parts and the duping of half-learned collectors begins.

    Some of you out there know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

    I would love it if Colt’s could have deliberately, if subtly, queered each and every part from ever being faked back into a vintage piece.

    And the price?…. It seems damn fine to me.


  • pete October 18, 2019, 12:22 pm

    Fine. Sure am glad I just spent double the money to buy a 1913 version of this one. I’m so smart! Lol.

  • Brian October 18, 2019, 11:44 am

    I don’t see the pony on the slide, the grip safety looks like a 1911A1 version and please tell me the trigger isn’t a piece of plastic crap, Can’t wait to see one close up so I’ll know what original parts to look for.

    • Joel October 18, 2019, 3:43 pm

      With as much attention to detail as they apparently put into this gun, I cannot imagine that they would use a plastic trigger. As far as the grip safety, they probably did use an A1 type, as the original was so bad about biting the web of the hand. If it came with the original type, I would change it out before I ever fired a shot.

  • Mick Mouce October 18, 2019, 11:41 am

    Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh…that looks so sweet.

  • John Harmon October 18, 2019, 10:55 am

    I have the a Series 70 with a 22 conversion kit that goes with it. I need a new clip for the 22. One will not hold the magazine open after the last shell is fired. Tried to buy the part I needed from a place that made new after market clips. I could not get any of them to feed right.

    • Brian October 18, 2019, 11:50 am

      Do you have the right slide stop installed when using the 22 conversion? The 45 and 22 slide stop are different and the 45 slide stop won’t hold the slide open when the magazine has been emptied. The 22 slide stop is stamped with a number “2”. That may solve your problem along with using Colt factory magazines and not after market junk.

  • Thomas Ramsay October 18, 2019, 9:11 am

    My father was in Navy WWI His Name Was Thomas T Ramsay He told me about different side Arms he had owned this world-war-I-era-1911-black may have been one he owned He lived in Alaska for about Twenty Five years He Worked as a Blacksmith in canning factory’s He and his Buddy hunted Fished there often,
    Yes he did bag a Kodiak Bear He and his friend,
    He told me Alaska was a Wild place in those times,

  • johnnyraygun October 18, 2019, 8:55 am

    Is Colt going to give a box of band-aids with every purchase? My hand trembling right now thinking of hammer bite. Colt’s decision on the AR platform will bite them worse than that hammer will.

  • Matthew Street October 18, 2019, 8:45 am

    Hey Colt, listen carefully to the roar of applause from your audience…… wait those are crickets.

    Hey AO, you still making more historically accurate 1911s than Colt? We can be friends.

    • Joel October 18, 2019, 3:53 pm

      I’ve got two of the AO 1911A1’s and they are great. Look like GI and shoot better than any GI that I ever shot.

  • Craig Lefebvre October 18, 2019, 7:40 am

    Springfield sells an army model for $530… why spend the extra coin?

    • Chuck October 18, 2019, 8:07 am

      Because it is a “COLT”, not a “Springfield”!

      • Jim October 18, 2019, 10:58 am

        Chuck, I somewhat agree with your assessment but Colt needs to get real in the market.
        Example: just purchased a Springfield defender series 1911 for $475, plain Jane government model but a quality gun and a great shooter.
        I have had a Colt AR for many years but recently purchased an AR from Palmetto State Armory, functionally identical but noticeably better fit and finish and literally paid just over a third of the price I paid for the Colt.
        As for the novelty of owning a “true” government issue 1911, I carried a Springfield 1911 government model most of my military career so……
        Colt (like Smith +Wesson) is pricing themselves out of the market on most of their products and the quality difference is minimal if any. IMO

  • Wally October 18, 2019, 7:26 am

    Good to see Colt continue to expand their 1911 line. One of the countries finest 1911 pistol smiths recently told me that Colt had stepped up their game and were again building excellent 1911s. I have purchased several in the last year and will always be a fan of Colt. The only thing missing in the newer Colts is the fine finish that went along with the older ones. Now if we could only get them to produce more SAAs……………….

  • DrThunder88 October 18, 2019, 7:01 am

    Wow! Somebody pinch the web of my hand. I must be dreaming!

  • Cam October 18, 2019, 6:22 am

    No sale. Zero interest in a replica

  • Phil October 18, 2019, 6:10 am

    Colt made these a few years ago. Two different models of 4000 each. I bought one. So nothing new… Pardon the pun!

  • Bill October 18, 2019, 4:05 am

    The CMP guns, for the most part, are all rebuilt rattletraps. This will be a beautiful, new production pistol. And for most likely, less money than what the CMP is charging.

  • Patrick J Champa October 17, 2019, 9:09 pm

    Just go buy a Auto Ord 1911A1 for half the cost.

    • bison1913 October 18, 2019, 4:46 am

      Patrick… You are correct. They are the most correct or should I say exact military spec 1911’s produced. And they function flawlessly… with any brand ammo or any brand magazine.

      • Thomas Laney October 18, 2019, 8:04 am

        bison, I agree with you and Patrick. I love mine and it’s a good shooter!

        • Joel October 18, 2019, 3:55 pm

          Same here. AO rocks.

  • Will Drider October 17, 2019, 11:33 am

    I like this but Colt should have done this years ago, before the release of thousands of actual historic 1911s for sale via CMP started.

    • Patrick J Champa October 17, 2019, 9:01 pm

      Too little too late Colt

  • BILLYBOB October 17, 2019, 3:56 am


    • William Watson October 18, 2019, 7:09 am

      Colt 1911 outstanding hand gun knock down power I believe price tag to high

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