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Gustave Young died in 1895. So how is his name on new for 2019 limited edition Colt Gustave Young 1911 .45 ACP semi-automatic pistols? Simple. These marvelously engraved beauties are an homage to the Prussian master craftsman with unkempt hair, Buffalo Bill mustache and chin beard who is considered America’s finest gun engraver ever. Some of his best work was engraving for Colt in the years bracketing the US Civil War.

The Cold Gustave Young 1911s are a great tribute. There are only 500 of them with serial numbers that range up to 525 since there were 25 frames below the 500 number that didn’t pass muster. These guns are full-size Government Colts with a 5” barrel and an 8.25” overall length. Inside is a 7-round magazine making total capacity 7+1.

This limited edition is a Colt 1911 with a captivating final workover by Talo Distributors. The slide and frame are beautifully polished blue steel. Talo has taken Young’s characteristic style of layered scrolling and corresponding silver inlays and imagined them applied to the M1911 slide and grips as if Young had crafted them himself. That said, the actual engraving is by Baron Engraving in Connecticut.

But this gun is more than just its engraving. The spur hammer, magazine, slide release and the barrel bushing are beautifully polished too. It does not, however, have the flared and lowered ejection port.

Most gun manufacturers take tried and proven chassis and update their looks (and functionality and performance) with new-gen accessories like the latest sights, G10 grips, and so on. This Colt Gustave Young 1911 Series 70 is somewhat the opposite and makes the already classic M1911 look like a steam punk weapon time traveled in from the 1850s or maybe even the 1550s! But it works! We see modern, classic and retro looks juxtaposed all in one without any mental discord, and the result is relentlessly beautiful.

As might be obvious from the name, the gun uses Colt’s Series 70 firing system. The finish is sublime. The slide has vertical serrations at rear, government sights and a spur hammer.

These guns have a slightly downturned mid-length beavertail. They have the grip safety and solid curved trigger in the standard racetrack oval trigger guard. The trigger has vertical serrations across its surface.

Other primary controls are on the left: thus the thumb safety, slide stop and magazine release are all on the left. The frame has a flat mainspring housing that leads to a sharp corner.

The rosewood grip panels are beautifully polished and look gorgeous. They have long dark lines and, of course, beautifully engraved flourishes, scrolls, etc., along the center. Missing are the standard double-diamonds and diamond checkering. But actually they’re not real rosewood but fabricated of Dymond wood, essentially wood pulp combined with resin that becomes a very hard material. Another nice touch is the bright stainless hex screws in lieu of the traditional flat head ones.

The Colt Gustave Young 1911 semi-automatic 1911s are Made in USA.

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