MODIFICATIONS WITH SIGNIFICANCE
In one form or another this craft is an adaptation of the ideas of others, with each gun I build and every modification I perform in some way being a tribute to a custom builder who came before me. I feel fortunate to continue to adapt the influence and inspiration others have given to me into the functional art of the custom 1911. Many of the features and modifications seen on this gun were selected with a specific idea or influence in mind and some of the examples from this gun are noteworthy.
The squared and checkered trigger guard, on this gun hand-checkered at 50lpi on the bottom of the guard, is a reference to many previous custom 1911 makers including Swenson, Hoag, Heinie, Liebenberg, Nastoff, etc., all influences on me.
The use of a traditional round-hole Commander hammer as well as the grip safety shape and contours reference back to the custom 1911 styling from the late-80’s and early-90’s, respectively. While the thumb safety is my take on the perfect blend of useable size and shape while retaining a classic and not oversized appearance.
The rear sight is an original Heinie 300 with some further modifications and contouring. This sight is likely my favorite rear sight of all time and the use on this gun seemed fitting considering Heinie’s impact and influence on not only my work but the custom 1911 industry as a whole.
The 30lpi hand checkering on the front strap and mainspring housing is a classic modification done in a traditional manner. It is something that was once only done by hand but now is quite often performed on a machine. Hand checkering is still something I am proud to offer and is a hallmark of any gun from my bench. The influences that drive me to still checker each gun by hand one at a time are many.
The idea to use a mag-well on this gun comes from the work of both Liebenberg and Heinie (as well as others I’m sure). Both men have made custom mag-wells of differing designs. However, the mag-well I chose to use on this gun is part offered by my friend Stan Chen, a great 1911 smith and influence on my work as well.