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ISO The Very Best 1911's
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This pistol has been verified to be one of Armand Swenson's personal guns by Master Pistolsmith Jim Garthwaite who visited Swenson at his shop in 1990.

This is a typical middle 1970’s “transition” full house Swenson build on a Sistema 1927 (Made in 1950) without the Gardena or Fallbrook address on the safety meaning it was likely built during the move of his shop, dating the gun to approximately mid-1970s. (He had completed the move of his home/shop to Fallbrook by 1977.)

The pistol wears signature Swenson hallmarks such as the barrel positioner (Marked “R”) and Rear sight shear pin “Marked “S”) fine 30LPI checkering, industrial hard chrome finish, S&W low mounted “K” sights, hand-forged square trigger guard, front sight insert (unusual fluorescent yellow) and full reliability/accuracy work with welded and refitted Hi-Standard WW2 barrel. It has a refitted Commercial Colt hammer left in the white. Barrel, Sear and disconnector are also unchromed to avoid hydrogen embrittlement. Gun is in almost new condition. Inside of dustcover is faintly marked “Reid” who may have been the original intended customer, but for some reason, this pistol was never delivered and became a Swenson personal sidearm-hence the “S” in the rear sight shear pin which denoted the final customer’s last name.

This gun wears handmade aged ivory micarta grips hand scrimshawed by “Randi” and inscribed “To Armand, 5-84”

Enjoy the show!








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Consider my signature line before replying . . . .
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This pistol has been verified to be one of Armand Swenson's personal guns by Master Pistolsmith Jim Garthwaite who visited Swenson at his shop in 1990.

This is a typical middle 1970’s “transition” full house Swenson build without the Gardena or Fallbrook address on the safety meaning it was likely built during the move of his shop, dating the gun to approximately mid-1970s. (He had completed the move of his home/shop to Fallbrook by 1977.)
The pistol wears signature Swenson hallmarks such as the barrel positioner (Marked “R”) and Rear sight shear pin “Marked “S”) fine 30LPI checkering, industrial hard chrome finish, S&W low mounted “K” sights, hand-forged square trigger guard, front sight insert (unusual fluorescent yellow) and full reliability/accuracy work with welded and refitted Hi-Standard WW2 barrel. It has a refitted Commercial Colt hammer left in the white. Barrel, Sear and disconnector are also unchromed to avoid hydrogen embrittlement. Gun is in almost new condition. Inside of dustcover is faintly marked “Reid” who may have been the original intended customer, but for some reason, this pistol was never delivered and became a Swenson personal sidearm-hence the “S” in the rear sight shear pin which denoted the final customer’s last name.

This gun wears handmade aged ivory micarta grips hand scrimshawed by “Randi” and inscribed “To Armand, 5-84”

Enjoy the show!








View attachment 403793 View attachment 403787 View attachment 403789 View attachment 403791 .
Damn if that isn't reminiscent of ZOIDS1911 . . . .

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PCZoid-grips-final - 01.JPG
 

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It is a dry heat, right...
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Outstanding b&b... I have a vintage S&W K frame adjustable rear sight in my bone box that I would like to get installed on a 1911, some day. From what I understand, it is not a simple milling, drill & tap job?
 

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Consider my signature line before replying . . . .
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It's like looking at twins.
I wish mine was as nice as the OP's gun.

Stellar example of a great Smith's build. I do like that he chose an Argentinean for his personal collection. I think that gives credence to all Argentinean produced guns.

They are awesome historical military pieces.

Thanks for sharing that one @bladeandbarrel

Z
 

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I've been curious to see a full-house custom build on an Argentine 1911....and then this pops up...and a Swenson too!!! I love it.
 

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Simply stunning!
 
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Amazing!
 
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Christ is my front sight.
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Incredible! It’s really awesome to see the work of the old masters. Thank you for sharing your gun. Out of curiosity how tight is it? Slide to frame fit? Barrel lockup?
 

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ISO The Very Best 1911's
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Incredible! It’s really awesome to see the work of the old masters. Thank you for sharing your gun. Out of curiosity how tight is it? Slide to frame fit? Barrel lockup?
It is extremely well fitted/snug and tight. Swenson's guns had to shoot a 1" group at 20 yards handheld before he would release them back to the customer. Typically Swenson test targets are one small ragged hole.
 

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The most difficult part of installing S&W adjustables on the 1911 is the slot for the elevation screw, which is square and requires a fairly shallow slot to be cut into the slide. This screws onto the elevation nut which has the slot you see from the top (looks like a screw, but is the female half of the set-up). The nut has a spring and plunger in it to give you the click adjustment. Austin Behlert got around this by having a bunch of screws made with the hole for the spring and plunger so one could just drill and tap a hole in the slide in lieu of the slot - saved a lot of work. I think I bought the last few of those he had before he passed, so now have to do it the old fashioned way again.
 

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Wow, a serious piece of 1911 history right there. Thanks for posting it!
 
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So soon old, so late smart...
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Very, very cool! Beautiful pistola! Mr. Swenson was "the man" when I first started shooting 1911s back in the day. I have one of his ambi safeties on my Govt. Model. Love it!
 
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