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Featured Sending my new Clapp Commander off for surgery today!

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by WC145, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. WC145

    WC145 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 1, 2013
    I've been on David Clevinger's waiting list for a few months and I've made it to the front of the line!:grin: We had originally discussed having him work on an old Colt CCO I'd picked up earlier this year but it went away in a trade. I bought a Colt Wiley Clapp Commander a few weeks ago and spoke to David about working on it instead so it's off to Colorado for him to work his magic on it.

    The WC Commander is already a pretty complete package so it's not going to be a big build and some things that might normally need to be done like checkering, round butt, and sights won't need to be messed with. He's doing an action (3.5lbs) and reliability job, fitting a new EGW barrel bushing, Wilson thumb safety and slide stop, medium Greider trigger, and an EGW grip safety which he's going to recontour to be shorter and flatter, more like a Hoag or Pachmayr. I'm okay with the original Colt guts but he's going to look everything over and let me know if he thinks anything should be replaced. It's also getting dehorned, having the slide stop pin flush cut and countersunk, the bottom edges of the slide beveled, and the barrel flush cut and reverse crowned. The pièce de résistance will be one of his flame jobs on a blued slide, the frame and small parts will be Cerakoted, probably in Tungsten to give it a bit of a two-tone look. Won't decide on grips until it comes back.

    I'm excited about the project and definitely looking forward to seeing the finished product. David said about 6 months but he will make an album on Flickr and post progress pics for me so I'll update this thread as he does.

    This is how the Commander looks today-
  2. william adams

    william adams Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    Congratulations! Excited for you and the wait always is hard for me. But worth it
    Sneaky One and WC145 like this.

  3. dakota1911

    dakota1911 Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2015
    They are nice pistols. The only change I have mad to mine is to put some hard rubber grips on it since grips take a hit on any carry handgun. Got mine in 2013 and still liking it.

  4. retrieverman

    retrieverman Active Member

    May 16, 2013
    I wish I had the patience for this kind of project and will be interested to see how it turns out.
    Sneaky One likes this.
  5. WC145

    WC145 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 1, 2013
    Six months isn't very long in the custom gunsmithing world, I've waited much longer for other guns.
  6. WC145

    WC145 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 1, 2013
    So, finally getting around to posting an update a year and a half later. Obviously, some things didn't go as planned, as is sometimes the case with a one man operation, life gets in the way. David broke his hand and required surgery, pins, immobilization, the whole shebang, and then PT after getting the hardware removed. The damage was extensive and it took a while before he was back to working on guns.

    With all of the issues, he hasn't taken as many pics of the work as he normally would and the Flickr page never materialized. In addition, as is often happens, the plan for the work on the gun has had a couple of changes as well. David has sent me several photos as the work has progressed so I can show some of what's been done and where it's at right now.

    For the record, this is the gun that made me contact David about building one for me. I've been a hot rodder since the '70s and when I saw those flames I had to have one for myself.

    I didn't want to just have him replicate the gun he'd already done, I wanted mine to be done on a Commander and I wanted it to stand on it's own. This '27 Track T was inspirational - the Spartan appearance, style of the flames, and bobbed rear end are replicated in the build.
  7. WC145

    WC145 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 1, 2013
    Here are some pics that David sent me of different things he was working on.
    He ended up using a Derr Precision bobbed grip safety, it's been worked to resemble the old Hoag style grip safeties-

    I asked him to countersink the hole on the hammer reminiscent of the way Joe Bonar did his-

    He beveled the edges of the slide to match the edge on the new EGW barrel bushing-

    The first pics he sent me of the flame design didn't work for me, they were almost exactly the same as the first gun-

    We discussed it and I wanted longer flames and more of them. I sent him pics of what I had in mind and he came back with this drawing which was much closer to what I was thinking-

    He drew them out on the slide and I was able to get an idea of how they'd look. He had also scrapped the original front sight in favor of using a blank that filled the entire dovetail instead of leaving gaps on the sides-

    In this pic the flames have been engraved and polished, the slide bead blasted, and the front sight has been contoured some. The slide will still be blued but we decided that instead of Cerakoting the frame and small parts they'd be hard chromed, they're out at Metaloy being done now. The result will be a classic two tone combo-

    That's where things are at now, we're getting down to the last bits and pieces of the build and it shouldn't be too much longer. By the time the frame and other parts are back from Metaloy the front sight should be finished (we're using the original rear sight), the slide blued and assembled and everything should be ready to go back together. To finish it off I picked up a set of hand pinstriped grips from Raasco, I think they'll work well with the two tone finish and carry off the hot rod theme.

    So, that's where things are at right now. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before it's finished and back home. Once I have it in hand I'll be posting pics of the finished product and a range report.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  8. gun_fan111

    gun_fan111 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 23, 2014
    This is cool!
    WC145 likes this.
  9. blitz45

    blitz45 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Nov 6, 2017
    Very interesting. I've never saw flames on a 1911 (or any gun, for that matter) before. I really like the engraved look of them. It's always nice when worlds collide and that's one of the things I love about the 1911; how it makes it possible for one to combine their passions and inspirations.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing the final product.
    ZoidMeister and WC145 like this.
  10. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    Awesome look! I hope his hand is back to snuff and I hope you get what you are dreaming of.
    WC145 likes this.
  11. Jim PHL

    Jim PHL Active Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    Polished flames on the bead blasted slide looks very cool
    SCS1911 and WC145 like this.
  12. Jollyroger1

    Jollyroger1 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Sep 19, 2015
    Wow this is so cool! Really can’t wait to see the finished build.
    WC145 likes this.
  13. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    Traditionalists be damned!
    blitz45, zipper046, FWoo45 and 2 others like this.
  14. justice12

    justice12 New Member

    Apr 30, 2016
    Looks great
    WC145 likes this.
  15. Pennywise827

    Pennywise827 I keeed I keeed..... Supporting Addict

    Jan 23, 2017
    Amen to that...this is very interesting. Not for everyone, but I know all of us can appreciate your vision for what you will hold dear. Congrats, and tagged.
  16. hdfergie10

    hdfergie10 New Member

    Jan 1, 2018
    That 1911 looks great just as is. Why would you want to screw it up?? I don't get it I guess

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. Pennywise827

    Pennywise827 I keeed I keeed..... Supporting Addict

    Jan 23, 2017
    My favorite thing is when people with a total post count of 2 that signed up yesterday make judgmental comments. That man has so many 'normal' 1911's if he wants something exotic, so be it.

    He aint spending your money honey.
  18. Jollyroger1

    Jollyroger1 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Sep 19, 2015
    +1911 ^^^^^

    But it’s okay cause he’ll sell a gun when he hits 10 Posts:D
  19. Shocker2000

    Shocker2000 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Apr 6, 2016
    Very nice - looks like it will be worth the wait.
    Sneaky One and WC145 like this.
  20. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    TRIGGERED! oh my goodness. I have to search for my safe space. It is in a climate controlled electronically monitored space hello sausage. Hello soda. Hello beer. Yeah baby. Wait, I think my safe space is my fridge. Yep. I like it in here. It’s colder than I like.

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