In 2005 I was given the opportunity to dive head first into the custom 1911 world to turn what was, at the time, just a hobby into a real profession. The years before spent swapping parts here and there and getting my feet wet in the inner workings of the 1911 had become more than just a casual interest. I was no longer just a collector or enthusiast of custom 1911s and with this unique opportunity at my feet I remember thinking, "don't waste it". The value of this opportunity has never been lost on me and since then my goal has always been to build the best I can and, no matter what my current skill level, learn more, get better, be a better builder. In 2015 as I reached the 10th anniversary of my professional career I began to think about how I could make something special out of the last decade of building custom 1911s, the Decennial project pictured here is the result. The base gun itself is unique, a slant-groove Colt Commercial model, these Colts are often referred to as the AMU Colt Commercial and feature distinctive slides that have a traditional round top with angled NM style cocking serrations. These slides were likely an over-run for the AMU that found their way out to the commercial market, making these Colts the most rare base guns of the era. My first exposure to such as base gun was in 2002 when a Paul Liebenberg built AMU Colt Commercial was featured on the cover of American Handgunner magazine. Knowing nothing about the base gun at the time, that pistol and the work of Liebenberg in general has remained an influence on me to this day. I later acquired a Swenson built AMU Colt Commercial that drove me to search out an unmodified example to use as an eventual base gun for a custom project. In the interim I have been fortunate to build quite a few of these AMU Colt Commercials for my clients, but throughout that time I have reserved this base gun for a special project such as this. In one form or another this craft is an adaptation of the ideas of others and I feel fortunate to continue to adapt the influence and inspiration others have given to me into the functional art of the custom 1911. I wanted this gun to be a tribute of sorts, something to pay respect and homage to the custom builders who influenced me, my work, and overall laid the path for me to do the work that I love. Some of the features and modifications seen on this gun were selected with that idea in mind. The presentation... Being a commemorative effort this Decennial project incorporated a unique presentation to accompany the pistol. A leather bound book documents the creation of the Decennial pistol with photos that follow the build from base gun to finished work. Descriptions of select modifications and processes along with detailed imagery help to tell the story of the efforts that went into crafting the Decennial. The framed display showcasing some of the tools used on the Decennial build includes the spacing files that saw their last work checkering the various surfaces on the pistol as well as the etching stencil used to inlay my maker’s mark on. A framed print of “The Legacy” painting is also part the Decennial project. This limited edition piece by artist Ellison Keomaka was modeled after and created in conjunction with my Decennial gun. The artwork pays further tribute to the history and craftsmanship of the custom 1911.