The Decennial Project

Discussion in '1911 Photo Gallery' started by Jason Burton, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Jason Burton

    Jason Burton Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2012
    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.


    OneEyedTanker, 1L26, BBP and 43 others like this.
  2. Kip

    Kip Sir Kip Esquire

    Apr 12, 2016
    That's beautiful Jason!
    And great story as well.
    I bow to you!
    boatdoc likes this.

  3. WWB

    WWB Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator Supporting Addict

    Apr 11, 2015
    Gorgeous pistol as always.. :thumbs:
    boatdoc, simonp and Mike A like this.
  4. AJP

    AJP Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2017
    Absolutely phenomenal! But then we would expect nothing less from you, you have set the bar pretty high. I love the addition of the book and frame. Just brilliant!
    Mike A and Kip like this.
  5. hks1911

    hks1911 Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2018
    That is a a dream package. Amazing.
  6. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    is all I can say...
    boatdoc likes this.
  7. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
  8. WNC1911

    WNC1911 NRA Life Member & IDPA Member

    Dec 30, 2014
    Stunning artistry and craftsmanship!
  9. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Nice work! You do realize, however, that you're going to have to top this when your 20th work anniversary rolls around.
  10. SparkyAZ

    SparkyAZ It is a dry heat, right... Supporting Addict

    Sep 11, 2012
    Hard to add anything to the comments above. Just a superb example, heirloom quality...
    boatdoc likes this.
  11. 41 Charlie

    41 Charlie Get off my lawn...

    Feb 4, 2014
    My hats off to you, Jason! She's a true stunner!!
    boatdoc likes this.
  12. 1911_Chad

    1911_Chad Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    I love everything about this 1911. You are a true master of your craft!
    boatdoc likes this.
  13. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    I don't even DREAM that good . . . . I wish . . . . .

    I need better sleeping pills, or a better pillow, or someone else's checkbook, or something . . . .
    OneEyedTanker, boatdoc and AJP like this.
  14. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Very very nice, love the slide on this and the squared trigger guard.. Underneath checkering is flawless. Fantastic.. In hopes to aim that high as well, and like a good cheese and wine get better with age.. Great story, great gun, and a great builder.. Congrats on reaching this milestone in your career..
    boatdoc and simonp like this.
  15. Rana

    Rana Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2012
    Someone sent a link from your webpage on this today asking what I thought of it.

    “Best looking gun I have seen come off your bench without a doubt” was my response.

    Congrats in advance to the future owner.

    Absolutely stunning piece Jason.

    Thanks for sharing.
  16. joerockhead

    joerockhead "BOURBON" It's not just for Breakfast anymore ! Supporting Addict

    Oct 12, 2011
    Wow …
    WOW ……
    Great story... amazing !!!
  17. Oily_Boogie

    Oily_Boogie Member

    May 29, 2018
    Such detailed work - it really showcases your dedication and skill.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    boatdoc likes this.
  18. azpoolguy

    azpoolguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2013
    boatdoc and july19 like this.
  19. FWoo45

    FWoo45 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2017
    Absolutely stunning. Thank you for sharing with us. Your work is always an inspiration, someday I will be on your list. Is "The Legacy" print by chance available? While my collection is not worthy I would love to have that print framed in my man cave (read living room). Above the mantel, as the focal piece. A goal if you will.
    boatdoc likes this.
  20. july19

    july19 Womb? Weary? He rests. He has travelled. Supporting Addict

    Sep 16, 2013
    Outstanding in every way.

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