The Non-Classic Swenson

Discussion in '1911 Photo Gallery' started by Bye Felicia., Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Bye Felicia.

    Bye Felicia. Previously RS.

    Dec 21, 2017
    Evening All,

    This gun has been floating on the online listing sites for while now and I recently stumbled upon it and pulled the trigger. Gun was advertised as a Colt 1911 with custom work done by Armand Swenson in 1980 for the buyer who was listing the gun.

    I've only owned a few custom 1911s in my day and have recently had a hard time keeping my addiction at bay. Honestly, I knew very little about this classic smith until very recently. Obviously, after doing my due diligence and research this gun clearly doesn't have all the "Classic" Swenson features. full size, blued commercial colt with smith K sights, large ramped FS, Barsto Barrel, AS ambi-safety and beveled magwell, and arched MSH. No hard chrome, squared trigger guard or checkering.

    In talking with the incredibly nice and patient previous owner he had this built with the request that it "not be a show-piece" but have done to it whatever would make it a "good shooter." The pachmayr grips are a recent addition as the other ones were wore out. The owner, now in his 80s, indicated he used it extensively for steel matches and carry.

    This has been listed on-again / off-again on GA for quite some time so I did have some reservations, all that dissipated after speaking with the owner and researching more about Armand, quite an enjoyable activity in its own right. The price of the owners original listings were about half of what the gun ended up listing for which included magazine pouches, 8 magazines including WC, and a nice bianchi IWB holster (too bad the original owner was a lefty). There are no "A" or "S" markings on the gun and no makers marks other than the owners named etched on the slide and the owners initial stamped on the second sight lug. I think this is one reason the gun took so long to sell. I'll be honest, it gave me pause initially so I'd be interested in any thoughts from smiths here or "custom" experts.

    There have been a lot of articles about the "classic" Swenson gun so I thought it would be fun to post up some thing that is different than that. The gun shows well-earned wear and the barrel still locks up very tight. For a custom, I love the utilitarian nature of it.

    Range report to follow. Enjoy!

    IMG_0470.JPG IMG_0471.JPG IMG_0472.JPG IMG_0473.JPG

    Attached Files:

  2. Haz251

    Haz251 Member

    Jul 19, 2017
    Looking forward to hearing about how it shoots!
    Robert Scott likes this.

  3. simonp

    simonp Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2016
    It’s a beauty. If you have any remaining reservations don’t, I forwarded the photos to Jardine out of curiosity and he identified it as his Uncles work.

    Get it to the range and let’s hear how she shoots ;)

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  4. ronin11

    ronin11 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Apr 17, 2017
    simonp: nice job, man - reaching out like that for the OP - that's some good stuff right there.
  5. Bye Felicia.

    Bye Felicia. Previously RS.

    Dec 21, 2017
    Thank you very much @simonp for doing that. I wouldn’t even thought if it. I just field stripped it for some well-needed clean and grease and noticed a few things I forgot to mention and founds some new things.
    • Rear of slide has vertical checkering lines cut.
    • Slide and slide stop bluing has a purplish hue, very nice.
    • Barsto barrel is marked “12 79” and still has marker left on it from fitting.
    • Bushing is a VERY tight fit to slide. As in I needed leverage. :)
    • Inside of dust cover is also marked with original owners last name.
    I’ll post pictures next time I’m at the range. Thanks again.

    Here are more pics.

    CA17993A-36E3-4876-9DD7-EDB638D76521.jpeg B1F52115-659E-4C9E-974E-ABEC4BE1F791.jpeg CD7E5586-28B6-4953-94EA-4E70A1F29469.jpeg 31A6052C-AA43-4288-B092-33CD60108B9B.jpeg 6A0CAD95-A82D-446C-B6A5-99AE08EF3BC9.jpeg
  6. Bro. Pappaw

    Bro. Pappaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2016
  7. 41 Charlie

    41 Charlie Get off my lawn...

    Feb 4, 2014
    Wow, very nice! That's one very cool pistol!

  8. WC145

    WC145 Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!

    Jan 1, 2013
    Congrats on the purchase! I had looked at that gun on gunbroker and spoke to the owner about it quite a while ago, I hesitated on buying it and when I went looking for it again to buy it I could never find it. Glad to see that it went to an Addict! Let us know how it shoots.
    Billy Rao and 41 Charlie like this.
  9. switchback

    switchback Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    Yes, that is quite the 1911, with a lot of special provenance. Congratulations
  10. Bye Felicia.

    Bye Felicia. Previously RS.

    Dec 21, 2017
    6BB43EED-8649-4252-A74E-CD22B541773D.jpeg Out at the range now. Here are 25yard groups with 230gr handloads and 185gr gold medal match. Six O’clock hold. Not bad. Sure held the 9ring on these 20yd SF targets.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    cwoods, Jollyroger1, WC145 and 5 others like this.
  11. Bye Felicia.

    Bye Felicia. Previously RS.

    Dec 21, 2017
    I really dislike short triggers. Do you folks feel I would be courting heresy to throw one in this gun?
  12. simonp

    simonp Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2016
    Personally the only heresy in my mind would be having anyone but John Jardine alter the gun.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  13. Jason Burton

    Jason Burton Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2012
    Swenson built many guns with long triggers, so long as it's an era correct trigger it would be no biggie in my opinion. I've re-built a few Swenson guns and have changed parts as needed/desired while keeping the modifications true to Swenson's style. Set the original part(s) aside for safe keeping and drive on.
    cwoods, blitz45, 41 Charlie and 2 others like this.
  14. carlton cupples

    carlton cupples New Member

    Mar 21, 2014
    The Original Owner of that Colt's last name was Cabana???
  15. Bye Felicia.

    Bye Felicia. Previously RS.

    Dec 21, 2017

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