Unusual Armand Swenson Custom 1911

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by bladeandbarrel, Jun 20, 2020.

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  1. bladeandbarrel

    bladeandbarrel ISO The Very Best 1911's

    Apr 6, 2019
    This one of the most unique Swenson 1911's I have examined. Built on a WW2 production Union Switch and Signal 1911A1, this gun was clearly devised as a bespoke target pistol. It has some unique features I have never seen on a Swenson. This gun was built in the very early '70s (pre-cast Ambi) and exhibits many of Swenson's trademarks like fine checkering, square/checkered trigger guard, hand matting, French border, industrial hard chrome, and handmade speed safety. What it also features is a unique slide/frame positioning system that includes raised pads on the inside of the dustcover and a slotted guide rod head to clear them. The slide is dovetailed and machined for a Colt Elliason sight (A Swenson option per his 1970's catalog). The small sight rib acts as a barrel positioner to limit upward barrel movement and the trigger has an interesting frame affixed pretravel pin. The hard chrome nicely shows off the various levels of spot hardening of a WW2 era 1911. I am pleased to present this unique slice of Custom 1911 Americana.
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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
    Mike Meints, AJP, Slapshot and 34 others like this.
  2. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    Well........dang!
     
    Capthobo likes this.

  3. TheCollector

    TheCollector Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2018
    I am more impressed with the way you articulate about the gun than I am the gun itself.
    Well done on both accounts.
     
  4. bladeandbarrel

    bladeandbarrel ISO The Very Best 1911's

    Apr 6, 2019
    When it was built, it had few peers.
     
    Austin_TX likes this.
  5. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    In the Grand Old Days did heavy use 1911's crack the dustcover just in front of the frame rails?
    Clark used a slide tightener at the end of the dustcover as well.
    Did this not further stress the dustcover?
     
  6. bladeandbarrel

    bladeandbarrel ISO The Very Best 1911's

    Apr 6, 2019
    I don't think either is a very good system. In a perfect world, the dustcover shouldn't touch the slide, ever, IMO. OTOH, USGI frames like this are pretty thick and tough!
     
    switchback and FWoo45 like this.
  7. Dveint

    Dveint New Member

    16
    Jun 24, 2018
    Very nice. Thank you for sharing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Bradd_D

    Bradd_D Well-Known Member

    597
    Apr 8, 2019
  9. Bwc45acp

    Bwc45acp Well-Known Member

    50
    Dec 15, 2017
    Very nice !
     
  10. DWdude

    DWdude Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2019
    I enjoyed your class today Professor. Aren't the Union S&S pistols valuable in their own right let alone worked on by a master?
     
    handforged likes this.
  11. handforged

    handforged Limestone Canyon Leather and Tool Supporting Addict

    688
    May 19, 2020
    can you take a close up of the stippling on the slide top? I'm in love with it and really want to learn the process. Examining the older guns helps a good bit.
     
  12. switchback

    switchback Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    Very interesting. And your presentation and knowledge was equally interesting. In two ways a piece of history. Thank you!
     
  13. Rick McC.

    Rick McC. Well-Known Member

    912
    May 3, 2013
    That’s a real piece of 1911 history right there; thanks!
     
  14. aegiswa

    aegiswa Well-Known Member

    210
    Feb 2, 2016
    That is a beauty and rare find there - thank you for sharing !!
     
  15. AJP

    AJP Well-Known Member

    828
    Jun 15, 2017
    Love it, thanks for sharing. Your insight on the piece is appreciated
     
  16. rmac

    rmac Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    909
    Jan 26, 2016
    @handforged since no one has answered with how Armand Swenson stippled the top of the slide I guess it is up to me.
    Still have three remaining 1911’s of the five Armand built for me.
    To do the type stippling he did get several different sizes of chainsaw and smaller rat tail files. Different sizes and grades to use for different textures. Then a 1” diameter piece of brass stock about 12” to 15” in length. Hold the file against the slide top and whack away.
    He made what he called the French Border popular as a way to give an even edge to the stippling.
    After finishing then sand blast the stippled area to the desired texture.
    Practice a bit and add it to your list of ‘I can do that’.
     
  17. handforged

    handforged Limestone Canyon Leather and Tool Supporting Addict

    688
    May 19, 2020
    thank you sir, I'll most certainly give it a try.
     
    rmac likes this.

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