My Old Slabside 1911
If you ask me what my favorite pistol is, I would undoubtedly tell you that it’s a 1911. This would probably take those who shoot with me by surprise because the majority of the time you’ll see me at the range with a Glock. If the shit hit the fan, I would probably be out the door with, you guessed it, a Glock as well. However, when I am shooting for just the pure joy of it, a 1911 is my gun of choice and you will most likely see me shooting the one you see here.
You might be curious why I feel that way. Well, in my opinion, nothing beats the ergonomics of the 1911’s grip to trigger relationship and nothing can exceed its crisp single action trigger pull. The 1911 also has a low bore axis which mitigates a lot of the recoil and makes for easy handling. There is also something about the way fine hand checkering and 44 ounces of real deal steel feel in the hand as well.
My 1911 is a genuine Colt Series 70 pistol I got in 1982 when I was 21 years old, my first pistol. This means I have owned this pistol for 32 years! I rushed to get the gun because it was the last of the original design Colts. The Series 80 was coming to market and it was rumored that the new firing pin block safety would ruin the 1911’s famous trigger pull. This would make the Series 70 a coveted item for years to come, enough so that Colt has done a limited release of the Series 70 through their custom shop recently. My pistol has been modded over the years and has gone through several iterations of modifications. It looks like modern 1911 but definitely has antique heritage.
In the days before CNC machines and precision investment casting of steel, pistols were actually pretty crude. This pistol was originally pretty loose and rough in it’s fitment and you can still see various rough unfinished crude grinding and milling marks over the whole gun. You’ll even notice hand peening marks on the rails and other parts. The workmanship is terrible by today’s standards but back then Colts were the best made of all the 1911’s! I think I paid a premium of $325 from B&B guns; a whole summer’s work at the bike shop for it.
My gun in it’s current form. It is 32 years old and has seen thousands of rounds through it. You can tell it is pretty well worn from years of use. It is a thoroughly modern 1911 in all aspects except for it’s age.
If you ask me, you are better off buying a modern 1911 with all the modern features stock. It will be way better made than getting a classic Colt and building it but the 1911 is the Camaro of pistols and there are tons of aftermarket parts for them. This old gun is a prime example of classic custom 1911 gunsmithing. There are plenty of faults that compromised the reliability and accuracy of old 1911’s and this gun addresses all of them.