Sunday, September 4, 2011

Diamonds in the Rough

I like gun shows, I have not been able to attend the last few here but none the less I do like them. A while back I ran across a beat up old 1911 that had been modified back in the 70's I guess as a competition pistol, best I could tell.
I love 1911's but this was ugly (to me anyway) it had a scope rail mounted on top so the factory sights were gone and some ugly coating on it looked to me like truck bed liner paint, rough as guts. It had some weird grips, like I said ugly. The coating was so thick it covered any markings so I had no clue as the make, in fact it was hard to tell it was even a 1911.  The man was asking $325 and I got him to take $275. I think he had made some trade for it and did not really want it.
I went home and proceeded to strip it down. With great difficulty I removed the rail on top and stripped the evil coating off the frame and slide. as I stripped the slide to my surprise I found a rampant Colt marking. Turns out it is a 70 series gun
I cleaned it up and spot welded the tapped holes in the slide where the rail was mounted, sanded it and polished it smooth. I installed some low profile 3 dot sights, and Bianchi grips I had laying around and then cold blued it.
After I took it to the range I found out it failed to eject a lot and jammed quite often. I came home and ordered a kit from Midway USA which had all new springs, firing pin and extractor. A few weeks late I returned to the range and it functioned flawlessly. I was smiling. It still has some nicks and scratches here and there but it is a shooter for sure. I have since then put many rounds through it with no problems whatsoever, You never know what you will find at a gun show. I had found a gem.
Happy 100th Birthday to John Browning's 1911. 


  1. That's a pretty sweet little find.

  2. Gorgeous find. Alas gunshows around here either get picked clean of such finds by other dealers or have become too "commercialized"

  3. 45er, yes i was glad to find it.

    Odysseus, it is getting hard to find good stuff, seems the best bargains are private individuals selling off their stash.

    BobG and Matt, thanks I like it.

  4. Wanna swap...with your talents, Bubba, you'll have a nice retirement restoring old weapons.

  5. Diamond in the rough for sure. Cheaper than I've spent on either of my two knock-offs too.

  6. Hillbilly and Murphy's Law, thanks,
    JRebel, It is not a collector piece but it's a good shooter.