Customized pistols? Sure, sign me up. Many folks dream of owning a custom pistol but balk at the price that having a custom pistol built from scratch will cost. Yet one of the easiest pistols to customize is the venerable 1911. The design has been around for over 100 years and a myriad of manufacturers make custom 1911 parts.
THE BLANK SLATE
A few years back, I was going into a local gun shop to browse when I ran into an old school gunsmith, Tim LaFrance, who was walking out with two boxes under his arm. I asked him what he bought and he told me that he had just picked up two Springfield Armory WWII MilSpecs. He then told me that they were a great platform for a custom 1911 build. After browsing the shop for a few minutes I purchased a WWII MilSpec for a future build. The gun proceeded to sit in my safe for about 7 years and was nearly forgotten until a student of mine traded me a custom 1911 match barrel for some lessons. She had won the barrel in a raffle but didn’t have a 1911 herself.
That is all that it took to get the ball rolling for my WWII MilSpec custom build.
The stock Springfield Armory WWII MilSpec comes with a high walled ejection port, low profile “GI” sights, short solid trigger, lanyard loop on mainspring housing, and stock thumb safety and spur hammer. We want to go on the record as stating that there is nothing wrong with the stock configuration, but to make the gun more suitable for our “near the bed” home defense handgun we are going to make a few changes.
THE FINAL PROJECT
We’ve fired right around 1000 rounds through the weapon, and checking our log we don’t have single malfunctions with it. The final result is a purpose built custom pistol that meets our needs in a home defense pistol. This weapon is now a fine addition to a home defense plan.