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Thursday, February 25, 2010

The BEST Custom 1911 Pistolsmith ever?

Jim Boland is my favorite pistolsmith and I am always looking for Boland Guns to buy.  They were ahead of their time in every way.  I know of no one building guns today that could duplicate his efforts.  I would estimate at least 100 hours of work in every Boland comp gun like the gun shown above.  Boland was the master of the welding torch-and no part was left untouched by its flame. He welded up frame pin holes and relocated them to suit his idea of where they should be.  1911 barrels were likewise welded on every conceivable bearing surface and completely redesigned.  The beavertail on a Boland gun or "Spring Board Tang" as he called it was complemented by "Gas Pedals" (Welded Swenson safeties), "Mud Flaps" (Thumb Guards) and the "Jungle Lips" magwell.  Add other esoterica like square wire springs, welded ejectors and mag catches and lots of machine cut checkering you have a Boland Masterpiece.  RIP Mr. Boland.

Jim Hoag Custom 1911 Longslide

Here are a few pics of Hoag Longslides-Hoag's speciality was welding a slide extension onto a 5' slide for greater sight radius and reduced recoil.  He is a Master!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Hidden gem for 1911 lovers-The Astra A-70

If you ever run across one of these Spanish beauties in a pawn shop, go for it. 8+1 capacity, Single action, very reliable browning style operation.  About the size of a Kahr K9, the only real negative is the chunkiness from the steel frame and a few errant sharp edges.  The sights could be improved also.

These pistols were produced from 1992-1997 and were originally part of a contract for the official Spanish plainclothes service pistol along with the very similar but nowehere near as good, Star Firestar.  Astra later "improved" the design with a decocker and double action trigger and dubbed it the A-75.  Also a neat gun, but not as cool as the A-70.

This is an EASY gun to shoot.  With some ergonomic changes and better sights it would really be a keeper. Hmmmmmm..