Colts in 38 super and .45 ACP by Jim Boland —the most innovative 1911s the world over. Through the 1980’s and early 1990’s Boland was among the early pioneers of high-performance 1911 customization. He took his experiences as an aerospace machinist at TRW and later as a barrel maker for the now defunct Apex rifle barrels to craft innovative, unusual high performance handguns.
Boland’s proximity to the Southwest Pistol league, the birthplace of practical shooting, gave him a testbed of high profile practical shooter customers and fellow gunsmiths—people like Mike Dalton, Angelo Spagnoli, Bruce Gray, Don Nygord and others collaborated with Boland on the art and science of building high performance custom guns. Boland was an incredible innovator.
He would grab a welder,disappear into a back room, and three days later emerge with a masterpiece that resembled a 1911 on the outside, but was everything but on the inside. The first time I field stripped a Boland, I sat there looking at the parts on the table thinking “holy shit, he made a whole new gun.” People overuse the phrase “outside the box” but Jim Boland had no concept of the existence of a box. While everyone in the 80s was playing checkers, that fucker was playing intergalactic chess. Simply put, the man was a genius. There is nobody in the history of custom 1911 pistol-smithing with his degree of imagination coupled with the ingenuity and capacity to execute it. The dude was 1/3 artist, 1/3 machinist, and probably 1/3 wizard. Swipe left to see the crazy sombitch.