1977 Colt 70 series 1911 in 45 ACP by pistolsmith Lin “Trapper” Alexiou. Trapper Guns out of Frazier Michigan was best known for their modified S&W 39-2 semi-automatic 9mms known as the “Scorpion” This gorgeous 1911 features Hogue-esque hand made grip safety, checkering fore and aft, checkered (Nastoff style) commander hammer, and of course S&W K sight installation. Oh yea, it wouldn’t be Trapper without the pathognomonic Scorpion trigger guard. Special thanks to my friend Karl Beining for not only finding it in the wild but for breathing life back into this 45 year old girl. I would send him an important (vintage) custom 1911 for restoration before anybody on earth….yes including Turnbull.

Colt series 80 “carry comp” in .45 ACP…builder yet to be determined. This unknown soldier was bought at auction by my buddy Big Tony, because there’s a lot of work here and it’s unique. He had hoped that the builder would reveal himself during the initial dissection (detail strip) but no markings or tell tale clues revealed the builder. So he decided to sell it. I don’t usually buy (or want) unknown soldiers, especially 80 series guns, but this gun just spoke to me. After all, who makes a good carry comp these days? Morris. Milks. Nighthawk. That’s about it. It was a little rough from years of dutiful carry. It had high edge wear, the front sight was buggered up, it was scratched to high hell, and it just lacked that certain Je ne sais quoi that we all seek in a custom 1911. Look at her now with an Ed Brown beavertail, EGW slide stop, Harrison trigger, Novaks thumb safety, Novaks front sight, Spegel double diamonds grips, and a dip in some bluing salts. This is why I love 1911s. Like muscle cars, with the right parts, a little money, some foolish desire, and the god given talent of a good pistolsmith, they can always be brought back to life. When they are done, they have so much soul.

Colt 80 series in .45 ACP by recently deceased pistolsmith Terry Tussey out of Carson City Nevada. Is this a super high end custom 1911? Nope, it ain’t that—it’s an 80 series Colt with a Millet sight (which he helped design) and a stock Colt pipe. That said, it has soul and it certainly has its merits. The stock barrel has been smartly shored up in the front with a Briley (titanium) barrel bushing, it’s beautifully hard chromed, tuned, checkered (by Pete Single) and shod in Gaboon Ebony grips by Wood Caliber. Tussey famously made guns for actor Steve Segal, mostly because nobody else would. Late in his career, Tussey was paralyzed in a bike accident from the waist down, but he still had full use of his arms and legs, so he smithed up until his final days. He died last November at the age of 80, succumbing to a respiratory infection. He was well liked by everybody in the industry and on my list of legendary gunsmiths.


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