Most people are familiar with the small Seecamp “pocket pistols” but long before these pistols hit the market, their inventor did this — double action 1911 conversion.
Ludwig Wilhelm Seecamp (1901-1989) was trained as a master gunsmith in World War II Germany. Having survived the Eastern Front in an elite unit, he brought his family to the United States in 1959. From 1959-1971, he was the gun designer for Mossberg. Following his retirement from the shotgun company, he built many custom guns, but the double-action conversion of the 1911 is what he is best remembered for. It seems Mr. Seecamp had a bad experience in combat, fighting a particularly gruesome campaign against the Russians. He had become a believer in the double action design for handguns after being issued a Walther a P-38. The same gun would go on to save his life —because of its double strike capability.
An incredible amount of experience and ingenuity was required to convert a single-action 1911 to double-action. The work began with cutting out a section of the right side of the frame. The conversion required a new hammer with a hook for a drawbar. A drawbar connecting the double-action trigger and the hammer was fitted. This drawbar connects to the hammer hook and incorporates a return spring that is fastened to both the drawbar and the frame. The new trigger was secured to a pivot in the frame and swung in an arc similar to a conventional double action to both cock and drop the hammer.
The triggerguard was elongated and welded to accommodate the trigger’s arc. Interestingly the grip safety does not prevent a Seecamp action from firing in the double-action mode but still locks the single-action trigger. Approximately 2000 of these Colt conversions were made in the decade spanning 70-80. The Seecamp can still be carried “cocked and locked” but the entire point of it is to carry it in DA mode with the hammer down. There’s no decocker so lower that hammer VERY carefully. I looked for one of these for years and finally found this beautiful example. She’s on GB this week.