What you see before you are the two of the rarest guns in my collection—two mint Jim Hoag long slides. The top one is an 8” and is 1 of 4 ever made. The bottom is a 6” conversion. Jim built 4 versions of the 1911. The entry level was the police special, then class B, then class A, and then the master grade. The MG was Hoag’s top model and no expense or time was spared in crafting them. The slide was fit to the frame for a VERY TIGHT, slop-free fit. Hoag guns are so tight it feels like you need a team of Clydesdales to pull the slide out of battery. Hold my beer Les. Master grades featured hard fit Kart barrels, Swenson thumb safeties, 50 line per inch checkering of the rear of the slide, and the option of a squared and checkered trigger guard. Additional time and energy was spent on MG to make them stand out from their more pedestrian counterparts. Hoag used files and increasingly fine grades of sandpaper to make crooked Colt lines dead horizontal and smooth. MG pistols could also be modified into “long-slide” versions. Long dongs had the slide shortened to the standard barrel bushing retaining lug slot. After that, a section of 4140 steel was precision bored and reamed to match exactly, then welded onto the slide. A shaper was used to cut the basic contour of the slide and then both horizontal and vertical mills were used to bring the steel surfaces down to a few thousands proud of the original slide. Then draw filing was performed using fine files, reducing the long-slide portion to the original slide dimensions. The Master Grade was subject to meticulous hand polishing of the flats of both slide and frame—an arduous process that took the better part of two days. The top of the National Match slides were welded so Jim could properly fit a Bomar and the front straps were also welded up to remove hideous serrations to make way for Hoag’s flawless hand checkering. That’s a lot of heat on a gun, but the dude was a gunsmith…not a parts assembler. So who’s the greatest of all time. I think it’s Jim. Sorry Armand…you were a great innovator, but you’re not even in the conversation for me


  1. LSWCHP says:

    My own 1911 is a 6 inch longslide, and I think it’s right on the edge of the gun looking and feeling balanced. I dunno about the weight, but that 8 inch gun looks pretty visually unbalanced to me.


    1. Shawn says:

      Yeah I agree, 8 inch is just too much, I suspect he did it just to see if he could do it


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