Commando Special by Ikey Starks at Sports West. During the birth of practical pistols shooting, (in the late 1970s) nationally known shops like shops like Pachmayr, Kings, and Swenson, had insanely long backlogs. As a result, smaller regional shops filled the gaps for high-quality guns. One of these shops was Sports West in Denver, CO. The main man at Sports West (Ikey Starks) was well known for building beautiful custom handguns. Noted Gunsite trainer/competitor and writer Chuck Taylor approached Ikey (circa 1979) about building a signature commander 1911, and the “Chuck Taylor Commando Special” was born. I have only seen a handful of these guns in the wild, so when this one showed up at my local gun store, I grabbed it. The blue slide over electroless nickel frame, with hand checkering and a low mount Bomar, make it “old school cool” to me. The devil is in the details —so this gun is now complete with nickeled OG Colt magazine, nickeled grip screws, filled “commando special” lettering with harvest gold paint, and Colt period correct grips…cause Wood Caliber wasn’t a thing in 1979.