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American Handgunner March/April 2010 - Page 48
A Swenson Tribute Gun Which is which? Roy’s original Swenson is at top while John’s “Tribute” Swenson rests under it. The heritage is obvious, and John captured the look and feel of the original, while updating some of the technology. Below: The original checkered Colt grips on John’s Tribute gun (right), squared trigger guard and classic hard chrome and S&W sights harken back to days in Fallbrook, California in Swenson’s shop. Roy’s original Swenson is on the left. Roy Huntington Photos: Joe Novelozo n 1975 I was at an early regional IPSC-type match in Oceanside, California. The lineup of shooters could only be considered “colorful” in the most literal sense of the word. From one shooter competing with an original Broomhandle Mauser auto to another gent with a Model 29 S&W .44 Mag, shooting fullpower loads from a home-made cross-draw rig, we were, um, uh … ground-breaking? I had a Colt Gold Cup in a Bianchi X-15 shoulder rig and felt quite cutting edge. Then I met Armand. I spotted this older gent hanging around the open trunk of his car in the parking lot, and he had a few custom 1911s on-hand for us to look at. I had only read about custom guns in gun magazines but had never actually seen one. After introducing himself as Armand Swenson, we chatted at length, as he let me look at his pistols. At that precise moment, my life changed. I knew I was holding something special in my hands and had little idea it would drive my enthusiasm for guns of all I 48 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MARCH/APRIL2010 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MARCH/APRIL2010