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American Handgunner Sept/Oct 2012 Digital Edition - Page 44

TAFFINTESTS the elegant case-hardened frame sets the south Fork arms custom elite out from the pack. tHe sIXGUNNer HIMseLF: GUNs, GeAr & More JoHN tAFFIN a careful hand polishing contributed to the custom elite’s unique look. South Fork Arms 1911 it’s easily seen where the inspiration for I How Sam Colt Might Have Done It west in 1916, William the custom elite came from — the colt Holden plays Pike Bishop, one of the last saa in classic guise. of a fast disappearing breed. As he straddles two centuries, Bishop carries a Colt Single Action .45 in a hip holster and one of the new and thoroughly modern 1911 .45s in a shoulder holster. South Fork Arms’ 1911, as we shall soon see, makes the perfect companion semi-auto for the Colt Single Action Army. These two examples of perfection from the inventive genius of William Mason and John Browning are still timeless today. Perhaps they have been equaled, but only perhaps, and they certainly have never been bested, at least in this sixgunner’s mind, soul, and spirit. colors — Doug Turnbull. Now do you see the connection with the Colt Single Action Army? Single Actions and this 1911 both have case-colored frames. But it does not stop there. The second thing I always notice on a prized Colt SAA is the grips, especially when they are of such exotic materials as ivory, pearl, stag or ram’s horn. Jason continues the theme by fitting his 1911 with mastodon ivory grip panels. The combination of deep, bright bluing, combined with case-hardened frame and exotic grips results in a spectacular 1911. Jason says, “I can tell you whenever I hold her like this it makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy inside! I can’t Continued on page 75 s it really possible to have too many 1911s? That’s like saying one can have too many single actions, or friends, or money. In all cases it’s nice to have the dilemma. Try to count the number of variations available on the 1911, or try to even make a list of all the manufacturers of 1911s. I doubt you can. And when you factor in the custom makers, the list gets even longer. Now, add one more. Jason Perkins of South Fork Arms, which is located in Mexico, Mo., contacted both a pistol like this His Esteemed Editorship and deserves the best myself, knowing he needed and mastodon something different to really ivory grips catch our attention. What was complimented different about Jason’s is the fact the package his version stirred up visions of neatly. custom Colt Single Actions in my sixgunning soul. No gimmicks, simply a beautiful 1911, and once I saw the pictures he sent, arrangements were made for me to spend some time with this unique .45 ACP. One of my all-time favorite Western movies is Jason guarantees 1" or less at 25 yards. John’s The Wild Bunch. groups using Hornady ammo showed Set in the Souththe gun was well capable of that kind of accuracy. W each custom elite .45 comes with a lined and fitted custom presentation case. 44 ith all this in mind let’s take a close look at Jason’s version of the 1911. In talking with him I learned several things. For one this 1911 never, ever came close to a buffing wheel, as the Perkins Custom Premium forged slide and frame were meticulously sanded by hand for 3 days to remove all machine marks. The frontstrap was hand checkered 25 lpi with a file, no machinery involved. The frame was then sent off, during which time Jason blued the balance of the parts. Now here is what makes this 1911 unique. The frame was turned over to that master of beautiful case Unique take WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER2012

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