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American Handgunner Sept/Oct 2012 Digital Edition - Page 48
PHOtOs: COuRtesy BRAdy MilleR Roy Huntington A Beater Becomes Beautiful kay, I’ll just say it out loud: Many of you will be upset to see what was done to this old gun. Cries of “foul!” will ring, no doubt. But keep in mind, this gun belongs to an experienced collector, shooter and custom gunsmith in his own right, Larry Vickers. And, since it’s Larry’s gun, it was up to him to do what he wanted with it. And what he wanted to do was have Jason Burton, of Heirloom Precision of Tempe, Arizona, bring this old gun back to life — but in a unique way. Pre-War Colt National Match While holding onto the feeling of what a pre-war Colt is — and was — Larry asked Jason to update some performance items, restore the cosmetics and create what is essentially, if you ask me, what Colt might have done had they had today’s technology, metals and parts available to them 80 or more years ago. So keep an open mind and see how Jason resurrected this magical gun. After talking the build over with afterward, Jason’s touch is evident in the straight lines, flat polish and remarkable attention to detail. O The Decision Jason, Vickers agreed all the modifications would have to stand the test of time, honoring the tradition of the 1911 and the pre-war Colt pistols. And that’s why there are no mag wells, night sights or other bits detracting from the classic look. It’s not a clone of a pre-war Colt National Match, nor is it a textbook restoration of one. It’s more of a tribute, but unlike a kit-car made of fiberglass, for instance — this gun is built on the original. According to Jason, building on a pistol like this is a “gut-check” — the raw material was this pre-war colt national Match. it was far from elegant, but both Jason and larry saw the potential. 48 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER2012