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Thursday, August 16, 2012


John Browning invented the 1911, which as you all know is deservedly iconic.

A few years later he had to build another pistol, but because he'd sold many of the patents in the 1911 he had to dig deep and build the new pistol without infringing his own work. The result? The Browning Hi Power, or P35. Chambered in 9mm, I was fortunate enough to own a Hi Power in my young-adult years, and it is a magnificent pistol. I mention the Hi Power just to remind people of the brilliance that the man possessed.

Over the last 2 weeks or so I have been in contact with about 18 custom 1911 shops across the country. Jim has been contacting builders as well as we look for the right relationship. Many of these builders you would know, some perhaps not. Many of the best shops have build times measured in 6-12 months, and more. That doesn't exactly fit with my timeline. For our prototypes we could always just buy a few Wilson models off the shelf and do a few modifications. Hard to find fault with the quality of the product - but nothing on the market hits my sweet spot. And the time involved with sending a new Wilson or Kimber back for tweaking puts us right back into the months-year+ waiting periods, just for our prototypes.

That isn't working for me.

I have had three world-class builders who are willing to build the prototypes we want, but their delay is nearly a year, and to be honest, they'd build a set of pistols that will not be our production models. They'd build pistols worth about 3 times the price point of our production pieces. Our prototypes must be identical in all respects (or darned close to it) to the units III Arms will turn out in production.

I am speaking with a very talented builder down in Texas who looks like a good fit at the moment. He builds first class 1911s, he can (probably) hit our timeline, and the prototypes you'll put in your hands will be the same pistol turned out by III Arms staff once we get fired up and online.

In all we have about 5 shops in serious discussions at the moment, but the Texas shop is my preference if we can get all of our ducks in a row. I have queries out to another dozen, waiting for initial email replies from them. I'll keep you in the loop.

Sorry to folks who wrote today and I have not yet replied - Holly and I unexpectedly found ourselves out and about most of the day. I was able to release a few comments for the blog, but email and my Droid make me nucking futs.

More IIIGear going out tomorrow.


1 comment:

  1. I had 2 Hi Powers. One, a 70's vintage purchase from a local shop and a new Mark 3. Plus...uh, 4 clones...no, 5 clones.

    Sold the Mark 3 to my dad who had shot one of the clones, but now his MS is to the point he can't chamber a round.

    So, I have toted it to gun shows for about...uh...a year and a half. I don't want to sell it, but I can't afford the 700 to keep it. It's a package but I think it having 12+ magazines (a variety, 8 are the 17 round South American models but there are 2 originals) scares away most people. It is a sweet shooter and I'd love to keep it.

    But the 1911? I do like them but haven't owned one in about 4 years. I would like to have another one like the Mil Spec I foolishly sold, a GI style like from World War Two and Korea, just "parked"...but that's a "want" not a "need" in the budget right now.


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