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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 12:26 pm    Post subject: Ivory grips         Reply with quote

This isn't an antique although the design is nearing a century in age. However, I know some of the participants here are also fireams enthusiasts, so I thought I'd share this. This pistol (Colt Gunsite Pistol) was an anniversary present from my wife this year and the new grips are an early birthday present as well. Have I ever said what a great gal she is? Big Grin I've always loved weapon grips made from horn, bone and especially ivory. Unfortunately since the import ban of 1989 ivory prices have continued to climb. Most sources for grips like these price them in the $300-$400 range so I was quite pleased to find these for $185.00. These were made by Charles Spresser of Spresser Knife Works. http://spresserknifeworks.itgo.com/

Considering the cost of ivory these days his prices are pretty reasonable and the fit and finish is excellent. Shipping was secure and very quick. If anyone is looking for grips like these I highly recommend Mr. Spesser. I think my blued Colt Commander needs a set of his Mastadon ivory grips.




The grain in the ivory is very nice. Some of it can be seen in this photo.
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shiny metal and ivory grips Cry ; at least they're not pearl. Next we'll see you wearing aviator glasses, using extended magazines, and carrying that thing in a shoulder rig. Razz

In all seriousness, that looks like a really nice handgun. I have mixed feelings about the extended thumb safeties (mostly because I shoot left handed, and as such they don't do much for me), but I like the rest of it. Is the holster new, or is that something you got specifically for this piece? Now we just need to get KHP to let you trade out your Glock for this.

Congratulations.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company


Last edited by Greyson Brown on Thu 26 Oct, 2006 2:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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John Cooksey




Location: NW Ark
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very, very nice.
I love ivory grips on handguns.
And that was a very good price . . .

Nice pistol, too. Novak sights rock.
Is it just the angle of the photo, or is that a short trigger on the weapon?

I didn't surrender, but they took my horse and made him surrender.
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Jonathon Janusz





Joined: 20 Nov 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pay no attention to the man frowning on the shiny bits and ivory . Razz . . . and yes, I think chrome is a beautiful color Big Grin

Nice weapon, Patrick, and I very much like the grips; I might need to freshen up my paintball marker (if the rest of my team wouldn't disown me for doing so Laughing Out Loud ). As a slight aside, your photos are better than many I've seen in professionally made firearms catalogs - very well done.

Although I have to agree with Greyson on one point. With something this nice as your personal weapon, you really should bling out your service piece a little. . .
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 8:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson Brown wrote:
Shiny metal and ivory grips Cry ; at least they're not pearl. Next we'll see you wearing aviator glasses, using extended magazines, and carrying that thing in a shoulder rig. Razz


I will point out, that happens to be a mat stainless finish, not shiny! Razz

I'll pass on the glasses and the extended magazines, but I do wear a shoulder holster quite frequently. Yes, it is a Galco rig but I haven't yet started wearing pastel suits without socks. Big Grin The poor shoulder holster has suffered from overexposure in film and television so it tends to get a bad rap among professionals who've never used one. However, it does work extremely well for many uses and happens to be a good choice for someone with lower back problems like yours truly.

Quote:
In all seriousness, that looks like a really nice handgun. I have mixed feelings about the extended thumb safeties (mostly because I shoot left handed, and as such they don't do much for me), but I like the rest of it.


I don't usually go in for extended safeties or other widgets on my pistols. Here's this pistol with it's original grips alongside my Commander that I've carried off-duty and when working out of uniform for about 7-8 years.

As you can see it's a lot plainer than the new one. It has a few modifications added by me but for the most part it's a stock piece. The new one has things that I wouldn't add, such as the front slide serations, extended thumb safety and the beavertail grip safety. I just don't need that stuff but this one was so slickly put together and that outweighed the widget factor. It certainly is a sweet shooter too.

Quote:
Is the holster new, or is that something you got specifically for this piece?


The holster, belt and mag pouch are one of my off-duty rigs that I've used for about ten years. They were made by Wilson Combat and are covered with shark skin. Shark skin is very tough and hard wearing and it looks sexy too. Big Grin It's one of my favorites for equipment like this. Unfortunately, like the ivory it isn't ceap.

Quote:
Now we just need to get KHP to let you trade out your Glock for this.


Don't I wish!
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks.

John Cooksey wrote:
Is it just the angle of the photo, or is that a short trigger on the weapon?


Yes, it's a short trigger. This is a Gunsite model put together in the Colt custom shop in cooperation with Gunsite Academy, a shooting school started by the late Col. Jeff Cooper back in the 70's. The pistol incorporates features that Gunsites deems necessary on a combat pistol. One of these is the need to accommodate shooters with smaller hands, hence the original slim-line grips, flat mainspring housing and the short trigger. While I have larger hands I find that I prefer the short trigger and flat MSH but the slim grips had to go.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathon Janusz wrote:
As a slight aside, your photos are better than many I've seen in professionally made firearms catalogs - very well done.


Thanks. I really have to give credit for that to doing photos for reviews while I worked with this website. Nathan also owns a large share of the credit as he spent a lot of time on the phone with me teaching me the process.

Quote:
Although I have to agree with Greyson on one point. With something this nice as your personal weapon, you really should bling out your service piece a little. . .


Unfortunately there isn't much you can do to make plastic sexy. Sad
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 8:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have the same Colt-Gunsite gun, sans the ivory. I love it. I have medium / average-sized hands, but it seems that I have a somewhat short thumb as my usability on some pistols is compromised. The thumb-safety on the Colt-Gunsite works well in my hands and I like the short trigger. For me, this was as close to custom as I was going to get. I'm not a firearm enthusiast and will likely only own a single firearm at any given time. It was a good match.

All things considered, and strictly speaking from my own opinion, it's a great looking gun right from the factory. The ivory grips make it look even better. The bead-blasted finish seems to go really well with the white ivory--something I would not have guessed without seeing it first. I thought the rosewood looked great, especially with the really thin scales they use, but now I'm a bit jealous.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 8:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One other thing I just noticed was that the regular screwheads are now replaced, too. Even that small change makes a big difference.
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Allen G.





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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 8:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice combo. The ivorys grain brings out the sort of 'brushed' look of the matte stainless and the whole thing looks organic. My dad has a few Ivory gripped old west-ish revolvers so I've always wanted something with it for nostalgia but I don't own any 'classic' designs like the 1911.. maybe maybe the worlds first ivory gripped polymer .223?
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Nick Trueman





Joined: 27 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct, 2006 11:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi

You guys are very lucky to be able to own such firearms!
In Australia gun laws have really been clamped down upon. Basically semi auto, auto weapons are illegal unless used in security/police, armed forces. There are some exemptions such as for reenactment and farming.

Lovely pistol forsure

Nick
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct, 2006 7:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
The new one has things that I wouldn't add, such as the front slide serations, extended thumb safety and the beavertail grip safety. I just don't need that stuff...


I wouldn't us the front slide serations, but I don't care if they are there. From time to time, they can be kind of nice for disassembly.

The beavertail grip safety is one of those things that I do like, however. Sort of. The full beavertail variety is bigger than I feel is necessary, and gets in the way if I am trying to manipulate the hammer. On the other hand, I find the wider surface to be more comfortable. My 1911 has a half beavertail grip safety from Brownell's that I really like. It is very similar to your grip safety (sans the raised pad), but the portion where yours curves up is missing. I find it is the best of both worlds.

Brownell's also has an ambidextrous thumb safety that uses a standard safety (the non-extended kind, like that on your Commander) on the left and a mirror image of it on the right. I think that will just about do the trick for what I want.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Joe Maccarrone




Location: Seattle, WA USA
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct, 2006 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick, your wife's a keeper! Big Grin

I'd love to have your weapon collection for one day...

The Gunsite model is a series 70 gun, correct? I think I recall that from several years back when I was shopping for a 1911 to play with, and possibly to use off duty. 1911s are permissible under our off duty policy, but they must have a firing pin block of some sort -- series 80, Swartz, etc. I seem to recall having to rule out the Gunsite model because of that, which was unfortunate.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct, 2006 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson Brown wrote:
I wouldn't us the front slide serations, but I don't care if they are there. From time to time, they can be kind of nice for disassembly.


I have similar feelings. Some people hate them and won't own a pistol with them, but they're typically the kind who just need something to hate. I'm ambivalent about them. I wouldn't pay to have them added to a pistol, nor would I pass one up if it has them. (obviously)

Quote:
The beavertail grip safety is one of those things that I do like, however. Sort of. The full beavertail variety is bigger than I feel is necessary, and gets in the way if I am trying to manipulate the hammer. On the other hand, I find the wider surface to be more comfortable. My 1911 has a half beavertail grip safety from Brownell's that I really like. It is very similar to your grip safety (sans the raised pad), but the portion where yours curves up is missing. I find it is the best of both worlds.


I'm on the fence with the beavertail. The 1911 and I are very old acquaintances. It's the first pistol I ever held, the first one I ever saw anyone shoot, the firt one I ever shot myself and the first one I ever owned. Consequently, over the years I've owned more of the type than anything else. Some of them have have had beavertails and some haven't. If they haven't and I've had my hand chewed up I installed one, if not I've never worried about it. If this pistol had come with a standard hammer and grip safety I would have been just as happy.

Quote:
Brownell's also has an ambidextrous thumb safety that uses a standard safety (the non-extended kind, like that on your Commander) on the left and a mirror image of it on the right. I think that will just about do the trick for what I want.


I think you're right. This is one of the many occasions where I'm thankfull to be right-handed. Big Grin
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David Martin




Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct, 2006 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a beautiful shootin' iron, Patrick. I love the grips and brushed stainless finish. Nice holster rig as well - it suits the pistol perfectly.

How does it shoot? Specifically, what kind of groups are you getting at 25 yards? 50 yards?

I have Novak sights on my Colt Government .380, but Bo-Mars on my 1911A1s. I prefer the Bo-Mar sights myself, but then I've never been partial to fixed sights (or drift-adjustable for that matter).

Simple elegance... thanks for sharing your beautiful photos!


David

"When war-gods meet to match their might,
who can tell the bravest born?
Many a hero never made a hole
in another man's breast."

- Sigurd, The Lay of Fafnir
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct, 2006 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Maccarrone wrote:
Patrick, your wife's a keeper! Big Grin


Indeed she is! She actually made me buy this one, seriously. I had been admiring it every time I was in the shop for about six months. I hadn't even thought of trying to buy it since I didn't really need another pistol. I just liked to look at it because it's a fine weapon and I appreciate fine weapons. Finally, my wife was in the shop with me while the owner and I admired the pistol. He's a Colt fan like I am but he also knows my wife so I'm sure there was method in his mind. Wink She walked over and asked me, "Do you like that one?", "Is the price fair?", etc. After I had answered in the affirmative to all of her queries she said "Buy it." I told her it was expensive and I really didn't need it, then handed it back to the shop owner. We then walked out of the shop with her saying "Buy it." and me replying, "That's okay honey but no." Well, as those here who've met my wife can attest, I don't call her "hurricane" for no reason. Buy the time we had driven across town The conversation had evolved to, "Drop me off at JC Penney and go buy that pistol!", "Yes dear." As I said before, the shop owner knows my wife because he'd already taken the pistol off the shelf when I returned.

Quote:
I'd love to have your weapon collection for one day...


If you want to make the trip you can shoot any and all of them but you can't take anything home. Razz

Quote:
The Gunsite model is a series 70 gun, correct? I think I recall that from several years back when I was shopping for a 1911 to play with, and possibly to use off duty. 1911s are permissible under our off duty policy, but they must have a firing pin block of some sort -- series 80, Swartz, etc. I seem to recall having to rule out the Gunsite model because of that, which was unfortunate.


Yes, the Gunsite is a series 70. I don't mind the Colt Series 80 safety but I don't like the Swartz system. There's a good reason why Colt tried it during the 30's and dropped it. The one Kimber I owned was an earlier pistol built on the Series 70 system so thankfully it didn't have the Swartz safety.
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Joe Maccarrone




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct, 2006 5:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had no problem with the NRM Colt I owned for a while, as far as the firing pin safety goes. Folks complain about its effect on the trigger pull, but my finger is programmed for Glock triggers, so I found it quite pleasant... Happy

The gun did have a bit of a problem feeding JHP -- about a 12% malfunction rate, most notably with our department load, the 185 Gold Dot (not an easy feeder!). With hardball, the +/- 1000 rounds that went through it during my ownership, never a bobble. I scratch my head when I read about other big-name 1911s choking on hardball.

Anyway, it probably wouldn't have taken much work to get it to 100% with the Gold Dot, and I had a few other items I wanted done if I were to carry it: dehorning the sharp edges of the slide (only had to slice my finger open once to convince me of the need for this), Trijicon sights to match my other carry guns... I ended up selling it instead, in a spasm of fiscal responsibility.

What do you feed your Colts? Big Grin
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Maccarrone wrote:
I had no problem with the NRM Colt I owned for a while, as far as the firing pin safety goes. Folks complain about its effect on the trigger pull, but my finger is programmed for Glock triggers, so I found it quite pleasant... Happy


I had a NRM Govt. model for a while too. Nice pistol but the edges were very sharp. I have no doubt it would have cut me if I'd ever had to do a rapid reload under stress. Mine fed everything I put through it but I sold it off along with the Kimber when I pared down my firearms collection a couple of years ago.

A pistol doesn't need an outstanding trigger to work well as a weapon, a decent one will do. My new GSP has an extremely nice trigger without being overly light but it could be heavier and still work as well. My Commander has the Series 80 mechanism and the trigger isn't quite as nice but it's certainly good enough. People really get to caught up in that kind of minutae. Like yours, my issue Glock has a trigger like a squirt gun yet I can hit a twelve inch square steel plate 99% of the time at 100 yards on a good day, every time on a really good day. It's all about being familiar and comfortable with the weapon.

Quote:
What do you feed your Colts? Big Grin


I prefer the 230 grain Federal Hydrashock as a carry round. My agency used to use the Hydrashock but now issues the 230 grain Remington Golden Sabre. I use that when I can't find the Federal load in the local stores, mainly because I can get it from my Rangemaster for free. Wink I don't care for the lighter 200 and 185 grain loads in the .45acp. I prefer to use the heavier bullets. For practice and recreation I use my own handloads with a 230 grain round-nose cast lead bullet.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct, 2006 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Martin wrote:
That is a beautiful shootin' iron, Patrick. I love the grips and brushed stainless finish. Nice holster rig as well - it suits the pistol perfectly.

How does it shoot? Specifically, what kind of groups are you getting at 25 yards? 50 yards?

I have Novak sights on my Colt Government .380, but Bo-Mars on my 1911A1s. I prefer the Bo-Mar sights myself, but then I've never been partial to fixed sights (or drift-adjustable for that matter).

Simple elegance... thanks for sharing your beautiful photos!


Thanks David.

So far I fired around 200 rounds through it so it isn't even broken in yet. At 25 yards I've averaged 1.5-2.0 inch groups shooting off-hand from a Weaver stance, with a few cloverleaf groups here and there. This was using Blazer Brass 230 grain FMJ, not the highest quality or most accurate ammo around. My own handloads will do better and should take advantage of the pistols match barrel. I did fire a few hollowpoint loads out of it yesterday but I was checking for reliability not accuracy at that point. I haven't tried it at 50 yards yet as I haven't had a lot of time to slip out to the range this week. I did use one magazine to bounce around a five gallon bucket at around 75 yards though.

My tastes run the opposite direction: I don't like adjustable sights on a pistol like this. I like them on the double action revolvers I've owned but not on a semi-auto.
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David Martin




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Oct, 2006 5:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:

Thanks David.

So far I fired around 200 rounds through it so it isn't even broken in yet. At 25 yards I've averaged 1.5-2.0 inch groups shooting off-hand from a Weaver stance, with a few cloverleaf groups here and there. This was using Blazer Brass 230 grain FMJ, not the highest quality or most accurate ammo around. My own handloads will do better and should take advantage of the pistols match barrel. I did fire a few hollowpoint loads out of it yesterday but I was checking for reliability not accuracy at that point. I haven't tried it at 50 yards yet as I haven't had a lot of time to slip out to the range this week. I did use one magazine to bounce around a five gallon bucket at around 75 yards though.

My tastes run the opposite direction: I don't like adjustable sights on a pistol like this. I like them on the double action revolvers I've owned but not on a semi-auto.


In the words of Townsend Whelen, "Only accurate guns are interesting." You have an interesting pistol there.

I've wondered about the Gunsite / Thunder Ranch pistols. I've learned not to trust the gun magazine reviews (other than the American Rifleman), as they'll tout a handgun as being accurate when it groups 5" at 25 yards.

Thanks for the information. My congratulations to you and your wife on a fine purchase!

"When war-gods meet to match their might,
who can tell the bravest born?
Many a hero never made a hole
in another man's breast."

- Sigurd, The Lay of Fafnir
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