A Custom Gold Cup National Match
I had learned to appreciate the 1911 platform by shooting my son's Colt 1991A1. I quickly purchased a Springfield Mil-Spec, and learned to massage the pistol into something individual and unique, my first Brownell's catalog custom. My Mil-Spec shot well, but it just wasn't lighting my fire anymore. I was wanting a Colt. Like a siren on the sailor's shore, Colt was beckoning me. The prancing pony was my meat. I had a problem though.......At that time I was also admiring the Kimbers, with the beautiful radiused corners, the swoopy sights, beavertails, and beautiful finishes. The Colt Gunsite was still a pistol of the future back then. I was wanting a Colt 1911, but I was also wanting a Colt that Colt did not make. It was a typical 1911 aficionado conundrum.
It was a hot Louisiana day about half a decade ago when I first saw her. I was browsing a gun shop's wares when she beckoned from the used shelf. She was a most unusual Gold Cup National Match. I had been hankering for a Gold Cup National Match, and this one was a custom gun with all the features that I admired on the pistols from Yonkers. As I was admiring the gun, the dealer told me it was a pistol the previous owner had customized at Gunsite. The gun had a plethora of modifications, including an Ed Brown grip safety, an Ed Brown full length guide rod, Ed Brown ambi thumb safety, forward slide serrations, and a Wilson match bushing. It was finished in flawless hard chrome. At that time the pistol wore rubber double diamond grips and had a nylon mainspring housing. It was fitted impeccably. It fit my hand perfectly. The seller was wanting $950 for the pistol, which was a lot for me to put into one gun back then, especially a used gun. I memorized the serial number and handed the pistol back to the dealer.
Once at my car, I wrote down the serial number, and drove to my office. I placed a call to Paulden, Arizona, and learned that the pistol had indeed been through the Smithy.
Still, once tax was assessed , I would be over the 1K mark with this pistol. I looked through my gun safe to see what I might be able to offer in trade. I pulled out a Walther PPK/S that my wife had wanted, and then fallen out of love with. I removed a IMI Baby Eagle in .40S&W that had been a good gun, but which had lost it's allure. I swung by the bank and drew out $400 cash, and drove back to the gun store. The proprietor smiled as I walked back through his door that day.
I asked to see the pistol, and then asked for his best price. He tossed out $900, and I countered with $800. We quickly settled on $850, so I asked him if he would consider trade-in guns. He started to balk, saying the $850 was a cash price, but he relented when I handed the Gold Cup back to him and began to turn away. That's when he said "Well what do you have?"
I went out to the car and retrieved the Walther and the Baby Eagle. I took a bit of a beating on both, as he gave me $300 on the Bond gun, and $250 on the Israeli pistol. That left only $300 to get the pistol I wanted, so I agreed to the deal.
I took my new custom Gold Cup home and ordered a Smith & Alexander Magwell and cocobolo grips for it. Since the S&A order was over $100, they gave me a 10% discount and free shipping. Good folks! These are the only other modifications I have made to this pistol, except one. I often shoot at an indoor range. The pistol ejected spent shells reliably and hard, but sent them screaming straight up. They then ricocheted around the stall as I dodged them. I tried adjusting the extractor, but finally installed a Nowlin extended ejector to solve the problem. I also installed a 18.5 recoil spring.
I love shooting this pistol at the range and having some know-it-all saunter over to see what kind of Kimber I am shooting. The looks on the Kimber Kommando's faces when they realize they have been admiring a Colt from afar makes every dime spent on this pistol worth it. Some people would balk at $850 for a used pistol, but I will not again. If I were to buy a Gold Cup and have it smithed to this level of customization, I would be paying twice that easily. I also have to consider that I would likely never alter a Gold Cup. They are iconic to me. As it is, I now own a pistol that satisfies the urge for a Gold Cup, while eliminating any desire for a Kimber as well. That is money saved.