Evolution of a Custom Carry Gun
Both Sistemas were in pretty rough shape, but structurally sound. I chose the worst of the two for my project. This pistol underwent a slow metamorphosis into a 1911 that may not be beautiful, but one that is beautifully adapted to the job at hand.
The first improvement on this gun was the trigger. I had to eliminate myself from the accuracy equation as much as possible. The pistol would shoot, but it shot 8 inch groups. A cheapo trigger job pulled those groups down to 6 inches. I ordered a Wilson barrel and bushing, along with other items. The Wilson barrel not only provides exceptional accuracy, it allows hollow point ammo to feed without jamming. Along with the Wilson barrel, I installed an Ed Brown grip and thumb safety as well as an Ed Brown slide stop. A Nowlin sear, disconnect and springs, McCormick trigger and Colt Commander hammer provide the ignition. The pistol also received a flat mainspring housing. I screwed rubber double diamond grips to the pistol's sides. I use Wilson 47D magazines in this pistol.
The two unusual decisions I made were to retain the original GI ejection port and GI sights. The pistol ejects through the little GI hole with no problem, and I rationalized that the smaller port will let less grit into the area of the barrel's linking system. I was originally planning on Novak low profile sights. When testing the pistol with GI sights however, I found them reasonably easy to acquire. More importantly, I found them to be extremely precise due to the lesser width of the front blade. I used a needle file to open the rear notch a bit, and I dabbed some day glow paint on the front half moon blade. I rationalized the semi circular front blade would be less likely to snag on seat belts, clothing or other items, lessening the chances of an impeded draw. After using the pistol for several weeks, and stuffing it in my belt Mexican style to prevent it being left in the car, I installed a Clip Draw device. I have found this device to work very well for short jaunts. For extended carry, I prefer a holster.
I shot this pistol with next to no finish for half a season. One of my shooting buddies, who is a diehard Wilson Combat man began to call my low buck shooter a tightwad Wilson. It miffed him that my Modelo 1927 Sistema could match his Wilson CQB in accuracy. Finally, realizing that I couldn't shut him up, but I could join him, I decided to finish the pistol in a two tone Wilson Combat style finish. I had a local gunsmith bake on an Armor Coat type finish with an olive drab lower and a gunmetal grey upper.
This is what I call a custom gun. It is not an off the shelf gun in any way. It's not fancy, but it is one of a kind. Each component was chosen with a specific need in mind. Nothing was done because it was the fashionable thing to do, with perhaps, the exception of the finish. It is accurate, fast and effective. Like a '32 Deuce Roadster with a hopped up V8, and a flat black paint job, it is an unpretentious performer. I like that.