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  #1  
Old 04-24-2008, 05:21 PM
richpetrone richpetrone is offline
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Giles accurized 1911




I have had several accurized guns over the years by well known gunsmiths.
I have had Clark, Shockey, and Giles .45 caliber guns.

I noticed on my Giles, there was a spot weld inside the slide on the left side, (when the slide is in youir hand with the muzzle end pointing at a target). The spot weld seemed to contact the barrel, as if to stabilize the
barrel at the chamber portion. I have talked to other owners of Giles guns, and I am led to believe he made this spot weld on all his accurized guns. Does anybody know why he did this? Was there some reason it improved the accuracy? Have other gunsmiths used this same technique? Any feedback would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2008, 05:37 PM
rrabullseye rrabullseye is online now
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It is a barrel positioning tab, Started by Swenson, I believe. Sort of a backwards Kart EZ fit system, as the tab is in the slide and not the barrel.
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2008, 05:36 AM
WESHOOT2 WESHOOT2 is offline
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yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrabullseye View Post
It is a barrel positioning tab, Started by Swenson, I believe. Sort of a backwards Kart EZ fit system, as the tab is in the slide and not the barrel.
Although perhaps it was done before Swenson......perhaps.
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  #4  
Old 04-25-2008, 08:04 PM
rrabullseye rrabullseye is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WESHOOT2 View Post
Although perhaps it was done before Swenson......perhaps.
Pleae educate me, who?
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2008, 05:17 AM
WESHOOT2 WESHOOT2 is offline
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I do not recall

But I believe (differs from "Know") I read a Swenson interview (could have been last week; could have been 25 years ago....) where he gave credit for that idea to someone else.

Sorry to be no help.
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2008, 06:20 AM
Magnumite Magnumite is offline
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I saw this on an early Clark gun. No, the pistol wasn't mine
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2008, 01:12 PM
SG688 SG688 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrabullseye View Post
Please educate me, who?

The May/June, 1978 American Handgunner has a Walter Rickell article on iconic 1911 gunsmith Armand Swenson. It should be on the American Handgunner web site for free download next month.

http://www.coolgunsite.com/ has an article too.

I scanned my pile of articles on Swenson. The barrel positioner is mentioned several times, but Swenson is not quoted as claiming or giving credit for the idea -- in the articles I have.

Last edited by SG688; 04-26-2008 at 01:21 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2008, 06:09 AM
WESHOOT2 WESHOOT2 is offline
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groupie? LOL

I am unable to find the time (or desire) to take my written material to that level ("that level" being like a research library).
I admire those who do.



(I did mention "perhaps".......if I ever run across any confirmation I will attempt to remember to return to this thread).
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2008, 11:16 AM
SG688 SG688 is offline
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Groupie? I just have a big "stack of stuff."

I would also guess that Swenson probably was not the first with a barrel position tab, just because Giles, et. al., were making pistols earlier. No proof.

We'd all probably guess he was the first to put one on a "combat" pistol.

For the fun of it, a picture from the September, 1957 Guns.


Last edited by SG688; 04-27-2008 at 11:44 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2008, 01:12 PM
SG688 SG688 is offline
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Deeper in the stack...

The American Handgunner 2002 Annual has an article by Charlie Petty, "Pioneers of Pistolsmithing the Government Model Colt".

Petty mentions about every early pistol smith, including Giles and Swenson, and myriad of their innovations in .45 accurizing - but not a barrel position tab!
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  #11  
Old 04-28-2008, 01:11 PM
tenalpha10 tenalpha10 is offline
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I think there was an artical in American Handgunner last year that showed several Swenson guns with the barrel positioner welded to the inside of the slide. just a small tad of weld inside the port area of the slide. It didn't say who came up with the idea.
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  #12  
Old 04-28-2008, 08:33 PM
aneat aneat is offline
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I had a gun built by George Madore that had a tab in the slide as mentioned. Im not sure who if anyone can be credited for the original idea. In the era when so much had to be done to the factory parts to create an accurate gun a lot of "weld up" tricks were tried.
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  #13  
Old 01-05-2009, 10:30 PM
ipharted ipharted is offline
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colt "38 special kit"

was looking over this gun and found i double rare giles and rare colt "38 special kit" less than 450 of the kits were made between 64-70
.38 Special Kit (.38 Special Caliber)
Year....Serial Number
1964....100
1965....00404
1966....Few
1967....Few
1970....00434



see larger pics at: http://iphartedbay.blogspot.com/2008...g-post_04.html
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  #14  
Old 01-05-2009, 11:34 PM
Smokers Smokers is offline
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Jim Hoag in Canoga Park, California uses a tab on the inside of the slide. His tab actually is a rectangular piece of metal. I'm not sure how he attaches the tab to the slide.

I actually had a chance to watch Armand Swenson at a shooting match in Dulzura, California many years ago. It was a "snubbie" combat match and I made a comment about "that old guy with the snubbie".

Well, that "old guy" was Armand Swenson and everybody gave me dirty looks after I said it and my buddy elbowed me in the ribs and said, "Shut up. That's Armand Swenson." Boy did I feel dumb.
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2009, 05:59 PM
swampgator swampgator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SG688 View Post
I used to shoot pins with a guy who had a Giles very similiar to this one. One of the sweetest shooting pistols I've ever fired. Virtually no recoil and the loads he had would just roll out of the ejection port and pile up at your feet.
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  #16  
Old 01-06-2009, 07:13 PM
George Smith George Smith is offline
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Giles work was exceptionally clean for the era. His Sights were nice, consistantly nice as were his ribs, the keyed into a modified rear sight and it was well machined also. Most of the early work does not stand up to todays standards but Giles was Very good.

When I was at Behlerts shop we would look forward to seeing other people work. Giles impressed me more than anyone else of that time.

He took a sear and would solder a pc of hardened drill rod on the tip to have a hard surface to do a trigger job on.

The Accurizer pad you mention limits the barrels upward movement but also loads it to the right side. The samples I have studied had the hood lenght and width welded and machined cleanly. Bottom barrel feet welded up also.

Slide to frame fits were tight and smooth, Trigger pulls were crisp.

I have not seen much work from the gunsmith that was in Hi. I am told he was very good also.

geo

www.egw-guns.com/store
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  #17  
Old 01-06-2009, 07:28 PM
anderson3754 anderson3754 is offline
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My shooting partner has a Giles Commander that he bought from a Border Patrol Agent that has that same weld. Also pretty sure Bob Day out of Lackland Airforce Base Tx. used the same technique.
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  #18  
Old 01-06-2009, 08:26 PM
huntershooter huntershooter is offline
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I have a Combat Commander by Jim Hoag with the tab you mentioned.
The barrel is a stock Colt, but it is quite accurate.
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  #19  
Old 01-14-2009, 11:33 AM
Model3SW Model3SW is offline
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Giles accurized 1911's & WHO HAS PARTS ?

you're correct about that weld spot. It is to stablize the barrel from torquing when the bullet grips the lands / spirals, which would cause you to be less accurate.

Hi, guys. I'm Sal Raimondi, a Contributing Editor of the Blue Book of Gun Values, Collect antique S&W's, and GILES "target" or Colt 1911 (all calibers) or Giles .22 High Standard & .22 Ruger. I seek data & factual info, pix of Giles models, to include GILES in the 2009 book form REPUTABLE sources.

I will be CREATING a section for GILES CUSTOMS which had never been including in any Blue Book prior (nor any other price guide that I've ever seen).

Giles deserves his place in history ... i think !!

i have had the good fortune to speak with Giles son but he does not have much data on the earlier Giles stuff from say 1950 to early 1960's.

Also, anyone have Giles parts ?

His earlier, "lightened" hammers where thinned and then narrowed just before the hammer thumb grip.

What happened is that by lightening the springs on the slide and thinning the hammer, the hammer would slam the dovetail ... eventually breaking off the tip, thumbpiece of the hammer.

It was even worse if some YAHOO got his hands on a GILES and started shooting factory loads through it. It would REALLY smack the hammer back on the dovetail then.

Anyone have Giles loads specs. I found a 200 grain SWC bullet with 3.8 Bullseye to work fantastic. My Giles .45's dont like the 185 grain SWC.
His later guns have a revised hammer, still lightened but more roundish and solid near the thumb grip.

Hope to hear from you ... Sal Raimondi

Last edited by Model3SW; 01-14-2009 at 11:35 AM. Reason: spelling, screw ups
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  #20  
Old 01-14-2009, 01:06 PM
Al Booth Al Booth is offline
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Spot weld

Hopefully the spot weld on the inside will stay in place.

Wayne Novak, who worked at Swenson's for some time, told me he fixed countless Swenson guns that came back with the barrel positioning stud knocked loose or out. Apparently, they were silver-soldered in place, and many came loose. I don't know if this was as a result of bad solder/bad technique, or if they were first drilled all the way through the slide.
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  #21  
Old 02-01-2009, 07:16 PM
chuckstur chuckstur is offline
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Giles!

I owned a 1911 that Giles converted to 38 special. Much to the dismay of my brothers, I manufactured the (flush) wadcutter ammo with a Lee Loader in the frat house lounge. I would set off a primer every few months. My life was threatened each time. Once I double charged a round with Bullseye. It blew the grips off of the gun and peppered my face. Wear glasses!
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  #22  
Old 02-04-2009, 09:15 PM
perry shooter perry shooter is offline
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Giles and the BLUE Book

Hello I would like to talk to you ref.Giles info. I currently have 6 including one on a 45ACP kit gun . I two in the boxes with both Colt Paperwork and targets and Giles paperwork and Test Targets with shipping label and postage stamps both of these are 1961 guns one WAD GUN 45ACP and one Hard Ball GUN . I also have a BIO I got about John from his son I have some info and pictures about the slide barrel locating plug. I attended Camp Perry 1972-2005 [email protected] 434-760-0108
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  #23  
Old 02-05-2009, 06:38 AM
Jerry Keefer Jerry Keefer is offline
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Barrel tab

Quote:
Originally Posted by perry shooter View Post
Hello I would like to talk to you ref.Giles info. I currently have 6 including one on a 45ACP kit gun . I two in the boxes with both Colt Paperwork and targets and Giles paperwork and Test Targets with shipping label and postage stamps both of these are 1961 guns one WAD GUN 45ACP and one Hard Ball GUN . I also have a BIO I got about John from his son I have some info and pictures about the slide barrel locating plug. I attended Camp Perry 1972-2005 [email protected] 434-760-0108
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Hi Karl, small world, huh....
I think the locator or limiter, so to speak, is very good. No one does that anymore.. I talked to Al Marvel about this recently. He also silver soldered the tab in place on his guns and had a lot to offer.. I am planning on testing a variation of this theory of barrel stabilization soon. The old style tab helped, but I think it could be more effective if placed elsewhere, and it needs a form of adjustment as the parts settle in..The old method was a little difficult to get perfect, if one ever could. Solid vertical contact is good, but I am not keen on side pressure..the old style had a little of both.
Also, machining the barrel from blank stock to match the individual slide upper lug radius will greatly assist in stabilization.. Stopped out at our friend's shop a couple of weeks ago. Stop by the shop when you get a chance..

Jerry
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