Who, and when, did the first beavertail on a 1911?

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Who, and when, did the first beavertail on a 1911?

Post by Jack H on 1/2/2015, 3:46 am

beavertail history wanted.
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Re: Who, and when, did the first beavertail on a 1911?

Post by GrumpyOldMan on 1/4/2015, 10:35 pm

I have long since tossed the dozens of early American Hangunner magazines I had accumulated, but fallible memory indicates they were around no later than 1983 or so.  The first ones were just standard shape extended about 1/4-inch or maybe less. I believe that the wide "beaver" portion came very quickly after that.

I did keep the first Handgunner edition from 1976, the 10-year anniversary from 1986, and maybe one or three others, but they be in a box I don't want to dig out.

No idea who did 'em first.

Sorry not more help. You might want to ask Cameron Hopkins or Massad Ayoob. They gots encyclopedic memories. Mas might still be over on American Backyard or whatever The Gun Zone forums turned into. I used to post over there a lot.

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Re: Who, and when, did the first beavertail on a 1911?

Post by Jon Eulette on 1/5/2015, 2:07 am

Probably Armand Swenson! He was located in Fallbrook California which is northern San Diego County. He was a pioneer in building combat pistols for the IPSC shooters in late 70's and early 80's. His ambidextrous thumb safety with paddles to prevent hitting the slide with the thumb are still being made. If it wasn't him then my second guess is Jim Hoag of California. 
Jon
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Re: Who, and when, did the first beavertail on a 1911?

Post by Axehandle on 1/5/2015, 7:01 am

My guess would be the old Pachmayr Gun Works was the first.  Know for a  fact that Bill Wilson was doing the beavertail in the early 80s.  My Accu Comp LE had one.  I've got American Handgunner back to the original issue but can't get fired about digging them out.

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Re: Who, and when, did the first beavertail on a 1911?

Post by BE Mike on 1/5/2015, 12:48 pm

I think that there was a beavertail grip safety that worked with a standard hammer that Gil Hebard sold. I installed one on a Colt 1911.
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Re: Who, and when, did the first beavertail on a 1911?

Post by GrumpyOldMan on 1/6/2015, 1:06 pm

According to this 2011 article from Cameron Hopkins in the American Rifleman:

http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/evolution-of-the-custom-combat-45

Armand Swenson as of 1965 was shortening the grip safety tang with a radius to reduce/eliminate "hammer bite".

So, run from that single-source clue and let's see what more we get.

Tomorrow, I might be able to get my hands on a 1976 or so Police Handguns Annual-whatever inchthick book by Dean Grennel. I might be a few years newer than that, but...

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Re: Who, and when, did the first beavertail on a 1911?

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