Swenson 1911
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Thread: Swenson 1911

  1. #1
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    Swenson 1911

    http://www.gunbroker.com/item/636964749

    I have been pining a bit for an older custom 1911, and this one comes up to tease me. Condition is pretty rough - handling/carry wear I could live with, but this is a little excessive. Forwarded the images to a good smith who told me he could touch up and refinish, but it would not get rid of the deeper marks.

    The only thing that haunts me is if you disregard the condition, you still have an Armond Swenson tuned gun that shoots extremely well for potentially a lot less than a full house gun from a modern well regarded smith.

    Cannot find a lot of recent examples to determine value in present condition. Is it crazy to still be attracted to this piece, or am I just suffering from notseeingenoughofthemitis? I imagine he did not crank out these pieces over his years, so I'll go with a little of both.

    Any other collectors of Swenson or his contemporaries have images of their pieces they would like to share, I would love to see them. Maybe seeing more of them will calm me down : ).

    I have to add, as enamored as I am with his work, on this piece the bobbed hammer looks a little funny, and the frame to slide fit also appears a bit sloppy. Reason I would love to see more examples to get to know his work better.
    Last edited by JeffPro; 04-20-2017 at 06:42 PM. Reason: added content
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    You might contact Jason Burton at Heirloom Precision. Custom builder extraordinaire. He is somewhat of an expert on Armand Swenson. He also restores them.
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    Looks pretty good. I read Armand often put initials of the owner on the gun. Might want to get some more pictures, and also of the insides. He often did this thing with placing a block in the slide to tighten up the rails, too.
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    For a reseve of probably $2,500, the only fair condition, and the mismatch of frame and slide, it strikes me as an assembled gun. It does not matter what it once was, it matters what it is now.
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    Out of curiosity - how does one disregard condition?

    'Condition' is what sells the piece, and this piece has seen some abuse.

    Swenson made up a lot of these - it 'was' the beginning of IPSC, after all - and there will be a lot of them out there if you're really looking, but equally good work has been and is done, so I'd keep looking.

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    I'm curious about the sellers description : "disconnector removed"; as to why ?
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    O P, you apparently already know your "Swenson" characteristics very well, so I don't think you are asking if it is authentic or not ?
    It does have many, (or most), of his signature features. S&W rear sight mounted, with "bug" screw, with front to match; squared off trigger guard and undercut. Checkered front strap, and of course the most telling, his name just under the serial.

    Some slight puzzles to me, are the use of the "cone" shape recoil spring plug, with matching contoured barrel bushing;..the use of which is from the pre-70's national match pistols. I read the serial number as being a late 71' / 72', born out by the "Mk IV Series 70" roll-marked slide, and I would think it is a factory frame and slide, not a mix-master in that regard except for the added parts.

    I am also puzzled by how beat up the muzzle end appears ? I don't know if the owner was L E O or not, but while I have known some "hard-headed" scofflaws, none had a noggin that would dent steel. The finished off bobbed hammer may have taken place after it got busted somehow ?

    Your "poor" slide to frame fit observations seem to be from the look at the very rear of the pistol ?... The seller's picture of the target, if not punched with a semi- wadcutter pencil indicates the fit is okay. That group at 25 yds. , even with a blunt pencil ain't bad.
    I opine the finish matches up with Swenson's time, as being Armoloy, like the old Mag-na-port company used to do, and to ease your mind if you buy, it comes with an idiot mark already applied.

    You have about three more days to agonize over it;... for my two cents, I say BUY !
    Of course that advice is from a fella that has "gun-spent" himself just one door up from the "po-house". ....(I hope you get it, I have some questions about some of the features of it's innards.)
    Last edited by ponyup; 04-21-2017 at 10:22 AM.
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    I like condition ^^^^
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    well maybe i am all wrong....but why the lure?....looks to me to be very expensive for a damaged gun....are they rare?...with so many other options out there...why would u want this one?....i agree that condition is always key and i love a good project...but seems like a lot of money for one in kinda beat up shape...would it not be smarter to find one that is in better condition if u want this particular builder?...God Bless,John....
    Last edited by jringo8769; 04-21-2017 at 11:51 AM.
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