Custom Colt Series ’70 Government 1911 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1973

SOLD FOR: $1712

LSB#: 220518TR001

Make: Colt, the ambidextrous safety is marked “A.D. SWENSON”, the squared trigger guard and replacement sights are consistent with Swenson’s work, but the gun is not further marked and there is no documentation of who performed the customization.

Model: Custom Mark IV Series ‘70, Government Model 1911

Serial#: 70G60477

Year of Manufacture: 1973 (

Caliber/Gauge: .45 ACP

Action Type: Semi-Automatic Single Action Pistol fed by Detachable Magazine

Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “COLT’S MK IV/SERIES ‘70 / GOVERNMENT MODEL / .45 AUTOMATIC CALIBER” and a Rampant Colt logo. The right side of the slide is marked “COLT’S GOVERNMENT MODEL”. The right side of the frame is marked “COLT PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.” and features the serial number “70G60477”.  The left side of the trigger guard is marked “A” and with the “VP” proof while the right side is marked “V”. The top of the chamber is marked “COLT .45 AUTO / MK.IV/SERIES ’70”.

Barrel Length: 5”

Sights/ Optics: The front sight is an after-market serrated, ramped blade fixed to the front of the slide. The top of the slide behind the ejection port has been inlet for a S&W micrometer adjustable square-notch rear sight.

Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The installed grips are two-piece skip-line checkered wood. The wood is painted black with the raised diamonds formed by the skip-line pattern showing wood grain. The right panel has been relieved on the interior for the ambidextrous safety. Otherwise, the grips show minor handling wear. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-Excellent condition as not original to the gun.

Included is a one-piece wraparound checkered black rubber Pachmayr grip. THe interior and top edge of the right side has been relieved for the ambidextrous safety and there are two spots of notable wear at the rear edge on the right near the top. Otherwise, the grips show only light handling wear. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.

Also included are two-piece checkered black synthetic Safariland grips which form a wraparound palm-shelf at the bottom-front. These grips show minor wear with well defined checkering. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the Safariland grips are in Fine condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 87% of its finish. The finish is thinning at edges. Most of the balance is in scattered finish wear on the slide. There is some light handling wear in the grip areas and a few other spots of minor wear. There are infrequent minor nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The markings are clear. The screw heads are lightly tool marked with strong slots. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition as customized.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. In addition to the sights, the pistol has had a Commander-style hammer, beavertail grip safety, and a wide, serrated trigger shoe installed. The trigger guard has been squared and the front checkered. The slide has minor play to the frame. The trigger is crisp. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, it may need a thorough cleaning to meet your maintenance standards.

Box Paperwork and Accessories: 

-Wood range case with storage for the pistol and accessories.

-Cleaning rod with brush, jag and slotted patch tips.

-Oil bottle, grease capsule, and plastic 50-round ammo case.

-Full length guide-rod and recoil spring plunger, recoil buffers and extended slide release.

-Pachmayr and Safariland grips as described above.

-Total of 15 magazines: 1x 8-round Wilson Combat, 1x 8-round Metalform, 2x USGI 7-round marked “S” on top of floorplate, 1x 7-round USGI marked “R” on top of floorplate, 5x 7-round with Check-Mate CAGE code markings on floorplates, 1x 7-round marked “COLT / .45 AUTO.” on floorplate, 4x unmarked 7-round. Most magazines appear serviceable, a couple of the Check-Mate magazines show more notable oxidation and some surface erosion.

-Bianchi black nylon four-magazine pouch.

-Green canvas US marked two-magazine pouch.

-Black leather US M1912 pattern flap holster with tie-down.

-Black nylon Bianchi UM84 holster

-Brown leather Bianchi 7/7L thumb-snap holster.

-Green canvas military-style belt.

Our Assessment: Colt’s 1911 served the United States military through two World Wars and several other conflicts, is still in use by some units today, and has become popular with law enforcement, competitors, and recreational shooters across the nation. The design has seen some updates including a firing-pin block safety, higher profile sights, and more ergonomic grips, but the basic design and fantastic trigger remain the same after more than a century. Due to its popularity and long life, the 1911 has also been a popular choice for custom pistols, with a wide variety of sights, barrels, parts, and popular modifications.

This example is a customized Government Model made in 1973. The pistol has been upgraded with an Armand Swenson ambidextrous thumb safety, beavertail grip safety, and Commander style hammer. The customization includes a squared, checkered trigger guard and the installation of adjustable sights, using a S&W rear sight. This work is consistent with that of Swenson, but there is no documentation or marking to conclusively prove that he performed the work. This pistol comes with a wide arrange of parts and accessories and retains a great bore and strong mechanics. It ought to be a great shooter for decades to come. Please see our photos and good luck!

Custom Colt Series '70 Government 1911 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1973
Custom Colt Series ’70 Government 1911 .45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1973