Make: Springfield Armory
Serial Number: NM53851
Year of Manufacture: 1988 (per Springfield Armory)
Caliber: .38 Super
Action Type: Single Action, Semi-Automatic with Removable Magazine
Markings: The right side of the frame is marked “SPRINGFIELD ARMORY / GENESEO IL, USA / NM 53851”. The barrel is marked “BOLAND MATCH”. The left side of the slide is marked with a Boland logo and “JIM BOLAND / GUNSMITHING / 38-SUPER”.
Barrel Length: 5” Boland Match
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Patridge style blade with a serrated rear face, fixed to the muzzle brake. The rear sight is a square notched Bo-Mar leaf dovetailed to the slide adjustable for windage and elevation.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece custom carved grips sport dark stained checkering amongst light hued diamonds and are equipped with thumb guards. Minor signs of use are visible as well as a strip of finish thinning along the top forward edge of the right panel. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 98% of its current metal finish. The rear of the slide has been milled down and grooved to provide clearance for the grip thumb guards, while serrations have been added to the front of the slide. A panel has been cut out of the left side of the slide to lighten it a little. Small shallow marks are visible in the left trigger cut and a scratch is apparent beneath the slide stop. Finish thinning is apparent on the edges of the frame, underside of the trigger guard bow and right side of the frame above the trigger. The checkering on the frame exhibits minor wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The grip safety has been deactivated and tacked to the frame, and the beavertail has been flattened. The hammer spur has been removed and custom widened Swenson ambidextrous safeties have been added. Boland customizations also include checkering on the front and rear of the grip safety, a lowered ejection port, welded and checkered trigger guard bow, a Boland Double D Compensator and full length ejector rod. The magazine well has been beveled, widened extended and an extended magazine release installed. The trigger pull is set to a feather light 2 pounds, 6 ounces.The slide sticks in the open position, whether an empty magazine is present or not. A little encouragement causes the slide to snap forward. We believe that the spring has weakened allowing the friction of the hammer against the slide to be enough to hold the slide back. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol is accompanied by its original white with blue lettering Springfield Armory box, but the custom work prevents the pistol from fitting in the compartments of the box. The box is in Fine condition. The pistol is equipped with three 8-round magazines with brass floorplates in Fine condition. A standard blue 7-round magazine is also included as well as a cleaning rod and bore brush. A blank Jim Boland ‘California Competitor’ order sheet and claim check is also contained in the box.
Our Assessment: Jim Boland was one of the best known custom 1911 gunsmiths in Southern California. This Springfield 1911 in .38 super bears the Boland trademark and has been outfitted with upgrades and extras. This is a race gun which has been shot. As a result, the slide sticks back. A little push causes it to go into battery. We think that the pressure of the hammer is strong enough to hold the slide back, which may indicate that the recoil spring is worn. In any case, Boland work was some of the best 1911 customizations of all time and after a little tuning up, this will be a world class race gun, legal for the Limited Ten Division of USPSA.