Venry d’Aiguillon Custom Essex Combat Commander 1911 .45 ACP 4.25″ Pistol

SOLD FOR: $3050

LSB#: 230405BS004

Make: Venry d’Aiguillon of Precision Sports on Essex Frame

Model: Custom Combat Commander

Serial Number: SS2155

Year of Manufacture: 1970s-1980s

Caliber: .45 ACP

Action Type: Semi-Auto Single Action Pistol fed by Detachable Magazine. No magazine is included.

Markings: The right side of the frame is marked “ESSEX ARMS CORP. / ISLAND POND, VT. / SS2155” and with the serial number. The barrel bushing is marked “Micro”. The right side of the dust cover is marked “by: Venry d’Aiguillon” and the left side is marked “by: Precision Sports”. The grip panels have Hogue Atascadero markings.

Barrel Length: 4 1/4?

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramped blade fixed to the slide. The rear sight is a checkered square notch target sight mounted to the slide. The face of the rear sight is checkered. The top of the slide is serrated for glare reduction. The rear of the slide is checkered for glare reduction.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are smooth wood Hogue Grips. There are a few scratches and scuffs. There are no heavy defects and most areas of wear have colored wtih age. The grips rate in Fine condition.

Type of Finish: Stainless

Finish Originality: Original to Customization

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion. In my opinion, this bore is a 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This gun retains about 90% of its metal finish. There are some scattered scuffs, some have caused smooth spots. There are some scattered handling marks. There are some scattered spots of oxidation and discoloration, mostly on the slide. The markings are clear. There is operational wear. Overall, this gun rates in about Fine condition as customized.

Mechanics: The grip safety has been deactivated with a small screw on the right side of the frame behind the grip. The action functions correctly. The slide has very minor play to the frame. We have not fired this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box & Accessories: Included is a print-out of an American Handgunner magazine that mentions Mr. d’Aiguillons work.

Our Assessment: This is a Colt Combat Commander Model pistol made in 1979 that has been customized by gunsmith Venry d’Aiguillon. From a March 2001 article in the American Rifleman: “Custom tuning of the M1911 is not new, but, prior to Swenson, gunsmiths such as Bob Chow, Jim Clark and Al Dinan had focused solely on accuracy work for NRA Bullseye pistol competition. Along with lightening triggers and installing adjustable sights, the Government Model had never been customized specifically for combative purposes—a genre that later came to be known as “custom combat” gunsmithing—until a handful of pistolsmiths in Southern California began modifying the big slab-sided pistol for down-and-dirty use.”.

While the innovators in California were hard at work defining a genre, there was another gunsmith nearly 3000 miles away in New Jersey. While he didn’t get as much time in the press as his contemporaries, the custom 1911 aficionados are sure to know the name, Mr. Venry d’Aiguillon. He was, and is, known for striking visuals and out-of-the-box thinking. His services can be seen on offer in the 1982 Jan-Feb edition of American Handgunner where he advertises his services as follows: “Accurizing and action work on autos or revolvers. Full house combat autos, PPC revolvers, NRA target. Colt .45, Browning, S&W K & N frames, also silhouette pistols.” An example of his work can also be seen in the Jan-Feb 1981 issue, a printout of which is included ( He worked for Outdoor Precision Sports & Crafts and also Radical Precision Design. He was also active on the forums and was a friendly enthusiast.

This pistol has a lowered and flared ejection port, custom target sights, an extended ambidextrous safety, a beveled magazine well, decked and serrated slide top, an opened up trigger slot with Gold Cup trigger, jeweled parts, custom checkering and a staple of ’80s swag…the squared trigger guard! This one is timid for Mr. d’Aiguillons work and just has a flare at the bottom of the grip frame instead of some of the more wild looking designs with finger grooves. While on the tame side for a Venry 1911, he was not one to be considered pedestrian so the mad lad went the distance and checkered the mainspring housing, back of the frame, frontstrap, front of the trigger guard, rear of the slide, hammer, rear sight….and yes he even spiced up the Gold Cup trigger with checkering. A total feat by the man as checkering is not only physically demanding but it is also hard to make it this damn pretty! He even blended the MSH checkering into the back of the frame and the curvature of the bottom of the frontstrap blends into the frontstrap. The flared magazine well is not only a nice touch for speed reloads but this one will even accommodate large basepads. If you want to run your Power 10 mags in this hot piece, well then more Power to you! When in hand the pistol melts into you and the shooter and gun become one, the .45 becomes an extension of you! This pistol was made for the serious shooter who wanted a top performing pistol. This pistol is great for action pistol events as well as for personal protection. This is an extremely nice looking gun that can be used for home defense or simply to impress your buddies and make them jealous of your hot ass 1911. This is a 1911 we are sure the collectors will appreciate but it will certainly be a joy to shoot. Please see our photos and good luck!

Some are hot, some are not, but thankfully most can be shot!

Venry d'Aiguillon Custom Essex Combat Commander 1911 .45 ACP 4.25" Pistol
Venry d’Aiguillon Custom Essex Combat Commander 1911 .45 ACP 4.25″ Pistol