SOLD FOR: $5975
Make: Colt, Customized by Jim Boland
Model: Series ’70 Government Model 1911-A1 Customized by Jim Boland
Serial Number: 70B25157
Year of Manufacture: The frame was made in 1982. The gun was customized shortly after in the early 1980s.
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The right side of the frame is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.” and “70B25157”. There are faint remains of a Colt Verified Proof “VP’ on the left side of the trigger guard. The top of the chamber is marked “BAR STO 45 ACP”. The right side of the slide is marked “COLT’S GOVERNMENT MODEL”.
Barrel Length: 6 1/4″ BarSto Barrel
Sights / Optics: The front sight is an undercut serrated blade integral to the slides counterweight which is permanently fixed to the barrel at tht muzzle. The rear sight is a fully adjustable serrated square-notch target sight pinned flush into a custom rise in the slide. The top of the slide has been decked and serrated for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered rubber Pachmayr grips mounted on Jim Boland metal backings which have shark fin mudflaps. The right panel has a small tear loss along the front edge at the top. There are some scattered light handling marks and minor scuffs. There is standard handling wear. The grips are in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original to Jim Boland Build
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. In my opinion, the bore is a 10 out of 10.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 93% of its current finish. There are some spots of oxidation and discoloration on the left side of the sight block/barrel counterwight. There are a few scuffs that have lightly thinned the finish, most noticeable on the left side of the sight block. There are some scattered light handling marks. There is a thin line on the top of the slide in front of the rear sight. There are some scattered light handling marks. The safeties have a faint plum hue. The grip safety is pinned but has some rattle. The markings are clear. The screwheads show use but are serviceable. Overall, this pistol rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The grip safety is deactivated. The action functions correctly. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is one 7-round magazine with Jim Boland basepad.
Our Assessment: Some of the finest custom guns have come out of Southern California, and while the political climate has changed dramatically in the passing decades it wasn’t always so anti-gun. We all long for the days of old, and while throwing shade at the Golden State is cute, it only goes to show you must be new to this hobby. The AR family of rifles and ArmaLite have roots in the state and Randall made the first production stainless 1911 and the first left-handed 1911 in sunny SoCal. While now the cause de jour is to make jokes at California, many of the great custom artists called the state their home. Hogue was in Canoga Park, Swenson operated in Gardena & Fallbrook, and the legendary Pachmayr was working out of the 1220 S Grand shop smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles. In terms of shooting sports, the Steel Challenge was founded by Mike Dalton about an hour outside of Los Angeles proper at Wes Thompson’s range, and the Southwest Pistol League (SWPL), where practical shooting was born in the USA, is also only a stone’s throw away. The fierce competition at these weekly matches helped innovators build some of the best guns we have seen. Jim Boland was another of the top dogs operating in the area and he started work at The Reloading Bench gunshop in Panorama City in Southern California in the year 1979.
Boland was a pioneer of high-performance 1911s and used the experience he gained in his early career as an aerospace machinist and fabricator to make some of the most outside the box, intricate, innovative, and purely badass pistols the industry has had the pleasure of seeing. By 1982 he was building mostly compensated competition guns, and welded long slides were gone from the pricelist. By 1987 he had started offering the “Double D” compensator and by 1988 was also building the “California Competitor” package gun with very few customer-specified options to enhance production. Boland had a deal with Maharlika Sportsmen Shop, a large retailer of competition pistol gear and supplies to stock the California Competitor in inventory for sale at a premium price. Aside from guns geared toward the serious competitor, he also built gas-operated 1911s, 1911 carbines, and carry guns. No brand was beneath him…Sigs, Stars and even Lahti pistols could get the Boland touch…Jim Boland was so talented he could even make a Glock cool! By the year 1993 he had left gunsmithing behind and went to work for Gibbons LTD as a prop armorer. While in the movie industry, he worked on Robocop III, if you cannot see his influence in RoboCops pistol then schedule an eye exam!
He primarily built his masterpieces on Springfields and Colt Series ’80s which eventually bore his JB logo, but this one is different. It is an early Boland, some of which are based on a Series ’70 and lack the logo. It has a longslide with a 6.25″ Bar-Sto barrel, a brand he was fond of using. It is expertly fit and has a decked slide top, barrel counterweight, and target sights. The magazine well sports a welded extension that has been beveled to make rapid swaps easy and the trigger slot has been opened up to accommodate a Gold Cup style trigger. The trigger guard has been reprofiled and the front has been checkered. The grip frame has also been checkered and the sides are adorned with Pachmayr grips on metal plates with shark fin mudflaps. Even the hammer, while probably the most normal looking part, got improvements. The hammer is cut with a curved front face to improve the interaction between itself and the slide. A whole brand has been dedicated and made a business out of producing this kind of hammer (Cammer Hammer), but this is just another genius touch from the mad scientist. There is so much work done to this gun that it is truly a marvel you have to see to believe.
They were rare at the time he was building them, and many people in other parts of the country had only seen pictures in gun magazines or seen his pistols in gunshops behind signs that read “NOT FOR SALE”. A few decades later, they are still rare, many are still as unfamiliar, and many have only seen them in pictures; now the medium being pixels on a screen as opposed to on paper. This Boland Custom has been well kept by its previous owner and is now up for grabs. It is a work of art by a genius of the trade and a true mad scientist of the craft. The gun is so innovative and well done that it looks like something that was built in our time, not roughly 40 years ago. The gun is destined for a collection and any collector would be lucky to have it. This is a special piece that doesn’t come around often. Please see our photos and good luck!
Some are hot, some are not, but thankfully most can be shot!