SOLD FOR: $4903
Make: Colt, Customized by Jim Boland
Model: Series ’70 Government Model 1911-A1 Customized by Jim Boland
Serial Number: 70G84092
Year of Manufacture: The frame was made in 1974. 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 “70G84092”. 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”.
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 the 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 blued steel Boland Custom grips. The frontstrap, mainspring housing, and grip safety are also checkered. The grips have light handling marks. There are no major defects. The grips are in about Excellent 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 95% of its current finish. There are some spots of oxidation, most noticeable on the left side of the slide. There are a few little marks through the finish. There are some scattered little marks through the finish. The markings are clear. The screwheads are sharp. Overall, this pistol rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: Due to CA law, we cannot install the upper on the frame. 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 (it is a joke, we cant even install the upper FFS), 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, split slide, barrel counterweight, and target sights. The magazine well has been opened up and beveled expertly 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 is adorned with heavy weight steel grips custom checkered by JB. There is so much work done to this gun that it is truly a marvel you have to see to believe. Seriously, look at the pictures, the recoil guide system is insane and even uses a ball detent to keep pinpoint accuracy when in battery. This is next level.
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!