SOLD FOR: $35,700

Jim Hoag Master Grade 8″ Colt Gold Cup National Match Longslide Pistol, Pictures & Documentation

Make: Colt, Customized by Jim Hoag

Model: Gold Cup National Match, Jim Hoag Custom Master-Grade Long-Slide

Serial Number: 317052-C

Year of Manufacture: 1968

Caliber: .45 ACP

Barrel Length: 8″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated blade fixed to the front of the slide’s solid rib. The rear sight is a Bo-Mar square-notch sight adjustable for windage and elevation, dovetailed to the rear of the slide. The rear sight dovetail has been modified to accomodate the sight. The top of the rib is serrated for glare reduction.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut with gold-colored Colt medallions. Overall, the grips are in about excellent condition.

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 97% of its metal finish, Fine-excellent condition as customized.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a Metalform magazine, a series of articles about Hoag and his gunsmithing including Guns & Ammo and The American Handgunner, photos of Jim Hoag, his American Handgunner Club 100 Certificate (original), the December 1982 edition of the Journal of the South West Pistol League which has a transcript of an interview with Hoag, as well as a bill of sale from Jim Hoag for this pistol along with a tag noting it as “The First 8″ Master Grade”. A block from Hoag’s shop is included which has been bored out for a barrel and guide rod, and would have eventually been used to craft a long-slide one day.

Our Assessment: The 1911 already had a long history by the 1950s when practical shooting competitions were born. Southern California (as ironic as it may seem, today) was the font of practical shooting with now well-known names such as Ray Chapman, Jack Weaver, Jeff Cooper, and Jim Hoag. The original intent of these matches was to see what civilian shooters were capable of with a handgun where the only restrictions on the shooters were for safety. This would eventually evolve into IPSC, though other sports such as Steel Challenge and the Bianchi Cup would also spawn from these early practical shooting matches.Most fans of custom 1911s will be well familiar with Mr. Hoag, who unfortunately passed in April, 2020. A contemporary of luminaries such as Ron Lerch, Mike Dalton and Jeff Cooper, Hoag learned just about everything there is to know about the 1911 and could perform just about any modification you could want to a precision which is hard to fathom. He was among the first, if not the very first, to begin modifying pistols specifically for competition use. This example of his work showcases his talents, with a low-mounted Bo-Mar sight, custom Commander-style hammer, checkered front strap, checkered and squared trigger guard, extended slide stop, beavertail grip safety and, distinctively Hoag, a slide which has been lengthened to accommodate an 8″ barrel. At the peak of his career, Hoag would customize about 300 pistols a year, but the great majority were left in their original Government or Commander form-factor. Fewer were built into 6″ long-slide guns and fewer still 8″. Hoag even made one 12″ gun “on a lark”.This 8″ Master Grade is very special as it remained in Jim Hoag’s possession until 2015 and comes with a signed bill of sale from Hoag himself. Included with the bill of sale is an aged tag which identifies this gun by serial number as “The first 8″ Master Grade”, which would explain why Hoag kept it for so long. The bottom of the slide is marked “J. HOAG / 7”, though we can only speculate on the significance of the number as we have not inspected any other Hoag-numbered long-slides. The pistol comes with a wide variety of publications with articles about Hoag, photos of him both shooting and in his workshop, as well as a neat edition of the Journal of the South West Pistol League with a transcript of an interview with Hoag discussing the earliest days of practical shooting and the gunsmithing behind the guns. A steel block which was to one-day be used to create another long-slide is also included from Hoag’s shop, not something that collectors are likely to come across again.Whether you’re a fan of 1911s, practical shooting, or the work of Jim Hoag, this a truly outstanding example of a custom 1911 for the collector or shooter alike. Its documentation, condition, quality, and connection to a pioneering handgunner and pistol smith will give it a prized place in any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!