A. F. Behlert Custom Work circa 1960s? - Pistolsmith
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:22 AM   #1
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A. F. Behlert Custom Work circa 1960s?

I just acquired a Colt National Match 45 with a serial number that Colt says dates to 1960 production. A gunsmith installed Bomar extended rail/ramp sights, did trigger work, replaced the grips with right handed carved wood target grips, and added a weight under the muzzle. The weight is stamped "A.F. Behlert Camden NJ". It was alleged by the person who consigned it to my local gun shop that the work was done by Austin Behlert.

I followed the age old advice of "buy the gun, not the story" and got it for a good price, not factoring in the Behlert name. Now I'm curious as to whether Behlert semi mass produced parts like the weight and sold them for other gunsmiths to install. Also, did he do modifications like this and not inscribe his name prominently on the firearm?

I appreciate any assistance. I knew nothing about Mr. Behlert a few days ago, but I have come to respect and admire his work through my research on this pistol, even if he never touched it.
 
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:04 AM   #2
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I just became a member of "Pistolsmith" and saw this post.. I thought I would get started: I own two custom 45 conversions performed by Austin Behlert on my (2) Remington Rand WWII M 1911 A1 US Army. One is almost identical to that shown in this post -http://pistolsmith.com/pistolsmiths/23073-new-me-austin-behlert-custom-chopped-colt-gov-t-model.html

Mine has a Seecamp Double Action and some other work as well. The second is a WWII M1911 A1 US Army 45 built by Ithaca.

Austin has his name inscribed on the first but I don't see any on th e Ithaca model. If that helps
 
Old 10-20-2015, 08:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixceders View Post
I just became a member of "Pistolsmith" and saw this post.. I thought I would get started: I own two custom 45 conversions performed by Austin Behlert on my (2) Remington Rand WWII M 1911 A1 US Army. One is almost identical to that shown in this post -http://pistolsmith.com/pistolsmiths/23073-new-me-austin-behlert-custom-chopped-colt-gov-t-model.html

Mine has a Seecamp Double Action and some other work as well. The second is a WWII M1911 A1 US Army 45 built by Ithaca.

Austin has his name inscribed on the first but I don't see any on th e Ithaca model. If that helps
Thanks for the response. The only direct link to Behlert is the weight installed on the dust cover forward of the trigger guard. It has his name and location stamped into it. The hand carved grips have the handwritten number 16 on the back. Since the pistol dates to 1960, I am assuming that Behlert did not begin to inscribe his name on the firearms he customized until later. Or, he may have produced some parts in his shop and sold them for others to install.

I have to say that the trigger and balance are amazing. I'm not that great a pistol shot, but using a rest that keeps it fairly steady it punches overlapping holes at 10 yards.
 
 
Old 12-03-2015, 06:24 PM   #4
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Exactly the type of work he did out of his VW camper at local area matches in NJ. I shop as a junior with his son Frank in the 60's. A great guy ewith a wonderful family.

One of his specilties was installing bull barrels on the then new Ruger MkI 22 when everyone else had S&W 41 and High Standards.
 
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