diagonal Colt checkering - Pistolsmith

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Old 02-06-2003, 12:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Alabama
Posts: 57
diagonal Colt checkering

Howdy, folks!

A friend has an early Colt M1911A1 with checkering in a pattern I've never seen before. It is cut in a diagonal fashion on the front strap, much like you'd see on the pistol grip stock on a nice hunting rifle. I'm not sure if it's from the factory or was done by a smith. Also, I don't know if the gun is pre or post war vintage, but I do know it's pre-Series 70.

Have any of you seen work like this, and by whom?


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Old 02-06-2003, 06:43 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 720
Diagonal Checkering

I had two Series '70 Colts done with diagonal checkering. First was in 1981. Both were done by Eddie Jimenea of Houston. Don't know if he still does it.

The main reason for the diagonal checkering on these guns was that the magwells were swaged out and this included the bottom of the front strap. Diagonal checkering worked best on this curved surface.

Both guns were flawless shooters.

Eddie is still building beautiful carry guns, Limited guns and Full Race .38 Supers in Houston. Give him a big block of metal and enough files and he could make you a Ferrari.
Old 03-12-2003, 05:15 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 49
Some of the early Swensons were done in this manner

and I suspect that it was done just to cut the time needed to checker the front strap.
Old 03-12-2003, 08:13 AM   #4
Posts: n/a
Old 05-17-2003, 02:34 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 76
Ted's post is right on. I did a mainspring housing diagonally last week...just to see if I could still do it. Remembering how hard those old military housings are, I did it 30LPI instead of 20 so I wouldn't go so deep but it was still a challenge. It's really weird when you first look at diagonal checkering...it just looks strange, after being used to the other kind, but I still like it a lot!

Old 05-20-2003, 11:07 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 849
I used to own two Colts that had diagonal checkering.
One was a 1911A1 commercial made in 1935, and the other was
a SAA from the same year.

The 1911A1 was checkered on the front strap, and the SAA was checkered on the back strap.

The factory letters on those guns indicated that they were shipped together to a Navy Captain at the Philadelphia ship yards, and the letter indicated the notation "front grip strap checking" (not CHECKERING), on the 1911. The same notation on the factory letter for the SAA, but on the rear strap.

The neat thing was that the SAA was chambered for 45acp!

I'm still kicking myself for letting those go :evil:

Old 05-21-2003, 08:17 AM   #7
Posts: n/a
That was what I had been told, that is was called "checking" by Colt in the days when they used to do this.

Lou, I didn't know you were in the Navy in the mid-1930's. Well have a good day Captain. :P
Old 05-21-2003, 09:55 PM   #8
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 849
Hell,I was still a gleam in my father's eye in the 30's! 8)

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