Swaging Magwells - Pistolsmith

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Old 08-12-2002, 07:27 AM   #1
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Terry Peters's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Combine, Texas
Posts: 284
Swaging Magwells

Question for all of you.

I saw a two tone gun with hard chrome frame at a Gun Show in Houston last summer with the magwell swaged to make it appear as a wider mouth or flush magwell. The safety was an early Swenson.

I know Steve Nastoff used to do this. Is there anyone else that is known for that style of widening the mouth of the magwell on a frame or at least credible in the type work of the older guns. The work looked decent on the frame but since there were some holes drilled into the side of the frame for one of those IPSC optical sights of the early years. It was an older gun used for IPSC in the late 80's.

Thanks for any response.
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Old 08-12-2002, 07:43 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 37
Swaged Magwell

I know someone else used to do that; I'd never heard of Steve Nastoff until I started frequenting this forum, and I'd seen pictures of the jobs in some old gun magazines in the early 80's. The only name I can come up with is Boland somebody, but I'm not sure that's it. As I recall whoever he was, he never got real big like Swenson or Clark.
Old 08-12-2002, 10:04 AM   #3
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Location: Issaquah, WA
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Terry, I have done a few of them, so has Heinie, Nastoff (lots), Boland, Ron Sharp (lots), Leibenberg and most of the original S. African/Rhodesia guys who immigrated so I suspect Barkman and Cladio at Briley did at one time or another. Garthwaite might have but I am not sure. Never seen or heard of Swenson or Clark doing one.

Old 08-12-2002, 08:48 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 83

Since you said you saw it in Houston, it reminded me that a local smith, Eddie Jimenia (sp?) has definitely done it, but am not sure if he still does. I have seen his work at Collector's Firearms.

Old 08-13-2002, 06:45 AM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 90
About 10-12 years ago Ross Seyfried had an article in G&A about his competition colts from the old days. One of them was built by a guy named Dale Guthrie (A South African IIRC) that had a swaged magwell, and the front of the slide sculpted like a high-power, also a welded up beavertail. Looked much like a Leibenberg. Looked very cool. Never heard anything else about the builder.
Old 08-22-2002, 07:46 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 720
Swaged Magwell

I had two guns built by Eddie Jimenea in the early 1980's with his swaged magwell and diagonal checkering. Due to the flare on the bottom of the front strap, typical square checkering wouldn't work out but diagonal did.

Both guns were outstanding with beautiful Bo-mar cuts, flat-topped and serrated slides, de-horning, beavertails, reliability jobs, etc. One ran over 100,000 rounds with 2-3 malfunctions due to ammo and another few due to a need to tweak the extractor. His guns run.

Eddie is still active, building full race IPSC guns, Limited guns and carry guns. He still does beautiful hand checkering, but I don't know if he does swaged magwells any more. He is a master with a file. His metalwork is flawless.

I recently had him do work on a series 70 for me. He's reasonable, but not cheap. Easy to work with and fairly fast.

You can reach him at 281-499-4918.
Old 11-13-2002, 11:18 PM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 8
Hiya! I was rooting around in one of my old tool cases last week and came upon a case-hardened magwell swage I had made back in 1980 or so. I think there were a number of makers influenced by the African gunsmiths who adopted this method, and I probably built at least 25 pistols with such well treatments myself through 1983, including the Devel Super Gammons. Jim Boland also used this technique for a while, but both of us went away from it for several reasons: it was destructive, brutal and risky work, it tended to crack through checkering and caused excessive magazine float unless the frame toe was welded up first. In which case.... This technique evolved into one in which we welded beveled strips to the sides and welded up the magazine toe cut to eliminate float, then swaged only the front. (I still use this technique today, every now and then, and it looks great.) I suspect swaging was developed in the abscence of TIG welding capability, though I might be wrong. Someone should ask Paul about that. His were gorgeous. -Bruce Gray
Old 03-16-2016, 02:54 PM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: California
Posts: 8
My late father's old race gun has a swaged magwell. Don't know who did it, but I doubt my dad did the swaging. Maybe the checkering, but I can't be sure.


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