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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Here are some additional pictures of my Colt Commander built by Jim Hoag of Hoag Gun Works. Sorry the pictures are so dark, it seems that all the pictures (even those by the previous owner)of this gun are this way. It is as if the gun wants to stay mysterious :smile: Some of you may remember this was something of a lucky find, as it had sat for a few days with little interest in the for sale section of The Firing Line. I didn’t get it for a song, but when the forum helped me discover the gun’s lineage, I felt that I had made a real find (and I still feel that way) The gun is a little rough by today’s standards, though I only have my Baer Concept and Wilson Classic to really compare it to, but that said you can see the distinct difference between the hand formed and fitted parts in comparison to the crisp machined parts of the Wilson. I can clearly see where Jim made cuts to relieve the ejection port and made cuts into the safety and slide stop notches. The most distinctive of which, to me, is the hammer. The Commander has 20 lpi front strap checkering with a nice border to it. The rear flat MSH is checkered to match. It is not crisp like the Wilson (machine done), but sharper than the Les Baer. Baer’s checkering is kind of odd though and is not really sharp and well shaped at all IMO. The safety may have been replaced at some point because when it is off, it’s contour does not match the frame of the gun, also another clue is the fact that the sear and hammer pins were cut flush for an ambi safety. Considering the other work on the gun and how it was done, I doubt Jim would have fit the safety that way. I don’t know if it came out in the pictures but the area around the trigger is cut in a very unique way. The grip is relieved just in front of the mag release. It’s a cool feature, though I don’t know its purpose I have never seen another 1911 with this cut. The beavertail is Hoag’s own shape, which Dane has talked about on posts in the past. Despite his mild criticism of it, it does its job well for me. The gun also has some features that, from my reading, are common to Swenson’s pistols. Just inside the ejection port there the small steel nub that assists the barrel lock up consistency. If you look carefully at the top left photo you can see it. The front site also has a fluorescent yellow insert, which I also understand was common on Swenson guns.

Problems

I have only fired 50 rounds of factory 230 gr. Hardball through the gun. It was accurate but not reliable. It does have some problems that will need sorting, and as it obviously needed a new recoil spring I wanted to minimize any battering of the frame. The gun had an odd malfunction of ejecting the last LIVE round. Using a Wilson 47D, after firing the 7th round the eighth live round would actually eject with the empty brass of round seven. This happened 3 times. Weird. I am not sure what causes this malfunction. I can make guesses, but really that is all they would be. The ejector is obviously loose and it freely rotates several degrees while seated in the slide, and most worrisome is the hammer will sometimes drop to half cock. It happened once during firing and I can duplicate it using snap caps. This causes me the most concern as I really don’t want to have to trash this hammer. Hopefully soon I will be able to send this gun off to be brought back to its former glory. Dane is hopefully still willing to tackle the task, as he offered when I first bought the gun. Dane if you are reading this, please let me know what you think it will take to give this gun its due. Hopefully we can find someone to duplicate the hard chrome of the slide as well as it has seen better days. The thought of selling her has crossed my mind a few times, as I have already had some offers to adopt her, but I feel I owe it to her to see a restoration through. Cost will be a factor though, sad to say. Hopefully it won’t be too much and this baby will again be as pristine and reliable as the day it left Canoga Park.

Best
John


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: MPower on 2001-08-21 00:57 ]</font>
 

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Jim Hoag is still working in Canoga park. His number is 818 998 1510. Why don't you give him a call? He might enjoy reworking one of his previous efforts.

(Dane - no disrespect here - just thought the owner might like to let Hoag have a crack at it).

Jim
 

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Yeah M...might be a real GOOD thing...Never know, you may get a bonus! Sure is a nice one. I saw one somewhere a couple days ago and noticed right away how his subtlety jumps out nowadays...

Congrats...nice piece 'a history.

:wink:
 

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Mpower,

Hated to see the gun go, but I'm glad to see that it went to a loving home. Strange though, I never experienced the malfunctions that you seem to be having (esp. the last live round ejection.)

Have fun restoring it to its true glory.

Best,

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone. I was hoping to be enlightened as to the cause of the malfunctions, but I am sure it will get sorted in time. I will call Jim today and find out what he can do for the gun. To be honest, I have some concerns over sending it to Jim, but I will at least speak to him and see if he is willing to tackle the task, if not I can always send it to Dane, who I know will enjoy playing with it. :smile: Good to see you here Tim. Don't worry the commander is well taken care of!

Aloha
John
 

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If you're worried about Jim's ability, don't be. He's probably one of the original 'smiths and knows his stuff. I own several.

In the same way I'd never send a Burns or Garthwaite gun to Hoag, I'd let the original smith do the work -- he's a great 'smith. Maybe others can give opinions too.

Good luck either way.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hoser on 2001-08-22 16:13 ]</font>
 

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I've never had Jim build me a whole gun but he has done work for me (trigger job, beavertails, ramp and throat...etc). Everything works so I'll have to say that he knows what he's doing.
 

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In the same way I'd never send a Burns or Garthwaite gun to Hoag............
I would :grin: Jim Hoag will do it right no matter who's work it is. But no question, if the smith is still around and working any of mine would go back to original smith. Good advice, guys!
 

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The wait comment was only meant as a compliment!! Sincere appologies from someone who takes waits as just a reality from gunsmiths in high demand.

Sorry Dane and talk to you soon. :smile:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hoser on 2001-08-23 10:48 ]</font>
 

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Hey Jack,

Hope all's well! How's all your new toys shooting (like my future Burns Custom that you're currently storing for me)? :wink:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hoser on 2001-08-23 20:40 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: hoser on 2001-08-24 12:42 ]</font>
 
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