Cylinder & Slide’s Bill Laughridge recreated John Moses Browning’s Model 1911 to celebrate the weapon’s 100th year of service. No effort was spared in recreating the pistol as historically accurate as possible.
For more than thirty years, Cylinder & Slide has been considered by many to be the premier 1911 shop in the world. Founder, Bill Laughridge, has established a reputation for being one of the world’s finest 1911 builders. From minor repairs to complete custom builds, Bill and his talented staff do it all.
However, nothing compares to Bill’s latest endeavor. In early 2010, Bill and I were discussing the upcoming 100th anniversary of John Moses Browning’s 1911 pistol. The Colt 1911 was officially adopted by the United States Military on March 29, 1911, and Bill knew that a lot of companies would be producing a 100-year anniversary model. He predicted that most of these would be current production designs with special markings, stocks, or engraving.
Bill had a vision that went well beyond simply dressing up a current production pistol. He envisioned building an exact replica of the original 1911. To accomplish this, Bill knew he would have to examine multiple samples of early production guns. Bill put the word out about his concept and began receiving phone calls from collectors who owned early guns. In the end, he was able to examine a two-digit serial number pistol and three pistols with serial numbers under 500.
Bill disassembled each pistol right down to the pins, as each part was measured and photographed. He started off the project by turning to the company that makes his Cylinder & Slide OEM slides and frames. The company agreed to do a limited run of slides and frames that were manufactured to the original specifications based on measurements from examination of the early guns. Some of the unique features included the correct cocking serration pattern on the rear of the slide and sharper radius cut on the slide in front of the dustcover. The ejection port has a smaller, non-relieved opening as on the original. The frame was also made to the original specifications with the proper dimensions for the grip safety and no scallops at the rear of the triggerguard.
The roll markings on the Colt 1911 are an integral part of the historic appearance. The roll marks on the C&S 1911 use the same font and style as the original. The original patent dates are rolled on the left side of the slide but Bill could not use the Colt name or rampant horse. Instead, the slide is marked “Cylinder & Slide Fremont, NE, USA.” Cylinder & Slide’s famous mustache logo replaced the rampant horse on the left side of the slide behind the cocking serrations. As with the original pistol, “United States Property” is rolled on the left side of the frame’s dustcover. The right side of the slide is rolled with Model of 1911 and each serial number hand-stamped on the frame in the correct location.