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Back in the day, the 1911 was factory appointed with dinky fixed sights, a hammer spur long enough to bite a hole in some beefy hands, a flat grip safety that was periodically depressed by shooters that fired with the thumb riding the safety, and a blue finish.

Photos by Ichiro NagataSome inventive gunsmiths tried to make this gun more user-friendly. This often took the form of cutting the slide and installing adjustable sights since some people didn’t shoot GI ball but liked to shoot with different loads. An enlarged thumb safety was added to ensure it could be quickly disengaged. The spur hammer was often changed for a round rowel hammer, usually originally destined for a Commander pistol. The grip safety was altered to allow the round burr hammer to work.

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