Jesse James is well known outside the firearms industry. He builds some extraordinary custom motorcycles that are highly sought after. He started that business making a fender—yep, just a fender.

As a metalworker and welder, he designed and built something no one else had and turned it into one of the best-known custom motorcycle shops in the world. His designs are striking, different and one of a kind. This has brought him considerable fame, both good and bad, and his most recent venture, Jesse James Firearms Unlimited, is one of the more controversial custom firearms manufacturers out there.

I recently met Jesse James at a precision rifle training course, and I can say that his persona is misleading. He was quiet, professional and friendly. His personal rifle was different, and after putting a few rounds downrange, it worked really well.

After some talking, I asked him if I could test one of his 1911s. While he builds custom guns using exotic metals with hand scrolling and engraving, he also sells a more basic custom 1911—the Cisco.

The Cisco is priced competitively with similar custom 1911 pistols and uses a JEM frame and an STI slide. The internals are all tool steel, and each pistol is fitted and assembled. Jesse James himself made the Cisco 1911 I tested.

Check out this video to see the Cisco in action, and keep your eyes peeled for a full test and review in an upcoming issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS. To subscribe, visit

For more information on Jesse James, please visit

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