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Old October 21, 2007, 01:24 AM   #1
tipoc
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A Seecamp conversion of a 1911

I'm posting a few pics of a Colt Combat Commander that Louis Seecamp coverted to double action during the 1970s. Some folks may have heard of these guns and some not so a little background:

After Ludwig Seecamp left Mossberg where he had been for a number of years he set up his own shop selling his patented conversions of the 1911 from a single action pistol to one that could fire da for the first shot. A da/sa 1911. From about 1970 to 1984 or so he made about 2000 of these conversions. The gun below is one of them.



Smith and Wesson had introduced the first American made da/sa pistol made a few years earlier with the M39. Those guns were in 9mm. When Seecamp introduced the conversions there were no da pistols produced anywhere in .45 acp. far as I know and difinately none in the U.S. None on the 1911 platform.

The Seecamp conversions all had the LWS cartouche on the redesigned trigger guard. In the pic below the trigger is set ready for a long heavy da pull.



Below the hammer is cocked and trigger ready for a sa shot.



The guns could be carried and handled like a standard 1911. They could be carried in all three conditions and used for a da first shot. They could be used like a standard 1911 and the da bypassed alltogether.

Under the right grip panel is a plate, which is held in place by the grips.



Beneath this is the da mechanism which cocks and than drops the hammer. A plunger than returns the trigger to it's forward position. If the hammer is cocked it remains back ready for a light sa shot. When the hammer is lowered the trigger moves forward. The mechanism and handling characteristics of the Seecamp are quite different from the Para Ord LDA guns. To see them go to Paras web site and look at the manuals for the LDA action. They handle quite differently from a standard 1911.



Seecamp made the triggers quite wide and smooth so that the da felt smoother and less heavy. It is still heavy. On this gun it feels like 16 pds. or so.

By the late 70s or early 80s other da/sa pistols began to arrive in the U.S. Seecamp stopped offering the conversions and concentrated on his well known pocket pistols. The conversions were licensed to a couple of other companies.

The conversions were sometimes purchased by cops, whose depts. would not let them carry a cocked and locked 1911. But would allow the conversions. They were ordered and carried by those that wanted a .45 with a da first shot capability and/or didn't want a condition one carry gun.

They are a piece of 1911 history.

The particular gun here is a Combat Commander from about 1974. Exactly when the conversion was done I'm not sure. It was originally a blued gun but has a hard chrome slide and looks like brushed nickel frame. The wrap around Pachmayr's and MSH were offered by Seecamp as an option.

You can see more about these and the history of Seecamp at www.seecamp.com
look at company history and the forum section.

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Old October 21, 2007, 12:16 PM   #2
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That. is. F%^$#ing. weird.

I've never heard of that one before today.
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Old October 21, 2007, 06:13 PM   #3
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I wish the Seecamps had produced their own 9mm and .45 pistols, but they never went past the prototype stage...our loss I'm sure.
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Old October 21, 2007, 06:36 PM   #4
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Nice example of the Seecamp. Their work has always been very nice.

Since we talking about 1911 conversions, remember this one?

Caraville Arms Double Ace Squeeze cocking conversion



link is here, along with more info on the Seecamp....
http://www.m1911.org/seecamp.htm

I remember seeing it in the gun rags back in the early 70's, and only ever saw one on display in real life. Funny how back then, they were trying to convert the 1911 to something that many today would think is heresy.

As a side note, remember when those high sights were also in fashion? I had a couple of Colts that wore them, along with some lower, S&W adjustable rears.
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Old October 21, 2007, 09:33 PM   #5
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Fantastic post, tipoc. I've learned something today.
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Old October 21, 2007, 10:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting this Tipoc. That is indeed an interesting conversion.
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Old October 21, 2007, 10:26 PM   #7
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I have one.

In 1976 I sent in my M1911A1 built on an ESSEX frame to Mr. Seecamp. It was converted to DA for around $175.00. The DA is a little bit on the heavy side but, the pistol does shoot great.

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Old October 22, 2007, 07:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
I remember seeing it in the gun rags back in the early 70's, and only ever saw one on display in real life. Funny how back then, they were trying to convert the 1911 to something that many today would think is heresy.
I think many folks back then also thought it was heresy. I doubt Jeff Cooper cared much for the idea. I'm not sure I do. But they had adherents. After Seecamp stopped makeing them 2 other outfits did so under license for a few years, Viking was one. Colt came out with the Double Eagle and Para Ord makes Ted Szabo's version which has a much lighter da pull than the Seecamps.

Seecamp was an innovative man, many of his designs and concepts have been copied far and wide.

Larry Seecamp is currently looking up the specifics of this guns background. He's kind enough to do so.

On this gun specifically:

I got this gun at a local gunatorium where it was on consignment. The rear sight was added after the conversion likely by the person who put it up for sale. It is an LPA adjustable rear sight which sits too high up for the front sight and should never have been put on the gun as it's meant for a piece with a higher front sight. At it's lowest setting the gun shoots 3" high at 10 yards. Nice groups but too high. I'll change that as soon as I get a right rear sight.

You'll note that the hammer has been changed fron a standard Commander one to a spur hammer. When and why this was done I don't know. Just as I don't know if the gun was refinished as part of the conversion or afterwards.

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Old October 22, 2007, 07:07 PM   #9
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AK103K,

I've seen pics of the squeeze cocker 1911. Not as elegant as the HKP7.

Like Clem, the gun I show is a good shooter and feeds ball and JHP well.

We're fortunate these days. If someone wants a good da/sa .45 they are easier to find than they were in the 70s.

One more pic below cuz why not?

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Old October 22, 2007, 07:29 PM   #10
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It is amazing how we ever got along pistol wise back in the 60's and 70's isnt it?

Now we're on the other end of the spectrum, and the Seecamp is still pretty much timeless, and very much still a 1911, and in my favorite version I might add.
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Old October 22, 2007, 11:32 PM   #11
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Exactly why does a 1911 need to be DA?
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Old October 23, 2007, 12:03 AM   #12
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"Exactly why does a 1911 need to be DA?".

It dosen't but it's cool to have one!
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