View Full Version : Help identify custom Series 70? (pin gun?)

January 21, 2010, 03:15 PM
I thought this might be the most likely forum for someone to help me identify a custom .45. I was told that it was probably a bowling pin gun.

I was told it was a Clark when I bought it used at a show around 95. I recently contacted Clark and they said "Nope, it's not ours".

Here is a pic:

If anyone has any ideas of who might have built it, please chime in. The squared trigger guard is unique as are the serrations on the front of the slide.

Here are links to a bunch of pics. Some are large so a high speed connection is recommended.


Any suggestions at all would be appreciated.

Hunter Customs
January 23, 2010, 07:46 PM
There's a lot of pistol smiths that's built pin guns, including myself.
It looks very similar to some of the early Bill Wilson guns.
Bob Hunter

Jim Watson
January 23, 2010, 09:13 PM
Looks like a Wilson comp, certainly a Swenson ambi safety, looks like a Safari Arms beavertail. Rear sight looks like a Wichita, the big ring burr hammer is familiar but I can't recall who made or modified them that way.

If he didn't put his name on it, the chance of identifying the 'smith or shop by which standard aftermarket parts are on is nil. If I had squared a trigger guard that ugly, I wouldn't put my name on it either.

Hunter Customs
January 24, 2010, 09:57 AM
I know Bill squared some trigger guards and liked the Swenson safties (that was before he had his own parts).
He also liked the Clark grip safety and that's what the one on the Colt looks like to me. I believe King's also had a grip safety that looked like that.
I thought at one time Clark had a big ring hammer, I'm pretty sure King's did.
You could call Bill and have him check the serial number of the gun to see if it's in his record book.
Bob Hunter

January 24, 2010, 11:12 AM
It looks like a Wilson Comp and front sight, and I would bet money it is. Remember the EARLY PIN GUN COMPS of Wilson were Full Profile. It could be a Wilson Top and somebody elses lower and it sort of looks that way. Is the old front sight in the slide plugged or welded up? Early Wilsons were plugged and smoothed over and then later he started welding them up. If it is a Wilson top, the front slide serrations were done later as Wilson, nor anybody I remember did those till later when everybody went "trick".

There are somethings that DON'T say Wilson, like the screwed up triggerguard, but that could be a shade tree job sombody did trying to reach "Perfection" and the extended slide realese is NOT Wilson, I would replace that now with a standard one from any of the top part makers. It may cause you trouble.
THe reverse plug and the mill slot under the comp point Baer......I know Les did some rebuilds on Wilson guns (Cause I have one) and changed out the reverse plugs and guide rods for his own.(Early, early on in his career when he was still building out of his basement in Allentown)

I venture to say the MainSpring Housing has been swapped out from the orgional finished gun by whom ever made it, most people wanted the flat housing.

Look at the barrell close to the lugs and see if there is any engraving there that may help.
And as Bob Hunter said, run the serial number through Wilson's. Too bad that engraving you tried to show in the pics isn't visible. That also points Wilson cause I know his shop did that for awhile.

I say the gun or at least the comp started off Wilson and had undergone some "rebuilds" a couple of time at least , by somebody.

January 24, 2010, 03:00 PM
Here is a closeup of the comp and front sight:

I assumed it was welded up because the metal is slightly discolored.

The extended safety was something I put on back when I did shoot it. I have the original one that came with the gun. I scoured the barrel for any type of marking and can't find anything other than the "Clark .45 ACP" stamp in the otp of it.

I'll shoot an email with the serial number and links to pics off to Wilson's and Les Baer to see if they have anything like that in their records.

I personally didn't think the trigger guard was that ugly:(, but I have had many years to grow accostumed to it.

January 24, 2010, 08:40 PM
Well with that view of the comp that is NOT a Wilson....

But that does look like a early BAER in his R and D days

The Clark Barrell would throw that cause Baer used Bar-Sto Barrels but the barrel could have been replaced, the threading would have been the same probably. The comp is a forcing cone so that points to alot of makers...

Hmmmmm, it's a mystery..... but I swear it has alot of Baer influnece on the whole gun as one of his early guns.

January 25, 2010, 12:12 AM
a lot of old school work there.
swaged magwell is great. love those.

January 28, 2010, 09:48 AM
I got followup emails from Les Baer and Wilson combat and neither of them recognize doing any work on it. It was nice of them to at least look into ti and respond.

January 28, 2010, 06:02 PM
Hmmmmm?? I don't know then....very interesting! Well if it shoots good, then shoot the crap out of it!!! and have fun!!!

T. O'Heir
January 30, 2010, 02:18 AM
Could have been built by anybody for pins or any of the other shooting games. Including an amateur smithy. All kinds of 'em have been built.
Aftermarket parts have been sold for 30 years. The front stippling looks like it was done by somebody who knew what he was doing.
"...the trigger guard..." Looks like it might have been ravaged with a rotary tool. It's kind of thin. It'll likely break easily.

February 2, 2010, 11:00 PM
Gun likely doesn't have a builder, more likely a pedigree. It's probably had a lengthy career as a comp gun and mods were done and possibly re-done as tastes and styles changed. I have 25 year old IPSC/duty series 70 that it's original builder probably wouldn't recognize except for his name on the underside of the slide.

Uncle Buck
February 3, 2010, 08:54 AM
LoL, C'mon guys, that trigger guard is not that ugly.

February 3, 2010, 10:15 PM
The trigger guard isn't nearly as this as it looks. It does taper out towards the edges, but the picture is misleading.

I have put it out on a couple of forums willing to trade for a varminter AR. If I trade it off, that's fine, if not, that's fine too.

I I keep it, I will probably get it refinshed somehow. I like the look of the satin nickel, but there isn't anyone local that does that type of thing. The bluing is pretty well worn so it needs something.

February 4, 2010, 08:36 AM
Don't Satin Nickle....HARD CHROME...you will be much happier. and re-blue the upper go to that classic IPSC look!

There are PLENTY of folks who refinish, off the top of my head....who I would trust COMPLETELY is APW (Accurate Plating and Wepondry) http://www.apwcogan.com/ in Alabama, they used to do all my plating and blueing...you can send the gun stright to them and they can return it stright to you. Since it is a "repair" it dosen't have to go back to a FFL. Should cost you about $185 (I think)

Get your mags Hard Chromed too

The "lubricity" of hard chrome is un-surpassed

February 4, 2010, 10:34 AM
After WWII, there were a slug of surplus rifles hitting the scene. Everyone and their uncle became a gunsmith customizing Mousers, Springfields, enfields etc.

When Jeff Cooper came on the scene, touting the 1911s. Then there was a slug of USGI 1911a1s. Again, everyone and their uncle started building "custom" 1911s. Some worked, some didn't. I think most of the ones that worked worked simple because the 1911s platforms worked.

I remember in the 70s Pins and Plate shooting became a fad in Alaska, and during this time period it was it seemed to be the Law that you had to have a 1911, USGIs first, Colt civilian models second.

Any way I found it interesting, when the fad first caught on, everyone was adding all kinds of crap to their 1911s. As they progressed, (and learned to shoot) all that crap started coming off. Seems those winning in my area were those who's pistols evolved back to the standard stock model 1911s.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Now, everyone and their uncle is an AR15 gunsmith. Back to adding gimic after gimic on their rifles.

The differance now is, it dosnt matter how well they shoot, as long as the are TACTICAL..................................................I hate that word, tactical and sniper should be banned for the Gun World.

Sorry, didnt mean to hijack the tread.

February 4, 2010, 12:19 PM
Kraigwy....Ditto, Wonder how much the word "Tactical" costs the gun /ammo/accessory consumers???

February 6, 2010, 11:44 PM
My Series 70 duty gun was a custom gun with a few IPSC features because stock guns @ the time (early 80's) weren't reliable and had poor sights. I had it built but it really isn't all that remarkable. No muzzle brakes or any of the wild stuff popular @ the time.
OTOH I've had loads of fun showing up and doing quite well in many plate matches with a basically stock Ruger MK I and an L-Frame S&W or a stock Armalite in a few patrol rifle matches. I was never terribly fast but I didn't miss very often and my guns always worked. Pretty sound tactic, apparently. ;)
A word of warning, if somebody shows up for your "tactical" match with a well-worn stock gun, assume he's spent his money on ammo instead of gimmicks.