1911 Pistol Complete view

1911 slide engraved to match custom grips

The complete pistol with the slide I engraved!

Gregg was kind enough to send me photo’s of the assembled pistol. This was the first time I saw the entire firearm and I love how nice it looks.

Gregg and I dicussed whether to parkerize the slide after engraving. I wanted to refinish the steel and Gregg wanted to leave it like it is. Boy, am I glad he left it steel. The slide complements the alloy frame and the black and white grips finish it off with a total scroll look.

This left side view shows the Sandoval County Sheriff Badge and Badge number.

Here’s the right side.¬†The engraved scrolls¬†match the left side except for the Badge and number.

The total engraving time was 16 hours. I spent 9 more hours removing the parkerized finish and the stamped Logo and manufacturer name from the left side of the slide. Design time was another 8 hours and after I started cutting I changed the design again. I completed the first large scroll and two small scrolls as I had designed and drawn them. However, when I looked at the engraving I did not like the way it looked. Too late to erase so I added leaves to the small scrolls. That balanced the large scroll and looked very nice. So I quickly redrew the rest of the scrolls to include leaves in all the small scrolls. The addition of the leaves was adding a lot of time to the engraving and I was really starting to think that I was going to greatly exceed my budget. The more I cut the scrolls the faster I got. By the end I was really loving this design. I did not even have to draw the leaves, I knew how they were to look and I just started cutting them out. The final product was finished within my timeline and on budget.

One difficulty that I did not anticipate was selectively removing some of the parkerization and leaving the rest. Masking the finish off with multiple layers of duct tape worked fairly well but it did not leave a very crips edge. I spent a fair amount of time hand sanding to give a smooth finish and to prevent maring the remainder of the finish. Next time I will use a metal tape to ensure that my sanding does not lift the tape. I had never had to work around the existing finish before. I usually remove all the blueing or whatever and then I do not have to worry about it. Leaving sections of finish on the slide sure was a complication and added more time to the project.

One last note, I delivered the finished slide about two weeks later than I had promised. My son was preparing to deploy with the Army to Afghanistan and I had to visit him and his family before he left. Gregg was very understanding and supportive when I need the time off. I love to engrave and it is my business but FAMILY comes first. Thanks again Gregg.

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