Thread: Gunsite Service Pistol Redux
December 11th, 2008, 08:48 AM #1
Gunsite Service Pistol Redux
In 1987, or thereabouts, the Gunsite Gunsmithy began offering a simple M1911built to Jeff Cooper's specifications. These original Gunsite Service Pistols, or GSPs, were built on Springfield Armory parts kits. They were fitted with high visibility fixed sights designed by Robbie Barkkman back when he ran the Gunsmithy. The trigger was tuned to four pounds. The hammer was slightly bobbed , an extended thumb safety fitted and the rear of the gun was dehorned. Basic reliability work was performed. An oversize firing pin stop was pressfit and a thick-skirted, oversize barrel bushing was fitted. After meeting the Colonel's approval, 'GSP' was engraved on the right front of the slide. Cost in 1987 was $575.
Pic of a later model GSP built on an actual Springfield Armory pistol [instead of a parts kit like the first 100].
Shortly after I returned to Louisiana in 1992, I contacted Robbie Barkkman and made arrangements to ship a Springfield Armory M1911 to his shop to recreate a Gunsite Service Pistol for me. I carried that RoBar GSP for several years until switching to Glocks. I gave my GSP and a set of Milt Sparks leather gear to a friend when I left Oregon in early 99 and haven't owned a M1911 since.
A few months ago, I got an itch to add an 1911 back to the collection. Specifically, I wanted to recreate an old style GSP. According to a passage from a 1989 vintage Gunsite Gossip, Auto Ordnance became the supplier of the base pistol when the Springfield kits were no longer available. As fate would have it, I managed to obtain an Auto Ord M1911 from a forum member and the 'game was afoot'.
Last edited by Paul Gomez; January 15th, 2009 at 08:43 PM.Whatever weapon & methods a person chooses, demonstrate to yourself proficiency under heavy layers of mental & physical tasking. Be very honest to yourself, because it's your loved ones depending on your honest hard work. -Seth
December 11th, 2008, 08:56 AM #2
Working at Tac Pro, I'm lucky to be a stone throw away from one of the best gunsmiths in the country, Texas Brigade Armory. TBA is Mike Lau's shop. Mike is the former OIC of the AMU and has forgotten more about building precision rifles than most will ever know. He also has a simply amazing collection of small arms books and magazines dating from the turn of the century. And his gun collection ain't half bad, either.
Taylor Mock is a college student who has been apprenticing with Mike for awhile now and has developed an affinity for working on the 1911. Taylor is the one who actually did the work on my pistol. I provided him with copies of two articles written on the GSP (one by Cooper & one by Mark Moritz) along with a few pictures. He did a great job, I think, of capturing the style and spirit of the GSP.
Ted Yost, of Heirloom Precision, now offers a 'Retro 1911 Rear Sight' which is a slightly modified, production version of the old GSP sight. When mated with an MGW Improved Serrated Ramp front sight, the sight picture is very close to the original GSP setup. I selected a King Enhanced Thumb Safety, an MGW barrel bushing, Ed Brown extractor & firing pin stop and Wolff springs to round out the package.
The GSP, like Chuck Taylor's Combat Master before it, wasn't a particularly pretty gun. It was a simple gun with 'just enough' done to it to ensure suitability and without all the fancy options that have become de riguer with custom 1911s [not saying they don't serve a purpose but they do raise the price].
The only thing that strikes me as slightly off on this pistol is the odd Auto Ord trigger. It is slightly longer than a traditional GI short trigger and the use of two hollow roll pins to attach it to the trigger bar mark it as 'not quite right'. I'll probably replace it with a standard GI short trigger or, perhaps, have a solid aluminum short trigger from Greider Precision fitted. Greider is the current producer of the old Videcki trigger design which were used on some of the GSPs, particularly after they went to the Auto Ord guns.Whatever weapon & methods a person chooses, demonstrate to yourself proficiency under heavy layers of mental & physical tasking. Be very honest to yourself, because it's your loved ones depending on your honest hard work. -Seth
December 11th, 2008, 10:56 AM #3
December 11th, 2008, 10:59 AM #4
Very nice project! Looks great.
I like the original GSP's trigger, looks like it's rounded on the edges.
December 11th, 2008, 11:22 AM #5
February 7th, 2009, 08:01 PM #6
Here's the finished project. First pic shows a left side flat view.
Next shows the rear of the gun. You can see the dehorning, extended safety and rear sight.
This one highlights the oversized bushing & Greider [Videcki pattern] trigger. You can also see the classic GI ejection port.
Whatever weapon & methods a person chooses, demonstrate to yourself proficiency under heavy layers of mental & physical tasking. Be very honest to yourself, because it's your loved ones depending on your honest hard work. -Seth
February 7th, 2009, 08:21 PM #7
Your killing me dude, next time make it say NWS.
Not Wallet Safe.
Now i have the urge to buy a RIA and trick it out.
lolANTI-STATE ANTI-WAR PRO-MARKET PRO-LIBERTY
February 7th, 2009, 08:27 PM #8
I see a hole drilled in the trigger. Is that an overtravel adjustment?
If I'm asking something stupid, please forgive. Many years ago I had a Argentine Colt for a little while that I stupidly sold (for a lot of money though, especially considering how much work it still needed). Now I have a springfield loaded and love it, but its far from a classic piece like yours. Eventually I'll build a 1911 project gun..."Don't waste your time looking back, you're not going that way." Ragnar Lodbrok
February 7th, 2009, 08:39 PM #9
The new trigger designs from C&S and 10-8 have come up with a better solution. On their triggers, the set screw is adjusted from the rear of the trigger, the hole does not go all the way through the trigger body, so, once it is set upon install, it cannot shift position.
I've got a third gun being built, sort of a slimline MEUSOC, and it will have a C&S short, smooth trigger in it.
February 7th, 2009, 08:46 PM #10
I still like it!
One thing that strikes me as obvious though...with all the attention to detail, why the arched MSH?
February 7th, 2009, 08:57 PM #11
The Slimline MEUSOC gun that Taylor is working on for me features a flat, smooth, mainspring housing with lanyard loop.
February 7th, 2009, 09:01 PM #12
Ahhh, I figured there was a reason. Actually I find the flat MSH/short trigger combo like the first two pistols to be a little awkward.