Gunsmithing work by John Jardine - Valtro Sight Modification


January 23, 2003, 02:11 AM
I called John on Saturday with a question on my rear sight. Literally a day later, I had my Valtro back with a new rear sight, and a whole lot more. (
Hi-Res (

He notched the rear sight edges 45 degrees and added a vertical bar of enamel paint right under the aperature. The front sight was drilled and given a large white dot.

The result of the notched edges is that I can see more of the target, while the white paint helps me more rapidly acquire my front sight.

I still return to the sight edges for fine-tuning my aim, but the dots really help.

The paint is quite bright and the dot paint is perfectly spherical inside the hole.

Listening to John I get the feeling that those who strive for perfection are - by definition - never fully satisfied, because things can always be improved. I am honored to know him and amazed to receive such customer service. Thing is, it's not just me, it seems he helps everyone the same - a lot.

He showed me how to detail strip my gun, how to remove the extractor, all very patiently. It all is so easy, but I had no idea until John showed me.

Very happy to continue do business with this fine individual, and happy to wave the flag for Mr. Jardine, Jardine's Custom and the Valtro.

Sven's Valtro Photos (
Official ValtroUSA Site (

Did I mention that John also installed and hand fit a new bushing? Lord, I am thankful - and spoiled - that I live so close to a great gunsmith.



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January 23, 2003, 03:24 AM
What I can't figure out is how Jardine is going to scale up the sales of Valtros, if he keeps up this kind of service.

I went up to Bullseye in Marin County and finally got to shoot a Valtro. The trigger and the accuracy were both great, and immediately noticeable.
But I suspect my sensitivities may not be refined enough to appreciate the smoothness of the action during firing that people talk about. The gun is definitely super tight and smooth for a gun with 100k+ rounds on it.

Interestingly enough, there was a Valtro in the "For Sale" display. Maybe they actually have one in stock that isn't spoken for?


January 23, 2003, 04:17 AM
I'm guessing that John's plan is to keep iterating on the parts design and fitting for his gun - responding to feedback from the marketplace and the gunsmith bench - and backed by Experience.

Interestingly enough, there was a Valtro in the "For Sale" display. Maybe they actually have one in stock that isn't spoken for?

Wouldn't be surprised - that's how I found mine.
Called Bullseye in Marin and they had two in stock. Next day, I had paid for one of them. 10 days later...

January 26, 2003, 09:55 AM
Did you get you ambi safety replaced? The right part of mine broke, left side fully functional (occurred months ago). Also, did he say he had night sights for the valtro? The only thing I added to my Valtro was a S&A arched MSH with magwell (does make mag loading a little easier).

January 26, 2003, 01:28 PM
John replaced the ambi safety - I'd say that is the weakest link on the stock Valtro - Gun Tests agreed.

Thankfully, ANY gunsmith with 1911 experience can swap this part - not just Jardine.

There is a night sight option for the Valtro - John puts the front sight length-wise so that you see the end of the dot bright - the rear sight has the tritium bar set vertically into a groove so that it appears as a less-bright 'bar'. Dot the 'i' and squeeze the trigger.

I would like an enlarged Mag Well as well for more rapid reloads, but I'm not running around shooting in competition (yet).

My dream is to buy another Valtro (throwing common sense to the wind - ie, saving for a house) and have John trick it out... serrated rear of slide, two-tone or fully hard chromed, enlarged magwell... all I'd need then are 'pimp grips'.

Just kidding about the grips.

January 26, 2003, 08:44 PM
Someone told me who owns a Valtro that it has some MIM parts in it. Can someone elaborate on this?

January 27, 2003, 12:19 PM
On another forum, a Valtro owner related that John Jardine told him the sear and hammer are MIM (I'm assuming they come from the Israeli company that he once mentioned to me). I asked him about MIM parts once, and he said that there is wide variation in MIM parts, with some being junk, and some being of very high quality (as good as forged is what I think he said).

I haven't seen any complaints from Valtro owners, and the unit up at the Marin County range has 100k-150k with no sear/hammer issues (the trigger felt great too when I tried it out recently).


January 28, 2003, 12:56 AM
Hammer and Sear are MIM - Had mine a year with no problems. John will put a tool steel hammer and sear in the Valtro upon request. That might be a waste of money.

Like others who have met or talked to John I trust that he wouldn't put crappy parts in the Valtro.

January 28, 2003, 07:10 AM
Sven's photo clearly shows the hammer is MIM. (there's an obvious telltale mark from the process on all MIM hammers).

Slightly surprised that the vaunted Valtros use MIM parts considering the MIM-phobia many 1911 users exhibit, but if it works...

January 28, 2003, 04:48 PM
I would not be suprised if The Valtro never becomes a "mass market" gun. Or, even if it does and they make more models and the quality tapers even a bit, these original hand worked Valtros will probably become highly sought after and valuable.

If I had the money, I would buy another.

I will probably have at least my frame hard chromed later this year.

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