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Full house custom 1911 - Valtro by John Jardine

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Sven, Dec 21, 2002.

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  1. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

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    I met this week with Mr. John Jardine at Target Masters West in Milpitas. During our meeting, John showed me the amazing two-tone custom gun below, and gave me permission to take these photographs for your enjoyment:

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    view photo gallery

    John told me that this gun may be showing in his booth at the SHOT show this year. He emphasized several times that it is a work very much in progress. He also wanted me to emphasize that this gun was not polished or cleaned for these photos.

    This gun felt like it sat deeper in my hand versus my stock Valtro - John confirmed that the beavertail is cut differently. Check out the big image of the magwell seam... or lack of! Flawless execution.

    The enlarged magwell opening looks very nice from both a "look" and "feel" perspective. The grips are actualy 'inlaid' inside the frame... not sure how to describe this - check the images.

    The backside of the slide is serrated to match the sights. The sights are also chiseled in a bit on the sides, compared to the stock sights on the Valtro. This example has a painted dot (front sight) and slit (rear). John went on to described his next steps - a fluted barrel, fluted slide, a smaller roll mark (!), and more.

    John has that rare combination of craftsmanship and passion that really shines in the details. Not only does he know his stuff, he is a very nice guy. He showed me - a total 1911 newbie - how to properly grip with a Weaver stance and gave me pointers for a full hour. All of my questions were answered directly, with no hesitation or condensation.

    John told me I can dry fire my Valtro, no problem. He then got agitated about all the misinformation that circulates regarding dry firing, dropping a slide on an empty chamber, etc.

    Demonstrating his point, he racked the slide onto an empty chamber 6 times, slammed a mag into my Valtro, dropped the slide by 'whipping' the gun (I'd never seen this before), and shot an amazing group.

    Then he continued, describing detail after detail on this gun, illustrating how form affects function. I have complete confidence in the man and his work.

    My Valtro now has the single-side safety and has been completely reblued. John sold me a killer set of Valtro grips in Cocobolo ($35) and set me up with Torx-head screws ($10). He even polished a ding on the beavertail out for me.

    4 days turnaround.

    One reason to enjoy living in California - quick access to John Jardine.


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    -sven, on the lookout for silver linings (in clouds and barrels)


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    Check out Sven's Stock Valto - Yo!
     
  2. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    sven,

    I got to meet John at SHOT show last year. He is a great guy, and he takes some serious pride in his work. I was really impressed with the Valtro. I wouldn't mind having one when the finances will allow.

    My wife is from Milipitas. Target Masters actually struck me as a pretty good gunstore for California. :)
     
  3. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    Definately a work of functional art.

    Sho not a gun to throw in the tackle box.:D

    Sam
     
  4. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    Sam,

    On the contrary, you should see how John treats his guns! He is a firm believer in function first, pretty second. :)
     
  5. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

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    John's quote was 'this is a working gun'.

    Plan's to get the chrome for the safe queen - then train with the blued.
     
  6. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    That is one gorgemous 1911! :eek:
     
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Best I can tell, John Jardine IS Valtro USA.
    http://www.pistolsmith.com/viewtopic.php?t=14616
    Leads off: "Spoke to John Jardine last week. He said that because he had to disassemble all the Valtro's coming in to him from Italy anyway, he is now receiving parts and assembling them in his shop."
    There was a good deal of discussion on 1911Forum about the relative quality of Valtros sold in the USA and in Canada. Seems the main difference is that J.J. was checking and setting up the ones imported through his shop.
     
  8. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

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    Is that checkering *under* the trigger guard? I've never seen that before. Seems like a good way to wear through to the bone on your middle finger.

    These Valtros are going to make a lot of people jump ship on the 18-month Rock River wait list.
     
  9. Archer

    Archer Member

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    For someone who describes himself as a 1911 newcomer you have excellent taste.

    It also appears to have a very high cut under the triggerguard, which would change the feel as well. Should be great for muzzle control.


    Smaller (or better yet, no) rollmark would be a good move.

    Wondering about the reason for the 8-groove reverse-twist barrel your photo shows. Anyone know ?
     
  10. Bergeron

    Bergeron Member

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    Is it possible to get a Valto without the foward cocking serrations?
     
  11. Nosferatu

    Nosferatu Member

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    That would push me over the edge. Also without the checkering under the trigger guard. It is a very nice looking pistol. From the posts I have read in various forums, it is a very good shooter as well.
     
  12. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed Member

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    Wow that sure is sharp. I want one, bad.
     
  13. mellow

    mellow Member

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    MADON' Dat's some beautiful ting!!!
     
  14. Erik

    Erik Member

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    That's one nice looking 1911. Thanks for the thread and pics!

    Erik - Scribbling the first line of next year's X-mas wish list. ;)
     
  15. Maddock

    Maddock Member

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    Beeyuuuteefuulll!
    I’m in lust.
    :D
     
  16. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Hmm I guess that Mr. jardine knows something that EVERY other custom smith doesnt, eh?

    Bottom line..it is not only bad for the pistol, but potentially hazardous, to drop the slide on an empty chamber, and I am dissapointed that someone who purports to be an expert on the 1911s would claim otherwise.
     
  17. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    I got my skull bashed by an eminent NorCal 1911smith once...

    For dropping the slide on an empty-chambered custom 1911. I never let it happen again.

    I don't understand the checkering under the trigger guard either. Maybe it's a callous remover for the skin of the middle finger? Frontstrap, sure, good grip. Front of squared-off trigger guard? Sure, good hold point for weak-hand index finger. But checkering there? :confused:
     
  18. stevec

    stevec Member

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    Well, if Sven breaks his gun dry firing it, or ruins his trigger dropping the slide on an empty chamber - then Jardine is on the hook to fix it. :D

    FWIW, Jardine apprenticed with Armand Swenson (John is his nephew or something like that). While being a good smith isn't anything hereditary, he may have some insights.

    Steve
     
  19. Pendragon

    Pendragon Member

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    Everything good that you hear about the Valtro is true.

    And then some.
     
  20. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    I wish I knew what those insights were...:)
     
  21. Pendragon

    Pendragon Member

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    Jardine knows what he is doing.

    As for the thing about not letting the slide fall on an empty gun - seems to cause the trigger and sear and other parts to rattle or shake in a manner that is not usually anticipated.

    Jardine makes his guns out of extremely hard steel so perhaps the parts are less prone to wear or breakage than your average production 1911.
     
  22. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Not if he is advocating dropping the slide on an empty chamber, IMHO and with all respect to him..

    I am sure his parts are no harder than C&S parts, and you dont drop the slide when you have theirs installed...

    I dont mean to rain on anyones parade, and the Valtro I have seen is nice, but I would hesitate to pay $1700 for an Italian made pistol...for a few bucks more you can get a custom Colt.
     
  23. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    Wild, I don't know where you get that figure, the Valtros I have seen have been much less than $1700. They were closer to $1100 or $1200 if I recall correctly.

    At that price the Valtro is going against the lowest price Wilsons or Baers. And I think that the Valtro is more than comparable. The last one that I looked at had the best blueing I have ever seen.
     
  24. Archer

    Archer Member

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    That's funny, lots of people are willing to pay $8000-$60000+ for Italian made shotguns...Perazzi comes to mind.
     
  25. BigG

    BigG Member

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    Anybody who knows a lick about machinery knows that you can't hurt a Colt/Browning or any other quality pistol by such foolishness. Those are old wive's tales to trick the gullible into thinking the guy is WISE. If your pistol will get hurt by this, get another pistol as the stresses of firing are a WHOLE LOT more rigorous than any dropping the slide ever could be. Oh, you got an MIM pistol? Excuse me! BTW, you need to break in the barrel in on that AR15 too. Let me get you some JB Bore Paste... <rant off>

    I would trust Mr. Jardine as a craftsman just for making a level-headed statement like he did above.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2002
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