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Thread: Nowlin 45

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    13th October 2011
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    Nowlin 45

    This was my first real competition 45 for IPSC that was done back in 1982 for me by John Nowlin of Claremor, Oklahoma. It was built on a Commander that I owned and utilized the Watson Comp set upon a Bartso barrel. John designed the Watson set up and this was the first Commander length that was ever done. Tim Tierney that started and owned Metalloy on Tulsa at the time did the plating. IIRC this was one of the last guns he did personally before selling the company to Wilson's associate in Arkansas. It is the Starburst finish.

    Te gun has won me a ton of Gold over the years and I believe the round count is way North of 100,000 by now. A few sets of recoil springs have gone through it over the years. The trigger has gone untouched in all this years. The slide was tightened when it was built and John showed me how to bring it back as it wore. I sat on a tall stool watching him build this one many a night when I would drive from OKC to Claremore. John was great friend and mentor to me when I started IPSC and always was helpful. The pistol was actually delivered to me at the US Nationals in 1982 . That year hey broke up the Super Squad and I shot the entire week with Ross Seyfried. That was educational to say the least. Between shooting with Bill Wilson, Mike Plaxico, John and Jim Blackard I had some great coaches.

    Like an old set of gloves that fits you so well when this one comes out of the leather it almost makes me feel supercharged.





    Greg
    Likes (1) :
    Gruntshooter (11th June 2019)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    2nd June 2004
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    Terra
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    Very interesting. I enjoy seeing what talented, custom pistolsmiths did with 1911 "back in the day."

    Have you discovered our on-line magazine (the "e-zine") yet? Your photos rang a bell ...

    https://ezine.m1911.org//showthread....-from-the-Past
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  3. #3
    Join Date
    13th October 2011
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    The old ones were the tip of the spear for six many innovations. I'll try to post up a pic of the comp.

    Greg

    k2GggvA.jpg
    Last edited by GLShooter; 10th June 2019 at 22:35.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    25th September 2011
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    Wow! That is a wondeful story and pistol. I wish the pistol and you many more adventures. My personal irony in this is I used the drive through Clarmore three or four times a year in those days and it never dawned on me that John Nowlin was there. Doh!
    Last edited by Pyrenean; 11th June 2019 at 07:31.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    13th October 2011
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    I shot Tulsa Rod& Gun monthly for years and became friends with John and his whole family. He was wiling to share his knowledge of shooting and how to succeed at things like Bang Clank, Second Change and the Steel Challenge plus Binachi. I loved setting in the shop as he built his pistols. I regret not having him do a 25-2 for me but all my revolvers were built by Royce Weddel in Norman.

    He rubbed shoulders with the top smiths in the country and I got to interact with them a the Nationals when we shot together and he made introductions. He could beat me on the assault courses most of the tine but on fixed time matches he always laughed at me because I could out shoot him on those nine out of ten times. I really miss John as he was taken many decades to soon. He had lots of depth that most never got to see but a nicer gentleman would be hard to find.

    Greg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    18th June 2012
    Location
    North Carolina
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    I never met or talked with Mr. Nowlin. However, about 20 or 25 years ago I decided to learn how to improve my own 1911s or “build” Caspians. That’s when I started using Nowlin parts, which I found to be excellent, really excellent.
    I have (actually, my wife bought) an early STI frame (serial number 3xx) that Wilson Combat customized using a Colt 38 Super slide and a Wilson/Nowlin ramp cut 38 Super barrel. I wanted a less expensive practice ammo. So, I bought a Nowlin 9mm ramped barrel which dropped in perfectly and the POA/POI for either barrel was identical. I guess that I got lucky—or Nowlin did a great job on barrel production. This is one of 3 or 4 pistols that I will never let go.
    Ever so often I look on gun auction sites for an original Nowlin custom 1911. Maybe someday I’ll get one. I really enjoy reading stories such as yours. Thank you.

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