REVIEW/RETROSPECT: A Look At An Old Bullseye Gun

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There were giants in those days… READ MORE

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G. Madore’s Bulls Eye gun is a Colt in most regards but definitely not like anything that left the Colt shop during the previous century.
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The pistol’s appearance is period and the performance outstanding.

Heyward Williams

When we reflect, ruminate, reminisce, and muse on the past, we generally use images from the past in our thoughts. Few are able to think completely in the abstract. When I think of my younger years and getting into shooting I recall my fascination for the 1911 .45 at an early age. That is a long fifty years ago, and my interest has never waned. Early in my shooting and working years I owned perhaps four or five good guns and usually traded one to get another. Sometimes I traded a good gun and didn’t get a better gun in the trade, but we have all had such mishaps. I think a great difference in the shooters of that time and the shooters beginning today is that they expect a handgun to be ready for use out of the box. To some it is a great surprise that few if any 1911 handguns were ready for competition in the 1970s and 1980s. Les Baer and Bill Wilson were yet to come. Some of the finest work ever accomplished on 1911 handguns was the work done by Army gunsmiths between 1918 and 1935. The Colt National Match gave us a decent bullseye gun but the best examples were turned out by shops ran by craftsmen that mixed art and mechanics, and sometimes engineering. I grew up in the heyday of these makers but could not afford one of their guns. Today I own one of the best examples of the era.

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A GI Slide was the basis for the Colt’s modification.

Very often when looking at the work of artists in steel we discover past styles that influenced their work. The pedigree is traced to the instructor or gunsmith where the artists did their journeyman work. Sometimes we have very little to go on save for the surviving work. I have seen several 1911 .45s modified by George Madore. These pistols are credible examples of the gunsmiths trade. There were many gunsmiths that performed good work and a few that were exceptional. My examination of the handgun on hand falls into the exceptional category. Madore worked on many handguns prior to his death about fifteen years ago. Among these were Hammerli 208 handguns and quite a few 1911s. He worked, by my best information, in a shop at his home, as many smiths of the era did. He provided witness targets with the guns. Among his innovations was a tab on the barrel to snug up the barrel fitting. I have also seen a single example of what must have been his later work. A 1911 slide was fitted with an AimPoint sight. Not on a rail or a mount but fitted directly to the slide, among the first examples of an optic mounted directly to a moving part. Today I often fire and enjoy my factory red dot equipped SIG P 229 RX. I did not know the direct AimPoint mount on a 1911 existed until recently. Madore definitely had a forward looking bent.

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These old Colts are similar in concept, giving the shooter an advantage over any factory gun of the era. The upper gun is fitted with MMC sights and had a trigger job performed. It is a good carry gun. The Madore is a target gun.
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The Madore gun, lower, is slightly more accurate the modern Colt Gold Cup, above, with most loads.

I found my own Madore 1911 in a reputable used shop. I knew it was a bullseye Colt and did some research before returning to purchase the piece. This beat doing the research after the fact, and that is a hard lesson for many of us! The piece features what is probably a GI slide and a Series 70 frame. As I looked more closely I found modifications that were popular in the era. This marks the pistol as one of his early guns, but I have no certainty save my own experience and opinion. As one example — some shooters either miss the standard GI or Colt Commercial grip safety or do not because they can’t depress it sufficiently to release the trigger. There is a great difference between a competition gun and a carry gun, and blocking the grip safety was common a generation or two ago. A thin wire was sometimes ran through a hole drilled in the frame and grip safety. Some were simply taped shut. The Madore guns were sometimes modified by cutting the leaf spring that controls the grip safety. This eliminated the grip safety’s lock on the trigger. You are free to use the thumbs forward grip and allow the palm to rise off of the grip safety. The pistol will fire. Much later, Novak offered a backstrap that eliminated the grip safety, and it is quite well made. The Madore modification worked. I should stress I strongly prefer an operating grip safety for a carry 1911, but for Bulls Eye, the Madore solution is fine. The pistol has some of the classic upgrades of the time. The slide features a well done scalloped ejection port. The square front post was possibly hand cut, but it may be a King’s — I am not certain. The rear sight is a Bomar. The Bomar is far more rugged than the factory Colt sights of the day. The stainless steel barrel bushing is tight and was difficult to turn. It required a large bushing wrench with plenty of leverage to turn and a bit of tapping to remove. The slide and frame are a tight fit. Since they are a mismatch this indicates that some fitting of the frame to the slide was done. There was no lateral play at all. The trigger action isn’t light but very smooth at four pounds even. There is no creep or backlash. The grips are a set of Pachmayr double diamonds with plenty of adhesion. While the Madore gun seems to be set up for Bulls Eye, this handgun, with a few changes, could make a fine all around .45 for general duty, even personal defense. I would return the grip safety to operation and install a heavy recoil spring and go about my business.

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The slide is tastefully engraved. Note lowered ejection port.

These handguns were not particularly expensive at the time, costing perhaps twice as much as a factory Gold Cup. Compared to the present price of Wilson Combat and Les Baer guns, they were a bargain. And they are true custom guns, each being an individual. A word to the wise — caution is indicated when investing in older custom guns. Be certain you know your way around the 1911 and its safety checks. There is no guarantee someone not up to Mr. Madore’s workmanship hasn’t had their hands on the gun in the interval since he built it. In this case I was lucky and the workmanship and function remain flawless. Another caution — if you expect this gun, a Heinie, Novak, or Action Works build to bring a fair price, it should have the original build list outlining the parts used. This one did not have that. A trip to the range was planned with some excitement. I lubricated the long bearing surfaces liberally and loaded a couple of MecGar magazines with a proven handload. The classic accuracy load for the .45 ACP is a 200 grain SWC over Unique for 850 fps- at least in my book. From a solid benchrest firing position I put five rounds into 1.5 inches at 25 yards. Perhaps the accuracy potential is even greater with a bit of handloading and hard work. I also fired five rounds of the Remington 230 grain Black Belt JHP. The pistol not only fed well; the five rounds clustered into 1.75 inches. This is exceptional accuracy for any 1911. The G. Madore marked pistol has a sense of history and emotional attachment combined with excellent performance. I am proud to own this well turned out pistol.

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The Madore gun features a solid adjustable trigger.

Texas Governor Abbott Issues Statewide Covid-19 Order with Exceptions for Firearms Industry and Hunting/Fishing

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Today, Wednesday April 2, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols for Texas that will override previous local orders and be in effect through April 30th. 

covid gun control

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The protocols allow exceptions for essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, which includes “workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.”

The governor also mentioned in his press release that it does not prohibit people from engaging in essential daily activities, such as hunting or fishing, provided that the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.

Thank you, Governor Abbott, for ensuring that Texans’ Second Amendment rights are protected at this time and for allowing recreational activities with firearms to continue in a safe and responsible manner.

Massachusetts: Gov. Baker Closes Gun Stores!

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Our Second Amendment rights are threatened. Gov. Charlie Baker needs to hear from you now!

covid gun control

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Charlie Baker issued COVID-19 Order No. 13 on March 23rd, which required the closure of all businesses except those deemed “Essential.” The order did not designate gun shops as “Essential” businesses.

Yesterday, Governor Charlie Baker reversed that decision and issued COVID-19 Order No. 21, designating gun shops as “Essential” businesses. This reversal was forced by a decision over the weekend from the Trump Administration — through the Department of Homeland Security — that firearm and ammunition dealers, shooting ranges, and manufacturers are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure and should not be shut down.

However, late Wednesday afternoon, after gun rights advocates praised the decision, the Baker Administration removed firearm retailers and shooting ranges, once again, from the list of essential businesses. This craven move comes after Gov. Baker excluded gun shops from emergency small business loans, after designating them “non-essential” businesses.    

Please act now and call on Governor Baker to designate firearm dealers essential businesses. It is extremely unfortunate that in these uncertain times, an elected official would limit the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their inherent right to self-defense. Firearm dealers are essential to exercising this right!

Please call Governor Charlie Baker’s office at 617-725-4005 and request that firearm dealers are designated an essential business!

FOLKS: This has come up in California, New Mexico, South Carolina, Maine, and on and on down a long list. There’s a clear pattern of attempting to use emergency powers directed in sweeps to wherever agendas are met. Keep reading: MORE NEXT WEEK!

COVID-19 Draws Attacks on Second Amendment

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Nationwide closing of gun stores threatens rights of both long-standing and first-time gun owners and buyers. READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

During the COVID-19 crisis, many of our family members, friends, and fellow citizens have decided to exercise their right to self-defense for the first time. Unfortunately, many of them are being delayed or denied their rights not only by anti-gun bureaucracy put in place years ago, but also new obstacles created within the past few days and weeks. Anti-gun officials have taken advantage of declared states of emergency to restrict our rights by closing gun stores, delaying concealed carry permits, and shutting down background checks for new firearm purchases.

These are the very actions that the Second Amendment was meant to guard against. These are the abuses your NRA fights at all levels of government.

Your NRA has launched a new website to put all information related to the COVID-19 pandemic in one convenient location. By visiting HERE, you will be able to see the latest developments in your state and may take action to protect your Second Amendment rights.

WATCH VIDEO

Some of these recent actions:

California
San Jose officials insisted that firearms are “nonessential” and ordered gun stores to close. Mayor Sam Liccardo said, “We are having panic buying right now for food. The one thing we cannot have is panic buying of guns.” The city has shut down gun stores.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Villanueva said, “Buying guns is a bad idea” and demonstrated his disdain for law-abiding citizens being armed for self-defense by starting to shut down gun stores. He suspended that endeavor after receiving an opinion from Los Angeles County counsel that gun stores could in fact be classified as essential businesses, but just the next day, put the shut-down order back in place. One Los Angeles official even stated, “There’s nothing essential about being able to purchase a new handgun.”

On March 27th, the NRA joined individuals, retailers, and other gun rights groups in filing a federal lawsuit challenging state and local policies and enforcement practices that violate Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Delaware
Governor John Carney’s executive order on March 22nd did not list gun stores as essential and State Police began to issue cease and desist letters to force them to close. Following an uproar from NRA members and concerned citizens, Gov. Carney revised his order to allow gun stores to remain open by appointment only.

Maine
Governor Janet Mills issued an executive order for “nonessential” businesses to close starting March 25th. While it was initially unclear if that category includes gun stores, she has since made her intentions clear by having state authorities order them to close. NRA members and law-abiding gun owners throughout the state are urging her to correct this egregious error.

New Jersey
Governor Phil Murphy ordered the State Police to shut down the online background check system, ensuring that licensed firearm dealers cannot transfer firearms to citizens. NRA is currently pursuing all legal options to halt Gov. Murphy’s unconstitutional actions and secure the Second Amendment rights of Garden State residents.

New Mexico
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is making her anti-gun proclivities clear and wasting law enforcement resources by tasking the State Patrol with driving by gun stores and telling dealers that they must remain closed to the general public. NRA members and law-abiding gun owners are responding to the Governor’s anti-gun order by urging her to consider the safety and security of her constituents and allow gun stores to re-open for business.

North Carolina
Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker’s office announced that they will not issue new pistol purchase permits for more than a month. This leaves new prospective gun owners especially vulnerable. For the next month, law-abiding residents cannot buy a handgun or receive one in a private transfer, even from a family member or close friend, unless they were issued a permit prior to the shutdown.

Pennsylvania
Governor Tom Wolf considers gun stores, and by extension the Second Amendment, “non-life-sustaining” and forced them to close on March 23rd. Following a dissenting opinion from Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice David Wecht and two other Justices, Governor Tom Wolf quietly removed gun shops from that list, allowing them to re-open on March 25th. Their opinion made it clear that Governor Wolf’s shuttering of gun shops amounted to “an absolute and indefinite prohibition upon the acquisition of firearms by the citizens of this commonwealth — a result in clear tension with the Second Amendment.” NRA members and law-abiding gun owners throughout the state made their voices heard loud and clear on the initial closure and we thank them for their steadfast support.

Texas
Over this past week, local officials in a number of cities and counties adopted emergency orders that contained provisions forcing firearm retailers to close. On March 27th, following a timely request from pro-Second Amendment state Representative Dustin Burrows, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion stating that Texas’ preemption law prohibits these emergency stay-at-home orders from shutting down gun stores. NRA thanks Rep. Burrows and AG Paxton for their rapid response to protect the Second Amendment in the Lone Star State.

Fortunately, many of our members live in pro-gun communities and states where officials support your right to defend yourself and your loved ones. Even in these pro-gun jurisdictions, eternal vigilance is necessary to protect our freedoms against the threats posed by the ongoing emergency. With this in mind, please visit: HERE  to stay up-to-date on all COVID-19 news and, by all means, stay safe. Working together, we can protect the Second Amendment and come out of this crisis stronger, wiser, and with our rights secured.

READ THIS ALSO!

President Trump Declares Gun Stores Critical

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Nation’s Leader Protects Citizens’ Rights. READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

As NRA is actively fighting gun store closures across the country, President Trump’s newly-updated DHS guidance echoes what the NRA is arguing in court: that firearms and ammunition retailers are “critical infrastructure.”

On March 28, DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) updated its guidance on the critical infrastructure that the agency determined should remain open during state shutdown orders due to Covid-19.

The new guidance identifies the following firearms and ammunition industry workers as critical infrastructure:

“Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.”

Several states relied on CISA’s failure to include firearms retailers in prior guidance as a reason to order those businesses to shut down.

The Free Beacon reported that New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (D) cited the DHS guidance as support for Governor Phil Murphy’s (D) decision to completely shut off firearm transfers in the Garden State.

“The governor’s executive order tracks every other executive order that has a stay-at-home provision and none of those — none of those — contain an exemption for firearm stores and nor does the federal guidance from Homeland Security contain that type of exemption when it comes to essential facilities and nonessential facilities,” Grewal said.

NRA looks forward to a speedy reversal by New Jersey and other states who have claimed to rely on CISA’s guidelines in determining what businesses are “essential” and can therefore lawfully remain open during “shelter-in-place” orders.

Please join us in thanking President Trump and his administration for once again keeping his promise to protect the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans.

Rights of Texans are Threatened with Recent Pandemic

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Gun stores considered non-essential businesses by Texas legislators. READ MORE

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Mike Cox
Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA) Legislative Director

Dear TSRA Member:

Earlier this week, pro-Second Amendment State Representative Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) requested an opinion from Attorney General Ken Paxton on whether city and county officials can prohibit the sale of firearms through an emergency order or declaration by excluding firearm manufacturers and retailers as “essential businesses.” Over the course of this week, local officials across the state from the cities of Austin, Lubbock and Waco, as well as Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Travis counties adopted (and in some cases modified) such orders. Forcing some gun stores to close and denying law-abiding Texans the right to purchase for protection during these uncertain times.

On March 31, General Paxton issued Opinion No. KP-0296 stating that Section 229.001(a) and 236.002(a) of the Texas Local Government Code prohibit municipalities and counties from adopting regulations related to the transfer of and commerce in firearms, and that these emergency stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders may not regulate or restrict the sale of firearms.

Thanks go out to Representative Burrows for his timely request and to General Paxton for issuing this critical opinion affirming that the state firearms preemption statute overrides these local orders and protecting the exercise of your Second Amendment rights in the Lone Star State.

Also, thanks go out to State Representative Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) and State Senator Pat Fallon (R-Prosper) for sponsoring and passing House Bill 3231 during the 2019 legislative session, legislation which strengthened and made important clarifications to Texas’ state firearms preemption statute, and to Governor Greg Abbott for signing the measure into law.