Photos of the Day: Old School Blaster by Hilton

I set the time machine back about 10 years to revisit with the very first full house custom 1911 that Hilton built for me. I carried it on duty for a few years before retiring it to range duty. Before its retirement, it got shot quite a bit. Over 20,000 rounds through it, including a fairly steady diet of my agency’s then-issue Winchester 230gr Ranger +P (RA45TP) round. Eventually it was too much for the Kart barrel, which cracked from the barrel lugs to about halfway down the barrel.

The pistol went back to Hilton, who tightened the slide to frame fit, and fit up a rare National Match barrel and bushing set produced on contract by Israeli Military Industries. These barrels look and shoot great. The pistol also wears a prototype rear sight that later became the production 10-8 sight.

This pistol is the 5th full house pistol from Hilton’s bench, and is marked as such underneath the slide stop. It was originally built on a Chip McCormick slide and frame set that was complete with scalloping from Richard Heinie’s shop way back in the day. We were big on Dawson Light Speed rails back then, so this pistol wears one of those as well. The now familiar looking flat trigger is actually a long trigger that was filed flat and serrated by hand.

Underneath the slide stop is marked “005” indicating this pistol is the 5th full house pistol to ever leave Hilton’s bench.

While this 1911 pre-dates many of the new parts and features of Hiltons’ latest builds, it has a special place in my safe as it represents his earliest work and also turns out to be one of my favorite shooters.


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About Tim Lau

Tim Lau has over a decade of experience as an end user, armorer and instructor. He has worked for several well known firearms training organizations, and holds multiple firearms instructor certifications. He owns and operates 10-8 Consulting, LLC, which provides industry consulting services as well as marksmanship and specialized firearms training to qualified civilian, law enforcement and military personnel.

7 thoughts on “Photos of the Day: Old School Blaster by Hilton

  1. Wow! Beautiful pistol. I’m pretty floored that the barrel just cracked from the lugs, all the way through the chamber and down the barrel. Would that have been due to all the high pressure +P ammo put down the barrel? In any case, Hilton’s 1911’s are some of the most beautiful pistol’s I’ve seen.

  2. Did you do the front strap? Looks great. As old as it is it does not look out dated. Please do an Armorer class. I want to carry a 1911 so bad. I don’t want to be another Hilton or Baer or Master Smith. I just want to be able to work on the basics is the gun goes down. I’m like a hot rod guy. I enjoy working on my stuff. Just the basics. I believe less is more on a tactical pistol or long gun. Less to go wrong.
    The Mystique , the lines and function of a 1911. That’s where it’s at! I have an old Browning High Power , it’s no 1911 but a friend of mine before I got into the business did a great trigger on it. No creep and snaps at 4.5.. Just awesome ! The only thing better would be a 1911. Sorry about going on and on.

  3. Can you tell us about the light mount on this pistol, was it custom made by Hilton or was it something after market that can be purchased?

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