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There's an indoor range in Millington, TN that I visit from time to time. It's not a very big place and they don't have much of a gun selection; I think they average about 10 handguns, new and used, in their showcase. But they seem to get some uncommon stuff for sale, every so often. Last gun I bought there was a HK P7M13 for $795 a couple years ago.

On a whim, I stopped in last weekend and they had a two-tone 1911 in the case. It was the shop owner's personal gun.

At first glance it looked like somebody's parts gun they threw together, but the Heinie sights and frontstrap serrations got me looking closer. It turns out it was professionally built in 2002 by Marty Cutrell when he was doing work for Ballistic Specialties in Batesville, Arkansas. They mainly do "angle porting" for shotguns and their website's http://www.angleport.com.

I don't know how many guns he built there, but I don't think it was a large number. In 2003, Marty would go on to work for Yost-Bonitz.

As I did more research on the gun, I discovered that Marty had actually posted a thread on 1911forum when he had finished building it. I also discovered that it had a titanium frame -- something that I hadn't realized when handling and shooting it. But the magnet test confirms it. And it also helped that Marty left the serial number in the photos he took!

This seems to have been a purpose-built IDPA ESP gun in 9mm, and the Ti frame was used to keep the weight within the IDPA limits. Convenient, since that is exactly what I'm going to use it for!

When it comes to specifics, it seems that Marty also chose the other parts well. I don't have an exact build list for this gun, but I do have a few templates of standard guns they offered at the time.

My gun deviates a bit, but I think this is what he used:

Ballistic Kote Finish, Semi-gloss Black Upper, Silver Lower
Front Strap Checkering 25LPI
Front & Rear Cocking Serrations
Ejection Port Lowered & Flared
Slide to Frame Hand Fitted (Caspian Slide & Frame)
Bar-Sto 9mm ramped barrel, Hand Fitted
Heinie Sights
EDM Light Weight Match Hammer
EDM Match Sear
Chip McCormick Match Disconnector
Wilson 30LPI Checkered Mainspring Housing
Hand Fit & Contoured Ambidextrious Safety
Hand Fit & Contoured (High Ride) Grip Safety
Wilson Extended Ejector
Wilson Extractor
One Piece Guide Rod
12 LB recoil Spring (Wolff)
Wilson Slide Stop
Titanium Firing Pin
Ed Brown Firing Pin Stop
Chip McCormick Sear Spring
Hand Contoured Wilson Expanded Magwell
Chip McCormick Lightweight Trigger

Grips are, I think, the Navidrex contoured Micarta. The gun has a generous carry melt, and I can't feel any sharp edges anywhere. It's marked "Ballistic Specialties" on the left side, and "Angle Porting" on the right. Despite that, the gun is not actually ported. The bushing definitely requires a wrench, due to its wicked tight fit in the slide, and I will be fixing that sooner rather than later.

I can't quite be sure from the original photos, but I think the gun may have been refinished since it was built. The finish is a little beat up and worn off some high spots, but it still has many miles left on it. Judging by the magwell, it has probably been carried more than shot.

How does it shoot? Perfectly. The gun came with three Metalform 9-round mags. Using them and my newer Tripp 10-rounders, there were no problems whatsoever. It ate bullets like they were candy coated and greased with bacon fat. The trigger is set at 3 pounds.

Accuracy-wise, the best I was able to do from an improvised rest was about 1.5" at 20 yards with my IDPA handloads. I'm confident the gun will do better, but I'm not able to do better kneeling behind a plastic drum and resting the gun on my range bag.

Here are my photos:











And here's the photo Marty took when he originally built the gun:



Quite aside from the thrill of finding a full-up custom with exactly the features you want, in a place you least expected it, it came as a complete surprise to discover that this gun happens to be one of the few that Marty built and posted in a way that I can conclusively identify it.

For those of you that are interested, here is the original 1911forum thread:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=23424

I don't know where Marty is or what he's doing today, but I'd like to thank him for putting together such a nice blaster, and assure him that it found another good home!
 

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You could call or email Ted or Jason and ask them what is Marty up to.
Glad to see the gun ended up going to a shooter.
I am sure you will have many great range sessions.
Steve
 

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Very Cool!

Nice you have such great documentation of such a fine gun. Interesting history as well.

Congrats!
 

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Nice blaster. Marty recently did some trigger work and safety work on a Les Baer and a SVI for me. He is sort of low profile gunsmiting right now but if you would like to get in touch with him I will do my best to get you in touch with him. I have handle some other examples of his work and he can make one run as smooth as glass. Nice addition to anybodys collection. Mr Thundermaker
 

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Sweet lookin gun!! That's a unique looking rear sight! Heinie you said? Does it use some kind of dual dovetail or just a step milled in the back of the slide? Neat!! :rock:
 

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Sweet lookin gun!! That's a unique looking rear sight! Heinie you said? Does it use some kind of dual dovetail or just a step milled in the back of the slide? Neat!! :rock:
Nope, just a garden variety Heinie with a step milled in the back of the slide. Some 'smiths now are chopping off that lower portion of the sight to avoid milling the rear step out. Looks cleaner and gives you more options in the future if you want another sight cut.
 

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I have one too!!!

Here are some pics of mine, built by Marty. Sorry for the pic quality, but I had to use my cell phone. Mine is all steel, and I can't tell if the frame is painted or if it is hard chrome.





 

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Here are some pics of mine, built by Marty. Sorry for the pic quality, but I had to use my cell phone. Mine is all steel, and I can't tell if the frame is painted or if it is hard chrome.
Great! I've seen photos of maybe 2 of his other guns. This is the first one I've seen with the slide porting.

How does it shoot?

As far as the finish, from what I can tell it looks like the Ballistic Kote finish that's on mine. Hard chrome tends to burnish brighter in high wear areas, whereas paint just tends to rub off.
 

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Ken,

My gun came with a ported and a non-ported barrel. The ported barrel was 100% reliable, but not as accurate as I had hoped. I think that the ported barrel and bushing were fitted for reliability, because the bushing had a pretty loose fit.
OTOH, the non-ported barrel was a super-tight fit all around. It was SUPREMELY accurate, but would only chamber factory ammo (I think the chamber was either REALLY TIGHT or wasn't finish reamed). I took it to Frank Glenn, who ran his reamer in it. Now the thing shoots like a dream. It runs like a raped ape and will routinely put any ammo I throw in it into 2" or less at 25 yards with my wrists rested on the bench.
I haven't used the ported barrel since, but one of these days I'm going to fit a new match bushing to it.
The silver part of my finish has the black scrapes all over the place just like yours. I'm the second owner. I was told by the original owner (who was a sponsored shooter for Ballistic Specialties/Angle Porting) that the frame was hard chromed by Cylinder and Slide, but I think he was FOS and it was, in fact, sprayed and baked.
My gun has checkering on the bottom and front of the trigger guard, as well as on the rear of the slide.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The silver part of my finish has the black scrapes all over the place just like yours. I'm the second owner. I was told by the original owner (who was a sponsored shooter for Ballistic Specialties/Angle Porting) that the frame was hard chromed by Cylinder and Slide, but I think he was FOS and it was, in fact, sprayed and baked.
My gun has checkering on the bottom and front of the trigger guard, as well as on the rear of the slide.
Good looking gun! If I'd had my druthers, I'd like checkering on the frontstrap like yours.

Here's a review of another gun from Ballistic Specialties that A. Lombardo shared a few years back:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=23676
 

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I have read that thread. When I bought this gun a couple years ago, I scoured the internet for everything I could find about these guns and Marty. I was excited to read that in '03 he was working with Yost, since Ted is local to me. But, alas, he had already come and gone.

I was finally contacted on another forum with the following back in October '07:

If you are still looking, I'm right here in Pine Bluff Arkansas. and still building 1911 customs under my own name. I do not have a computer or website, but this ID belongs to a close friend that is also involved in the custom work. You can contact me through him. I haven't been able to post anything for some reason.
thanks
Marty Cutrell
 
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