About Me & The Pistols I Build

Welcome to Bullock Custom’s website and thanks for stopping by. My name is Curt Bullock and I specialize in building custom full size single stack 1911 pistols in .45 ACP and .38 Super. Feel free to take a look around at some of the custom handcrafted 1911 pistols I’ve built and some of the other work I’ve done.

A little about me – I love working with my hands and enjoy the detail work and craftsmanship that goes into building a fine 1911 carry pistol. I am an avid shooter and enjoy competitive shooting and training with the 1911 pistol. With that shooting experience, I have been able to see what works and what doesn’t work so well on a 1911. Over the years I have developed some opinions on how I think a 1911 should be built. I have also learned a lot from my good friend Steve Morrison at MARS Armament about building 1911 pistols the right way and wish to thank him for his guidance. Steve is just down the road from me and does all of my machine work to my specifications. His machine work is unparalleled.

Building custom 1911’s is not my primary source of income so my wait times are very reasonable as I am selective on the type of work I take in (i.e., weeks and months, not years).

My philosophy about building an accurate 1911 carry pistol is simple – it is a tool that you should be able to rely on, so it must work all of the time, and should look great. For over 100 years the 1911 has been and still is an effective defensive tool if built correctly.

My pistols are hand built by me one at a time with a tremendous level of attention to detail. My preference in building a pistol is to start with a current production Government or Commander size Colt 1911 as a base gun. The Colt Series 70, 1991 and XSE models, including the Rail Gun and M45A1 model, are very good quality. To me, they are the best base guns available and will result in a fine weapon. Current production Colt’s tend to have excellent metallurgy, forged frames and slides, excellent quality barrels, a correct feed ramp, proper barrel impact surface, and quality machined parts (slide stop, extractor, plunger tube, firing pin, recoil plug, barrel link, etc). There are other good quality guns that I will work on as well.

Here are a few things I do when building a custom 1911:

  • Parts – I only use high quality parts from sources such as Colt, EGW, Kart, Wilson, Heinie, Harrison, among others.
  • Grip Safety – EGW grip safeties are my favorite and I use them most of the time. I highly modify the safety for a seamless fit to the frame and undercut it for a high hold on the pistol. A well fit grip safety is the first thing I look at on a custom 1911 and something that I spend a lot of time on each build.
  • Thumb safety – I prefer to use single sided machined thumb safeties from EGW or Wilson Combat. If you are left handed and need an ambi safety, the Wilson Combat or EGW ambi model are good choices. If you are not left handed and do not need an ambi safety, I recommend a single sided safety. I can contour the safety lever to your specific direction so it is comfortable in your hand. The safety will also be dehorned and contoured to fit perfectly with the frame.
  • Trigger – Harrison smooth face aluminum triggers are one of my favorites. They come in short, medium and long and do not have the overtravel screw hole that can irritate your finger when shooting in cold weather. I can shape these triggers to suit the end user as well. Some prefer a 3 hole trigger design, flat face trigger, semi flat face trigger, or the glass nylon STI trigger as well.
  • Hammer & Sear – I prefer to use EGW hard sears and good quality hammers from Wilson, EGW (Koenig) or Colt with a conservative surface ground .021″-.022″ hammer hook depth. Properly mated with the hard sear this can provide a long lasting safe trigger. I also like the Colt factory disconnector or ball head EGW style. I do not build guns with “hair triggers” and usually recommend a good crisp 4 to 4.5 lb trigger pull.
  • Sights – I prefer to use a plain black Heinie slant pro rear sight and then modify it with a “ledge.” This allows for one hand manipulation of the weapon. I then match the rear with a Novak style front sight (press fit and pinned in place) in plain black, gold bead, fiber optic or a night sight. Some prefer the Novak low mount rear sight as well and that is also a good choice.
  • Barrel – Assuming I have started with a Colt as the base gun, either the factory Colt or a Kart Precision barrel is used. In most cases, the excellent factory Colt barrel fitted with an EGW bushing, properly throated and polished and given a good muzzle crown is all that is needed for a very accurate and reliable pistol. I recommend this most of the time. Having said that, I highly recommend the “exact fit” Kart barrel or the standard Kart gunsmith fit barrel. They both have outstanding consistency and workmanship. The exact fit Kart barrel may just be one of the finest 1911 products on the market.
  • Extractor – Machined Colt, EGW HD, or Wilson bullet proof extractors are some of the best. A properly fit extractor is essential to a reliable 1911. I pay particular close attention to this part. Low quality extractors are usually discarded and replaced with a machined steel Colt or Wilson part or something similar.
  • Firing Pin Stop – I like to use bar stock EGW firing pin stops with a small radius. Properly fitting this part can help prevent extractor “clocking” which can lead to unreliable or erratic case ejection. The small cam radius on the stop helps delay the rearward movement of the slide and aids in reliability and felt recoil.
  • Ejector & Plunger Tube – A good quality machined ejector and plunger tube affixed to the frame are also critical to a well built 1911. I like to use EGW ejectors and quality plunger tubes.
  • Springs – Wolff recoil, mainspring and firing pin springs are my favorite. When using 230gr ball ammo, I typically recommend sticking with the original factory spring weights. If using Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot, Hornady XTP or similar personal defense ammo, I will often recommend a 17 or 18 lb recoil spring.
  • Spring Guides – I prefer to use standard recoil spring guides instead of full length guide rods in a defensive carry weapon.
  • Magwell – A one piece magwell from Smith & Alexander or a fully machined bar stock part fit to the frame and hand blended is typically what I recommend. I typically purchase blank S&A magwells and drill the pin hole to fit the specific frame. This provides a no gap seamless fit. If you are going to conceal carry the weapon most of the time, I often recommend a standard mainspring housing that is blended, the butt slightly rounded and the magwell area beveled.
  • Front and back strap treatment – for all my machine work, I have my good friend Steve Morrison at MARS Armament high cut under the trigger guard and either do golf balls, mini scallops, “snakeskin” or serrations. Steve uses a precision CNC mill for this work. It is impeccable work. Once the machine work has been done, I finish it by hand. Take a look at some of the pictures on my site to see what these different treatments look like. The golf balls or scallops provide an excellent texture that isn’t so abrasive that it will cut your hands. If you want it really aggressive, I can do that as well.
  • Other Machine work – there are several other options including: serrating the rear of the slide or front of trigger guard 40 lpi, flat top the slide, beveling the bottom of the slide, french borders, countersink the slide stop pin hole, adding front serrations on the slide, etc.
  • Grips – G10 style VZ or Simonich grips are some of my favorites and highly recommend them. I typically fit the grip to the frame and adjust the amount of texture the grip has based on what is desired. I use slotted grip screws and secure them with specialized o’rings to make sure they won’t back out.
  • Detailing – There isn’t a part of the pistol in any of my builds that hasn’t been touched with a file or sandpaper. The pistol will be completely dehorned and machine marks removed. This makes for a very aesthetic and comfortable weapon to shoot for extended periods.
  • Disassembly – My pistols can be taken apart without tools. The barrel bushing is typically fit “hand tight” so a bushing wrench isn’t usually required. I prefer a pistol that does not need an allen wrench or a certain tool to take it apart. It should be able to be taken apart in the field if needed.
  • Frame Slide FitI do not typically build extremely tight fitting 1911’s. I don’t recommend them if you are wanting a reliable and accurate defensive weapon. An extremely tight 1911 may be good for range use, but my guns are built to run in all conditions and able to tolerate fouling and dirt. A good barrel, barrel bushing, good sights and crisp trigger will be your best bet to an accurate shooting pistol.
  • Finish – To finish the pistol, I can cerakote the gun in-house. If it is stainless steel, I can glass bead blast it for a beautiful satin stainless finish. Stainless steel is great because you can use it hard and after it starts looking worn, simply bring it back to me and I can refinish it and make it look new again for very little cost.

While these are some of the things I do when building a pistol, I will make every effort to build the gun how you want it so that you are satisfied with the end result and that the pistol is reliable, beautiful and comfortable to use.

If you have any questions or would like to have some work done, a pistol cerakoted, or a complete handcrafted 1911 pistol built from the ground up, give me a shout. I am easy to talk to and enjoy working with fellow 1911 enthusiasts.

You can call or text me at (801)520-3561 or send me an email to curtis@bullockcustom.com. I am located in Utah.

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