Heirloom Project Update: The Devil’s in the Details

20-Apr-13 – 05:59 by ToddG

Most of the remaining details have been decided for the Heirloom gun being built by Jason Burton.

  • Checkering will be 25lpi. While I was initially concerned about the coarseness of the checkering on the SACS/Warren gun it has proven to be very effective while remaining comfortable enough for long practice sessions. Jason is famous for his incredible hand checkering.
  • The slide stop pin will be shortened and the slide stop pin hole in the frame will be chamfered. While Jason normally checkers the underside of the slide stop, on this gun he’ll be checkering the top since I’m pressing down on the slide stop a lot more often than I’m pressing up (because: five years ago).
  • I went back and forth between a Chen Magwell Suite and an S&A magwell. The Chen is incredibly elegant, and the S&A has worked very well for me on the Springfield guns. In the end I decided to go with the S&A magwell because it keeps my grip options open; the Chen requires custom fitted grip panels.
  • Medium trigger because the trigger on my Springfield guns is just a hair too long for my taste especially for precision work one-handed.
  • In addition to the lightening work on the slide, the barrel will be fluted. While the difference in reciprocating mass will be minor, the goal is to make the gun as flat as possible in recoil so every bit might help.

The two major issues that have finally been ironed out are the sights and the finish.


Heirloom Precision is well known for their gold line sight. It gets rave reviews from shooters and has become a real signature of both Ted Yost and Jason Burton. But it lacks one thing: it won’t glow in the dark. As I’ve discussed before, night sights are a no compromise requirement for a carry gun. So Jason is going to do the impossible. He’s going to create a new method of applying the gold line that will also have a standard size tritium vial in the front sight. The sight itself will be 0.125″ wide and the green glow tritium will have either a gold or white outline depending on how the process works out. The rear sight will be a traditional notch that is 0.165″ wide… substantially wider than most sights. The rear will sport two smaller, dimmer yellow glow tritium capsules with no outline, providing an easily aligned 3-dot configuration in low light. Jason cuts the sights himself to guarantee they are properly and perfectly zeroed at 25 yards with the customer’s chosen ammunition. In this case it will be Federal 124gr +p HST.

Finally, after months of chaos, discussion, commitments, and changing my mind half a dozen times I’ve settled on a completely black gun with a matte DLC finish. There is going to be one small part in a different color… more on that once the gun is complete. What I will say is that Jason is so utterly appalled by what I’ve asked him to do that he’s insisted on including an extra replacement part in black. I think he’s hoping I’ll photograph the gun with the black part so he isn’t implicated… not gonna happen.

Thanks as always to the pistol-training.com Heirloom Project sponsors:


Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 13 Responses to “Heirloom Project Update: The Devil’s in the Details”

  2. Every time you talk about this, I want one more. Stop it – I can’t afford your fancy 1911 snob guns, especially after I bought in to your fancy HK snob guns. 😉

    By Kevin on Apr 20, 2013

  3. Ahhhhh sweet irony. It only gets better with a side of bacon.

    By JD on Apr 20, 2013

  4. The anodized orange trigger is just going to look tacky.

    By JodyH on Apr 20, 2013

  5. Instead of a fluted 0.580″ diameter barrel, why not go full retro with a 0.500″ diameter barrel like the pre-Series 70 Colt 9mm and .38 Super? EGW now offers bushings for the old pencil barrels.

    By Daniel E. Watters on Apr 20, 2013

  6. Gold line sight looks very shexy.

    By Tom on Apr 20, 2013

  7. “The anodized orange trigger is just going to look tacky.”

    Nice guess but wrong. Anodizing solid platinum is expensive and it would also clash with the diamond studs on the trigger face.

    Daniel — I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about but perhaps Jason will have an opinion on that.

    By ToddG on Apr 20, 2013

  8. Safety… er, “PT” Orange anodized stripes on the front inside corners of the mag well. What do I win? 😉

    By MikeA on Apr 21, 2013

  9. Gotta say that in the picture the little touch of having the slide top striations stop in that curved-triangular pattern that ‘points’ to the front sight, looks really nice.

    By Redchrome on Apr 21, 2013

  10. I’m guessing the grip panels will be PT/F orange.

    By BaiHu on Apr 22, 2013

  11. Or the S&A magwell??

    By BaiHu on Apr 22, 2013

  12. The question is this… If it lives up to your expectations, will it become your primary carry gun?

    By John on Apr 23, 2013

  13. “The Chen requires custom fit grip panels”

    Which also means you probably can’t use laser grips.

    By Kirk in Utah on Apr 23, 2013

  14. John — Yes, at least for the duration of the test.

    Kirk — Exactly what I meant by “keep my grip options open.”

    By ToddG on Apr 24, 2013

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