A Brace of Giles Custom Match 1911s


Pistols and the photo courtesy of friend of the site, Ann-Marie Davis. She showed us her 1968 Giles 38spl and 1962 Giles .45. Two very serious match pistols in their day. The top site is extended for a longer sight radius for more precise aiming while not violating the rules.

The top gun is indeed a 38 special. A conversion that required custom mags to work with the rimmed cases of the spl. The ammo used was wadcutters and through the magic of miracle gunsmithing was made to work in the M1911. If memory serves, the mags only held 5 rounds. Why go through the trouble? Because being able to use the 38 wadcutter loads in a bullseye match without having to take the time to thumb cock a revolver was a big advantage.


  1. The use of .38 wadcutters was, I believe, pioneered by the Army Marksmanship Unit and the magazines did hold 5 rounds.
    I seem to recall that Colt made a very few of these for sale to the General public, they were soft shooting and amazingly accurate.

    • Tom, my husband makes match grade ammo for me for both of these guns. Powder puff perfection…. Or “bunny farts” as my jealous friends call them!

  2. The AMU helped S&W develop the Model 52, which was designed to feed .38 Special with 148 grain wadcutters, to do the same thing as these pistols.

    Those sure are pretty pistols. A very nice polish & blue job.

    • Dyspeptic, I have two Model 52’s, a recently acquired 52-2 and a 52-1 that I’ve had for a long long time. It is my right arm and I will never part with it. Unfortunately, it had spoiled me completely and no other gun measures up.

      Husband makes match grade ammo for me for the 52’s and these Colts. I call them powder puff loads. My jealous friends call them bunny farts.

      Thank you for the compliment on the finish. They are much more black than this. That’s the reflection of the blue sky and I like it!


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