Frank Pachmayr's 'Combat Special' defined what we have come to recognize as the epitome of the custom 1911 handgun. It's a timeless example of good design. If it weren't for the fact that it was a 'firearm' it would be held with the same reverence as the Barcelona chair and other great works of industrial design. It's the most recognizable custom handgun of all; not necessarily because of what it is but because so many gunsmiths have emulated it over the years.

The 'Combat Special' evolved over a number of decades to take final form in the late 1970's. The pistol was the weapon of choice of World Champions such as Ray Chapman and Ross Seyfried and at the height of its popularity customers patiently waited upwards of five years for delivery of one of these unique pistols. This phenomena continued until the Pachmayr Custom Shop was closed by the new owners in the late 80's. The decade and a half that followed placed the 'Combat Special' in obscurity and that generation of shooters were underexposed to the significance of the pistol to the extent that even today many 1911 enthusiasts know little about the gun, the company that produced it or the man behind it. But, they have all been influenced by Pachmayr and his pistols in some way or other, often without being aware of it.

I was fortunate to be involved with Frank Pachmayr and his famous custom shop. He was a man of incredible integrity and vision who built a business the likes of which had never been seen before or will ever be seen again. I was given a unique opportunity by him to design and build guns bearing his name and honored now to be able to continue his legacy in some small way.

Image above: Frank Pachmayr and Paul Liebenberg 1985
The Pistol Dynamics 'Combat Special' Evolution is our concept of what the progression of design would have been if the development of the original handgun had continued uninterrupted. We've added key features of our modern 1911 while consciously maintaining the traditional aesthetic appeal of what is probably the most handsome custom 1911 ever built. We maintained the precisely fitted match grade barrel, 20 LPI radius lining on the slide, the meticulous hand checkering on the front and back straps and rounded off the pistol with the Combat Special engraving that indicates it's pedigree at a glance. We updated the technology by basing the handgun on our new Pistol Dynamics chassis. We included an external extractor, an advanced ignition system, ISS sighting system and optimized the ergonomics with our unique machined beavertail. We've blended tradition with technology to produce what we think is one of the most appealing custom handguns available today.
The 'Combat Special' Classic is hand built on our new PD frame by Paul Liebenberg to the same specifications as the original pistol. This includes a Bar-Sto match grade barrel, Bomar style adjustable sights, Swenson style ambi safeties, Commander hammer and Pachmayr Combat grips. The pistol is intended to accurately duplicate the original in every way possible. Due to the diminishing availability of high quality pre-Series 70 and Series 70 Colts we are no longer offering the classic on these pistols unless a customer supplies a viable unit.