I have been building firearms, mainly Colt .45 pistols, for over thirty years, beginning when I was in high school. I continued this, on a non-professional basis, while serving as a U.S. Air Force officer. During those years, I could afford to have some of the best pistolsmiths in the U.S. and Europe work on my pistols. I was happy with the quality of most of their work, but disappointed in the features offered. Being built by people who had never carried a pistol for a living, many of these pistols were less effective, as combat/self-defense weapons, than those I was building for myself.

I found a great deal of enjoyment in pistolsmithing, so when I left the Air Force I moved to Prescott, Arizona. There, I earned an A.A.S. degree in gunsmithing at Yavapai College while teaching as adjunct professor of business administration at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott campus.

I was part of Jeff Cooper's first Pistol Provost Workshop at the American Pistol Institute in December 1984, to include teaching classes at Gunsite in 1986 and 1987. I had already completed his Basic Course with the Colt .45 pistol, earning the status of expert, and his Special Pistol course, earning the status of Marksman 1.

I also hold an Arizona Community College teaching certificate in gunsmithing, and am certified as a police armorer.

After receiving the gunsmithing degree, I moved to Mesa, Arizona and opened up my own business. For many years I offered a full range of pistolsmithing services and limited work on fighting shotguns and rifles, as well as an original line of tooling for gunsmiths.

I ceased offering gunsmithing services many years ago, and have recently retired from producing tooling.


For something over 30 years, I have specialized in repair and modification of the the Colt 1911 pistol and its variations. While I have done much other work, this, along with the 1903 Springfield rifle, has been my primarily area of interest. I have also written a number of articles covering both firearms and MG related subjects. Some of these articles have been published in national magazines because they were of general interest. In other cases, they were not suitable for mass publication because they dealt with subjects which are of limited interest. The purpose of magazines is to sell advertising. My purpose is to inform and pass along ideas and information developed over a lifetime of shooting and driving sports cars. Hence, when I decided to leave the active gunsmithing field to concentrate on making tools to help other people learn to do gunsmithing and maintain their MG's, I decided to leave the web site up and post articles which would be of interest to that select group of people who want to know more than the banal tripe found in too many magazine articles.

Even though I have retired from tool production, this web site is staying up, for now.

Please contact me if I may be of service to you.

Les Bengtson

Technical Information for Gunsmiths and for Classic Car Enthusiasts