The Ed Brown Signature Edition is based on our timeless Classic Custom pistol, with hand relief engraving by our master engraver. This pistol represents the ultimate in quality firearm craftsmanship at its finest. This is quite simply the finest production pistol available anywhere, at any price.
In the words of our master engraver...."I have spent thousands of hours studying engraving, and I cannot think of a single case where another company has produced a 1911 offering to the general public with this quantity of engraving. I believe the Ed Brown Signature Edition is the most highly engraved 1911 pistol offered as such. I also do my best with every pistol to bring the highest quality for a large production offering. I am proud to be the engraver for the maker of the world's finest high grade 1911."
hi john may from ed brown and i'm lucky enough to be here tonight with our master engraver jim white jim is the guy responsible for all of the signature series of pencils that we do the fully engraved pistols and in the past the partially engraved pistols um he's in my opinion one of the world's most interesting people so we're going to spend some time visiting with him tonight find out about what goes into an engraved pistol and hey jim thanks for taking the time to talk to me great to talk to you glad to be here thank you all right so let's start with this tell me about jim white
uh jim whiting uh engraver uh i started out engraving in 1983 and i was working for santa fe railway and got laid off one winter and had some engraving equipment now that now i had the time so i went to the gentleman who had made the engraving equipment and he gave me a 30 minute little instruction of how to do said go home and play so for a week 14 hours a day i played and at the end of the week why i took back what i'd done and he said huh you look like you're gonna make it buddy so that's where we started and uh so for another number of years uh i worked in a gun shop from 80 say 83 to about 1990. and i did a little engraving there not much but then i had midlife crises i got married at age 40 and ran away to alaska and my wife being the sweetheart that she is said uh if you want to be an engraver why i'll support us while you learn to engrave so for the next 10 or so years i studiously engraved and then in 2000 i was guilded as a master engraver with the firearms in gravers guild here in america and so that was the jim white engraver beginnings jim white from a kid grew up on a farm in central kansas loved guns loved hunting been a gun nut all my life and loved joy and grave and guns have been a big part of my life so did you start out drawing as a kid did you draw a lot i'm not i have some genetic talent uh my mother uh was had great artistic talent she went to college in a local college in her biology notebook where you draw the frog and you dissect all these parts her professor flunked her because he said you could not have done that good at work that had to be copied from somebody so i have a little bit of genetic talent in me but uh more um my brother has more talent than i have i've worked hard for what i have you know mostly most of my artwork has come from through and during my engraving career well you know i find that people that work hard are better artists because they're they're committed to their art you know what i mean people that are born with it aren't always committed to what what they're they do my brother has more talent in his little finger than i've got my whole body and he uh throughout his life now that he's retired he's you know doing something with it but he his entire working life he never you know really pursued the the art part yeah so yeah it's a passion i'm passionate engraver i can talk about engraving for hours so you can cut me off every time you feel like it well see i couldn't draw water man i'm that guy that if it's not straight lines with a ruler i'm in trouble you know yeah i know you can draw because you've sent me sketches in the past of ideas that you had and stuff that you know i know you're capable of it i just i find it interesting that you decided to engrave and that's kind of how it happened it sounds like it just it just happened yeah my whole life has just been kind of a happen you know what me too though i i sort of stumbled into things and we're glad we're where we're at oh absolutely you know glad where we're at you know me well enough to know that i enjoy every minute of my life so i got no complaints about any of that i know i there's very i don't know anybody i trade places with let's put it that way no i'm the same way i think i'm pretty happy with my myself and my surroundings you know uh so you said you became a master engraver in 2000 is that what that was correct so what is it how do you test to be a master engraver you have uh a you have to present at least two pieces which have uh which show certain capabilities and and and skill uh you would have to the pieces would have to display uh skill and scroll work in inlay work uh in border work and animals and i think that's probably it you could use both pieces in various fashions to show those i did a 629 smith wesson stainless gun it was a prototype for a local distributor and i got him to give me serial number zero zero one which i engraved and uh so that was one of the pieces then i did a matched pair of smith's um a 60 and a 651 22 magnum j frame and a 38 special j frame and get him pretty much identical and i was highly irritated because at that time smith and wesson was giving a 500 award for the best handgun at the engraving show and that was the one year they quit giving it and i had it one hands down i was robbed
well i would think a revolver is quite a bit harder to engrave than a than a 1911 for example i love 1911's because uh i engrave under a microscope which you can see in the background here one of the problems with a microscope is you have limited field of view and so you you must keep your work inside that that field of view and that takes time you must reposition so a revolver is a thousand times worse i use holding fixtures to move you know parts around and keep them centered but a 1911 slide you just march from one end to the other and the slide part is glorious i have a fixture that i work on the frame with to move it around and keep it centered up but i love 1911 that's my favorite firearm to engrave of all well as you might guess i'm pretty good fan of 1911's myself i just turned i turned 55 this week and i've been messing with them since i was 18. so i've been around them a while and i guess i've been selling them professionally for 30 years or maybe longer i don't know but it is one of my favorite guns so of all the projects you've done what what has been your favorite you think for ed brown or for oh just in general i i'm just in general got to be at brown
well i appreciate that i'm sorry uh for those who don't know uh i started uh engraving for ed in 2007. i met him at the shot show uh kind of a reference from another friend dropped by and uh he i didn't know it but he had seen some of my engraving through this other friend and uh he said would you be interested in doing a little engraving on the front of a slide and the back of a slide says i can't draw but he quick sketched out kind of what he wanted i said that's what i do i'd be happy to so that's where we started and then in 2010 i attended the shot show and that's when things got interesting uh he and travis uh we had it called a huddle and we they said where everybody's going to do something next year big in 2011 for the 100th anniversary of the 1911. and we want to blow everybody else out of the water so i had done a personal gun for ed and they said we want that pattern and we're going to do 10 guns send them to you in july do one quickly send it back for the catalog and then you'll have the rest of the year to do the other nine so this is what happened i got the guns in july did one quickly had some other engraving commitments but by november i had four more done and i got an email from travis and he said
how are you coming on those other guns and i said well i've got four more done and so i'm working on number six i can ship those four if you like and he said yeah better ship them first day we put them on the website november 1 we sold all 10. second day we sold 10 more third day we saw 10 more and it's like all hell broke loose in engraving land um so i they have they had great faith they put great trust in me which i was happy to say i never let them down that that i would handle that load they never asked me they just started sending guns and uh so so for the next five and a half years i engraved 11 hours a day seven days a week for five and a half years for ed brown so ed brown's pretty big in my world well thank you you know i'm always surprised i had a conversation about this today as a matter of fact so this year i know you've seen uh engraved the demand for engraved guns comes and goes it sort of ebbs and in the flows and this year we've seen a tremendous resurgence of interest and it's it's kind of fun because those are the easiest customers in the world to sell to they already know that they want something unique and something refined and they want it to to suit their palate and and you provide such a great piece of art that it's easy for me to sell it but i've been amazed by and it's like groups of them which is kind of cool too you know though a guy will call up and say i'd like to buy five of these i want to give one to each of my partners or whatever and it's been a tremendous interest in engraved guns so much so that i'm well we're doing this video to start with i'm going to make you famous if you're not already
people don't realize though the craft that goes into you know a lot of times people look at it and i don't think they understand what it takes those of us that have been around this long time we appreciate it at a different level than i i think most folks just wandering up to look at they go it's engraved well there's a little more to it than that you know there's a there's a lot that goes into the background something that i think is incredible is how similar your patterns look from one gun to the next that's got to be incredibly difficult it uh i i have a layout process and uh now one of the things that uh i have to smile uh a lot of a lot of uh companies have gone to the laser
the laser has taken away a lot of simple engraving but i could tell in a heartbeat what uh you know right now laser is not sophisticated enough that i i don't really feel like i compete with laser one of the interesting things about a laser is a laser works from a fixed two fixed points right so you have uh one side of a of a rectangle on the other side of a rectangle but the other two it can't work from those sides it has to work in its own dimension so if you look at a laser 1911 slide it's going to be there's going to be a fat gap at the top and a fat gap at the bottom if they started at the front or vice versa it's just because the top is going to be hand polished and when you bring a hand a human hand into it you're going to have varied dimensions so therefore this slide is going the pattern is going to be exactly the same no matter what the slide does as far as dimensions well i adjust every pattern every one because number one i've done this hundreds of times not only for ed brown but for everything else and so each one is unique but yet so close that you know it it is appreciable that they are that much similar yeah well you know you mentioned the laser i've seen some pretty incredible dimensional engraving you know almost relief engraving and i saw it and i knew immediately it was laser because there is a dramatic difference between something that's programmed and something that's art i mean you can i can see it from a distance you just look at it and go it's almost too perfect when it's when it's programmed like that and you're right there's no sense of um i don't know if scale is the right word or or i don't know just there's something about when you look at something that's laser it is it is so flat i guess you're right i mean i guess it's a bird it's a burn versus a a a uh a carved like a with a carved chisel with a with a really sharp point it's going to have a burn trough at the bottom we can't do it any other way so you can see that in the in the work itself but they're they're i'm they're doing some amazing things so don't give me anything i think one thing it'll never be able to do is a computer doesn't have the human perspective it doesn't see it like a human does it sees it in x's and
and i guess that's the same reason that uh engraved art will never be the art of the laser will never be appreciated as much i mean let's face it people see it as they can get it done for less right right well if the person the the person who appreciates fine hand engraving is not going to buy a laser piece right and and you're really not crossing over that much the the person who looks at a piece of laser engraving and says my gosh that's gorgeous uh you're not going to get him anyway no because he's he's in a different class than the guy it would be like someone who appreciates a fine original oil versus somebody who uh you know takes a a copy uh that this you're never going to get the the uh original oil painting lover to uh go and look at a a cheap reproduction it's just not going to happen i would say the same principle applies to our guns absolutely various makers of 1911's they're paying for the hand fit in the quality of a hand-built gun same with engraving they're paying for the hand engraved gun and the artist's perspective and talent you know you pay more for skill develop than you do for time on the project right let's face it we were we were very fortunate that that i came along at a time and i had a relationship with with ed brown products at the time just the perfect time uh i believe there was a built up demand for a highly engraved weapon let alone you know revolver or uh 1911 but the the combination of ed's brown products superb weapon and what i consider to be a fairly decent engraving uh really really kind of captured the market for a while well it's almost a perfect fit if you think about it the classic stance of a 1911 and the classic appeal of engraving it fits together very well i can tell you that with social media anytime we post an engraved gun it gets tremendously more views than just a gun because people do appreciate it i've watched the demographics and yes it's true it's a different audience but it's still an audience and it's a large audience you know and i think it's cool i think i know that i always say this sometimes and so my post is it makes me feel comfortable it comforts me to see there's something about an engraved gun that says everything's okay you know right right that probably sounds goofy to a lot of people but that's the truth i mean you see that laying in a display case or in a holster or whatever i mean look it all the way back to uh texas rangers you know they were famous for having engraved guns in their holsters right right they took they took a lot of pride in the tools that they used for their job you know no i i you're talking to them you're you're talking to the choir here this is a man who believes in engraving one of my favorite projects that you've done it was the cobra pistol now i know not many people have seen that unless they saw on social media because it was snatched up pretty quick but the the hood across the top of the slide to me was fantastic i mean it just it almost seemed like it was made there you know what i mean it fit so well on the top of the knife i remember showing that gun to people at shot show very limited as you know i mean we try to protect those pretty well but there were people in there that were that were so appreciative of the art of it all that i thought was pretty incredible and the the guy who ended up with that who's will remain nameless uh truly loves it you know he was he was a huge fan and and just i'm sure it's psyched away in some gun case somewhere inside a big gun room somewhere you know yeah yeah it's probably not being used but uh no that was a that was a fun project uh when you talked about limited showing it to limited people i have to laugh i remember the first uh time i went to the shot show after we started the centennial model and some guy asked to see it and i you know yeah look i've done these things i've played with that i yanked it out and handed it to him and for poor travesties no no we don't do that
you know i'm pretty liberal about who who i share it with um after as long as i've done this i can pretty much judge a guy that knows what he's looking at you know what i'm gonna handle it right yeah and uh i once lost my mind over in iwa in germany over poor handling of 1911's and i i watched it for a week and finally snapped the last day i hate people that dropped the slide without you know picking up around and it drives me insane and i i just finally snapped after five days of watching that so at this point in my career i can i can pick those guys from a long ways away you know right right most people do show um some common sense and some courtesy to when they handle the guns thank god i mean you know shot show is not a great example because most of those guys are dealers and somewhat professional maybe not the right the top of the page but they're somewhat professional so i'm looking down my list of questions so what about taking care of an engraved gun are there any special care instructions or is it the same as any other gun um okay of course it depends on the finish uh if if you have a blued finish uh you would just be a little more careful to uh make sure that it was was oiled yeah because you have cuts and if you get moisture in the bottom of a cut then that can compound it's it's not as easy to wipe off every trace of of moisture as it would be a regular one but other than that the stainless guns are you know literally bulletproof those stainless guns that we engrave and you know iron gray for you guys that engraving will last as long as a gun does i don't care how much you know you you have to have holstered that hundreds and hundreds of thousands of times to wear you know maybe at one point on the uh front of the slide for example that would begin to show any kind of damage to the engraving that a lot one of one of the things that used to irritate me so much when i would go to display at shows was that's too purdy to to for me to take out ah well you're not gonna be my customer anyway so hey let me tell you well i always tell somebody that's right that'll last a lot longer than you do buddy right when somebody says that to me i said yeah you know texas rangers never engraved their guns ever and uh every texas ranger i've ever known and it's not very many but i do know a few uh they had really lovely guns and they used them every day oh yeah so you know there's some in the texas ranger hall of fame that you can see that have been around for a long time and the engraving's still sharp in there i've always encouraged people to take them out and use them you know to me it's like i uh we did a special run uh for ed brown with a fine english scroll on and uh i think we called him an exhibition model or something anyway to me this to take that gun out and use it and have a little slight blue wear on it uh would remind me of a fine purdy or a holland and holland shotgun that had been to the field and seen some life and you you bring that back home and and every every little wear marker every scratch tells a story about that gun and to me uh you know a gun locked away that never gets to be used uh it misses some of that that life that that i i enjoy i wish i wish we could make guns tell stories about their lives yeah we can't um but we can keep an eye on the ones that you and i create you know i i agree with you i think worn guns in general have a story and those that are pristine that are just brought out once in a while their story is i'm ignored and left in here in the dark yeah i've been hidden away right you know i i know people have different ideas about how they do things but i'm one of those guys that i don't own a lot of wall hangers you know most of my guns are are used and they're there for a reason you know there was something about them that interested me to you know brought them to me i know probably the coolest guns i've seen in my life were all working guns um you know the the sykes fairbain pistol from the hong kong police you know uh they say it killed more people than malaria i had the opportunity to handle one of those one time and i thought well this may be the coolest thing i've ever had in my hand right because of its history and you talk about having a story to tell for the record it did not look pristine it was rode hard and put up wet through right right no i i i like to see them used and i encourage everybody to take them out and use them yeah so one other thing i know you have hunted all over the world and i know that's a favorite pastime of yours tell me about the favorite places you've traveled to
um the the my favorite hunt uh would be for the big you know white doll sheep here in alaska i grew up reading jack o'connor who was a uh put an addict from the old days and i wanted to hunt sheep and so i had an opportunity to come up here i never hunted sheep like everyone else did uh the majority of sheep hunters in alaska will get in the super cub and they'll fly around they'll spot a sheep then they'll land someplace and they'll go hunting i basically put on a great big heavy backpack walked away from the road with three weeks worth of food solo and went into the mountains and looked for sheep and it was um a solo experience is a little different than you know a couple buddies going out you have to pay a little bit closer attention to your uh uh footing uh the weather you know various bears and it's all on you right i mean so it was uh that was my favorite hunt and so therefore the alaska mountains uh where i hunted sheep would be my favorite place how cool is that you know you just did call of the wild there right yeah anyway you look at it that's what you're talking about see that that doesn't surprise me about you what i know about you is that whole there's more than just a hunt there there's all that demand to survive it's almost uh yeah it's almost a spiritual experience yeah i can see that uh to be you know by yourself and and uh if you believe in a supreme being with him you know kind of keeping an eye on you too uh i late years have a satellite phone in the early years we didn't have that kind of a safety net i did some solo hunts for you walk away from the road and you you have a general area you tell somebody you're going and you say you tell your wife well if i'm not back by this date call the troopers
and uh so you know i was fortunate enough that i was i was back every time so it didn't prove to be a problem that's incredible so anything you want to add about our engraved business together that i haven't asked you about or you haven't said anything about yet um i've it's it's really been a a great a great ride the one this is more about me than the business but uh for those uh i i'm a polyphasic person now paula phasing is the person the the term started with leonardo da vinci who i certainly not but he would work four hours sleep for 20 minutes work four hours sleep for 20 minutes and when i started that five and a half years of heavy 11 hours a day for ed brown you cannot sit for 11 hours and not have health problems you'll get you'll end up with deep vein thrombosis and it'll kill you yeah i flirted with at one time and so i developed a a lifestyle where i will sleep a couple hours then i'll work three or four hours exercise an hour all the way around the clock and so i actually exercise at least three hours a day which is way more than you know would be would be normal my longest sleep period is three hours uh two o'clock to five o'clock in the morning and my longest work period is uh four hours from ten o'clock till 2am and it's it works for me um the 11 hours a day for five and a half years sounds like it would be you know really a burden but when you really love to engrave like i do it's not so much of a burden uh you know it's uh like i said before i'd i'd rather um i'd rather engrave for 11 hours it's and and something i love than do two hours a day at something i hate so well gmi has certainly appreciated you taking the time to do this video with me um yeah absolutely you know i tell people when they ask me about our engraver i say he's the world's most interesting man you know those commercials i expect you to have a a nice uh ale in your hands or something and until what nobody knows is the hours we spent visiting a shot show and yeah how much you've taught me over the years about all kinds of things and and how much i've enjoyed talking to you but again thank you for taking the time to do this and you know what we'll talk again soon okay as you can see he is the world's most interesting man his artwork is second to none and just take a look for yourself you'll see and if you want the very best always look for the eb thank you for your business
Caliber: 45 ACP
Barrel Length: 5"
Weight: approximately 40 ounces with an unloaded magazine inserted
- • 5" Government model slide, single stack government model frame.
- • 25 LPI checkering on forestrap and mainspring housing.
- • Special high polish slide, with 50 LPI serrations on back of slide to match serrated adjustable sight.
- • Hand relief engraved package (includes flats of slide and frame, grip screws, and flats of thumb safety, grip safety, slide stop, mag release and one engraved magazine). The spare magazine is not engraved.
- • Traditional "square cut" cocking serrations on rear of slide only.
- • Adjustable rear sight buried deep into slide, gold bead front sight.
- • Custom rib on top of slide (top of slide is flattened, serrated, then relieved on each side to give the appearance of a raised rib).
- • Single-side, tactical profile thumb safety.
- • Two-piece guide rod for smoother cycling and easier disassembly.
- • Mag catch with oversize 40 LPI checkered button.
- • Buckeye burl grips.