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'Enigma #3'

This is one of Paul's passion projects that he's been building as time allows, and is now nearing completion. Built on the last of the external extractor Pistol Dynamics carbon steel chassis that were discontinued in 2016, this handgun features a showcase of the metal checkering artform that has been synonymous with Paul's pistols for decades.


Precision manual machining has resulted in a fit and finish of an exceptional standard. The quality of materials used together with Paul's experience as a world class competitor has produced not only a handsome piece, but one of an extreme level of performance. Finally, one of the most important aspects of a custom unit of this grade is the inclusion of a set of unique grips to complement the pistol. For this piece, Rob Rowen produced a pair of rare snake wood panels to round off the project. The result is a unique example of the dying trade of the 'absolute custom' 1911. Although Paul's preference would be to blue the sights and leave the pistol in the white as is often done with unique firearms at this level, It's expected that this handgun will eventually be finished in a high grade 'gun metal' blue. However, but that will be at the behest of the new owner.

UPDATE: Signup for those interested in purchasing this pistol will close at the end of the day May, 31 2024. Thanks to all who have taken part in this process. We will be contacting those who participated starting June, 3 2024 with further details. 

For specifications and ordering, see below. 


"When initiating a 'clean sheet of paper' project I have a habit of doing so without a formal plan. I nick-named these projects 'Enigmas' because more often than not I don't know what they're ultimately going to be. This pistol started out as a set of precise Pistol Dynamics components that looks similar to the first image above, all high end CNC'd bits. The only thing I was certain of was the caliber and the fact that it would have an external extractor. I've been tinkering with this piece for a long time and it feels good to see the checkered flag - pun not intended, sorry."

Update: 'Enigma 3' will take its place as a key feature in an upcoming coffee table book on Paul's lifelong association with the Browning locked breach pistol authored by one of the most prolific collectors of custom 1911 pistols in the US. The serial number in Greek Numerals MCMXI-L (1911-50) is in recognition of 2024 as Paul's 50th year designing and building handmade pistols on the most venerable handgun platform in the history of firearms.



  • Timeless design

  • Absolute component quality

  • Uncompromising build precision

  • No 'fad' features

  • No electronic sight

  • No suppresor

  • No belled mag well (cutting Rowen grips would be sacrilegious)

Build List​

  • Pistol Dynamics (PD) Slide/Frame Fit (slip fit no shake)

  • Custom PD Machined Beavertail

  • PD Machined MSH

  • PD Custom Machined Match Grade Barrel - 45ACP

  • PD Spherical ISS Bushing with Custom Plug

  • Solid ISS Bushing (Optional Install)

  • PD Stainless Guide Rod

  • Ed Brown Slide Stop (Modified)

  • Ed Brown Single Safety (Modified)

  • Ed Brown Mag Catch (Modified)

  • PD ISS Front Sight - Exposed Gold Bead

  • PD 'Bomar' Adjustable Rear Sight

  • PD External Extractor System

  • Beveled Mag Well

  • Grips - Rowen Snake Wood


Springs (Balanced Wolff):

  • Main Spring- 17lb

  • Firing Pin Spring - Extra Power

  •  Recoil Spring-  18.5 

  • Sear Spring - Stainless

  • Mag Catch Spring - Reduced Power

  • Plunger Spring - STD


Ignition System:​

  • Custom Cut Commander Hammer

  • PD Competition Sear and Disconnector

  • Trigger - Customer Choice

  • Weight 3-1/4 lbs


Hand Checkering:

  • ​Slide Rib 40lpi - with French Border

  • Rear Sight Blade 3/4 - 50lpi

  • Slide Rear - 50lpi

  • Ejector - 50lpi

  • Cocking panels - 30lpi

  • Front Strap - 30lpi

  • Main Spring Housing - 30lpi

  • Trigger Guard - 30lpi

  • Custom Recoil Spring Plug - 40lpi

  • Mag Catch - 30lpi

  • Custom 'Commander' Hammer - 30lpi



  • Polish - Two Tone (Left in the white)

  • Coating - Customer Preference



Two Magazines - Additional Available

Custom Bushing Wrench

User Manual on a USB drive

Signed Test Traget

Signed Letter of Authenticity

Fitted Pelican 1400 Double Layer Case - Extra Mag pockets in Lower Level

Custom Routed Medical Grade High Density Foam Inserts

Insert Color - Customer Choice

The ultimate goal for the handgun when complete is to run it through the photo studio, provide images to the author of an upcoming coffee table book and then move it on to a new owner.


Final note: This pistol will not be available through PD Products/Pistol Dynamics. Interested parties should click here to be sent to the relevant page on how to be informed on when the unit will be available for purchase.

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