The Best of the Best? Nighthawk Custom’s Turnbull Pistol & More—SHOT Show 2017.

To learn more, visit

To purchase a Nighthawk Custom pistol on, click this link:


Nighthawk turns out anything but ordinary guns, and this year was no exception. One bit of big news, they have teamed up with Korth for a line of Nighthawk Custom revolvers. Korth revolvers tend to be so expensive and so rare in the US I have never even held one before this. I didn’t get to live fire one, but the dry fire convinced me that they are pretty spectacular. The smoothest trigger pull I have ever felt on a revolver, and I own some pretty nice ones. Unfortunately, they did check my pockets before we left, so I am not sure we will ever get a full review on this one. But I’ll ask. All they can say is no, and we have a restraining order.

GunsAmerica had a chance to swing by the Nighthawk booth at SHOT Show 2017.

Second bit of big news concerned what Nighthawk is most known for. In 1911s, they are among the three biggest names when it comes to custom, and they will put their kung fu up against anyones’. This year they teamed with Doug Turnbull, to add some of his custom finish work to a Nighthawk/Turnbull mash up in the VIP 1 pistol. It wasn’t tactical grey; not even close. Doug Turnbull is legendary for restoring older firearms, and offering a finish to guns like that seen 150 years ago.

The new VIP 1 from Doug Turnbull and Nighthawk is a real eye catcher.


  • Chambering: .45 ACP
  • Barrel: 5 inches
  • OA Length: 8.66 inches
  • Weight: 37.4 ounces
  • Grips: Mastodon Ivory
  • Sights: 14K Solid Gold bead
  • Action: Single-action
  • Finish: Case Hardened
  • MSRP: $7,495.00


The case hardened colors of this line are truly amazing. I’m not even a 1911 guy, and I wanted one. Doug Turnbull is an artist, and no two of these are the same. It is a fascinating color scheme for a finish, in a time that Cerakote rules the day. The MSRP is a little out of my price range, but if you are a 1911 fan, this is a very different high-end option.

The pistol has an attractive finish and very distinctive grip panels.

The pistol also has top-quality parts and accessories, such as this Heine rear sight.

Pricing & Availability

The Turnbull VIP 1 from Nighthawk Custom has a starting price of $7,495 and is available now. If you have the coin, this one is probably well worth a look. It certainly caught my attention!

To learn more, visit

To purchase a Nighthawk Custom pistol on, click this link:

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Lukeum March 22, 2019, 10:22 am

    man you gotta carry just to leave a comment here you guys are tough on each other it’s just a comment

  • Moe February 7, 2018, 11:00 am

    My fear is always rust. I buy stainless guns almost exclusively now (and they usually have some variant of black nitride finishe over top, depending on the manufacturer). I do maintain my guns, but every now and then, conditions/circumstances would lead to a bit of orange forming in some nook or cranny on one of my carbon-steel fireams. If this happened to an $8000 gun, I’d be very depressed.

  • ejharb February 2, 2017, 5:47 pm

    Agree,not a 1911 guy but if I had 8gs to burn and this got into my line of vision I’d go for it.

    Need some crazy holster for it.can they make cloth from gold?

    Then I can go to a trump party and feel at home!

  • Beachhawk February 2, 2017, 3:31 pm

    It’s a gorgeous pistol, but how many people have $7,500 to spend on a handgun? And what do you do with a pistol that expensive? I’d be afraid of having it stolen, or that I might drop it, or that my holster might mar the finish, or (gasp!) I that might slip and put an idiot scratch on the slide. It’s beautiful, but it’s not for me. I love 1911s, but they are only tools that I like to carry and use; not works of art.

  • Leighton Cavendish February 2, 2017, 10:48 am

    Cabot also makes some VERY nice 1911s…as does Republic Forge…
    They also have eye-popping price tags…because of all the custom work that goes into them

  • Allen Lawson February 2, 2017, 8:55 am

    I guess I’m to practical. Its just a weapon .I promise you my out of the box shot groups with my weapons and the bad guy would be just as dead the targets would be in the acceptable range .for another $6900 or so you can say my piece is must more pretty than yours . Ha go ahead its America if you have the desire and the means go for it

  • Simon February 2, 2017, 8:38 am

    Clay – your interviews are interesting but in all your videos you always overcrowd the person you are interviewing. It is distracting and hard to concentrate on the interview as you snatch the items from their hands and PLEASE, never drop the hammer in a $7,500 1911 unless you are buying it!

    • Paul Helinski February 2, 2017, 8:56 am

      It’s shotshow fucktard. What do you think the guns are there for?

    • Bert February 2, 2017, 10:06 am

      In all fairness Clay didn’t snatch the gun… he showed he wanted to hold it and then it was (carefully) given to him. He also asked permission to drop the hammer on it and was given permission.

    • Tripwire February 2, 2017, 12:39 pm

      To get both men in the picture they have to stand close, also Clay’s not a runt and takes up more room than most. I like his no bull shit interviews. And yes he asked permission to hold the gun as well as permission to drop the hammer. What up and smell the coffee.

  • Ralph February 2, 2017, 8:33 am

    That has got to be the ugliest set of grips I’ve seen. Instead of wasting space on ANOTHER OVERPRICED 1911, you should have reviewed the 308 AR under $1000.00 thoroughly. Going to have to cancel this crap.

    • Paul Helinski February 2, 2017, 9:03 am

      Hey Ralph, why don’t you trade your free Obama phone in for an alarm clock, let go of your therapist and all the meds, and go get a fucking job.

    • Damn Dave February 2, 2017, 9:30 am

      I agree the grips are on the ugly side. What are they made of?

      • Bert February 2, 2017, 10:10 am

        Mammoth Ivory. They said it twice in the video. As much as I love Ivory grips you are correct but understated. These grips are Butt Ugly and shouldn’t have been cut from a cross section of the tusk. To each their own I guess.

  • jimbo February 2, 2017, 8:02 am

    Wow – a whole new level of unobtainable. They should call it the Wall Street. 🙂

    Disclaimer: Nothing wrong with expensive guns! Good for them. #merica !

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