Background - Methodology

I have been gunsmithing for 54 years, and at this location for 25 years. Starting when barely a teen, by rebluing my fathers, uncles and their friend’s guns, then going on to refinishing dozens more led to learning, repairs and other aspects of gunsmithing such as making small parts, stock making and grip making.

In 1978 I had the opportunity to work with a gunsmith of the first order, and the education was priceless. He was finicky, and taught me to take as much time as needed to do things exceptionally well.

Most recently I worked at my home shop for a couple of small gun stores where friends worked, and did work on their customers handguns. As new rules chased licensed gunsmiths out of California, and forced these two small shops to close, it freed up my time somewhat, and has allowed me to have the ability to take on a few new discriminating clients.

With refinishing work, everything is done by hand with no power tools. My goal is to keep things flat, sharp and straight; no rounded edges or dished out screw holes, taking out imperfections left by the factory, keeping lettering sharp and clear. It takes a lot more time doing this work without power tools, but it is the proper way to do it. To me, a revolver or pistol, is a swiss watch.

I make custom grips, but like most of the finer things in life they do take time to fabricate; 30 hours to perfectly fit and shape, and a few weeks to apply the hand rubbed oil finish, if wood is the material used. If grips that fit so well that the transition from metal to wood is almost imperceptible is your desire, I can do that. With idols like Roy Fishpaw and Charles Able as my motivation you can be assured of the best.

The 1911 pistol is a design that lends itself well to creativity, with custom checkering usually at the top of my clients list. While many gunsmiths take the easy route of ending their checkering at the top with an trough, I spend three to four hours in this area alone, making a nicely blended front strap / trigger guard juncture. On the Colt Compact Officer Model frames I bring the front strap up as high as it will go, so that the pinky finger isn’t dangling from the bottom.

The addition of a high rise beavertail grip safety is another very popular modification to the 1911 pistol. Blending one to the frame involves more than just properly fitting the beavertail, but also the thumb safety at the rear edge has to be re-contoured to the reshaped frame. This part is difficult to shape due to the harder steel it is made from. Tool attrition is high, but I sacrifice all to get it perfect. Otherwise, you the shooter are going to feel this shortcoming when you are shooting the gun.

Another example of a small, but time intensive creative detail is located at the bottom end of the back strap on the 1911 pistol. I change this angle to make it more parallel to the front strap. Not only does it improve the pointability of the handgun for many of my customers, it makes it more concealable for those CCW holders who regularly carry the 1911. And most importantly, it doesn’t ruin the profile of the handgun. I have made this modification to all of my personal 1911’s and quite a few customers guns with good feedback.

Why not take a few moments to view the above examples (and much more) in my handgun Gallery. And remember, these are just a few of many custom touches I can add to your handguns. Check out the Price List for many of the popular choices, but if you desire something extra special, I am just a call away.