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American Handgunner Jul/Aug 2011 Digital Edition - Page 30
Clint Smith REALITYCHECK TM FIRST-PERSON THOUGHTS ON SURVIVING IN THE REAL WORLD Power CusTom ‘FinAlly ’ Gun i n my younger years during the 1970s while pursuing a law enforcement career, I shot competition in the thenpopular PPC format. The Practical Pistol Course, in retrospect, may not have been all that practical or tactical but it did give a youngster a chance to get trigger time. I used what I could afford then, that being my duty S&W Model 19 revolver. I competed against good shots who often had the “go-fast gear” of the era. Being a S&W guy I always longed for a Ron Power built Smith. I couldn’t afford a Power-built revolver in those days; not because they were over-priced so much as cops simply didn’t earn much. At the SHOT Show in 2010, I returned to the FMG booth to find a big fellow waiting for my return. A stout guy in his 70s, the extended hand greeted me with “Hello, I’m Ron Power and I wanted to meet you.” Well, first I looked around to see if there was a “leg-pull” in progress and to sort of gain some wits about me. Yes, Ron Power wanted to meet me. We talked for some time about the old days and PPC shooting and whom he thought was the best shot he ever saw at the game. We talked of the transition era from the revolver to the now exclusively used autopistol in PPC competitions. After some time he asked if I had never owned a Power Custom PPC gun. Even a pig will find a strawberry once in awhile, because after some discourse he, Ron Power himself, said he would build me, Clint, a Power Custom. Not being cool enough in itself, Mr. Power offered to build me the last full-blown “Grandmaster Deluxe” PPC revolver he would build. “I’ll have to dig around, but I think I can find the parts to build you the gun — but it’s the last one of these I plan on building.” I scooped a 686 from friend Dewayne Irwin and that gun was in flight to Gravois Mills, Mo., in like the now-mode. Then, in December 2010, after several “details” calls the revolver got here just before Christmas. Merry Christmas to me. Clint with his “finally” Ron Power PPC gun. He said it shoots like a laser beam. The Gun F irst off there is no way to completely describe how cool this revolver is. The .38/.357-caliber revolver wears a 6" slab-sided barrel, fully adjustable front and rear sights on an 8" rib, all done-up in a very high class act way. Attached beneath the barrel is a rock-solid weight to help balance the gun. The jeweled trigger and hammer are truly slicker than glass, bearing a smooth, non-serrated trigger. The barrel is marked Grand Master Deluxe, with additional barrel/rib markings being those of Ron Power’s signature and the American Pistolsmiths Guild logo. The side plate bears the Power Grand Master logo with the Smith & Wesson logo on the thumb latch side of the gun. Aaron Hogue provided the excellent finger groove stocks to Mr. Power for the building of this last full-house PPC gun. The frame/yoke has the locking-ball detent system, and the cylinder has the chamfered, numbered charge holes. Photo: Randall Power finally Shooting One a The last Power “Grandmaster Deluxe” PPC gun ever to be built. It only took Clint 40+ years to finally get one! Right: You’re actually seeing old-school hand craftsmanship in action — Ron Power at his work bench. s I write this, we are butt-deep to a tall guy in snow, but I took the Power PPC to the range and pounded out 500 rounds on plate racks in the 0-60 yard ranges. Pounded was the correct word, as the revolver never dropped one, not one, off an 8" plate. I really look forward to a weather break to replicate a PPC course and to stretch the gun out to even farther ranges in the “shoot for fun” mode. This may seem a bit odd to some because you can’t get one anymore. To set the record straight this column is truly not about showing off or gloating. For me, the effort was about sharing, in a fashion, a young man’s dream to own a Power Custom that, some 40 years later, became a reality Continued on page 84 30 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JULY/AUGUST2011