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American Handgunner May/June 2011 - Page 72
Naval Special Warfare fouNdatioN charity campaigN stEvE BaiLEY LTW 2010-2011 RaffLe Gun! ften, our lives are measured by how we capitalize on opportunities presented to us. When Louder Than Words (LTW) started, we made a commitment to use our talents and relationships to create opportunities for peole who have gone the extra mile to serve this nation, as police officers and military personnel. During this pursuit, we have raised tens of thousands of dollars for people and organizations who have done just that — and this campaign is no different. Again, we find ourselves with the opportunity to work with the Naval Special Warfare Foundation (NSWF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, whose fundamental role is to support the US Navy’s active duty SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC), support personnel and their families. This support may be providing tragedy assistance for families who have lost a loved one in training or combat, supporting family events to maintain morale and camaraderie or awarding scholarships and providing educational assistance to active duty personnel, their spouses, and their children. Since its inception ten years ago, the administrative and fundraising costs of this organization have averaged 5.5 percent, well below the national average. Based on their mission and last year’s successful campaign, LTW could not be prouder to be associated with this fine organization. O The Package! We knew this year’s offering was going to be outstanding when Joyce Rubino of Colt’s Manufacturing Com- pany agreed to donate a new production Colt Series 70 1911 pistol for the NSWF project. This marks the first year of LTW working directly with Colt. We hope this is the beginning of a continued relationship. My Heirloom Precision partner, Jason Burton, and I built this pistol. We conceptualized a retro-themed project honoring former Naval Special Warfare soldiers and appeal to 1911 aficionados. With its simple design, this piece could be appreciated by the personnel who may have used a similar pistol in their earlier military service. And, the twotone Colt reminds the 1911 crowd of the days when that was the most popular configuration for custom pistols. This was our way of paying homage to the custom ‘smiths who paved the way for a number of new ‘smiths producing highquality pistols today. Some additional touches we would not compromise on were the custom VZ walnut composite stocks John Van Zyck created for this project. Strider Knives made a one-off BR model knife reminiscent of knives used by service personnel throughout our nation’s history. The knife complements the stocks on the gun, the leather and the entire package. Clint and Heidi Smith of Thunder Ranch generously donated the entire catalog of Thunder Ranch training series DVDs. The holsters, magazine carrier, and knife sheath were once again created by John Ralston of 5 Shot Leather. Continuing with the retro theme, John crafted one-off rigs based on the pioneering designs of Bruce Nelson. John’s renditions of the classic Nelson Summer Special, #1 Professional and single magazine carrier are a perfect match for the gun, and the Randall style knife sheath is perfectly fit to the custom Strider. Another item to get excited about is the ASYM Precision ammunition included with this package. A number of shooters, including Jason and myself, have tested this ammunition and can convincingly say it’s some of the finest being produced. Lastly, a campaign seldom succeeds without professional photographs of the completed package. This year, at the eleventh hour, Tony Hernandez of Hernandez Photography offered to donate his services to LTW by photographing the entire package. As always, Brownells is a longstanding contributor to LTW and has always supported professional and amateur gunsmiths, law enforcement and the military. They again came through by donating all the parts built into this Series 70 Custom Colt. We have enjoyed completing another project and are honored we had the opportunity to again work with the NSWF. As always, we have to thank American Handgunner for generously supporting our charitable efforts. It is through these relationships and opportunities LTW is able to contribute to worthy causes that support those that go in harm’s way. * The drawing for this package will be completed on May 1, 2011 at the NRA Convention in Pittsburgh, Pa. To purchase tickets via the Internet please go to: www.nswfoundation.org/linktocolt We’d like to thank: www.coltsmfg.com; www.brownells.com; www.striderknives. com; www.thunderranchinc.com; www. tonyhernandezphotography.com WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MAY/JUNE 2011 72