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American Handgunner Nov/Dec 2011 Digital Edition - Page 40
PISTOLSMITHING Alex Hamilton THE INSIDE SCOOP ON PISTOLSMITHING TECHNIQUES HECK F PISTOLS FOR THE Sometimes it’s hard for a custom pistolsmith to part with a gun he’s labored long and hard over, but money talks — so, out the door they go! inishing and shipping a custom pistol or revolver to a man like you, is a time of mixed sentiment for the accomplished custom pistolsmith. When it’s time for the gun to go out the door, it can be an emotional moment. Many times, we have become somewhat attached to that little “lead-injector,” with its beautiful, custom, exotic wood grips, classic lines and useless custom adornments and flawless, flowing ergonomics. It’s tough, but money rules business; babies in cribs have needs and wives will never understand. UPS grabs it and takes it to you: a man who will run his calloused fingers and experienced eyes over the polished metal, rough-textured checkering, custom parts, colorful grips — and sights he can actually see. The experience doesn’t stop with touch, but extends to the eye, where even a grizzled, old war veteran will see the Alex likes to build graceful lines of a tool designed by men custom 1911s on basic just like him. He sees the perfect lines in Springfield guns because his new custom gun, making the firearm in of their affordability and solid construction. his hand an extension of himself. The metal is melded with the character and talent of a gunsmith who labors to give you what Human sensations don’t stop with you want, helping to satisfy your desires the sense of touch or sight. Your regarding your perfect handgun. nostrils expand to capture the scent of gun oil, solvent and even the soft aroma of the gunsmith’s shop, from which this masterpiece was born. Is that pipe tobacco you smell as you unwrap the paper, hearing it crackle, as room lights glint on the revealed, polished blue finish? Alex’s “just for the heck of it” Springfield he built for himself, sports the new Tripp Research sights and Wicked Grips. OF IT MAN JEWELRY W ith all this in mind, we custom gunsmiths really do sometimes have problems giving up these magnificent pieces of “man jewelry” to their rightful owners, so we have a solution. Every once in a while, we add our name to the queue, and when our name pops up we build one of these jewels for ourselves — just for the heck of it. They usually don’t last very long after customers see them and start the shameful begging and pleading for the gunsmith to sell the personal treasure. Well, money talks with a loud voice, family responsibilities enter the picture and, lo and behold, there’s another gun “done gone.” That’s what will most likely happen to the pistol in the photo, which I built, “just for the heck of it” — but for now, it ain’t goin’ nowhere. The Springfield Armory pictured began life as a 1911-A1 model, which is a model I dearly love to use as a base for custom work. It’s an inexpensive, quality foundation for the finest custom pistol. It will reward you for life, no matter how much you shoot it, smell it, feel it, look at it or listen to the roar. The rear sight is the new K-1 adjustable from Tripp Research, and the talented men and women at Wicked Grips created the exquisite grips. Hey, what’s this? Well shucks, I sold it! Time to put my name back in the queue, eh? For info: www.americanhandgunner. com/tripp-research or /wicked-grips * 40 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER2011