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GUNS Magazine August 2011 Digital Edition - Page 18
• C L I N T S M I T h • P h O T O S : h E I d I S M I T h • These are very solid items. have been fortunate to have jobs I liked all of my adult I life. This writing—using the term loosely on my part—is fun and, although I am not great at it, I think most of the time I can contribute something to the folks who might read my columns. Part of the fun aspect is getting to use really good gear. Starting his business in 1983, Craig Spegel is quickly approaching three decades of stock making for handguns. His work and designs are copied by many and stolen by some, but in neither case are they ever equaled, in my opinion. Craig has made over 20,000 pairs of stocks over the years and the revolver stocks made by him are unmatched in fit, function and quality of wood. Spegel’s absolute forte is the revolver stock, and I hardly own a revolver that doesn’t have a pair of stocks either of the boot-grip or fullgrip design. The boot-grip design is a personal favorite, even on N-frame Smith & Wessons and they provide a degree of concealment while providing a positive, solid, grip area. Spegel’s stocks come in smooth or checkered formats; the smooth are prettier, but the checkered are more functional as the smooth versions are finished so well that they can be a bit slippery sometimes. Grips are offered for J, K, L and N frames for round or If you desire a little more gripping surface, Spegel also makes an “extended Boot Grip” (above) to give a little more purchase to larger hands. The Loading Tray from CnC shooters (below) is a wellmade, heavy-duty unit of aluminum and come marked for a specific caliber. GOOd GEAr square butt. There is also a conversion setup that allows for round-butt guns to be fitted to wear a square-butt set of stocks. So the pistol people don’t get a lip on, Spegel also makes stocks for autoloading pistols, with the bulk of them being for the 1911 or Browning P-35 Hi-Power. These are set up to use either single-sided or Swenson ambi-type safeties. Broad spectrums of woods are available including Ebony, Rosewood, Kingwood and Pau Ferro, to name a few. Talking to Craig, I asked what wood he liked most and “a highgrade cocobolo” was his reply, almost before I got the question out. This Central American hardwood comes in a variety of shades and textures. With these creations of nature, Craig Spegel produces some spectacular looking and functional products. I can recommend them without reservation. With the price of ammunition The “Boot Grip” by Spegel is often considered only for compact pocket revolvers, but a set can be fitted to—and look great on—a full-size 4"-barreled S&W n-frame .44 Magnum. today it is probably wise to consider loading ammunition or, more properly put, reloading ammunition. I have a nominal six presses set up to load my favorite calibers, or the calibers for which I prefer to generate my own “type” of loads. The calibers I load for in the greatest volume are rifle calibers; those being .308 and .338 Lapua because of costs considerations. While loading rifle cartridges on my Redding press with Redding dies, I set up a system where I load 50 cartridges at a time in an assembly-like line; sizing, re-priming and so forth. When the time comes I put the powder in all the cases before moving them to set the projectile in place. Therein lies the hitch. On more than one occasion I have “bumped” the tray on the table or dropped it and, if you load, you know the next joyful event is the act of the powder being spilled all over—which means a complete doover for all the charges dropped into the cases. It is often a test of will as mutterings of profanity are suppressed while cleaning up 4,500 grains of powder off the floor. 18 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • AUGUST 2011