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I feel like there used to be a list, but it has been a long time and my search-fu is weak. Who are the GoTo smiths out there still working on guns and what all do they work on or, better yet, specialize in.

 

-Shifty

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Roy's Creek Dan in Edmond Okla is my go to gunsmith, his shop name is J&J gunsmith. SCJ

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Around here it's Griner Gunworks.El Mulo Vaquero.He does our cowboy guns.He also builds custom Rifles for folks.

I believe he still advertises in the Chronicle.

                                                                                                                                  Largo

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Lassiter did the short stroke and slicked up on my 32s.Steve Young and done some 92s for me. Johnny Meadows has done SKBs and Baikals for me and a 44.-40 92 for me.Boom Stick has done a 66 for me.I have done my own Ruger 45s and 357s and my Uberti 357s. 

 

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5 hours ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

Anything I don't do myself gets done by Cowboy Carty. 

Still doing action jobs on nerf guns????

 

Texas Lizard

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For me, it depends on what needs to be worked on.

 

Vaqueros - Jimmy Spurs

Uberti 73 - Lefty Wheeler & Brushy Creek Bill

SKB - Lefty Wheeler & Fast Eddie

Octagon Barrels for your Rugers - Snake Oil George

Winchester 73 - Cowboy Carty

 

There is a benefit to having someone local to you to work on your guns.  They can help fine tune them as they know how you shoot.  Also, if they are local, it's a lot easier to get them back and forth if any tweaks need to be made or you need a replacement part.

 

I am sure you can't go wrong with any 'smith listed in this thread!

 

Totes

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Is Jim Bowie still doing action work? I know he has shut down his website and only selling parts through Online outpost.

 

After handling a rifle Jim worked on, I can't imagine they get any smoother. I have handled others that are similar, just to say Jim did amazing work.

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19 hours ago, Silver Creek Jack said:

Roy's Creek Dan in Edmond Okla is my go to gunsmith, his shop name is J&J gunsmith. SCJ

Mine too for anything but my SKBs.  Those go to Fast Eddie.

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Here's the list again, but updated into alphabetical order by State and then by Name

 

  • Arizona - Jim Bowie, Cowboy and Indians Store, Mojave Valley, AZ (714) 210-2720
  • Arizona - The Dusty Bunch, Old West Guns & Gunsmithing, Maricopa, AZ, (520) 568-2852·        
  • Arizona - (by Appointment Only), Johnny Meadows, James   Peoble  johnnymeadows55@yahoo.com
  • Arizona - Ol' #4"s Tuning & Repair, Tucson, AZ, olnumber4@gmail.com, (503) 890-7440 Colt/Colt Clones (C&B, Cartridge); 1873’s; BSS Shotguns       (by appointment only)· 
  •          
  • California - Shotgun Boogie, Uwe Bartch, Shotgun Boogie Gun Works, Glendora, CA (512) 645-4247
  •  
  • Colorado - Boonedocks Guns & Smithing, Clinchcutter, Troy G Kerr, 900 Il Ranch Rd, Boone, CO 81025, (719) 248-8581
  •  
  • Florida - Gun Craft Inc. - Dave Smith, 2102 24th St. S.E., Ruskin, FL 33570 (813) 645-3828
  • Florida - Island Gunsmith - Tommy Bonnet (alias - El Q Jones) Amelia Island, FL (904) 557-4909 
  •  
  • Georgia - Goons Gun Works, Mike Brackett, (Percussion Revolvers) http://www.goonsgunworks.com/  goonsgunworks@gmail.com
  • Georgia - Hogleg Smith Gunsmithing, Hogleg Smith, Neal Spruill, 4970 Poplar Springs Rd. Gainesville, GA 30507 (770) 503-7572
  •  
  • Illinois - Cowboy Carty, Carty Allaman, Western Gun Works, Monmouth, IL (309) 536-0163
  • Illinois - Sgt Eli, Mark Cribelar, Victory Gun Works, Fairfield, Illinois, (618) 204-9972
  •  
  • Indiana- Coyote Moon Gun Works 10749 E. Green Hill Road Otterbein, Indiana 47970 765-427-2201 text or leave a message
  •  
  • Massachusetts - Rust Blue Gunsmithing, Sergey Lyalko, Natick, Ma, Rust Blueing.com, (508) 545-2450
  •  
  • Maine - Gordon Levitt, Single Action - Gray, Maine. (207) 344-9320 
  •  
  • Minnesota - Ahlman's Guns, (formerly Coyote Cap), Morristown, MN (507) 685-4244
  •  
  • Montana - Munden Enterprises, Inc. - Becky Muden/Jeff Ault,  (406) 494-2833 (8AM -8PM Mtn time) Revolvers & 1911s only
  •  
  • Nebraska - Run-N-Iron Customizing, Bertrand, Nebraska, (308) 472-1445
  •  
  • New Mexico - Ken Griner, El Mulo Vaquero, Griner Gunworks, Bloomfield, NM (505) 632-9712
  •  
  • North Carolina - Three Cut, James Club III, Norwood, NC (981) 474-321
  •  
  • Ohio - Lassiter, Tom's Single Action Shop New Lebanon, OH 45345 937-687-1039
  •  
  • Oklahoma - Creek County Kid, The Gun Shop, Sapulpa, Oklahoma, (918) 370-0781
  • Oklahoma - Roy’s Creek Dan, Jere Korthanke, (405) 615-4577
  • Oklahoma - Snake Oil George, Doyle Stockstill, (918) 729-0430
  •  
  • Oregon - Pioneer Gunworks, Portugy Joe, Joe Alves; Jr., Springfield, OR (541) 515-6084
  •  
  • Pennsylvania - Encks Gun Barn, 17 East Main Ave., Myerstown, Pa., 17067, (717) 628-5084 
  •  
  • Tennessee -  Widder, Maryville TN -  Henry .22 rifles only   865 / 696-1996
  •  
  • Texas - Boomstick Jay, Jason Widmer, Boomstick Arms Co LLC, Leonard, TX 254-368-4540
  • Texas - El Valdez, Lonnie Amman, Tejas Long Rifles, Hearne, Texas, Primary Cimarron gunsmith, will occasionally take on outside work,  979-279-3400  (no shortstrokes)
  • Texas - Lefty Wheeler, George Kucinich, Wheeler Gun Works, Willow Park, TX (817) 264-6463
  • Texas - Long Hunter, Jim Finch, Long Hunter Shooting Supply, Amarillo, TX (806) 342-0000
  • Texas - Nate Kiowa Jones, Steve Young, Steve's Gunz, Lampasas, TX (512) 564-1015
  • Texas - Ten-Ring Precision, Inc., 1449 Blue Crest, San Antonio, Texas 78232, 1-210-494-3063
  •  
  • Vermont - Jimmy Spurs, Jim McMahon, Cowboy Gun Works, Island Pond, VT, (603) 425-1189
  •  
  • West Virginia - Cody Conagher, Donald Jones, The Cowboy Shop, Berkeley Springs, WV (304) 258-1419
  •  
  •  Wyoming - Spring Creek Armory, Bill Fuchs, Ten Sleep, WY,  (307) 431-9194
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For Colt's  or UFSA single actions:

Marshall Harlen Wolf, aka:  Spencer Davis    336-558-8529
         128 Pebblestone CT, Lexington NC,  27295

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Boomstick. Great feller, great work.

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12 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Sad that Jim Bowie isn't mentioned anymore...

 

Phantom

 

PS: Shotgun Boogie...

I had the pleasure of seeing Jim at California State.  He worked over an old, beat up '97 I had, and turned it into my #1 WB shotgun, overnight.  Oh, yeah; Jim Bowie is still around...

Cheers,

FJT

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52 minutes ago, Frederick Jackson Turner said:

I had the pleasure of seeing Jim at California State.  He worked over an old, beat up '97 I had, and turned it into my #1 WB shotgun, overnight.  Oh, yeah; Jim Bowie is still around...

Cheers,

FJT

I hope for a LONG LONG LONG time...he's a King of a man.

 

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6 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

For Cap and Ball - Goon Gun Works, Georgia

The turn-around time on work by Goons Gun Works is a bit rough, considering the pre-payment reqiurement.  I am at two and a half years, and still waiting.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with Palouse!!  What!! 

 Yes, I agree, my wait times for some have  been way more than "a bit rough"! And I really don't blame those that have raked me over the coals about it!!!   I will say though  .  .  .  up front payment has never been a " requirement ".  In fact folks can pay when I'm done, 1/2 and 1/2  or all. It's up to them.  No matter what is paid, I won't ask for more .  .  .   so  that's that. I normally upgrade the " product "  depending on the wait of some but I don't ask for "updated" pay. 

 

Palouse is one of many that - over time - hasn't beaten me over the head with calls and threats  and such and quite honestly, it's those folks that have allowed me to "learn"  my craft to this depth, explore my thoughts on the subject, and most importantly to "cherry pick" if you will  -  the best of the best for setting up a truly bullet proof S.A. revolver!  Nobody poured that in my head! It came from me listening to those that know, gunsmiths that would talk,  the best ideas from the best tuners alive and taking notice of the top "high end" revolver producers in the country!! Accumulating all that info takes time and then implementing that into Uberti, Pietta and even Ruger offerings takes time as well as the different platforms (Colt open top , Remington and 3screw Rugers) make for a multiplier!!   I'm not claiming I do something nobody has ever done (there is nothing new in the S.A. world!  It may be a one time thing but even that means it's been done!!). The only thing I would claim is being the first to ever coil spring a Remington platform (hand, bolt and trigger). I am proud of that and the new Alabama St. Champ is as well !!!  But, all the rest was there, very few will talk about it!!  So, it's all about discovery. 

    I found out early on that many have "their thing" and wont say how or why .  .  .  ok. It's like a bunch of girls at a beauty pageant!! I'm "IT!!!"  No, I'M IT !!!!  NUH UH, I'M IT!!!!!!!!  GEEEZ!!! I don't care whose "IT" I just want to learn!!!  If the competition was that close  (!!!!!) I guess I could understand!!! Let me tell you, it ain't!!!!  I'm just being honest!!!  Maybe it's a "one trick pony" syndrome .  .  .  I don't know but if you are willing to listen and learn , maybe you might pick up another trick ? .  .  .  wow what a concept!!!!    (Indecently, I have 3 revolvers here to "fix" that have already been "fixed" by a well known "Smith" (that wouldn't talk) and a "tuner" (that I told some "how to's " to  (now he's a genius!!!)

 

   I am more than happy to tell how and why with all that I've picked up these past 7/8 yrs. Honestly, I'm tired !!  I (for me) feel like I have put together (finely) a combination of the TOP things that NEED to be included in the service that makes "that" particular platform the finest example that that revolver can be. .  .  . period!!  I'm not interested in making a revolver work for a few matches or for a season or two of cowboy shooting .  .  .  I'm interested in a revolver that is the epitome of what a "Bullet Proof"  "can't tear it up" "won't break"  "can't break)  .  .  .   !!!  There's enough folks out there that can do " get bys"  and if that's what ya need and makes ya happy, then there ya go !   

 

  I've been quiet here for a while, I have taken very few jobs since last summer just so I can get caught up on my mess.  I am getting there!!  If I got 10 out today, someone would call tomorrow .  .  .   but, I'm getting there.  

 

 So, I'll end this with "things are much better, I know more than I ever thought possible, you will get the finest revolver back, it's not just for you, it's for who you leave it to."  If Freedom Arms made an open top copy of a Colt, or Remington .  .  .  it'd kinda be like these .  .  .  these are better!!

 

Mike

 

Edited by 45 Dragoon
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Posted (edited)

Nope, it can be taken down if need be.  Never occurred to me that you couldn't respond if you're named in a post.  

 

 I'll be more than happy to list everything I do and why (for the benefit of all) so they can ask their chosen  Smith/tuner  if they/ would they do the same. If they answer "no", ask them why. 

 

Nothing to hide here .  .  . 

 

Mike

Edited by 45 Dragoon
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12 hours ago, 45 Dragoon said:

Nope, it can be taken down if need be.  Never occurred to me that you couldn't respond if you're named in a post.  

 

 I'll be more than happy to list everything I do and why (for the benefit of all) so they can ask their chosen  Smith/tuner  if they/ would they do the same. If they answer "no", ask them why. 

 

Nothing to hide here .  .  . 

 

Mike

Sooooo...yer the best...???

 

Dang, thought I had a good Gunsmith.

 

<_<

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12 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Your hand ever get tired? Slappin' folks in the head...  :huh:

Not really...didn't think I was slappin' anyone in the head. 

 

I just read these posts like anyone  else...my reaction on the long response was that of a rather insulting nature. That other Gunsmiths weren't as dedicated to building quality/reliable cowboy guns. So I could just let it be or I can comment. I chose to comment. 

 

Those that disagreed with his comments and choose not to comment might be better folks than me in that they chose to just pass it up...I don't know. 

 

Phantom

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I'm adding gunsmiths to the list as I get notified of them by satisfied Cowboy Action Shooters.  Some specialize, almost nobody tries to do everything.  There's a lot of states and regions that don't have anybody listed yet.  

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I know 'the shooter' earns most of the credit for being a Top Shooter in championship matches.

 

But I wonder how many gunsmiths are represented with their work on those guns the Champions use.

 

My guess is that A LOT of our SASS gunsmiths are doing an excellent job in their gunsmith work

for Cowboy shooters, regardless of championship status or not.

I'm not sure there is 'A best' for any of the specialized work.

 

I've handled Marlins set up by Longhunter, Cowboy Carty and Curly Bill Kelly.  And I would

feel confident using any of them on the firing line, as much as I do my Widdermatic.

 

..........Widder

 

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Posted (edited)

 Sorry, long day yesterday.  I'll try to keep this short enough with upgrades later so as not to be  confusing.

 

  The very first thing to check is the trigger sear / full cock notch relationship.  There are 3 relationships 1-positive  2- neutral  3 -negative.  For the safety of the customer and others, I default to a positive engagement on every revolver. A positive engagement actually rocks the hammer backwards before letoff. Likewise a neutral engagement  shows no fore or aft hammer movement before letoff and of course a negative engagement has the hammer moving forward as the trigger is pulled before letoff - a very dangerous condition. 

  The sear / notch engagement is best established before correcting the hand length. Hand length is the first adjustment as it defines the "cycle length". The hammer and trigger installed in your revolver have the " program "  if you will, of how long the action travel will be.  The hand will be the correct length when the sear engages the full cock notch and cylinder lock-up happen simultaneously (the last "click").  If cylinder lock-up happens just before full cock, the hand is too long and if full cock is reached before lock-up, the hand will need to be stretched.    A too long hand will cause undue wear to the hand, the cyl ratchet, the bolt head and the cyl locking notches as well as frequent throw-by (cyl over rotation). A too short hand can leave the cyl out of battery and with large primers involved can still allow an out of battery discharge (not good).

 

After establishing hand  length, bolt drop can be dialed in.  The bolt head should hit the cylinder, at minimum, a bolt width in front of the notch.  Contact should be in the center-line of the " approach " (lead) if one is available. If an approach isn't available, center-line of the notch. Forward of the center is ok but rear of the center won't allow sufficient lockup.  Adjusting the bolt drop involves the length of the left arm of the bolt. The bolt arm rides on the hammer cam and at "bolt drop" the arm should fall off the front of the cam .  .  .  not slide off the side like some YouTube vids describ (careful what you watch !!!)

 

Continued later -

 

 

Mike

 

 

Edited by 45 Dragoon
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On 5/6/2021 at 12:41 PM, Three Gun Cole said:

 

For Colt's  or UFSA single actions:

Marshall Harlen Wolf, aka:  Spencer Davis    336-558-8529
         128 Pebblestone CT, Lexington NC,  27295

 

Agreed.  But not doing cowboy 'smithing any more. 

 

That said, it's been almost a year since I've talked to him.  He might have changed his mind.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/11/2021 at 10:17 AM, 45 Dragoon said:

 Sorry, long day yesterday.  I'll try to keep this short enough with upgrades later so as not to be  confusing.

 

  The very first thing to check is the trigger sear / full cock notch relationship.  There are 3 relationships 1-positive  2- neutral  3 -negative.  For the safety of the customer and others, I default to a positive engagement on every revolver. A positive engagement actually rocks the hammer backwards before letoff. Likewise a neutral engagement  shows no fore or aft hammer movement before letoff and of course a negative engagement has the hammer moving forward as the trigger is pulled before letoff - a very dangerous condition. 

  The sear / notch engagement is best established before correcting the hand length. Hand length is the first adjustment as it defines the "cycle length". The hammer and trigger installed in your revolver have the " program "  if you will, of how long the action travel will be.  The hand will be the correct length when the sear engages the full cock notch and cylinder lock-up happen simultaneously (the last "click").  If cylinder lock-up happens just before full cock, the hand is too long and if full cock is reached before lock-up, the hand will need to be stretched.    A too long hand will cause undue wear to the hand, the cyl ratchet, the bolt head and the cyl locking notches as well as frequent throw-by (cyl over rotation). A too short hand can leave the cyl out of battery and with large primers involved can still allow an out of battery discharge (not good).

 

After establishing hand  length, bolt drop can be dialed in.  The bolt head should hit the cylinder, at minimum, a bolt width in front of the notch.  Contact should be in the center-line of the " approach " (lead) if one is available. If an approach isn't available, center-line of the notch. Forward of the center is ok but rear of the center won't allow sufficient lockup.  Adjusting the bolt drop involves the length of the left arm of the bolt. The bolt arm rides on the hammer cam and at "bolt drop" the arm should fall off the front of the cam .  .  .  not slide off the side like some YouTube vids describ (careful what you watch !!!)

 

Continued later -

 

  With open top revolvers you have the added item concerning the arbor. The arbor length determines the amount of barrel/cyl clearance (endshake). The best thing about it though is it allows the tuner to adjust or "dial in" a preferred spec. I like  .0025" - .003" as it allows for a rather clean revolver after a day of shooting. Not to mention more of what you want going down the barrel does so rather than out of the often too large bbl/cyl clearance. 

 

  So, that is pretty much the tuner's arena with S.A.'s.  So, what features can be done or added that will enhance the reliability/longevity of the mechanics?  One that is very important is a bolt block. This device supports the bolt during lock-up by removing any lateral movement of the bolt. It allows the bolt to just do its job of locking /unlocking the cylinder. It also helps to thwart throw-by and is a main feature in serious fast draw revolvers. I put one in every revolver I work on.  Adding the bolt block will also take out the "slop" involved in the Colt style action. Because of this you will find the hand is too short and will need to be stretched ( probably 99 % of the time).  That shows you just how much slop is actually in the ordinary S.A. revolver. 

  The bolt itself has issues right out of the box. The Uberti bolts of the last few years are very good but all the others (Pietta's and all the older copies) have much too thick left arms. What you want is a thin left arm on the bolt. It's the arm that rides the cam and is pushed aside as the hammer falls so it needs to flex easily. The Uberti bolts of today are pretty much correct . .  . I still thin them somewhat.  Also, to help with flexibility, the arm can be lengthened. Using a cutoff wheel you can cut into the bolt body pretty much all the way to the bolt head. Increasing the length will reduce overall stress. Make sure you round the inside corner of the arm /body to reduce the stress there as well (it's normally a 90° corner).   The bolt head can also be "massaged" to allow a faster than normal entry into the locking notch which is a bit of insurance that there will be lockup!!  I used to cut what I called a "Munden step" which is what Bob would do on the bolt head.  Jim Martin called me one day and we talked about this feature. After that conversation I modified my step into a swoop or slide if you will. Seems the step can cause wear on the edge of the short side of the locking notch.  The swoop or slide takes care of that and works very well.  I'll try to insert a picture of this feature.  Now, concerning the face of the bolt head (tall side), I impart a negative angle so that the very top of the bolt head is what fits the locking notches. That allows the edge of the notch to stay clear of the bolt head which over time could wear away from contact with the bolt head. The combination of the surface prep of the bolt head and the diminished side protect the locking notches from damage/wear .  .  . even if ya treat it like a fool sometimes!! 

 

Continued

 

Mike

 

  

 

 

 

Edited by 45 Dragoon
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We dropped off this nacked Colt SAA 45Colt made in 1977 with Bill Fuchs at Spring Creek Armory yesterday.  He's going to give it a makeover after some old cowboy took the factory paint off'n it.

 

1848509822_ColtSAAantiqued2Feb2020.jpg.92466f973ebea1e2eda8d84666aedc01.jpg

 

We had a good long visit in it he mentioned working on Uberti Winchester 1873s for cowboy shooters.  (Didn't say what work he did on them).  Along the way he showed me a Colt Lightning handgun he had refinished and repaired. Told about a Colt Lightning rifle in 44WCF he had repaired. 

 

He's refinished one old Colt for me and welded up and recut the notches on several hammers for me.

 

https://springcreekarmory.com/

 

 

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Posted (edited)

So, we've verified/ established trigger/hammer relationship, made and installed a bolt block, corrected the hand length, enhanced the bolt for reliability - parts protection, timing.  Also, corrected the arbor length (o.t.).   

 

  Other standard items would be installing a cap post (o.t.),  an adjustable wedge bearing so you can compensate for any wear and/or customize your wedge setting (relates to holstering), hardening the screws and fire blueing them, installing an action stop and of course converting the action to a coil spring action. 

 A few words on these items:

   The cap post is stainless steel and screwed in with red locktite. 

    The wedge bearing is there to allow for wedge compensation and/or to allow you to adjust for too much protrusion which may hinder re-holstering or just your personal taste. (You'll never need a new wedge).

    Hard screws are a better bearing surface than soft ones. After hardening they are cleaned up and fire blued.

   An action stop saves lifetimes for your action parts.

    Coil springs are a much better/reliable power source for the action parts so the standard is for the hand, bolt and trigger to be converted to coil. Being independently sprung allows for more accurate tuning for respective parts.  All springs are made in house except for the compression coil used for the hand spring. It is a larger diameter and stouter than the anemic Ruger spring (relates to throw-by).  This is a first for the Remington by the way! Makes them practically indestructible!!

 

  The main spring remains flat and is adjusted for about a 4lb. hammer draw.  

 

All of the above is done to each revolver (Colt open top, Remington, and ROA platforms). Ruger factory springs are sent back to the owner. All loose arbors (Colt platforms) are removed, correctly repaired and re-torqued. 

 

A couple of newer options are:

  an Action Shield - it protects the action from fouling/debris entering from the hammer slot (very effective in open tops). It also gives the action a "ceiling" of sorts allowing the Mobil 1 grease something to backup against. Cleaning the action is not necessary.

 

 Interference pins - your action screws are locked in place (can't get loose) as long as the grip frame and back strap are installed. Shoot till the cows come home  -  they won't budge!! 

 

There, that's mostly what I do to these revolvers. If I didn't think I offered a superior product, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing. 

 

 Coming soon-  info about the first ROA gated conversions. 

 

Mike

Edited by 45 Dragoon
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