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A friend, a local LEO, waited seven years for his custom Swensen Combat Commander!
I'm not surprised. I waited over a month just for a trigger job. And when I went to his house in Gardena to pick it up, he nearly talked my ear off for over an hour, discussing his other interests as a designer (aircraft, if believe). Very nice guy.
 

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I used to have a huge stack of old 1960's issues of American Rifleman and others that belonged to my father. In them were plenty of articles on hunting, reloading, and wilderness survival, and there was the occasional article on modifying handguns for match shooting. I distinctly remember there were almost no articles that had anything to do with self defense, CCW or SHTF-type survival. Times really have changed. You pick up a gun rag nowadays and 80% of the articles are about combat or concealed carry. I think that's part of the reason why the older generations like my dad supported the ownership of hunting rifles and shotguns but thought that "nobody needs an assault weapon".
 

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Perhaps you should check with some of our contributing smiths and see what their wait times are. If they're worth a damn, it'll be measured in years.

Bob
I had to wait nine months just to get a 'smith to ship my gun to me after I'd seen/handled it. After threat of legal action, the gun arrived with my fingerprints still on it. :eek:
 

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I distinctly remember there were almost no articles that had anything to do with self defense, CCW or SHTF-type survival. Times really have changed. You pick up a gun rag nowadays and 80% of the articles are about combat or concealed carry. I think that's part of the reason why the older generations like my dad supported the ownership of hunting rifles and shotguns but thought that "nobody needs an assault weapon".
This is absolutely correct. "Defensive Pistolcraft" largely took off in the post war period and for the same reasons that custom cars, custom boats, custom bikes, etc. took off...the increased wealth of the post war period and increased recreation time. New markets were created.

The first are to grow was the quick draw craze. This was with single action Colts and the Great Western clones. Many modifications, particularly with leather began.

Cooper began the Leatherslap Competitions in Big Bear, Ca. That was the beginning of modern combat oriented matches and leagues. It revolutionized handgunning and the market for custom guns and leather. Bullseye remained popular and grew as well. Silhouette shooting took off. Handgun hunting went from a little used quirk to a new market. The market for aftermarket parts exploded. (Look at older holsters for 1911s from the 70s back to the beginning of the gun, few makers made rigs for cocked and locked carry. Nowdays it's the "only way to carry".)

Pistolsmiths like Armand Swenson, Bob Chow, Frank Pachmyer, Al Capone, Austin Behlert, Frank Seecamp and others made names and reputations for themselves.

In the prewar period Colt had Henry Fitzgerald (Fitz) who radically customized revolvers and 1911s. Colt would send him to the Camp Perry matches to tune revolvers and 1911s. He had a great influence.

When Elmer Keith needed a new revolver he worked with a pistolsmith named Grover to build the famous #5.

Frank Baughman developed a type of sight that became the norm for S&W revolvers. The Patridge sight also became a norm.

"Fast & Fancy Revolver Shooting" was written where custom guns were discussed.

Custom grips for revolvers and pistols was a large market among serious shooters. Roper was making his grips. As were others.

The great Kings Gun Site Co. of San Francisco built many custom guns. They also did sights and barrels and were the first to develop the vented barrel rib that Colt later put in their Python.

Many smiths in the pre war period and that's not even rifles. But the market was smaller.

tipoc
 

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Comp42 Now that is some history, I'd be ticked. If a gunsmith can't finish the job in a year, and I'm being generous, then he shouldn't take the job.
I dunno, when I ordered my Pachmayr Combat Special in 1978 after reading an article about it being the hot setup in the new sport of combat shooting (IPSC) in Guns & Ammo, I was told by Bill Ives it would take 6 months. I actually got it almost 5 years after I sent it to him in 1983.
 
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