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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm brand-new to this board and did a search for Nastoff.I found a post that claims that Steve took a full-time job outside of the gun industry.
I would really like some details on this news if anyone is willing to share.I am one of Steve's past customers,but haven't had reason to contact him in the last 2 years or so.
What a shame that a craftsman of his ability should leave the business.Feel free to e-mail me if that makes you more comfortable with giving details. Thank you.

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Dave
 
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This is an excerpt from a thread here by Larry Vickers, called "Pistolsmiths":

7)...Steve Nastoff - Steve helped me get started and my earliest guns showed alot of Steve's influence - I then started to develop my own style which every maker has to do; make your own mark. At one time Steve was without a doubt the best .45 smith in the world. His guns were the standard of the industry - superb in every way. But towards the end of Steve's career ( he no longer builds .45's ) his guns looked dated and he was clearly getting burned out. If you find oe of his guns built in the mid to late 80's you should buy it - chances are it's a damn nice pistol..."
 

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Dave

Since I started retailing the custom 1911 about 9 years ago one surprising thing about the custom gun industry the consumer (and especially me in the beginning) does not realize is there is very little margin and to make ends meet is very tough.

A $2700 hand made 1911 is not $2700 profit.

I bet there is about a 10% net after all parts, changes, tools, costs, taxes, outsourcing plating/coatings and the rest of what goes into building one. There is no discount on individual parts purchase.

Notice how many custom gun builders have become custom shops, have another product like sights, holsters, grips, parts or have an additional job to survive and build what they (the gunsmith) enjoy building.

If you have one, a gun smith, that you respect and like his work. Please keep him in business.

Talented artists/gunsmiths are far and few. Yes, they have a pride in their work that can easily be taken as ego. Yes, some are now businessmen who have talented folk who work for them do the work. Those talented folks also want their name on what they do. Burn out is in all industries.

Enough philosophy on my part.

Be safe out there and keep the brass flying

Terry Peters
http://www.pt-partners.com

You get what you pay for front end or back end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Based on my experience with Mr.Nastoff,I must disagree with a couple of Larry Vickers' comments.
I talked with Steve when he called my house to discuss the work I had requested information on in a letter to him. I had only wanted to go with some minor modifications to enhance reliability and accuracy on my Series 80 GM Colt.(I already had a full-house Combat Commander by Wilson's)Anyway,Steve came across to me as a man with plenty of passion for his work and his enthusiasm really fired me up.I still remember how he described checkering the hammer spur and a few other mods that I thought was cool!
I was (am) a good customer when it comes to leaving the pistolsmith alone to get his work done.I only call every 6 months to be sure that the guy is still there and still has my gun.
One day I called and got Steve on the phone,we got to B.S.ing and I told him I didn't want to keep him from his work.
He said he wasn't 'smithing that day,just sweeping up the shop and catching up on paperwork.Said he didn't feel like working on pistols that day. Then he told me that he felt that at the rates he was charging for custom work,that he wanted to be able to put 100% concentration into his work,that his customers deserved it and he accepted no less from himself.Now THAT impressed the hell out of me and I was (more) convinced that I was dealing with a real professional.
If my gun looks "dated"(pardon me,no disrespect,but what the hell does that mean?) it's my own fault for spec'ing it with the old-type King's beavertail and a Videcki Speed trigger instead of the current rage of high-sweep grip safeties and carbon fiber triggers.
I appreciate the effort to fill me in on the situation,but I'm not satisfied that I know what all went into his decision to drop the gunsmithing altogether.
I can certainly understand the economics of needing a regular job and benefits for his family,but that doesn't preclude doing some pistolsmithing part-time.There are more than a couple of top 'smiths out there that do just that.I'm gonna keep diggin' into this and will relay any info I find. Thanks again for your responses.

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Dave
 

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I think what we want to know is if Nastoff is currently building guns or not.
That was the question.!!!

Whether he is or not, he certainly hasn't been in the limelight much at all in the last five years. (Except for the FBI trials)

My fantasy gun 10 years ago was the famously perfect Supercomp Nastoff built that graced the center of AH.

I used to snip out pictures of his perfectly executed modifications and show it to my local smith (APG member) to "show" him how to do-it on my gun. Very rarely did the smith do it the way Nastoff did it...

Garthwaite has a lot of the same "look" to his guns that the best-grade Nastoff's have.

I will have more of Jim's guns, and will always lust after that Supercomp...will I ever get it?
 

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I had a Commander series 70 done by Nastoff pass through my retail operation about one year ago with the original receipt.

The comparison in styles. (the gun was built in around 86 according to the receipt).

All of the work was exceptional and in great detail.

The sight was a S&W with it looked like 50 LPI serations from the front sight to the rear sight and then 40 or 50 LPI at the rear of the slide.

The checkering was about 25LPI and what seemed to me much sharper in the points than is the trend now.

What was really fascinating was how the magwell was "widened" or what looked like frame was heated the stretched or molded and made into a mild magwell and then recheckered and refinished.

Looked kind of like a Heinie flush fit magwell only part of the frame.

The hard chrome was still good.

Pardon my poor description.

One thing I like about my retail operation. Although I cannot afford to own them I sure can possess the work for a short time.

Be safe and keep the brass flying

Terry Peters
http://www.pt-partners.com
 

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Terry-
That was Nastoff's famous swaged magwell-heated frame, mandrel, and a lot of handwork..a huge magwell!
 

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From what i gather Steve is not building guns for the public. A fellow smith told me he was keeping the guns running straight for some Fed agency, dont know which one.

Larry Vickers had one a few years back for sale, i think it was one of the last Steve made for a customer. It was in the gunlist and sold quickly if my memory serves me well.

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" You should not copy others, but use weapons which you can handle properly" Ibid

http://www.lameyknives.com
 

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Anthony,
I have one of those SuperComp's in 45ACP. It has the swaged magwell and all the other goodies. I took delivery in 1986. Shot it a lot in IPSC. I shoot mostly IDPA now and it sits in the safe.
Steve builds a beautiful gun. I haven't talked to him in several years.
BILL
 

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I was reading about the SA TRP PRO in a gun mag, and pretty sure it said he was snatched up by the DEA after his deal with the FBI gun and SA.
 

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It was one of those 3 letter agencies...If everyone really wants to know I could dig up that old mag I read it in. It's in the basement somewhere...
 

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Steve does work for INS. He hopes to get back
to doing some Custom Pistol Work once he gets
his family moved to where he works.
 

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I took a little trip down memory lane this afternoon. I took my Nastoff SuperCompIV out to fire a few rounds. Found a half box of reloads left over from the 1990 USPSA Nationals.
The gun shot just as nice as it always did. No more recoil than my 9mm IDPA guns. It was a little louder.
50 yard plates were a piece of cake. The gun is very accurate. Some of the best groups I ever shot were with this gun. Hope Steve is doing well. He is one of the very best pistolsmiths.
BILL
 

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I just had a long conversation with Steve last Monday. He is in the process of moving his family to Altoona Pa, where he is working for I.N.S. full time. Once he gets situated, he said he wants to get back into
gunsmithing again.
Lou

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Alessi Holsters, Inc.
You'll never know it's there, until you need it.
 
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