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© 2014 Grant Cunningham Click to email me!

This is a bad business to be in if you suffer from gun lust.


Every so often I work on a gun that I personally want, and this is one of them.









Three-inch GP100s are a little uncommon in the typical stainless, but the blued versions are downright scarce. The owner of this gun wanted something special, and I think he got it!

We started with a Super Action Job, which took the DA pull down to a reliable 9.5 lbs and the single action to 3 lbs. The muzzle was recrowned, the chambers were chamfered for more efficient reloading, and the trigger was rounded and polished smooth (with the sides finished in a contrasting satin sheen.) The back edges of the trigger were radiused to prevent pinching; a trigger stop was installed, which I adjusted to .010" of overtravel in single action.

The hammer spur was dehorned and rounded, and the sides of the hammer were finished to match the sides of the trigger.

The entire gun was dehorned (all sharp edges and corners removed) and finished in my Black Pearl blue. When it came out of the bluing tanks, a Gemini Custom fiber optic front sight was pinned into the front barrel, and to complete the two-tone look a stainless ejector rod was substituted for the blued part. The rod was satin finished to match the trigger and hammer.

To tell the truth, I didn't want to send it back to its owner. My personal stainless version seems so sterile in comparison!

-=[ Grant ]=-
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S&W Model 13, 3".


I've gotten the hint! People have reminded me that I've been neglectful in posting pictures. I remembered this as I was packing a gun up for shipment today, and decided you might like to see it. I stepped out the door, threw down a piece of corrugated aluminum, and took this quick snapshot.



The Model 13 with the heavy 3" barrel is one of my very favorite Smiths, and yet I've never owned one. This one came in with a gorgeous original finish, which the owner wanted changed to a Black Pearl finish. I talked him out of it (and cost myself some revenue), but it would have been a shame to destroy this beautiful, very shiny factory blue. There is a very small spot of holster wear at the front of the muzzle, but other than that it is nearly flawless.

The gun did receive a Super Action Job, along with chamfering the chambers and converting the gun to DAO. I had no problem with the conversion, as simply replacing the hammer - a common "K" frame part - is all that it would take to return the gun to a stock appearance.

I hope you like it!

-=[ Grant ]=-
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I couldn't resist.


I realize that I've been neglectful with regard to pictures, but I just haven't "felt it" lately. This gun, though, I just had to show you.



This S&W 686+ was treated to a Super Action Job, Satin Steel refinishing, etc. What makes it unusual is that it has the uncommon unfluted cylinder. I loves me some unfluted cylinders, and just couldn't resist taking a snapshot of the thing before shipping it back to its owner.

-=[ Grant ]=-
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Recent Project: 3" S&W Model 25


A long-time client called me a while back, and told me that he'd just acquired one of the Smith & Wesson Model 25 "Lew Horton" editions with the 3" barrel. He wasn't happy with the gun, and asked me to do a makeover.

If you've hung out here for long, you know that I love 3" barrels. I don't know why, exactly, except that I like 'em. This gun is no exception, and to say I was excited about the prospects would be an understatement.

I've actually written about this gun once before - it had the worst double action trigger I've felt on a factory gun in a long, long time. He wanted that fixed, and the gun converted to DAO. (It's an IDPA/carry gun for him, so he sees no need for single action capability.) The gun came replete with sharp edges, so sharp that I sliced open my left forefinger when I first handled it! Those needed to go as well. He also wasn't happy with the stock S&W sights, for which the gun had already received warranty repair - the first rear sight actually broke in two when shooting! Finally, he wanted general competition-friend modifications that would also be usable "on the street."

I started by getting rid of all the sharp edges, on all surfaces. The gun then went to the bluing shop for my Black Pearl finish. (This particular gun has the very hardest barrel steel I've ever encountered, and it caused no end of headaches in refinishing. The result is that this gun has a little more shine to it than any other Black Pearl finish I've done.)



Speaking of the barrel, the crown was both crooked and rough. The hard barrel, with its thin walls, made a normal crown out of the question. I made a very, very small crown, just enough to correct the problems.



The rear sight was replaced with one of Hamilton Bowen's superb Rough Country units, and the front carries a gold bead sight from SDM Fabricating. The result is a fast-acquisition sight picture, useful for both competition and defense.



Of course the gun received a Super Action Job, along with chamfering the chambers. The trigger was reworked to the modern, thin S&W style, rounded and polished smooth for comfortable double action work. The DAO conversion required bobbing the hammer, and on this gun I tried a new style: a kind of "scalloped" hammer. I've already decided that the next one needs a bit of modification (the bottom scallop is too deep to balance the top), but I'm pleased with the result and the way in which it offsets the cylinder-heavy profile of the gun. The trigger weight dropped from 15 lbs. to 9 lbs., and is of course smooth in both pull & reset.

Finally, we needed some decent concealment grips. They're made of a very nice walnut in a "boot" style by Don Collins, with some specific modifications to his basic design (to better fit my client's hands.)



The result: a more "special" Special Edition. (My client reads this blog, and hasn't seen the gun yet. To him I say: don't worry, it's coming back to you this week, but I couldn't wait to show it off!)

-=[ Grant ]=-
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A Special Detective Special

Here's a quick pic of a Detective Special I did a little while back. It has the "full Monty": Master Action Tune, Front Sight Mod, Black Pearl finish, polished trigger face, chamfered chambers, dehorning, custom Herrett's stocks - plus a neat "extra" that you can't see in this picture.



I hate to sound like a "secret squirrel", but I'm not at liberty to say more at this point. No intrigue, black ops or anything like that - simply that someone else has the rights to talk about it first. You'll see more of it in a couple of months; stay tuned.

-=[ Grant ]=-
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