L. Neil Smith's
Number 340, October 9, 2005

 Tenth Anniversary Edition, Part 2 

The Family Gunsmith
by L. Neil Smith

Please attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise http://www.ncc-1776.org

Would you like to become a little more self-sufficient in these increasingly uncertain times, especially where your means of self- defense are concerned?

Would you like to become less dependent on costly professionals who may or may not do the job the way you want it done, or in a timely manner?

Would you like to stop worrying about sending your precious -- but politically controversial -- property off in the mail, with no guarantee that some officious bureaucrat won't decide to steal it or destroy it?

Then please allow me to tell you about a new writing project I recently decided to undertake, which you may find interesting and useful.

It will consist of an open-ended series of articles titled "The Family Gunsmith".

Each month, I will lead the reader through a simple maintenence, refurbishment, redesign, or upgrade procedure that can be accomplished at your desk or on your kitchen table, employing only a basic minimum of hand-tools.

Although I am primarily an adventure novelist today, I've been a shooter for much longer, and the first writing I was ever paid for appeared in gun magazines.

Each of these new articles will consist of clear digital photos made with camera and scanner, and explanatory text based on my 48 years of experience with firearms (I was a competitive shooter at age 11), and my 38 years as a gunsmith, holsterer, and professional reloader, with additional stories and information gathered by a lifelong firearms enthusiast.

At least to begin with, my primary focus will be on handguns: single- and double-action revolvers and semiautomatic pistols of several kinds.

I will show you how to make and install a brightly-colored plastic insert in the front sight of your revolver.

I will show you how to fit a "bird's head" grip frame on your single-action sixgun.

I will show you where to get a cartridge cylinder for your cap and ball revolver, and how to install it.

I will take you with me as I experiment to see how well muzzle compensators work, and whether they're safe and worthwhile for street use.

I'll also upgrade a Clinton-era semiautomatic pistol so it becomes completely serviceable.

I will share a simple secret with you about improving Pachmayr's rubber grips, and how to find the perfect models even though they aren't made any more.

I will also show you how to alter a factory holster so that it fits your handgun perfectly, or how to alter factory knife sheath (they're almost always badly designed) so that it's ten times handier and more useful.

I'll show you how to design and make a simple holster for yourself.

And along the way, I can tell you where the real bargains can be found in the world of firearms.

Neither last nor least, I'll guide you through the sometimes scary process of putting your "baby" in someone else's hands, either locally or through the mail, for work that you can't do yourself -- like having an adjustable pistol sight installed or your favorite rifle rebarrelled.

Since you know there's no such thing as a free lunch, you probably wonder how this is going to work.

It will be a subscription service, but not in the ordinary sense.

The end-user shouldn't have to pay a nickel to read what I've written and see what I've photographed.

I plan, instead, to offer this service to the owners of websites all around the world, and let them pay me to attract users who are interested in guns.

What it will cost them depends on how many of them there are.

How quickly it starts depends on how soon we can put enough subscribers together to make the effort worth my while.

If you're a serious potential subscriber, please contact me at lneil@lneilsmith.org.

If you're someone who would like to see this web feature, and you know of a site you'd like to see it on, please pass this message along to them.

Thanks for your time,

L. Neil Smith
Retired Gunsmith

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