Hank Williams Jr. during a visit to my home a few years back. On the right, Hank and Dick Willie, the man who saved Hank's life on Mt. Ajax, share some time on the firing range in Montana, as Mike Venturino sights a target. My sincerest thanks to Hank for all his help when I first started. Without it, my work would have taken longer to achieve widespread recognition. Thank you HANK! Mike is shooting an original Winchester 73 in 38-40 caliber.
Hank really knows his shootin' irons. His one thousand yard buffalo gong range was just calling for that Sharps carbine I have. We figured the sight should be set at way over 1000 yards, but it worked out to 725, and those big 50 caliber bullets made a lot of racket hitting that gong. That was the best day of shooting I ever had.!
If you have ever needed quality welding performed on a gun, you know it is hard to find a welder who will work with you and enjoys the work. George Kramer and I have worked together over 18 years, and his expertise has enabled the wonderful top strap repairs, hammer rebuilds and dovetail fills. Welding the early parts is especially difficult, because the material is not uniform in content. George gets the job done and we have salvaged dozens of blown up Colts over the years. He also is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. Thanks for the venison jerky, great stuff!
They say a wealthy man is one who can call just one other his friend. I'm lucky to have several that fit the category. My brother Sal has been the best friend I've had ever since he was old enough to go shooting with me and draw down on some vicious tin cans. One of the few places that we have left for doing that is in a rural part of Ohio on the property of Steve and Jason Col. Below is a shot of Sal and Steve. Steve was trying to fix a leaf blower, Sal was relaxing after an afternoon of shooting old Colts.
TALK ABOUT A PAIR OF FRIENDS!
SHOOTING A SET OF ANTIQUE ETCHED PANEL 44-40s MAKES MY DAY. (No, I didn't shoot that barrel through the barn boards!)
My wife Denise, who inspired me to break free from the corporate chains that bound me. Without her support and encouragement, I never would have achieved so much in the SAA Colt world.
She's an excellnt shot as well, having been "broken in" with a second gen 44 Special. She shot up 35 rounds and ventilated several cans on her very first outing before her hands started to hurt, as she put it. Here she holds a rare high condition conversion.
My friend, Issy Dreiling, a great American and his story. Denise and I will never forget you, NEVER! Thank you for being my friend and thank you for your service.
Look at the photo on the right. Beyond the fence line, centered, you'll se a tiny black dot. That is the buffalo gong at a 1000 yards. Click the picture for a larger view. It will give you an idea of how far we were shooting. Even Hank's wife at the time, as well as Mike and I, managed to hit it. We used a 40 caliber Sharps sporting rifle, but I insisted on trying the 50-70 carbine. Mike said if he hadn't seen it, he wouldn't believe it. He spotted for me and recorded several good hits before the barrel was too fouled to get an accurate shot. What a day!