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Ordered the letter even before the gun got here. Shipped in 1965 to "Jack First Gunsmith" in Lancaster, Calif. Found some history on him. Opened shop in 1954, moved business to Rapid City, SD 1994. Iwo Jima vet, still working at 90+ yrs! Some what of a well traveled Colt. Shipped all the way to Cali, ended up in Florida in 1970's. Now back across the country to western Arizona. Pictured with my other two Gen 2 44 SPL's. IMGP0005.JPG
 

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WOW, now that is what I call a traveling man! Very nice display of Colts you have there, perhaps you could post a few more photos so we could drool over them.
 

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It is amazing how some firearms travel around the United States and some stay close to home. I acquired a Python about ten years ago that was shipped to Evansville, IN and had only "moved" about ten miles east when I bought it.

Bill
 

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I knew Jack and his family well when I lived in Lancaster California. My best friends wife also worked at his store, "The Gunshop". I bought many of my guns from him. They moved their business to the south side of Rapid City about 20 years ago. I have been in it there too. I suppose its their daughters business now. Jack must be in his ninety`s.
 

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I have a 41 magnum S&W first year gun that came with the original sales receipt. It was sold new in 1964 ( first year ) in California. I googled the address and it is now a day care center. The gun traveled to the east coast still new in the presentation case. I have a Siberian 1919 - 1920 Colt 1911 and Original Cavalry Holster that has been to Siberia and back, it is extremely well documented with the Siberian grips. I got it from the sister of the officer who was issued it new in Siberia in 1919. All documented. Made in Hartford, shipped to California Benicia Arsenal, Then sailed by ship to Siberia and back. Then all over the US as the man was transferred to different locations. I have papers on all this. It wound up in to Maryland where it is today.
 

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Jack was one of those dealers that wouldn't come down a cent on anything. Still, he shined once a year. Not just on guns but on many other items he would have a huge sale every January first. It was a five day sale. First day 10% off 2nd, 20% and the fifth day 50% off. Not everything in the store but quite a bit. I estimate I bought 25 guns on those sales on the 3rd days through the fifth in the 1970`s through the eighty's and early ninety's. My best snag was in 1970. He had a 2 1/2" nickle Python NIB and it was still there the night of January fourth. I made up my mind I would be there when they opened up the doors the next morning. That night we got the biggest snow storm I ever seen in my thirty years living there. Over three feet!
I couldnt get my truck out to the main street so I fired up my old Harley about 05:30 am to try to make it there by 08:am. Only one narrow lane was open on Sierra Highway the 8 miles I had to go. I bucked snow drifts, walked the bike through a few but made it. The gun was still there as there were only a handful of people that could make it where usually on that 5th day sale there would be over a hundred lined up at the door waiting for them "To open the chute!" I bought that Python for about $165`s! I then had Alphonso of Hollywood make me up a holster and belt, two toned floral carved rig. I doubt I have fired over a box or two through it as I also own another 4" Python plus a couple S&W`s all in .357. I think I will start packing it and shooting it some. When I did try it out it was as accurate as my other longer barreled guns. The belt shrunk a foot though.
I still have a Ithaca model 37 Supreme Skeet in 20 gauge still unfired I also bought on one of those sales plus a Browning 12 gauge BSS with the leather fitted case that I only fired once, about a box through it. Jack usually was standing in the back with a file in his hand while Phillis his red headed wife who I suspect looked a lot like Maureen O`hara age for age kind of policed the place. They had a indoor range in the basement where my department would do our yearly qualifications many times. Their parts business was upstairs over the store. I used to haunt the place at least once a week. Jack also made trips to England and brought back a lot of those guns that citizens here sent to England for home defense during World War II.
I bought a lot of good stuff there for thirty years.
 

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Jack First is still at the top of the list for finding a gun part even today. Not cheap as Merril says, but when repair items are available nowhere else, you pay up or do without.

The thread "slipped" a bit off the Colt N F just bought by 50coupe, so returning to it, congrats on a good looking new-to-you Colt. I expect member BobWright will be along shortly to give a look. :D
 
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