Excellence Defined

From Heirloom Precision

Inspiration is a gift. Yet often, when moved to act, the result falls short of the inspiration. At other times, gifted times, that same inspiration yields art, melding with function — and you get real magic. This cased set from Heirloom Precision, made under the hand of Ted Yost there, is, precisely, a case in point.

And as we enjoy it, we need to keep a few things in mind. While our pages are often graced with stunning examples of the pistolsmith’s art, we concentrate on focusing on the examples of craftsmanship, excellence and art we have at-hand, and hesitate to ever say, “This, this very one, is the best ever.” Each deserves the limelight; each deserves recognition. Because what is the best ever? What caliber, or design, or finish or final result deserves to be labeled best?

And who says so?

Excellence is something I like to think many people try to aspire to. You only have to look at past issues of Handgunner to see example after example of that quest. But have we met the apex of excellence? Should we close our pages, saying, “There now, no use going on, as nothing could ever be better than that one” and simply put a period on it? Of course not. There can and always will be something else, something different, something better, something even more compelling.

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Building the tools from raw stock meant lathe work and plenty of hand work too!

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No, it’s not machine checkering!

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Ted painstakingly arranged the tools and gun to best make use of the case.
His work was simply flawless and truly showed what we all call “Old world craftsmanship.”

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The ball cuts on the forward part of the slide were done manually in a mill. No CNC here!

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Once the layout was completed on the case, Ted cut each division out by hand on the jigsaw.

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Again, all by hand, Ted reshapes the dust cover.

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To get those “flats” Ted relies on a surface grinder, but pays close attention.
Even though a machine is involved, it’s all about set-up and care.

Other Delights From Heirloom Precision

A tasty sampling of other work done by the Heirloom Precision shop. You can see they are not limited to a palette of 1911s, but enjoy work on High Powers and revolvers too, among others. Being a true custom shop, you can literally have your dream come true with the team there. Their benchmark might be called “minimalist” perfection!

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7 thoughts on “Excellence Defined

  1. Neil Batchelor

    Oh. My. God!
    That is the most beautiful 1911 I have ever seen in my life! My compliments to Heirloom Precision for crafting such a georgeous work of art. The fit and finish from the grips to the blued pins is absolutely flawless! Even the casework and tools compliment the pistol perfectly! As a Canadian shooter, I can only dream that talent such as possessed by Mr. Yost could find it’s way through the regulatory miasma that is the Canadian gun scene and not be diverted along the way into some other art. My compliments also to Chuck Pittman inc. for all the fantastic detailed photographs and to the crew at AM for the great layout – you have definitely done this piece justice folks! Mr Huntington, I spare you no words of gratitude sir, for you are already a very lucky man.

    1. Terry Kelly

      Dear Roy:

      You are forcing me to break that durn commandment about coveting…AGAIN! That pistol appears to be perfection personfied. I went to the Heirloom Precision website and soent an hour just drooling (I think I really screwed up my laptop)!

      Well, I decided that somehow, someway, someday, I was gonna HAVE one of those works of art. Now, what are pints of blood going for nowadays? Anybody know? Ahhh, better not. I’ll end up a congressman or something. Say Roy, if you happen to talk to Mr.Yost and crew, could you see is they need any yard work done or their house painted, or their gutters cleaned…I mean, every little bit helps!

  2. Roy Huntington

    Ha! I almost feel guilty having something as great as this set. But the key word is “almost” ….
    I appreciate your many kind comments, and I’ve made sure to let Ted Yost and Chuck Pittman know you’ve posted. Oh, and I’ll see if Ted needs any yard work done!
    Roy Huntington
    American Handgunner

  3. David L. McKenzie

    I just received my May/June Issue of “American Handgunner” and spent about an hour reading about your Heirloom Precision 1911. It would have taken a lot less time to read this article, if I had not spent the time to examine each picture as you were describing this masterpiece. The cover photo was what captured my attention, as it is supposed to do, and while walking back to my desk I was busily trying to find the article about this beautiful masterpiece. Yes, I have my “American Handgunner” magazine delivered to my office as I am anxiously awaiting each issue. I own several 1911’s chambered in both 9mm and .45ACP and when I am choosing the guns to take to the range I usually have to remove one or two 1911’s to make room for a revolver or two. Otherwise I would not be able to carry the range bag. I already have to carry a separate bag for ammo and a third bag is simply out of the question.
    That’s enough about my yearnings and personal issues. I was awestruck by the workmanship of Mr. Yost. I currently own several “STI” 1911’s & 2011’s, and a couple of “Kimber 1911’s”, I am looking at a “Wilson Combat” or a “Les Baer” for my next purchase. Now I think I will save my pennies and get in line. I agree with Mr. Kelly with respect to that pesky commandment #10.

  4. Art Schubert

    Roy, that is a magnificent piece of work. You are a much appreciated friend of Ted Yost.

    My wish (dream, fantasy, etc.) would be to win this year’s raffle by the AMERICAN PISTOLSMITHS GUILD! I have bought a ticket for years, but with this year’s prize being three custom 1911’s I was oblidged to several more. Check them out if you haven’t seen them yet.

  5. Kevin McQueeney

    The most beautiful 1911 set I’ve ever seen. As a contractor who values quality and craftsmanship I’m stunned at the time and effort this must have taken. But more importantly I’m humbled by the friendship represented inside that case. God Bless you both.

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