By Tank Hoover
Old-School Talent — And Value
In the northern panhandle of Texas is an old barn in the small town of Friona housing Tyler Gun Works. Although modest to the uneducated eye, great things happen here due to healthy applications of a lot of sweat, hard work and ingenuity — the driving force of the American Dream.
Bobby Tyler grew up with guns. He bought his first for $80 when he was the ripe old age of nine, a Ruger Bearcat. Using money he’d earned himself, of course. His family lived for quail hunting and the household was full of various guns. And, again like most of us, it wasn’t long before Bobby started tinkering with those guns, “mentally undressing them” as he told me. He learned taking them apart was a lot easier than putting them back together. Shortly after, he enrolled in the Colorado School of Trades as a Gunsmith.
It was here he found his niche in metal finishing. He was a natural at it, and his instructors allowed him to forgo a paper on the subject — if he would help instruct the class. Naturally, Bobby chose to help out.
Over the years, through experimentation, Bobby learned to duplicate the color-casehardening finishes of various manufacturers. He can even color-caseharden stainless steel. Unheard of!
Tyler’s does a great job on the case-coloring on the limited run of Rugers.
Holster is by Doc Barranti and can be part of the package. Knife is Tank’s!
The stag stocks are extra but really livens things up.
Bobby now uses his trademark color-case hardening skills for several gun manufactures, along with special projects of his own, which is the basis for this article. His first “special run” of guns was Ruger’s new 3.5″ blued Bearcat with a case-colored frame, stag stocks and engraving as options. The run was limited to 200 guns. Now starts phase II of the “special run” guns.
This is a limited run of 200 so don’t dawdle!
Tyler’s work turns “boring blue” into an explosion of color.
The Ruger comes with two cylinders, a 9mm and a .357 flavor.
Order Yours Now…
Bobby has 200 mid-size framed Ruger New Vaquero’s with dual cylinder .357/9mm set-ups, having 4 5/8″ barrels, waiting for his special treatment of color casehardening. It’s the first time this particular model has been done in this caliber combination and is a Lipsey’s exclusive.
Again, stag stocks and engraving will be options, along with a Barranti Leather No. 5 holster. This particular frame size is approximately the same size as a Colt Peacemaker.
The base price of the color-casehardened gun will be $850. Hand engraving, stag stocks and a lined BarrantiLeather No. 5 holster are extra.
The stag stocks will have Ruger’s old medallion inserts and the spare cylinder will come with a velvet bag with “Tyler Gun Works” stitched into it.
If you missed the first run of guns, don’t fret! You can always send your gun — any gun — to Tyler Gun Works and have your frame, hammer or trigger stylishly color-casehardened. It’s not limited to special runs. And as I mentioned, if you feel the need to spruce-up grandpa’s L.C. Smith shotgun, Winchester 1876 or Colt SAA, Bobby can do that, closely replicating the original factory color casehardening.
Bobby also offers beautiful Damascus color casehardened steel blades with mastodon ivory scales and tomahawks to complement your newly finished firearm.
Doc’s work has appeared in Handgunner and rightfully so — it’s top notch.
From “working gun” to “barbecue” gun, all done by Tyler!
The gun comes in Ruger’s factory case, with the accessories
A Simple Recipe
Bobby believes paying attention to detail is the key to his success, along with giving value to his customers for their hard earned money. You have to respect old school values like that. I know I do!
Bobby Tyler reminds me of an old vaquero saying: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.” Bobby has left a trail of brilliantly mottled swirls of yesteryear with his colored-casehardened guns.
A certificate of authenticity comes with each gun. This shows number 55 of 200.
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