Monday, October 21, 2013
2013 Wishlist Update - My Birthday Gun
I've mentioned the "Birthday Gun" on the blog a few times over the last two years. It's a personal tradition that I started back in 1993. I would pick out a specific make, model, and customization package for a firearm and it would be completed or delivered around my birthday each year. My first birthday gun was a S&W model 65 that I sent off to Magnaport for porting and finishing work. At the time, I really wanted a Weigand Combat customized Ruger SP101, but the price was way out of my budget. The model 65 I sent off to Magnaport came back with many of the same features, but lacked the trigger job. Overall, I was still very pleased with it.
Most of the funding for the early birthday guns came from an aquarium that I would dump my change into at the end of each day. It was amazing how fast that would add up to real money. In recent years, I started using my credit card cash back accumulations to fund my creations. The nice thing is that while some guns come and go, I've always held on to my birthday guns because they are special. Well, at least to me they're special.
In the 90's I was into stainless S&W revolvers and .22 LR competition so my birthday guns reflect that. As I transitioned into the new millennium, I was competing on the ATA trapshooting circuit pretty heavily and the birthday gun program took a back seat to constant trap gun upgrades. Then I spent a few years living and working in Europe, which totally shut down the Birthday Gun program.
In 2009, my wife actually got the Birthday Gun tradition restarted when she asked if she could buy me a pistol for my birthday. I picked out a rare variation of a Ruger Mark III and it actually arrived in time for my birthday. 2010 saw the arrival of a personalized custom serial number Seecamp LWS380. 2011, the first Birthday Gun covered on the blog, was the year of the Robar Kahr P45. I intended to skip 2012 in order to save up my cash back bonus for something really special for 2013.
Just before my birthday last year I stopped in at a local gun shop and found the Weigand Combat custom SP101, that started the Birthday Gun tradition, for a small fraction of the original 1990's price. It was missing the box and original grips, but was in like-new condition. I did a write up on it last year.
I spent a long time considering what I wanted to order as my 2013 birthday gun. I talked with some local folks and they were all telling me to head East and talk to Wilson or Nighthawk about a custom 1911. Living so close to both manufacturers, there are many local fans of both companies. Both produce beautiful pistols, but I hesitated too long and their custom shop lead-times exceeded my target delivery date.
After much soul searching, I ended up at the Lone Wolf Distributors website. I've watched Lone Wolf with interest over the last several years as they continue to take Glock inspired designs off in different directions. Last January I ordered a custom compact based on their G23-sized Timberwolf frame with their stainless steel slide. I also included conversion barrels so the delivered pistol could shoot .357 Sig, 40 S&W, and 9mm with the change of barrel and magazine. I added custom fluting to the barrel hoods, black oxide finishing on everything, special slide cover plate, night sights, and even had them queued up to inscribe the Pocket Guns and Gear logo on the slide.
Last January, just about everything gun related was out of stock. Lone Wolf was in a similar situation, but I was assured that the compact Timberwolf frames were due to arrive in the Summer and making the October delivery wouldn't be a problem. I called them once to see how the order was coming along and they had all the parts to complete the order except the Timberwolf frame, but they were still due to arrive by late Summer. I called back a week ago, and still no frames. The customer service representative I spoke with was happy to tell me the good news that they should have the frames in time for SHOT 2014. I didn't share his enthusiasm over the "good news", so I cancelled my order.
Now I'm thinking that maybe the Birthday Gun thing came full circle last year when I found the Weigand Combat SP101 that initially inspired the tradition. It was a good run, but all things eventually come to an end.
Instead of reviewing the Lone Wolf Timberwolf custom I had ordered, I'll be doing a write up on this made in the USA G23 I found this weekend. Some folks are still in denial that Glock started producing pistols in the USA, so while I don't expect the review to be very exciting, it might be educational for some. At least I will be using Lone Wolf conversion barrels with the pistol.