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While attending the American Pistolsmiths Guild (APG) annual meeting, the opportunity arose to meet Dave Lauck, who was receiving the APG Pistolsmith of the Year Award. We spoke for a great deal of time about rifles, pistols, and Dave’s extensive law enforcement background. As the evening closed, we talked about his move to Arizona’s Chino Valley and decided a meeting at his shop should be arranged.

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Dave uses state-of-the-art equipment in his extremely clean and organized shop

Getting into the American Pistolsmiths Guild is no easy task. It is not an organization you just “join” as a gunsmith. You need to present examples of your work that will be scrutinized by experienced gun makers. The guild includes the likes of Bill Wilson of Wilson Combat, Bill Laughridge of Cylinder & Slide, and Les Baer. The biggest names in the industry like Virgil Tripp, Terry Tussy, and Jim Clark are members. The quality level is extraordinarily high—many builders have crafted guns for presidents, celebrities and government officials.

That being said, these guns are not necessarily weapons designed for museums. Many of these builders specialize in guns meant to be carried and used, and many of their improvements have moved into the mainstream.

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