Possible Lou Willing Gun

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Possible Lou Willing Gun

Post by artiesea on 3/13/2014, 12:06 pm

Hi, returning to the forum after a 4 year lapse.  Just bought a very nice bullseye .45 reputed to be built by Louis Willing of the USAF.  The gun has no markings other than the Colt ones except for a faint number on the left side of the slide.  Does anyone know of Mr. Willing, and if there are any signs that a gun was built by him?  Thanks in advance, Dick
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artiesea

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Re: Possible Lou Willing Gun

Post by Axehandle on 3/14/2014, 6:42 am

Bob Day and Forest Davis are the USAF gunsmiths I am aware of.  I think their USAF gun building  dates back to the 50 and 60s.  Every USAF built 45 Wadcutter gun I  ever saw was clearly  marked AFPG.  These gun were built back before the AF got out of the shooting business in the 70s when their teams held pretty much every team record in the books.  Davis built guns long after he retired.  I've got one he built when he was still in San Antonio.  It has the Texas address etched under the mainspring housing.

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Re: Possible Lou Willing Gun

Post by artiesea on 3/14/2014, 9:36 am

Thanks very much for the info.  The gun is not marked, just the number on the slide.  Dick
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Re: Possible Lou Willing Gun

Post by Ed Hall on 3/14/2014, 9:50 am

The following are all USAF gunsmiths from the early years of the Team:

David R. Breeding
Robert W. Day
Robert Hayes
Tommy Krcmar
Charles E. Petty
Thomas St. Don
Louis J. Willing

These were more recent times up to present:

William Moore
Brendan McGloin
CJ Willits
Bruce C. Woodford

I'd appreciate any info on others, like Forest Davis in a previous post, that anyone is aware of.

The legend AFPG (Air Force Premium Grade) was used by the Lackland gunsmith shop.  It would not have been used by a gunsmith outside that scope.

Charles E. Petty, from the above list, has penned many articles, including one describing his days in the gunsmith shop.  Perhaps he can be found via the Internet and can shine some light on your gun and/or its builder.  His article and one by Arnold Vitarbo are available for review at Highlights in History for the USAF Competitive Shooting Teams, with several other items of Air Force shooting history.

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Re: Possible Lou Willing Gun

Post by artiesea on 3/14/2014, 10:33 am

Ed, thank you for your response.  I have only field-stripped the gun, and if I find anything when I completely disassemble it, I will let all know.  Thanks again, Dick
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Re: Possible Lou Willing Gun

Post by Guest on 3/19/2014, 4:29 pm

Charles Petty is writing for Handloader magazine nowdays. You might try contacting him through the magazine and perhaps he can help you verify the gun.

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