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Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Nastoff Supercomp was THE gun to own if you shot IPSC in the 1980's. Jerry Barnhart was Steve's best known shooter and American Handgunner heavily promoted Nastoff as tops in the fit, finish and style department. Back them it could take 5 years to get one. Nastoff now works for the Government and no longer builds guns.

My Supercomp is built on a Colt 70 series gun and exhibits flawless metalworking skills. Nastoff was known for his sharp checkering, sculpted beavertails and swaged magwells. This is an early Nastoff magwell that was copied by S&A to make the S&A mag guide.

I confess that I have only shot this gun once. It is way too pretty and rare to leave the house. A true "Safe Queen".


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  2. Mike LaRocca had an integral magwell/mainspring housing on the market before Smith & Alexander began offering their own. I believe that it was first advertised in a 1985 issue of "American Handgunner".

  3. I would love to know how S&A got the patent for 17 years with all this prior art floating around?

  4. A quick Google Patents search seems to indicate that S&A filed for their patent before LaRocca's magwell appeared.

    As for Nastoff, he was not the first pistolsmith to offer a slotted Commander hammer. The 1979 Guns & Ammo Annual, published in 1978, shows a Jim Hoag pistol with the same feature. The author claimed it had become one of Hoag's trademarks. I bet Springfield Inc. would have loved to have had a copy of that article when Nastoff sicced his lawyers on them.

    The same article also shows the work of another pistolsmith, John B. Williams, who fitted a coned barrel and expansion chamber compensator. This was a couple of years before Mike Plaxco was credited with popularizing the use of a compensator.

  5. I just found a reference to Mike LaRocca's Rock-Well magwell/mainspring housing in the May/June 1985 American Handgunner. The article mentioned that LaRocca would release the product commercially once he received a patent. The magwell is later announced as a new product in the September/October 1985 issue. However, a couple of pictures in the same issue show pistols used by Mike Plaxco and Jo Anne Hall with what appear to be S&A magwells. Nastoff's SuperComp is featured in an article, but his pistol's magwell is a swaged frame opening.

  6. Sounds like a patent race. Boland also had built similar magwells for years. Wonder if thats why he continued to build thhose magwells even after S&A were on the market?