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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another rarity-Andy Cannon Custom S&W Revolver

Many of my gun peccadilloes are inspired by the authors of my youth-Col. Cooper, Cameron Hopkins, Ken Hackathorn, Pete Kokalis, Chuck Taylor, and certainly Mas Ayoob. I don't know why, by Ayoob's brazen attitude towards the establishment and his love of customizing anything under sun resonated with me. He was a huge proponent of fellow NH'er and then game warden and part time revolver-tuner, Andy Cannon. Cannon quickly became the wunderkind of the 1980's custom 'compbat' revolver scene. Ayoob proclaimed him as the best to ever tune an action and after several spreads in various gun-porno, Cannon became a big deal. He eventualy left New Hampshire for Montana and opened a full-line gunsmithing shop. I recall calling Cannon in his heyday around 1987 and things seemed awful busy for him. He was building tons of revolvers, but had a crew building rifles, rudimentary 1911's and also doing general gunsmithing work. It seemed his goal was to get big fast. After a fallout with Apex barrels over what Cannon claimed to be "bad heat treat" (They claimed improper machining) and a lots of resulting warranty work on some .44 magnum revolvers he built, Andy closed up shop and went back to being a cop. Apparently he was a good one, too. A few years later he hung his gunsmith shingle out again, but after his earlier endeavor, always worked alone. I spoke with him during this period and he was excited about getting in the 'smithing business again and sticking with his love,revolvers. His 1911's in comparison were pretty mediocre..he died prematurely of cancer shortly thereafter.

I recently picked up this nice 629-1 that has had cannon's full package-action, accuracy, integral comp, round butt, sights and metaloy chrome (over stainless!). Perfectly timed and smooth as butter mixed with teflon the Cannon action lives up to its legend. I will shoot it some and report back. Moose antler/Damascus Hunting Knife by Alaskan bladesmith Adam DesRosiers also one of the best in the business.
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