I shot my first IPSC match in 1979 and was hooked. Back then, the emphasis was on practical. I used a stock Colt Gold Cup and PMC hard ball ammo. The gun worked fine and soon I bought another 1911, an off-brand frame and old Colt slide. The gun never worked so I had a local gunsmith do reliability work on it, and it wouldn't make it through one magazine without a malfunction. I saw the need for someone who really understood the 1911 to do work on my guns.
The next seven years I worked as a commercial photographer doing product illustration, so I had an eye for detail. I was unhappy with the work other smiths had done on my 1911's, so in 1986 I decided to customize my own 1911 with the help of my friend, Bob Rector, a very talented machinist and already a hobbyist gunsmith. I started building guns for friends and local competitive shooters in Washington State.