Revised May, 2001
Thank you for your interest in the American Pistolsmith’s Guild. At the hyperlink, is an application, a copy of the Guild Bylaws, and a set of check sheets for the major categories of handguns. The check sheets are by no means complete, but will be used to judge other style guns in the same category.
The check lists are by no means complete. The Guild reserves the right to pass final judgment on any modifications, with respect to safety, design, style, and finish, performed on guns that are submitted for inspection. Please also bear in mind the representatives serve only as work inspectors and are available for this.
The American Pistolsmiths Guild is seeking individuals who are experienced, exacting, pistolsmiths who have specialized skill that set them apart from general gunsmiths. These individuals must be thoroughly familiar with the guns that constitute their specialty and routinely engage in procedures which require a high level of skill as machinist, welder, and metal finisher.
The Guild is dedicated to the pistolsmithing craft and to the shooters and customers who patronize the profession. It is extremely important customers have confidence that Guild members are competent and honest craftsmen and women of great integrity. The Guild will sanction and expel members who engage in unethical or irregular business practices. The credibility of the Guild is, otherwise, at risk.
The American Pistolsmith’s Guild will afford members the opportunity to display their work and meet the shooting public. Other services of the APG are to provide space on the Internet, distribute membership rosters, promote the presence of members through advertising, exchange information between members and other Guild organizations, and refer customers.
The Guild is also active in pertinent legislative matters that effect the trade specifically and is in firm support of our Second Amendment rights.
Before filling out the application form, please read the bylaws. The Bylaws describe the guidelines and operating policies of the Guild organization. Click Here for Bylaws.
Please complete the application and send it with your work samples to your appointed field representative. Include several photographs of your shop and interior, a list of three business credit references, and a list of six or more customer references.
Membership application requires submission of at least two samples of an applicants work. Applicants must submit two guns for each area of expertise claimed. If at some later date a Guild member decides to add an area of expertise to the lists, he or she must submit additional work samples. Members may advertise with the approved Guild logo, only those areas of expertise where they have demonstrated to the guild the requisite competence.
The initial inspection of prospective members work will be conducted by a Guild field representative who will make a general evaluation to ascertain if the work is of generally acceptable quality. A field representative for your specialty will be assigned to you. Please contact your representative before shipping or delivering guns so the inspection can be scheduled and you can receive shipping details, FFLs, etc. Plan to send $20.00 per gun to cover the costs of return shipping, handling, and insurance. Your representative will review your guns against the Guild checklist and either recommend the guns be approved for detailed inspection or advise that they require further attention and corrective efforts. If approval is denied, the guns must be re-examined, by the another field representative, before submission for a detailed Board of Directors inspection.
You work will be judged in many different areas. The most important areas of judgment are overall finish and fit, expertise shown in machining, safety, quality of handwork, and accuracy. The handguns you submit for inspection must shoot to the accepted match handgun accuracy standard of two and one half inches at fifty yards. It is strongly suggested you test your sample handguns from a machine rest and send the test targets and the ammunition you used for the test with your samples. The field representative will verify your results.
Please note, these limited purpose only.
Do not send work samples you have to have returned immediately! Inspectors will keep your guns anywhere from one to three months.
Below is a list of representatives and their respective specialties: (Call your assigned field representative before sending your firearm.)
Alex Hamilton (Texas) 1-210-494-3063
Richard Heinie (Illinois) 1-217-228-9500
Al Marvel (Maryland) 1-410-557-6545
Mike Watkins (Texas) 1-806-745-1269
Sandy Garrett (Virginia) 1-703-644-6504
Bill Jarvis (Montana) 1-406-961-4392
George Long (Oregon) 1-503-476-7552
Ron Power (Missouri) 1-314-372-5684
Greg Roberts (Washington )1-206-675-3421
Neil Keller (Indiana) 1-260-724-3065
George Wessinger (South Carolina) 1-803-345-5677
Hamilton Bowen (SA revolvers, Tennessee) 1-615-984-3583
James Stroh (SA revolvers/non 1911 autos, Georgia) 1-404-267-6163
Bill Jarvis (non 1911 autos, Montana) 1-406-961-4392
Once your guns meet with the approval of the field representative, the same guns you submitted to your field representative must be delivered, in person, to the annual membership meeting (held in conjunction with the NRA annual meetings). They will be subjected to a detailed disassembly and inspection and reviewed again against the check list requirements. In is imperative applicants submit complete and refined work. While it is not necessary for your work embody all of the required modifications on the check list, all of these requirements must be accompanied by a written description of the work you performed.
The membership meeting is always held in conjunction with the annual NRA convention. The application will be reviewed at this time and voted on for “probationary membership” or ”qualified probationary membership,” by the meeting quorum. Once your guns are approved and judged satisfactory, you will be accepted as a probationary member or a ”qualified” probationary member if the board decides your presentations need minor work. The probationary period will continue for one year from the time of board inspection, and, barring unsatisfactory behavior, the probationary membership will convert automatically to full and regular status. At this point, new members may represent themselves as full and regular members of the American Pistolsmith’s Guild.
Members accepted for probationary membership by the members present at the annual meeting are required to be present in the Guild booth and remain at the meeting at least twenty four hours after the meeting. The purpose for a probationary member to be present in the Guild booth the next day is to meet Guild members personally, become familiar with Guild procedures, and to discuss problems and remedies for the sample handguns submitted for approval.
If you have questions please feel free to contact any Guild officer. Thank you again for your interest in the American Pistolsmith’s Guild.
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