Nighthawk gunsmiths

Discussion in 'Nighthawk Custom' started by Flight Medic, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. retrieverman

    retrieverman Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2013
    Let’s not be too hard on Wilson and Nighthawk, because from reading posts from Joe Chambers and [email protected], neither of them build all their guns by themselves.
    In my opinion, it’s kind of like expecting Henry Ford to build all Ford trucks or Elon Musk to build all Teslas.

    I bet all the names on a WC or NH test target have been through some sort of screening process and have had to prove themselves before getting their name on the target.
    boatdoc, simonp, OldCuz and 4 others like this.
  2. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    Looks like he got promoted......
    AGENT P and Cop_Out like this.

  3. Stogies

    Stogies One more please!

    Aug 22, 2015
    Given that his name is on the test target, that is not likely
  4. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    Could have swore I saw one without him at top left.
  5. Jim w.

    Jim w. Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2016
    It could be that they had a stack of checklists printed up before GG hired in.
    There is a line left for write ins for just such occasions.
    stlgecko, Stogies and Lineman1982 like this.
  6. Cop_Out

    Cop_Out Pearl Pimp Supporting Addict

    Feb 3, 2017
    I requested TG for a build recently, and was told he moved off the shop floor into some type of management position. My sense of the conversation was that he would no longer be building guns on a regular basis.
    pcar157 and AGENT P like this.
  7. Cop_Out

    Cop_Out Pearl Pimp Supporting Addict

    Feb 3, 2017
    I have complete confidence in NHC. I've owned a number of their guns, and all were terrific.
    boatdoc likes this.
  8. 1911_Bandit

    1911_Bandit Batteries_included

    Mar 5, 2020
    Interesting to see that the GG initials for the person doing the prep work, as shown in Lineman1982 pic, are the same as Gage Gustavus signs his name in the OP. He must have come up through the ranks.
    boatdoc likes this.
  9. Stogies

    Stogies One more please!

    Aug 22, 2015
    Although Bob's name is still on a test target so who knows
  10. Nineteen-ElevenObsession

    Nineteen-ElevenObsession Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2020
    I do wish NHC would list the backgrounds of their smith's on their website to avoid issues like this. For example, I'd never heard of Keith Adcock. He could be any average joe. But I saw someone posted a Thunder Ranch he'd built. It looked amazing. As it turns out, Keith spent 20 years at the Springfield Custom Shop. That's a pretty good pedigree.

    Some of these smiths at NHC have been building guns longer than some of the other "big names" mentioned. Does that mean their better than others? Hard to say. I mean 6 of them are in the Guild. Some would say that makes them better than others who are not. But not necessarily. Does Travis Gregory build a better gun than Joey Lehr? All in the eye of the beholder.

    All in all, just because Gage doesn't have a printed name on the target doesn't mean he's new to building guns. He just might be new to NHC. If they're letting him stamp his name on a gun, they trust he can do it right. And if not, well, they'll fix it under warranty.

    I just requested Joey Lehr to build me a gun, but I'm definitely considering adding Keith Adcock as a possibility now that I learned his pedigree. But more than likely, I'll just request him on the next build.

    I also have 10 Wilsons. I love the way they build guns and could argue their methods are better than NHC, but again, that's in the eye of the beholder.
    boatdoc and simonp like this.
  11. Nineteen-ElevenObsession

    Nineteen-ElevenObsession Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2020
    Exactly. And some of the NHC guys have been building guns longer than Joe. And some as long as Rob.

    Does that make one better than the other? Not necessarily.
    boatdoc and retrieverman like this.
  12. Brennerman

    Brennerman Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2020
    I hope they don’t do that, they will get longer wait times and only a handful of the smiths will be busy, while the others are not getting the experience they need and deserve.

    A resume only tells the past, not their potential. Some of the newer smiths might be very talented builders.

    I went with nighthawk based on their reputation and recommendations from some people I hold in high regard. I trust when they have a new gunsmith, he or she is building to their standards.

    Just like how Eric, Brandon and Dave (I think) work for Chambers. I would take a Nightfighter from any of them.
    AJP likes this.
  13. sechip88

    sechip88 1911 connoisseur

    Oct 26, 2012
    Care to inform the rest of us who your favorite is, after 30 of them I guess who would know better?
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  14. Genes 1911

    Genes 1911 Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2019
    Customer service and excellence is the standard of semi custom gun makers.
    Addicts demand it! My experience is with NC, outstanding, a reflection of the owners promise to customers to make it right or make it right.
  15. DRD

    DRD Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 8, 2018
    If I'm buying a semi-custom from NHC, GI, or Wilson, I wouldn't fret for 10 seconds about who, or how many, built it. If I loved the gun and the price was right, I'd buy it. If there were issues, I have confidence that they'd make it right.
    If your hung-up about a builder, fine. All you have to do is go one step up and get a full custom; some of them are quite competitive with the hi-end semi-customs.
    boatdoc, azpoolguy, blamo and 2 others like this.
  16. Nineteen-ElevenObsession

    Nineteen-ElevenObsession Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2020
    That's a valid point. Though I think the vast majority of people buying NHC don't know you can request a specific smith.

    Although a few years ago, NHC was posting some basic bios on FB every Sunday for a lot of their smiths. It gave some basic background and info on years of experience. It was also nice to put a face to some of the guys. All in all, I'd like to know a little about the guy building my gun, just out of curiosity more than anything. I'd don't put a lot of stock in "experience". It just depends on the guy. I'm sure there are some out there with 1-2 years of experience building guns that are better than some guys with 20 years +. It's all about the individual and how they learn and pay attention to details.

    I chose Joey Lehr on this particular build because I've seen his work and he does some amazing stippling. But if I decide to buy others from NHC, I'll definitely be willing to try out some other smiths.
  17. Hardway

    Hardway Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2016
    Joey Lehr is my favorite builder. I haven’t had any bad guns or builders. Maybe it was just by chance or luck the ones I prefer happen to be built by Joey.

    My most recent Nighthawk is a 9mm Marvel, my favorite model, and I had Joey build it and asked for the older style hand stippling on the top of the slide. It came out perfect just like my older model Marvels.

    Of all the Nighthawks I’ve owned every test target was one hole. Some holes were bigger than others and Joey’s were always the size of a single bullet. It probably doesn’t hurt his case that his father , Joe, is also the sales rep for my LGS and I’ve spoken to him a number of times about different builds I wanted.
    sechip88 likes this.
  18. stlgecko

    stlgecko I’m just here for the 1911’s

    May 24, 2014
    I’ll just say some are better than others and leave it at that. I’m in the more than 30 hawks club as well. Currently own 7.
    boatdoc and gun_fan111 like this.
  19. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    Must be a youngster. I remember when Bill built every pistol with his name on it. I suspect Ed did as well.
    boatdoc and simonp like this.
  20. Nineteen-ElevenObsession

    Nineteen-ElevenObsession Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2020
    Same thing happened with Allen Wyatt. He got promoted to head of R&D. I get rewarding your best smiths, but at the same time, I'd still wanting them building some guns.

    But TG is one of the original guys so he might have been interested in trying something new for a while.
    wrmiller likes this.