Bobby Tyler of Tyler Gun Works in Friona, TX,
is quickly becoming very well-known for his work in finishing
and restoring firearms. His work is at least as good as anyone
has ever achieved, and he has attained some measure of fame for
figuring out how to impart true color-casehardening to stainless
steel, which is a feat that had always been considered to be impossible.
His shop is growing along with his work load; aside from
becoming a finishing jobber for over twenty firearms companies
(and counting), Tyler Gun Works
does a great deal of custom restoration, gunsmithing,
finishing, and engraving for individual customers. Bobby's
company is growing by leaps and bounds, and his success couldn't
be better-deserved; not only is Bobby the best at what he
does, but he is a wonderful person, a true gentleman. Bobby is a
brother Shootist, and
Jeff and I have both become very close friends with him.
In the past, Tyler Gun Works has offered some
limited-edition projects based on Ruger sixguns. Almost
two years ago, Bobby did a limited run of 200 color-casehardened
Bearcat sixguns, based on the Lipsey's
Shopkeeper model with short barrel and birds-head grip;
these were available either in blue/color-casehardened finish,
or fully-engraved with blue/color-casehardened finish...and of
course, I had to have one of the engraved models. Late
last year, Bobby followed-up on the success of the limited
Bearcat with a limited-edition of 200 Vaquero 357 Magnum / 9mm
convertible sixguns, based on the Lipsey's-exclusive Vaquero
357/9mm convertible, which were similarly available either in
blue/color-casehardened finish, or fully-engraved with
blue/color-casehardened finish...and of course, I again had to
have one of the engraved models.
Now, Bobby is coming out with a very special
limited-run of Ruger sixguns: the Tyler Gun Works Engraved Ruger
Single-Six (RSSE). The Tyler RSSE is based on what has become
known as the "Holy Grail" of Ruger collecting: the
Ruger "Old Model" Engraved Single-Six revolvers, which
were produced in very limited numbers (about 250 total produced)
from 1954 to 1958. Primarily engraved by Charles H. Jerred and
known as the RSSE (Ruger Single-Six Engraved), the original RSSE
sixguns are extremely rare and valuable on today's market. Bill
Hamm wrote a brief history on the original RSSE back in 2003,
so I will refer the reader to that article for the particulars.
The Tyler Gun Works RSSE is not meant to be
an exact copy of the original RSSE; such would not be possible,
as the originals featured the "Old Model" Colt-style
action, while the new sixguns feature Ruger's safer (although
arguably not as "cool") "New Model" action.
Also, Ruger no longer produces a "flat-top" Single-Six
frame with drift-adjustable rear sight, so the Tyler RSSEs have
a Vaquero-style rounded top strap and non-adjustable rear sight
groove. Still, the Tyler RSSE wonderfully pays tribute to the
original RSSE; the engraving is not identical to the original
Jerred pattern, but is evocative of the original Jerred-engraved sixguns.
The Tyler RSSE features a stainless-steel grip frame, rather
than the aluminum grip frame of the original RSSE, for a better
look and feel; as with the original RSSE, the grip panels on the
Tyler RSSE are a much fancier grade of walnut than is typically
found on Rugers. A nice little touch by Tyler is the loading
gate: the original
early-1950s Single-Sixes featured a flat loading gate,
rather then the contoured gate to which we have become
accustomed; the Tyler RSSE features a loading gate which has
been modified to a flat-gate style, while maintaining the
functionality of the round-gate in the Ruger "New
Model" system. Neat.
The Tyler Gun Works RSSE sixguns will be limited to not more than 100 produced, with a special serial number range of
RSSE-XXX. The issue price, including a
very accurate new reproduction of the original RSSE leatherette-covered, velvet-lined wooden box, will be $2499.99.
Check out Tyler Gun Works at www.tylergunworks.com;
to order and have the sixgun shipped to your local dealer, call
Bobby Tyler at (806) 729-7292 or (806) 729-1943. You will be
glad you did.
As a companion to the Tyler Gun Works RSSE
sixguns, our friend and brother Shootist, Mike Barranti of
Barranti Leather, is offering a special price on a beautiful
hand-carved holster made especially for the Tyler RSSE. Based on
his "Border Ranger" design, Barranti's RSSE holster is
hand-carved and fully lined, and a finer holster you'll not find
anywhere. Mike Barranti is a true artist in leather, and his
work is second to none. A fine sixgun deserves fine leather, and
you'll find no finer leather than Barranti Leather. Barranti is
offering his RSSE Border Ranger holster for a special discounted
price of $270.00; not cheap, but the best never is. These
holsters are not sold by Tyler Gun Works, but directly by
Barranti Leather; call Barranti Leather at (412) 860-4804 to
visit their web site at www.barrantileather.com.
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