This is a story about a gun people doing something special....
A Few weeks ago, I traded a couple of pocket carry 9mm's for another Kimber, a full size black Custom TLE II.
I asked on 1911forum.com about references for a custom grip maker because I had a project in mind. I was referred to Matthew Clough in Macon, Georgia.
DonSon Products, Inc.
After contacting Matthew, he assured me that he could make me a pair of 1911 grips with the Army Paratrooper (Airborne) Wings engraved on them.
When I mentioned that to a Harley riding friend in Wisconsin (Rich), he replied that he had some walnut that was very sentimental to him because it came from his Mother, who is now deceased. Rich said he would be honored if he could send the wood to the grip maker and have the Army Airborne Wings made out of that wood. I contacted Matthew and he said yes, that would be fine.
When Rich sent me a picture of the Walnut boards, he said that he was sending enough for three or four pairs of grips. He also said that he put a note in with the wood asking Matthew to use the extra wood to make grips for another Veteran.
Right after that, another Harley riding friend named Ed said that he would like Matthew to make him a pair of grips for his 1911 Kimber, they would be special with his Navy rank (E9 MCPO) at retirement engraved on them.
So that got me to thinking...... Rich had asked Matthew to use the extra wood for another Veteran, and Ed is one of the most distinguished Veterans that I have the privilege to know, so..... I called Matthew and asked him if he could make Ed's grips out of the same wood. When I told him the story about all of us knowing one another and how the wood had a very special sentimental value to Rich, he said he would be proud to be a part of making the grips because it would be yet another bond between all of us.
He finished the grips yesterday and is getting them in the mail today......
Ed's U.S. Navy Grips
My U.S. Army grips:
The story continues however.......
I made another trade for an 1953 Argentine Ballister-Molina last week, the original factory grips on it were pretty rough. The gun is not a collector's item, so replacing the grips seems like a good idea because I want to use the gun as a shooter.
The design and hole mounting is not the same as on a normal 1911, so the only way to replace them was to have something else made.
I contacted Matthew again and asked if he could make a set of grips for that gun if I sent him the Argentine factory grips to use for the pattern and hole measurements. He said that he could, and that there was still plenty of Rich's wood left over.... so he is making a matching set of U.S. Army Airborne grips for that gun also. The factory grips that I sent him should be arriving at his place today, so maybe he will have them done next week.
Matthew has this sign on the door to his business in Macon, Georgia: