I asked Tussey what a customer should look for in a smith.

“Most shops have a basic reliability package they like to sell. It’s often a ramp and throat and some chamber work. Many shooters think you can stop there, but I think a gunsmith who does is remiss in their job.

“Part of my customer education is a careful explanation of what `needs’ to be done and what is `nice’ to have done. I carry that basic package further: bolt face work, extractor tuning, an oversized firing pin stop, which all Springfields and Series 70 Colts need, trigger, hammer and sear work, check the hammer strut, and weld and refit the magazine catch on Springfield pistols is a basic list.

“Something that many smiths overlook is re-timing the Series 80 Colt firing pin safety system. After a trigger job, the shortened pull changes the dynamics of the lever system in the Series 80 and if it’s not addressed can lead to failures.”

Some custom shops simply offer custom “packages” to choose from. Tussey’s personal “just what each customer wants” approach is a sound one. Indeed, many customers wonder if the ramp and throat job on the $3,000 full-house “race gun” is any better than the one they are getting on their basic gun.

Tussey assures customers that the $59 trigger job on their “sky’s the limit gun” is exactly the same as the one on another customer’s entry level home. Tussey said he enjoys making accurate Colts and won’t stop with a customer’s gun until both he, and the customer are happy. “If you don’t J like it, we’ll fix it. Period.”

“Meet The Gunsmith, Terry Tussey”
GUNS Magazine
Story By Roy Huntington
August 1996