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Old 12-13-2002, 07:45 AM   #1
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Fred Sadowski of 300 Gunsmith

Could anyone offer any information on Fred Sadowski and his revolvers. I gather he was quite skilled at tuning Python actions and other revolvers, too. I believe he started 300 Gunsmithing Services which was(or is) located in Colorado.
 
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Old 12-15-2002, 03:19 PM   #2
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My first customized handgun was(is) a Smith & Wesson Model 19 that Fred Sadowski did an action job on back about 1976 or so...I was just a high school kid at the time, but REALLY enjoyed shooting--rifle, pistols AND shotguns--and wanted a better DA triggerpull on my 19...my parents were able to "give" me the action job--one of Fred's "Duty" action jobs--as a birthday present!!! It got the DA down to about eight pounds, and the SA was a breathtaking two and a quarter!!!
I remember that Mr. Sadowski was VERY patient about answering my many questions, and he wasn't the least bit condescending or rude, even tho' I wasn't very knowledeable or experienced...in short, having him tune my 19 was a GREAT experience!!!
I enjoyed shooting the HELL out of that Model 19 after his "Action Job"--so much so that I had to send it back to S&W for a "Retightening" later--and I learned a great deal about shooting a handgun from that old 19...
By the time my appreciation of his work had "Matured", and I wanted more--and was able to afford it--he had passed away...
I still have the Model 19...a lot older, and somewhat worse for wear--as is it's owner--it would be one of the last handguns I would EVER part with, IF it came to that...lotsa' fond memories there....mikey357
 
Old 12-15-2002, 04:20 PM   #3
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I sent 300 Gunsmithing a HK VP70z in early 80s because I heard that mr. Sadowski had a way to make them have a reasonable trigger pull. Got it back with a 5 pound trigger with a complete surprise break. I got gun stollen in late 80's it was the first plastic frame handgun and had REALLY Wierd reverse image front sight, but was one cool 9mm after Mr. S worked it over. He was a cool guy to talk with if you didnt BS.
 
Old 12-16-2002, 10:43 AM   #4
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Thanks. I appreciate the insights. I do remember I think the late '70's Guns & Ammo (??) had a story on 2 guns he tuned. They were (memory may be hazy) I think a S&W 19 or 66 and Ruger Security Six. Over at Sixguns J. Taffin says he has a Python that Sadowski had tuned and he won't part with it. By the time I was able to afford the guns and have them tuned Mr. Sadowski had passed on.
 
Old 12-16-2002, 10:53 AM   #5
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It's funny that you remember the piece in G&A...I didn't, at first...after thinking about it a minute, I believe that the Sadowski-tuned revo's were mentioned in Elmer Keith's monthly column...seems like at least one of the guns in question was a Model 29...maybe belonging to Ross Seyfried??? FWIW, THAT piece in G&A is what led me to contact Mr. Sadowski in the first place...after doing so, AND after a less-than-satisfying "conversation" about action and trigger work with a local "'smith", I decided Fred was the one to work on MY gun!!!....mikey357
 
Old 12-16-2002, 05:27 PM   #6
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I had a Python tuned by 300 gunsmith service in 1988.
The action was beautiful, but still had some of the stack left in it.
It didnt go bang everytime on CCI caps either.

I remember at this time that Sadowski didn't do the job, his apprentice did.."Chris" I think?

Oh well.

I still wish I had it back..........
 
Old 12-16-2002, 05:31 PM   #7
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G & A

I think Sadowski had some work in a number of Peterson magazines. Seems to me around 1982 or so they came out with a one time magazine featuring all the stainless revolvers (may have had autos, too but don't recall). In this or one of the other magazines Sadowski had tuned a Ruger Redhawk.

In a way I wish the magazines (aside from American Handgunner) would still showcase the work of a gunsmith once a month in the revolver arena. There probably are a number of good, unknown gunsmiths out there.
 
Old 12-18-2002, 04:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Lombardo
I had a Python tuned by 300 gunsmith service in 1988.
The action was beautiful, but still had some of the stack left in it.
It didnt go bang everytime on CCI caps either.

I remember at this time that Sadowski didn't do the job, his apprentice did.."Chris" I think?

Oh well.

I still wish I had it back..........
Did not Sadowski pass on in the early '80's? I know what you mean about misfires. I had a master tuned Python that Trapper Gun did that did the same thing. Later being a little more knowledgable I had another Python done (had sold the first). Had Walt Sherman do a roller action tune. Unlike the Trapper action job that misfired at 6 1/2 lb. double action this one came back at around 8 pounds double. I figured the mainspring remained untouched so I replaced it with a Trapper Gun Reduced power spring (I don't think they make these anymore). After doing so the double action was 6.5 pounds and it fired everything so I was happy and the single action was about 2.5 pounds. I gather that in some cases the gun can be reduced even further. In my case I guess one could have set headspace to a minimum, weakened the firing pin as done by Reeves Jungkind and played with firing pin protrusion (if it can readily be done on a Python) and seen if the double action could be taken down further.
 
Old 12-18-2002, 04:51 PM   #9
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A guy that is still around that does a mean Python is George Wessinger of Chapin, SC.

He had one laying around his shop in the early 90's that was like butter.
Maybe 7 lbs, no stacking....

He hates doing them. Be prepared to wait 2 years and spend about 200 bucks.
 
Old 12-19-2002, 09:27 AM   #10
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Still Around

I don't know if Walt Sherman still does handguns - he seemed to want to get into rifles. So far as I know Reeves Jungkind in Texas is still doing Pythons, too. Good to know that Wessinger tunes them.
 
Old 12-19-2002, 10:41 AM   #11
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I had Mr Jungkind do a Python about two years ago. A very little stacking left in but it whacks all primers. My Colt Custom Shop - Tedford fires nothing but Federals. Python uses a floating firing pin, easy enough to turn a new, longer one. Jerry Moran was said to have done that. And C&S are making +.015" firing pins for current Smiths. Has to be something in favor of using maximum firing pin protrusion for better ignition with a minimum mainspring.

I shot an early Sherman roller action Colt, must have been 25 years ago. It was wonderful when the roller rolled, but every once in a while it would skid and give a sudden increase in DA pull. Friend of mine has a C&S roller S&W that he likes but I cannot see it any better than a well honed standard action; not as smooth as a *very* well honed standard. But then, it was drop in parts, no gunsmith intervention or air freight expense.
 
Old 12-20-2002, 07:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson
My Colt Custom Shop - Tedford fires nothing but Federals. Python uses a floating firing pin, easy enough to turn a new, longer one. Jerry Moran was said to have done that. And C&S are making +.015" firing pins for current Smiths. Has to be something in favor of using maximum firing pin protrusion for better ignition with a minimum mainspring.
Did the Colt - Tedford tune remove some of the stacking? From what I gather on Cylinder & Slide master tunes the C&S tune does not. It is interesting the approach Mr. Behlert took to remove the stacking compared to bending the double action camming surface of the trigger.

I am in the process of trying one of the C&S extended firing pins in a 686 that has been highly tuned. Just need the time to get to the range. What with the headspace at a minimum I am sort of wondering about pierced primers (i.e. if some
protrusion is good more is better story). From what I gather on the Smiths the extended firing pin allows one to reduce double action by about 3/8 pound.
 
Old 12-20-2002, 07:37 AM   #13
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My CCS-Tedford Python has almost all of the stacking removed. The "raftered" mainspring leaves it reliable with Federal primers only. If I were shooting it a lot, I would try a longer firing pin, and maybe a spring with less bend. Wish the Trapper springs were still available.

Actually the very nicest Colt trigger I know of is one done for a friend by a local man, since deceased, after studying my Tedford. He applied the same trigger curve, retime, spring bend, etc., but did not have a company quota to get through that day and tweaked and tuned and polished everything just right.

The owner of That Colt wanted clip feed and bought a PC625. He has given it a limber spring set, a C&S firing pin, and some breakin rounds and dryfire, but no polishing or adusting. He gets reliable (Federal) ignition and a DA that will not pick up a 7 pound weight. No pierced primers in .45; I don't know about Magnums. If you got pierced primers at +.015" I would think you could trim the C&S back as required and probably end up with more than factory firing pin protrusion.
 
Old 12-20-2002, 07:48 AM   #14
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Haven't had a chance to try the extended pin yet. Before, the 686 had a 7.25 pound double action and would fire everything I ran through it including magnums. The double action currently is at 6 3/4 pounds but haven't tried it yet. I would guess that with Federal primers it would work quite well at 6 3/4 and probably a bit lighter. FWIW the local APG gunsmith sets his competition K/L frames (old style) at 6.5 pounds if they are using Federal primers only and a bit over 7 pounds if it is to work with anything. Over at the Smith Forum others claim one can go lighter than 6 1/2 if using Federals exclusively.

I wonder if many have played with firing pin protrusion on the hammer mounted firing pin Smiths? It would be interesting to see what one could reduce the pull to on those.

That leaves Rugers to play with the firing pin protrusion on. Some gain can be achieved by shaving the front of the hammer.

There may be some of the Trapper mainsprings left at one of the online sites. Or you might try contacting Trapper. My memory is bad on this but it is in Michigan. I seem to remember Gratiot (don't know if it is the street or city).

I can relate to the story on the Python not having to be done to a schedule. It would be interesting to dissect the work of the various masters and build a best of the best so to speak.
 
Old 12-20-2002, 08:17 AM   #15
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I have tried to sweet talk my FLG into making a longer hammer nose S&W firing pin, but he is a 1911 man and has no interest in revolvers other than pocket carry. I wish I had a local revolversmith, I have not been lucky with mailorder shops and comebacks at air freight rates really hurt. Maybe when Bob Lloyd (70 miles) retires from his day job he will return to gunsmithing.
 
Old 12-20-2002, 08:48 AM   #16
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Could not the front of the hammer (with the firing pin removed) be shaved a little to get more protrusion. I did see an old style S&W that someone had machined the inside of the frame to get more protrusion.
 
Old 12-20-2002, 09:58 AM   #17
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I've thought of that, but am too chicken to start cutting on a good gun.
 
Old 02-27-2003, 04:19 PM   #18
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C&S Extended Firing Pin in 686

Took out the 686 Plus and it fired all rounds including 100 magnums of various brands reliably with no misfires. The trigger is set at 6 3/4 pounds double action. I imagine it could be lightened further but I am content with where it is currently.
 
Old 05-13-2012, 08:07 AM   #19
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Fred Sadowski

Frederick A Sadowski passed away on March 1, 1987. I left 300 in June of 1987. 300 Gunsmith Service continued on for several years under new ownership, but failed eventually. Fred and I, along with several apprentices, did action work on numerious firearms, including S&W, Colt, Ruger, Dan Wesson, Charter Arms and many others. Not only did we do action work, we also did considerable rifle and shotgun work. We had an extensive article done in 1985 by Shooting Times.
 
Old 05-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #20
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Thanks James and Welcome Aboard!
 
Old 10-13-2013, 04:22 PM   #21
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300 gunsmith

I had Fred do some work on a Colt Python in 1977 0r 1978. The action was reworked and it was refinished in an "Armalloy" finish. What a great piece of work he turned out. I still own this Python and it really is a pleasure to shoot. Friends are always short on words after shooting it. I am now teaching my sons to appreciate a fine revolver with this same handgun.
 
Old 10-13-2013, 04:50 PM   #22
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Welcome Aboard!
 
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