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  #1  
Old 07-01-2020, 03:26 PM
rellascout rellascout is offline
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Jim Garthwaite has Passed Away

American Pistol Smith Board Member and Pistolsmith of the year in 2004 has passed away. From the reports I am seeing he passed yesterday. The 1911 and BHP community has lost another master craftsman.

Thoughts and prayers to his family. I consider myself luck to have worked with him to build a custom BHP. He was great to work with and produced a quality gun. RIP

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“The 1911 chambered in 45 ACP is the Worlds Finest Close Quarters Sidearm… and...King of feedway stoppages.” -Ken Hackathorn
Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon... for a more civilized age." —Obi-Wan
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2020, 04:39 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Sorry to hear. We seem to be losing all of the master craftsmen who made custom gunsmithing what it is today.
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2020, 04:42 PM
FNISHR FNISHR is offline
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Rest in peace.
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2020, 04:48 PM
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Tim Burke Tim Burke is online now
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I hate this. What a tremendous loss. Jim was a gentleman, an excellent shooter, a serious student of defensive pistolcraft and a patriot, in addition to his excellent skills as a gunsmith. I used to see him every year at the NTI, but the last NTI was in 2011 and I've only seen him a few times since then.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2020, 05:12 PM
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Johnny handgun Johnny handgun is offline
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Prayers to Geiss family and friends, may 10 more rise in his place.
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2020, 08:27 PM
Yoni Yoni is offline
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I never met the man.

Loved his work, and wish I had one of his Hi Powers.

He will be missed
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2020, 08:56 PM
Tapper Tapper is offline
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A great talent, man, and patriot.

When I retired, I had a wish to have a 1911, and a BHP done up by the best gunsmith I could find. I saw some of Jim's work in a magazine and realized he lived within driving distance of me. He helped me through the process and helped me realize my goal and more. My HiPower is with me as I type. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to know him.
RIP, Jim.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2020, 09:31 PM
DArBad DArBad is offline
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Oh No!!! I had the pleasure of communicating with him on a few occasion. He was kind, respectful, and very affable. May he rest in peace.
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2020, 10:07 PM
KDKSAIL KDKSAIL is offline
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I first met Mr. Garthwaite at a local shooting club that I belong to. Periodically, he (often accompanied by his wife) would take a day or a weekend and drive 'round the region visiting clubs and talking to shooters about their pistols and shooting in general. As often as not, he'd discuss problems that some might be having and suggest remedies that they or their local gunsmiths might try. I don't think that I ever heard him try to drum-up any business for himself...though anyone who heard him discuss a problem would hope that Mr. Garthwaite could find time in his schedule to work on their problem.

He was professionally knowledgeable and expert at his craft and generous with his time and that expertise. One can hope that the many years that he offered his gunsmithing classes that he inspired and passed along the same sort of expertise and generosity among at least some of his students. I suspect that this would be a legacy to art and science of gunsmithing he would be proud of.
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2020, 09:54 AM
Bob Rodgers Bob Rodgers is offline
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I'm shocked and saddened to hear this.
My sincere condolences to his family.
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2020, 11:46 AM
gumbee gumbee is online now
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You are already missed good sir, RIP.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2020, 06:03 PM
Jerry799 Jerry799 is offline
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Aw just crap! Jim was a person I considered a friend. I met him in 1984 at the Miller Invitational in Upstate New York. After chronographing every contestants firearm for the match, both of my friends said the finest firearm given to them was built by Jim Garthwaite. It prompted me to have him build a fill house comped single stack race gun on a Series 70 Colt. His workmanship was flawless, and he was one of the last great pistolsmiths who performed all of his own work. When you bought a Garthwaite firearm, you knew that all work was personally done by Jim. I got to be personal friends with Jim and Scott Duff and Walt Rausch and we all stayed in touch over the years. Walt passed a few years ago... and now Jim. I will miss him a great deal, and feel blessed to have known him. He was a true gentleman.
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2020, 06:34 PM
D Williams D Williams is offline
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Terrible news, I am glad to have gotten to meet him. He let me shoot his personal 9x23mm CCO carry gun one year at the NTI. RIP
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2020, 10:40 PM
Benchrest1 Benchrest1 is offline
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Sad news, RIP.
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2020, 08:14 AM
ToddSig ToddSig is online now
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He will be missed. Only spoke with him once, about a year ago. Extremely pleasant and helpful.

Obit
https://obituaries.dailyitem.com/obi...-jr-1079458877
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  #16  
Old 07-03-2020, 08:32 AM
roaniecowpony roaniecowpony is online now
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Best wishes and condolences to his family. I didn't know of him before this post, but his website is still up and I took the time to learn a bit about him there and the obituary linked above. The gun community has lost a good man and craftsman.

http://www.garthwaite.com/
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  #17  
Old 07-03-2020, 10:54 AM
goodag91 goodag91 is offline
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I never met Mr. Garthwaite in person but corresponded with him many times. A true artisan.

RIP
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  #18  
Old 07-03-2020, 05:08 PM
PD5523 PD5523 is offline
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I’ve known Jim Garthwaite for 20 years or more and spent many hours in the shop with him. He was always willing to take time to teach others, whether the topic was the 1911; the High Power, tactics or his unique historical perspective. Jim trained with Armand Swensen and worked for Colt briefly as I recall; before realizing the corporate world wasn’t for him and returning home to Watsontown to set up shop. I recall him telling me the first few years were lean; and he depended on local work to help him get established. He never forgot those who supported him early on and, despite lengthy backlogs, would always find a way to somehow squeeze in a little extra work to accommodate long time customers. While his skills allowed him to build most anything, his focus was utterly reliable defensive pistols. I last spoke to him two weeks ago with a question on a build and didn’t realize that would be our last conversation. Always the gentleman, Rest In Peace my friend!


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  #19  
Old 07-03-2020, 06:06 PM
rellascout rellascout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PD5523 View Post
I’ve known Jim Garthwaite for 20 years or more and spent many hours in the shop with him. He was always willing to take time to teach others, whether the topic was the 1911; the High Power, tactics or his unique historical perspective. Jim trained with Armand Swensen and worked for Colt briefly as I recall; before realizing the corporate world wasn’t for him and returning home to Watsontown to set up shop. I recall him telling me the first few years were lean; and he depended on local work to help him get established. He never forgot those who supported him early on and, despite lengthy backlogs, would always find a way to somehow squeeze in a little extra work to accommodate long time customers. While his skills allowed him to build most anything, his focus was utterly reliable defensive pistols. I last spoke to him two weeks ago with a question on a build and didn’t realize that would be our last conversation. Always the gentleman, Rest In Peace my friend!

Great post! Your comment about the early lean days remind me of the old joke. What is the difference between a LG pizza and a 1911 gunsmith? A LG pizza can feed a family of 4. We are lucky that people like Mr. Garthwaite made it through the lean times and became master craftsmen working in steel that fire projectiles. RIP Sir.
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“The 1911 chambered in 45 ACP is the Worlds Finest Close Quarters Sidearm… and...King of feedway stoppages.” -Ken Hackathorn
Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon... for a more civilized age." —Obi-Wan

Last edited by rellascout; 07-03-2020 at 06:08 PM.
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  #20  
Old 07-06-2020, 10:32 AM
hairbol hairbol is offline
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I have a great commader he did for me. I was just talking to him last Monday about his fall class, and had scheduled time from work to attend. I'm saddened at the loss and the missed opportunity to learn more.

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