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I am pretty specific about my mark, the Scottish thistle.

The gun owner has to describe the work he wants and justify to me that the gun will be finished "as is" when it leaves my shop. If I agree it is a "finished gun" to my satisfaction I will mark the slide with a thistle. Package guns like the standard HP, FED, or GG get a "Burns Custom" on the barrel hood. But any of those guns can be up graded to a "best grade" and mark accordingly.

Full house, best grade guns get a "thistle" on the slide. Best grade is something I am very specific about and it literally has to be the best I produce, parts and labor with no compromise.

Bottom line is I have to be extremely proud of the end product on a BG gun and the customer had to be willing to purchase the best in parts and a healthy amount of my labor.

I have customers in government service or LE who don't want anyone's name or maker's mark on their guns. I am happy to oblidge them. You don't want a maker's mark, fine with me. I would prefer not to have one on my own guns actually.

From a collector stand point of course I want the custom makers to mark the guns I own. Tough decision. The guns I'll use will be fairly clean. The guns I collect will be what the maker wants to put on them.

The value and honor to me (as a pistolsmith)is that the customer chooses to USE the gun I build. Not the name on it.

The thistle is part of my personal heritage and fits me as a person, some might say. It avoids having my name on your gun.
It is small enough to ignore and tasteful enough to add to the gun IMO.

The truth? I'd rather mine say Colt and leave it at that.
 

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Interesting..I have a few customers in Larry's line of work and none of them want a mark on their guns.

The flip side is the guy who spends $200 and wants his gun marked.

You start talking H&H, Rigby and Westley Richards and then think about the Army and Navy guns sold through the "exchange" and realize the differences in prices which are substantial.

Now that the facts are known about who was making the A&N guns the prices have skyrocketed.

Quality will always demand a premium, no matter the name or the maker's mark. History has a way of doing that.

I can give you several examples of the reverse, great name, terrible quality.
 

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Classic is the "African" Kimber's. All cosmetics compared to a Rigby. I remember Ross Seyfried saying they were the new "Rigby"! BS!

No where close except in a once over quick look. Not in fit, finish or function, let alone durtability.

Another is a Storm Lake barrel and a dovetail front in a standard Springfield loaded model and sold for a rediculous price because of the maker's mark.

Quality is always more than skin deep.

Another example is the now famous BBQ gun I built for a match several years ago. Checkered, flat top serrated, Heinie's, a beavertail and nice grips. Everything else was stock. It was a "give away gun" for me. Looked nice, made great pictures but was no where close to a "finished" gun from me. But then again I didn't mark it either :grin:

I had expected the gun to come back to be finished. But it stood on it's own for what it was.

Hope that helps.
 
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