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Favorite Firearms: A Throwback Smith From Dad

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My father, Danny Joe Williams, owned The Armory, Inc. for 30 years before finishing the last 12 years of his career as head gunsmith at Umarex USA (Walther). In 1983, he took delivery of a new Bren Ten, complete with .45 ACP conversion kit and two magazines in each chambering. The magazines were perhaps more valuable than the pistol itself.

In retrospect, the Bren was a clunker, with a finish reminiscent of the auto-wax option at your local Suds and Go. The first real box of ammunition (Norma) was so hot, the frame cracked; at dad’s insistence, Dornaus & Dixon replaced it with another receiver. The Bren was an oversize, over-sculpted CZ 75 with tall sights and a falcon engraved into the side of the frame. It also barked like an actual magnum when you pulled the trigger. What was there for a 6-year-old boy not to love?

When I was in the fifth grade, he traded it without warning, and I was left heartbroken. In a moment of unjustified sympathy that surely only a father can understand, dad laid every pistol he owned out on a blanket in our living room and said, “Choose what you will.”

In the end, my choice was the 6.5″ Smith & Wesson Model 624 in .44 Spl.—one of the best decisions I ever made. It’s a throwback, for sure, to back when Smith & Wesson still made revolvers with forged internals and not a sleeved barrel in sight. Of course, dad did the trigger job, 2 lbs., and it breaks like an icicle.

I’ve since shot a bathtub full of Unique powder through it, logged tens of thousands of rounds and harvested multiple whitetail deer at ranges that would make some uncomfortable. The 624 has never once failed me. After all these years, many “more desirable” pistols have come and gone, but the 624 will always be the last one I ever part ways with. Thanks, dad.

Article by  BRIAN C. WILLIAMS

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