THE SMITH

Recoil - - Hi Power Redux -

RE­COIL : What got you in­ter­ested in gun­smithing?

Jodi Gri tus: I de­vel­oped a love for firearms around the age of 18. I star ted out with some of the free pro­grams at Ben Aver y Shoot­ing Fa­cil­ity. They taught the ba­sics of safety and how to shoot pis­tols, ri­fles, and shot­guns. A girl­friend and I were hooked on the spor ting clays course for a while. My mom bought my first gun for my 19th bir th­day, a 12-gauge

SKB pump shot­gun.

Any­way, I was work­ing a bor­ing, dead-end (cus­tomer ser­vice) job and wanted to find a steady, hands-on ca­reer. I searched cour­ses for lo­cal com­mu­nity col­leges and found out that Yava­pai Col­lege had a gun­smithing pro­gram. That im­me­di­ately sparked my in­ter­est. I told my hus­band about it, and he said that he wished he would’ve thought of it! Long stor y short, we both moved to Prescott, Ari­zona (from North Phoenix) for two years to at­tend YCC. I pre­fer to work with my hands and build some­thing that I can take pride in, some­thing that’s de­pend­able enough for some­one to trust with their life. I’m in­trigued by the in­ner work­ings and func­tion of firearms. I re­ally en­joy run­ning a ma­chine, es­pe­cially a man­ual mill.

How did you get star ted?

JG: The head in­struc­tor at Yava­pai, Alan Lohr, had worked for Ro­bar years prior. He re­ferred both my hus­band, Jim, and I to Ro­bar. We were ver y lucky to get hired for such a great, well-known com­pany. My hus­band did ri­fle work mostly, and I was more geared to pis­tol smithing.

The head gun­smith, Mar ty, star ted giv­ing me lots of Hi Pow­ers to work on. I was even­tu­ally deemed the “Hi Power Princess.” On a side note, I work on all kinds of pis­tols and am still learn­ing about dif­fer­ent firearms.

What’s the big gest prob­lem you face when deal­ing with cus­tomers?

JG: It’s al­ways tough when I have a project that’s only based on aes­thet­ics ... I can­not wrap my head around hav­ing a gun that looks gor­geous, but is un­re­li­able.

Also, peo­ple who don’t re­al­ize the com­ple­tion date is an es­ti­mate. I ver y rarely work on some­thing where I don’t come across ad­di­tional is­sues that end up tak­ing more time to fix. I treat each firearm as if it was my own, so I want it to leave here as per­fect as it can be.

Which project are you most proud of?

JG: Ger trude. Ger trude is my FN Hi Power. I bought her from AimSur­plus and she was a mess. I did a hi grip mod, beaver tail, cut dove­tails, and in­stalled No­vak tri­tium sights. I in­stalled the C&S type II ham­mer (skele­tonized), trig­ger pull re­duc­tion spring kit, C&S sear, match-grade sear lever, wide com­bat trig­ger, and ex tended slide stop. I stip­pled the front and back­strap. I also stip­pled a cen­ter line down the top of the slide and cut a bor­der. She’s fin­ished in NP3 com­plete with a matte to guard slide and VZ grips. She’s my fa­vorite gun to shoot and prob­a­bly al­ways will be!

Jodi Gri­tus’ FN Hi Power, Ger trude.

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