Monday, August 31, 2015

Houston Harrison

Houston Harrison who recently passed away was quite a complex character.

The rifles and pistols he produced are among the finest work in the entire revival. He was a machinist by trade before he became a full time crafts person and this I believe gave him a particular fine eye for detail and nuance. He was also an accomplished musician on guitar and banjo and could do a perfect mimic of Jimmie Rogers and other Country/ blue grass musicians.

His range of products was amazing. He made a perfect copy of a single action colt 45 pistol entirely from scratch. Every part of it was exact down to the screw threads. He made superb copies of Armstrong rifles, Buck Co.’s, Readings, and Hawkins etc. Almost all had handmade locks, triggers, etc.

He did an absolutely gorgeous mirror pair of all steel engraved Scottish flintlock pistols with a presentation case. Unfortunately, we do not have near enough photos of his products. 

More photos of these pistols can be found here.

I visited him in the summer of 1992 and we went to the Davy Crockett Ancestors reunion in Paris Tennessee. Houston was a big fan of Davy Crockett and he made a grand copy of a York county rifle that Crockett owned as a young man. 

David Zucker and I used his rifles in a cameo of Naked Gun 21/2.

Fess Parker loved the Crockett reference and Zucker invited him to a rifle frolic in Ojai. Here is Fess holding Houston's Bucks Co. rifle. Houston got a big kick out of this!!! 

Copy by Robert Weil, also photos supplied by Robert. Pistol photos by Jan Riser.

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