I first met Jeff
Quinn, virtually, on the old Sixgunner Message Board run by Jim
Taylor back in the mid/late 1990s.
Jeff was working full time as a window installer, and we
shared a common interest in sixguns and lever guns.
I distinctly remember Jeff asking some of us for our
opinion on starting an “on-line” gun review site where he
would write the truth, free of advertising influence.
That was around 1999-2000, and that was what became
finally met Jeff in person at a Ruger Collectors’ Display show
in 2004 in Nashville, TN. The show was being held in conjunction with a Bob Pope gun
show and Jeff came by to check out the Rugers.
He was a Ruger guy way back then!
He drove an old red pick-up truck and had the braided
beard. Pretty much
the same guy he had always been and continued to be until his
We started seeing each other more frequently
at various industry events, NRA Shows, SHOT Shows, and the big
Tulsa gun show. It
was at the 2010 NRA Show, in Charlotte, NC, that I ran into him
and his brother Boge while
walking the isles. We
greeted each other and chatted for 5-10 minutes, and he told me
that he thought that I would make a good Shootist
and invited me to Shootist Holiday 2011.
I walked away thinking to myself that I needed to get
away fast before Jeff realized that he’d invited me and might
change his mind! Fast
forward to June 2011 and there I was, in Raton, NM, about to
attend my first Shootist Holiday as an Industry Guest.
There were quite a few men there that I had known a long
time on-line but had never met in person.
In fact, meeting Rob Leahy for the first time in person
was like meeting my long-lost brother. To say we hit it off would be the understatement of the year.
Jeff introduced me to other Shootists, including a
retired Kansas State Trooper named Charlie Hanna.
We got into what seemed like an hours long conversation
on the 38-40 caliber and Charlie’s strong feelings for his
Colt Bisley single action revolver chambered in that caliber.
Its performance, qualities, and ease of shooting were
common recurring themes in that discussion.
In November 2011, Jeff and I shared a trade
table at the big Wanenmacher
Tulsa Gun Show in Tulsa, OK.
Jeff was selling a few things to raise money for a Ford
Raptor pick-up truck and was on the hunt for a Colt Bisley in
38-40. I will never forget the smile on his face when he walked back
to our table, after many trips to look, with a nice, old Colt
Bisley. It was a
38-40, of course, and had a 4 3/4” barrel, along with the
original black gutta percha (hard rubber) grips.
He had fulfilled his mission, he was happy.
He kept it tucked away in the pocket of his overalls and
kept taking in and out, playing with it, handing to me each
time. I’ll also
never forget the look on his face when, not more than a few
hours later, we both heard the clang of a metal object hitting
the concrete floor at our feet.
Yup, sure enough, that Bisley slipped out of his pocked
and hit the floor, grip frame first. The old gutta percha grips didn’t stand a chance and one of
the panels cracked into many pieces.
You could tell it was painful to Jeff to see that broken
By that time, in 2011, GunBlast.com had
become one of the world’s most visited websites.
The Quinn brothers had built a tremendous network and had
contacts in every facet of the firearms industry, including grip
making. Jeff promptly sent that Bisley to Raj Singh, at Eagle
Grips, who fit a set of gorgeous Sambar stag grips, which
looked better on the gun than the original grips.
Jeff was very proud of that gun and nicknamed it "Hanna",
as a tribute to Charlie. For
Christmas 2012, Jeff’s brother Boge gifted him a
Threepersons-style holster made by Mike
“Doc” Barranti and Jeff carried that Bisley in that
holster on special occasions.
I distinctly remember him carrying it at various Shootist
Holiday banquets over the years.
sadly passed away in July 2020.
I attended his
funeral services and was able to help orchestrate a private
21-gun salute with the help of 5 other Shootists who were in
attendance and with his beloved grandson, Ethan.
The Shootists hold such a salute for every departed
member each year on the last day of Shootists Holiday.
Every shooter fires 3 rounds of 44 Special.
One empty case from each shooter’s revolver is kept and
a plaque is made for the widow, or family, of the departed
Shootist. The few
of us there in person at this service didn’t want to wait
until the following June and decided to hold one right there at
the GunBlast World Headquarters.
We rounded up 6 revolvers chambered in 44 Special from
Jeff’s collection but couldn’t come up with a 7th,
so, while I didn’t dare use Hannah, I ended up using my Kimber
45 ACP 1911.
A few months after his passing, when his gun
collection was being sold, I put the word out that, while there
were a few that I’d like to buy, if there was only one I
could get, it had to be Hanna.
I did end up with more than one, and I did end up
acquiring Hanna. It
was such a sentimental gun to me, being there at Shootists
Holiday when the discussion first took place, being there with
Jeff when he found and bought the gun, and there when he broke
the grips, it was THE gun that I associated personally with
Jeff. Not only was
I able to buy that gun from his estate, but I was also able to
acquire the Barranti holster in which he carried it, gifted to him
by his brother Boge.
I have treasured this gun and have shot it
lightly over the last 18 or so months.
It is a precious memory of a dear departed brother.
In March 2022, I attended End
of Trail, the Single
Action Shooting Society’s world championship, to watch a
good friend, Lady Jane, compete.
End of Trail is not only a competition, but it is also a
social event, with many vendors there selling guns, ammo, gear,
equipment, all geared to the Cowboy Action Shooter.
One of the vendors there was Raj Singh, of Eagle Grips.
It was good to see Raj again as it had been a few years
since I had seen him. We
talked about Jeff and shed a tear or two remembering him.
Of course, the topic of Hanna came up and Raj fondly
remembered making those grips.
He commented that they were quite a challenge as they
required a very large piece of Sambar stag to make each panel
due to the shape and thickness of the grips, and quipped that he
has mostly refused to make any more of them from Sambar stag
because of that. I
went back the next day, this time with Hanna, in its holster,
and let Raj handle and enjoy it for a little while.
We both read the handwritten inscription on the back of
the holster that Boge wrote, and both shed another tear to
As I finished writing this article, on my
computer, listening to an on-line music streaming service,
Jeff’s favorite song, "Can’t You See", by the Marshall
Tucker Band began to play.
Jeff was there with me, just as he was when I drove out
of Clarksville, TN in October of 2021 after buying his Harley-Davidson
motorcycle from his widow and that same song came on the radio.
miss you, Jeff.
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