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  • Writer's pictureHootey Cline

Eddie Janis: The Master of Colt Peacemakers

In the world of gunsmithing, few names resonate as powerfully as Eddie Janis, the mastermind behind Peacemaker Specialists. Known for his exquisite craftsmanship and unwavering dedication to Colt Single Actions, Janis left an indelible mark on the industry. His work was not just about restoring or tuning guns; it was about achieving perfection, a testament to his profound understanding of the Colt Peacemaker.

A Purist in the Strictest Sense

Janis was a purist, focusing solely on Colt Peacemakers. He wouldn't work on any other revolvers, no matter their make, shape, or form. His mission was to take over where the manufacturer of Colt Single Actions left off and proceed to perfection. This dedication to a single type of firearm allowed him to hone his skills to an unparalleled level, resulting in the creation of six guns that were virtually unbreakable.

The Art of Restoration

Pre-War Colts, in their original form, are beautiful six guns. However, many were used hard over the course of their shooting life or even abused. The 2nd generation Colts were also fine six guns but lacked perfection, often being found with oversize chambers. As machinery began to wear, the later six guns slipped in quality. Many third generation revolvers also needed help, the kind of help Eddie Janis could provide. Janis had a deep respect for the history of these old guns. He would refuse to refinish 1st generations that had not been previously refinished, adhering to the rule of thumb, “don’t destroy the history of a fine single-action”.

The Signature Action Jobs

Janis offered two superb action jobs: the Saddle Tramp and the Gunslinger. The Saddle Tramp featured a lightened hammer spring, a 4-6lbs trigger pull, all internals de-burred, and special gunfighter springs installed. The Gunslinger, on the other hand, had all of the above with extra polishing of all internal parts for a glossy, smooth, buttery feel. The trigger pull was set as the owner desired, and the custom Gunslinger mainspring, bolt, and sear spring, as well as the hand-honed action, made the Gunslinger Colt almost operate itself.

The Cowboy Survival Kit

Janis also designed a Spare Parts Kit to keep Single-Actions alive and in working order. The “Cowboy Survival Kit” consisted of a mainspring, sear, and bolt spring, handspring. This kit was a testament to Janis's understanding of the common issues that could plague a Colt Single Action and his commitment to ensuring these firearms could continue to function reliably.

A Legacy Remembered

Eddie Janis's work was something that had to be experienced to be believed. His dedication to the Colt Peacemaker, his attention to detail, and his commitment to perfection made him a legend in the world of gunsmithing. His work continues to be celebrated and respected, a testament to the impact he had on the industry. Whether it was a restoration project or a custom action job, a Janis Colt was, and still is, a symbol of craftsmanship at its finest.

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