Sons of Guns Receives “F”

The following is an editorial opinion from Alex Hamilton of The American Pistolsmiths Guild, Inc.

In the world of “reality” TV the alligator catchers, snake charmers, hoarders, distraught wives, bare hand fishermen, swamp people, one eyed womanizers and a bazillion others who would feel more at home in a house trailer or welfare apartment and who have been dragged from the greenest of slime to portray themselves as humans, have become an embarrassment and have been held up by our pop culture media as people who are to be envied and admired. The Louisiana bayou water logged proprietors and gunsmiths who run Red Jacket Firearms are another group of men and woman who have been made into people who would like to be real stars, but in my eyes are doing irreparable damage to you and I and the firearms industry in general.

In the Sons of Guns series, guns, weapons, explosives illegal to the general public are built and portrayed as something that anyone can walk into a gunshop, put money down and walk out the door with. They do not specialize in anything that remotely resembles anything real gunshops and gunsmiths build and handle. Yep, I understand what we do is not good food for over-sensationalized reality television but when someone makes me look bad and distorts what I and my counterparts do, I get pissed and I get pissed to the point I will do something about it. They send a message out to the general public that dual fifty caliber machineguns mounted on a pickup truck are standard fair and can be purchased by anyone with the right amount of moola. They never say what any of this crap costs but some of the stuff is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Another problem I have with these yo-yo’s is every single swamp Cajun walking into the store needs to have the most complex gun, mounting system, explosive launcher, cannon or whatever else some nut job can dream up at a Friday afternoon happy hour.

I could rail on and on with example after example of laws these guys appear to be breaking but that is not necessary. Every hour these supposedly extraordinary gunsmiths are on the air give you and I a bad name and continuously feed the rabid antigun zealots ammunition with which they are using and will use to take us down. I resent these men and women making legitimate gunsmiths and firearms companies look like a bunch of hayseeds who can dish up contraband in a matter of days without consequence and responsibility.

Oh, I recently heard and verified Red Jacket Firearms and the boys and girls of Sons of Guns have had their FFL revoked! How fitting.

Alex B. Hamilton, the 1993 Pistolsmith of the Year, is the owner of Ten-Ring Precision, Inc. (210/494-3063,, a builder of high-end competition pistols and the Recording Secretary of the The American Pistolsmiths Guild (


  1. Wow. I was actually expecting a more well-written article for your publication. Yet, this is the same jealous rage that I have posted on many other forums for two years now. There is nothing in the article that is even remotely current. The fact that you bring up the FFL incident (a resolved incident from 2009 – stay current) is just further proof that this is nothing more than a rant disguised as a legitimate article. This is a television show. There are many parts that get cut down to make room for the “tv” aspect of it. Every episode mentions the paperwork that needs to be done – and you never actually see clients leave with the “illegal” firearms, do you? Even Pawn Stars does not bore the audience with the paperwork process that it takes to transfer over antique firearms, and/or fill out C&R paperwork. Seriously, I expected WAY better from a “respected” publication such as yours. I am afraid that this type of “reporting” does nothing to help out the gun community. Rather, it just makes you look a little late to the party – since you have mentioned NOTHING NEW in this recent article. I wouldn’t be surprised if you actually lose subscribers based no this.

  2. I do hear where you see coming from friend. However the people out there who watch this show are gonna have to be pretty dumb if they think that these types of firearms can be purchased easily. Probably the same people who bought, ate and swallowed the pile of BS that the American Government spewed about the killing of Bin laden. Far too much is portrayed by the media that on actual fact is all a lie. The government controls the media and wields it like those pair of 50’s mounted on the truck. Sprayin and prayin. I could go on and on but I will cut it short.
    Good article though. Let’s keep it real.

  3. Adrian, you have left it at “the people out there who watch this show are gonna have to be pretty dumb.”

  4. I too was distressed when I first saw this show. I didn’t like that they did not stress the paperwork aspect of the Class 3 weapons, and they offered few explanations for what it would take to get approval for some of the “conversions.” Then I actually watched more of the shows and realized they were making improvements. They do make some statements about the legal aspects, though brief and generalized. I realized two types of people will watch this show. Gun people who realize what these transactions would involve, and don’t need to be bored to tears with the details repeatedly, and non-gun people who might have their interest piqued and go to a gun shop and look around, maybe even buy something. In either case I see no problem. BTW “American Guns,” is also out there, and though they do some similar projects , I am constantly amazed at the jacked up prices, which is a disservice to gunsmiths.

  5. I believe that this show and others like it are one of the reasons that shooting sports and gun ownership ,are enjoying such popularity of late.Before the only type of t.v. shows that had anything to do with shooting or shooting sports were some lame as hell hunting or clay pidgion show on some obscure outdoor channel.Those shows really didn’t show how fun shooting is.These new shows ,no matter how hoky or contrived they may be to some of us that have been involved with firearms and shooting sports for along time,they are starting to bring new people into gun sports.these new people,people who would have never thought of owning a gun ,are now buying, shooting, learning gun safety,and most of all learning about and exercising our most important right ,the 2nd admendment. Also the new people that it does bring in are smart enough to know what is real and what is just for show,and to say otherwise is just being condesending to them.In closing I would just want to say is I found your article petty and probably one the reasons why some people would avoid trying to get out of thier comfort zone and try something new.

  6. I have been going to the same gun shop since i got out of the U.S.M.C.22 yrs ago.but say in the past 1yr -2yrs I have been witnessing many more people buying guns.Many of them never had bought a gun before.Matter of fact a couple I personally know who only had a handgun for protection bought an AR15 last week and they just love it they probably put 500 rds thru it and can’t stop talking about what kind of scope they are getting for it! Iguess what i am trying to say is “you know and I know these shows are what they are”,they are breaking the taboo that has been plaguing us for too long. And the more we get into shooting and shooting sports the more we win the culture war against the people who wish to destroy it. Yes finally we are main stream ,and as unbelievable these shows are they do far more good than harm .

  7. >> And the more we get into shooting and shooting sports the more we win the culture war against the people who wish to destroy it.

    Very good point. Regular, on-going positive publicity is only going to help. More gun ownership, or positive perspective towards it, will only help.

    I wish that publicity centered on organized events that motivated these new gun owners (and NRA members) to learn about and get involved in something more than plinking. Had James Naismith and the progenitors of the NBA limited themselves to informal games of “Horse” basketball never would have taken off.

  8. As I said before these shows are just entertainment and most people who watch them understand that.but what i really don’t understand is the elitism and the way some people look down thier noses at other people ,especially ones new to the sport.Articles like Mr. Hamiltons and with all due respect, atitudes such as yours are a great disservice to or sport and community.Not everyone can or wants to do IDPA or long range target shooting most of us are happy with just “plinking” and joining the NRA.And if thats what some people want to do that they are not welcome.In closing I would just like to say that again that these shows are just entertainment and by no means define our sport or community only we can do that.

    • >> … most of us are happy with just “plinking” and joining the NRA.

      That’s fine by me. My definition of a good gun owner is anyone capable of keeping and bearing arms without causing vandalism or unintended harm. Such a person should be invited back to any range. Formal training or a good score, or even participation, is not required to be a good, upstanding gun owner.

      Of course, being a good gun owner does not make one a knowledgeable gun owner or skilled marksman. Casual games of “Horse” or playing catch in the yard did not and can not promote sports like basketball or baseball. Plinking can not promote sports like shooting for the same reasons. That isn’t elitism, just simple statements of fact.

      >> what i really don’t understand is the elitism and the way some people look down thier noses at other people ,especially ones new to the sport.

      Which sport?

  9. First, let me clarify myself,when I say”sport” I mean all types of shooting sports.Secondly,name one NBA or NFL

  10. Instead of banning assault weapons, perhaps we should have a ban on
    television advertising. I’m pretty sure we can justify it by the numbers of
    people killed with each.
    As someone who grew up on a frontier, I and my brothers were
    pretty much ‘raised by wolves’ and we spent entirely too much time with such
    pursuits on our farmland. If there is one thing we learned, it is that those
    things are illegal because they SHOULD be. Not everyone needs to be
    entertained by the stupid acts of immature idiots, and treating weapons like
    toys is a downhill road for a society. No firearm should be treated as casual entertainment. They have a designed purpose, and that is to kill. Casting this aside in the name of advertising and ‘market share’ is folly. Whether we enjoy the precision of firearm work or we need to use a firearm, there is a reason that a culture or even a government has rules and taboos against careless behaviors. Life is dangerous enough already, and each action should be considered on its worth to future generations, not for its value as a spectacle to make a buck. You get the wolf you feed.

  11. If i may interject… I agree with the frustration in the original article. If if not support it fully. That being said i have watched the show a few times but no longer will. lets discuss why. As seen on TV. And why it is an appaling show to the responsible gun owner and our industry. In one episode the crew was to build an apparatus that fired an arrow or Bolt fron a single shot iver Johnson Style shotgun. Sounds cool. At the point the owner of the store walks in to the smithy and discharges a loaded firearm indoors, while his employees, a TV crew and all of America watches. Now im not talking in their little indoor range he discharged it in the shop firing an arrow. The arrow glanced around the shop and came to rest out of camera view. When i saw this i couldn’t believe it nor did i have the words.. shock is all i felt. For a buisness owner to recklessly put his employees in that level of danger in a work place during working hours seems to be an OSHA issue that screems for investigation. to close i would add, any one who would work for a reckless iddiot like that at the least needs his/her head examend and may not be at the top of the intelectual ladder. For the gun industry to embrace this show and companys like Brownells, Midway, and other vendors rushing in to sell their wears is shocking. I know the bottom dollar is the almighty but where does the hipocracy end. As gun companies, the NRA, professionals in the field and the industry preach. “Firearms safety is responsibility of everyone”. They either have turned their backs on that antham or have ignored it for a group of retards that havent got the clue they are “climb milling” , dont have a depth micrometer, or realize they shouldnt discharge firearms indoors no matter what type of projectile is in the bore. As for me i strongly encourage folks to refuse to watch it.

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