Nathan Heading to Vicker’s Tactical Full 1911 Gunsmithing Class

If it were not for the fact that I work in the industry or that I am blessed to be able to write about a hobby and technologies I love, I think I would qualify for the derogatory version of “Gun Nut”. With the day-job firmly established, my chosen “vacation” is to head out to Larry Vicker’s full-week 1911 gunsmithing and hand-fitting class being put on my Mile-High Shooting Club in Erie, Colorado.

I’ll do a general write-up on the class (not spilling any of LAV’s secrets), but looking at critical functions for the 1911 and a review of the handgun that I will ultimately create. IF there are any questions that any would like me to ask, I will track them in the comments below.

Author’s note- This is a personal endeavor. 

The class description:

1911 gunsmithing; – 6 days – This picks up where the armorers course leaves off and allows the student to build a complete custom 1911 from a box of oversize gunsmith fit parts; complete details of fitting an oversize match barrel, slide to frame fit, fitting and blending thumb and grip safeties, trigger job, complete blending of all components for a custom pistol are covered. In addition metal checkering is discussed and practiced on a limited scale. Recommended parts and sources are also covered. This is the complete package and is a great start to anyone wanting to do get into building custom 1911′s. Students of this course have had very positive comments thus far. Max class size is 7 and a specific tool and part list (student supplied) is part of this course.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    “Tell Larry to eat more vegetables!”

    – JumpIfNotZero

    • Gjert Klakeg Mulen

      It’s great for Larry that Fireclean turned out to be vegetable oil, now he can combine guns and food.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Man that joke never gets old, does it?

        • Gjert Klakeg Mulen


          • Sgt. Stedenko

            Dont tell Larry, but Golden Corral now has take home boxes once you finish you chow down.

    • Grindstone50k

      No no, it’s “just stop eating, period”.

  • Don Ward

    *Insert standard Larry Vickers shilling for Crisco joke here*

  • David

    Ask him about Fireclean.

  • Dan

    Bring an off the shelf bottle of Canola oil with super duper superior gun lube written on the side in black marker.

  • Don Ward

    So am I the only one that sees the violence inherent in the system? Nathan S. goes to Vickers “Fry Guy” Academy and introduces himself. “Hi! I’m Nathan from TFB” and he gets pistol whipped and forced to sign a James Yeager-style duel contract because he mistakes him for Nathaniel from TFB.

    • n0truscotsman

      dual contract? too much liability. Back breaking though is within the realm of possibilities 😉

  • Bear The Grizzly

    If you don’t ask for a face to face statement on the canola oil/fireclean thing then you will lose all credibility as a journalist. Your readers have spoken, make it happen.

    • Don Ward

      So Let It Be Written, So Let It Be Done

      • iksnilol

        Is that Yul Brynner?

        • Don Ward


        • TVOrZ6dw

          I believe that’s Pharoh Rames II

        • Slim934

          Yeah man it’s from the 10 Commandments movie he did with Charleton Heston as Moses.

          A great old flick.

        • Yes

    • Err, why would HE lose credibility?

    • I am not there in my capacity as a TFB writer, I am there on vacation and to learn something. So, no, I will not ask for a statement.

      I posted this up to offer the chance to ask a subject-matter-expert specific question’s on the 1911 (of which I do not think anyone would argue with his credentials in that respect).

      • Bear The Grizzly

        Well darn it man, you’re no fun. Enjoy your vacation then I guess.

      • BrandonAKsALot

        tough crowd

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    You could not convince me to go to anything “Vickers Tactical” related even if free…

    • Don Ward

      But what if there is free all you can eat fries?

      • G0rdon_Fr33man

        Is it fried in FireClean?

  • Red Leg

    From what I understand, just dip a 1911 in fireclean and it will magically become twice the gun it was before hand. True story

  • Justin Roney

    Based on the video overview of this class on his YouTube, I think it will be well worth the time. Just make sure to take an off-brand bottle of canola oil and speak highly of it as the “newest tactical operator’s secret.”

  • Make sure he takes his Larry endorsed bottle of FireClean. Larry only uses the best of the best of the best SIR!

  • Jsim

    How much does it cost to go to his class with the tools included

  • HKGuns

    I’d probably lube my 1911 up with Crisco and tell him I have a new wonder lube running in my pistol for the class.

  • AK™

    Did fireclean make any of you buy their product? You bandwagon keyboard warriors are out to crucify fireclean..who cares whats in it? It says its non-toxic,so its not a petroleum based product. If it works,it works. Why can’t you leave it at that?

    • Don Ward

      Leave FireCLEAN Alone!

      • Joshua

        does it matter what is in it? municipalities lace the water with Chlorine, which was once a popular ingredient for rat poison, and has been used as a chemical weapon to great effect.
        just because Fireclean might be based on vegetable oil does not mean that there’s nothing else to it, and honestly in this industry, if that was the case would that surprise anyone? we have companies charging $2 for a screw you can get for $0.10 at a hardware store, and $2000 for a rifle that is no better than another available for $1500 except for the company logo on the side.
        if your not shooting a rifle you made yourself in your garage from spare parts of your granddaddy’s car and cleaning it with gasoline and lubing it with WD-40 this should not surprise you, and if you are, you wouldn’t care.

  • Limonata

    Is there a link to the class schedule?

  • Will

    Video of you shooting the pistol you build would be a nice touch….you lucky dog you!!!

  • Standard Velocity

    Better idea. Nathan enjoy your vacation and rescind your kind offer to share it with the readers of TFB.

    Let all of the naysaying asshats who cannot get over the idea that canola oil is probably a pretty good lubricant continue their Fireclean-and-anyone-who-ever-used-it sucks tirade.

    I hope Firclean is both canola oil and proven to be a top notch lubricant. Do you think Larry Vickers or any other endorser of these products ever did more than use the product? Canola oil probably makes things slick after all. Was Larry in his home lab testing and evaluating dozens of products before signing up for Fireclean? No. And if you think any other celebrity endorsement was based on more than who had the biggest number at the end of the contract you are a rube.

    • Grindstone50k

      You missed the point entirely. Nobody said Fireclean sucks, just that it’s rebranded canola oil. But if you’re that invested into it, why not just send in an application to their PR department?