Richard Shockey was a contemporary of masters like Clark Chow, Giles, and Pachmayr. His bullseyes guns were mythical in their function and accuracy. Considering the tools and parts-of-the-day, it’s astounding that pioneers like Shockey were able to turn out the quality of work that they did back then. Modern high quality and oversized parts just weren’t available. They’d take a client’s gun, retain most of the parts, and then start welding things up to make them oversized to accommodate hand refitting.
For years Richard Shockey was an avid bullseye shooter. He apprenticed as a machinist in PA during the late 20s and early 30s. Then worked as a tool and die maker into the late 30s. During WWII and until 1948, he was a tool room foreman at the York, PA Naval Ordnance Plant. From the late 40s to about 1953 he was employed by the Department of Justice, setting up a machine shop at the federal correctional facility near El Reno, OK. After that he finally started a shop of his own.
Gill Heberd’s 1960 catalog had Shockey Deluxe Customs listed for $192.50, which was an exceedingly high price for a pistol at that time. One thing unique to Shockey’s guns was the addition of his famous ‘mousetrap. It was a spring attached to a recoil spring plug, used to keep the barrel tight against the recoil rod at lock-up. During the process of installation, some metal was relieved from the barrel for the spring and roller to ride against; a novel concept to help accuracy and supposedly reduce recoil. Shockey believed in the design so much that in 1953 he applied for a patent. After the war there were thousands of Remington Rand 1911s in surplus—so most Shockey 1911s were built on customer supplied Rands. This Shockey is built on a Colt, making it just that much more special. Why are Colts better? They just are