American Handgun Editor Roy Huntington Collection at Auction

As magazine editors go, there are a few names that stand out. Among these industry icons, Roy Huntington, the longtime editor of American Handgunner, is known for his wit, critical eye and ability to turn a phrase in even the most basic of firearm review. 

Huntington’s influence has been felt across the FMG publishing family, with a virtual museum of iconic magazine covers featuring some of the most stunning custom and one-off handguns from the finest gunsmiths. 

Many of us have often dreamed of what may sit inside the Huntington collection personal gun safe. Now we all have the chance to not only take in his collection but also own one of our very own.

The July collection of Collector’s Elite Auctions features four of Huntington’s most breathtaking examples of the art of pistolcraft. 

Roy Huntington Collection

Ted Yost 1911

Roy Huntington Collection, Ted Yost 1911

As featured on the cover of the May/June 2011 American Handgunner, this custom handgun from master gunsmith Ted Yost is considered by Huntington to be the pinnacle of his 1911 collection.  

“I’ve known Ted Yost for 20 years and there has always been no doubt in my mind his work is what can only be called the epitome of the custom gun, especially the 1911 and Hi-Powers,” Huntington said. “If you put on a magnifier loop and go over one of Ted’s guns point by point, I assure you it will be flawless. Not just excellent, or amazing or even astounding … but perfectly flawless in every respect. In my case, his crafting of this eye-wateringly beautiful, cased set put a firm period on my ownership of any 1911. I simply could not ever get any better than this to me.”

With Yost’s retirement, the inventory of his hand-crafted 1911s is fixed with no more to be made. 

S&W Model 625

This .45 ACP revolver, presented to Huntington by the American Pistolsmith Guild, as a thank you for his years of supporting the organization. This double-action only example of the famed 625 series features engraving from Brian Powley in a light floral pattern, bearing the legend Age Fac Ut Gaudea, which roughly translates to “Go ahead, make my day.”

The action is simply perfect, and I’ve shot it just enough to know it’s a tack-driver and runs like a top,” Huntington said. “This gun is a rare and wonderous testament to those men in the Guild who really cared for what I did for them. I will always be touched by their gesture with this revolver.”

S&W 25-5

This stunning .45 Colt 25-5 has provenance beyond Huntington’s collection. For starters, master smith Hamilton Bowen tuned the action, trued the barrel and cylinder, and reshaped and polished the trigger. Next, Roy Fishpaw handcrafted the stunning stocks from a Dall’s sheep horn. They are even stamped “RCF” and serialized to the handgun. Finally, the previous owner of this 25-5 is Clint Smith, the world-renowned founder and instructor of Thunder Ranch, who sold the revolver to Huntington. 

“Clint had this gun and I swear, used to taunt me with it when I visited him. It’d be ‘casually’ laying on a table or he’d have it on his belt,” Huntington said. “In my mind, it was simply a ‘perfect’ 4’ N-Frame, and the fact it was in .45 Colt simply put a period on it all. Time passed and eventually an opportunity arose, and I leapt at it and the gun was mine.”

Featured it in the pages of Handgunner now and again as a photo prop in a holster or next to some ammo, this revolver always generated reader mail, asking about it. 

“It’s a significant addition to a gun collection and makes a statement all on its own. I’ve always thought of it as my ‘do everything’ revolver, and it shoots as good as it looks.”

Reeder Occult Gun

Roy Huntington Collection, Gary Reeder Occult Gun

Of all the Huntington guns, the one that stands out is this custom Ruger Vaquero from legendary gunsmith Gary Reeder. To say that this example of Reeder’s craftsmanship stand out is an understatement.

“I simply don’t know where to start on this one,” Huntington said. “Gary and I were chatting one day many, many years ago and he said, ‘Do you have an old Ruger, like a Vaquero, you could send me? I’d like to do a few things to it.’  So off went my old model Vaquero I had. Time passed and a box arrived. I wondered what it was all about as I opened it and my amazement kept growing. From the silver hammer spur and trigger to the engraving and stunning hand-made ‘coffin’ box, it was so far over-the-top as to be in another galaxy. What’s left to say? Gary handily won the ‘most amazing gun set I’ve ever seen in my life’ award!”

As Huntington said, there’s no way to full describe this custom Ruger, other than to say it’s a showcase piece and a true one-of-a-kind. You really must see it to take it all in. 

All the Huntington collection firearms come with a personalized letter of provenance from Huntington, which he will send directly to the purchaser. 

The entire July collection can be seen and bid on at CollectorsEliteAuctions.com

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About the Author

Allen Forkner has been fascinated by firearms and their usage since he sat on the living room playing with his G.I. Joes. After a decade as a newspaper journalist and time spent as a political communications director, he entered the firearms industry where he has spent more than 15 years telling the stories of the firearms, ammunition and optics as well as the brands that manufacture them. Currently, he is the publisher of the GunBroker editorial department. He stays active in the shooting sports as a competitive handgun and multigun competitor and never passes the chance to take a shooting class.  

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