Veteran’s blend in well. They rarely ask for help.

It's easy to miss the veterans around us that might need a helping hand or a word of encouragement. We are all busy with work, family, and the daily grind of just making ends meet. After well over a decade of war across numerous battlefields in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, and more on the way, it's no wonder we have young men and women who still struggle with flashbacks of an ambush or visions of a wounded buddy. You don't have to have been there to understand what the experience must have been like. YouTube and the nightly news provide plenty of images. I feel fortunate to have come through the experience doing okay. Don't get me wrong, you can't escape the memories, some things just sear the soul. But I'm good, and simply wanted to do something for former teammate, Tom Spooner, founder of #MISSION22, and lend a hand in his extraordinarily important mission. Even one veteran suicide a day is too many, but twenty-two a day is a national tragedy.

I decided on building a pistol to raffle, with hopes of raising both funds and awareness to help out. But, I needed to know more than how to shoot out the x-ring or do a cool mag change.

So I spent six months in and out of pistolsmith schools learning from the experts on how to custom build the most famous handgun of all time - the M1911A1 .45 ACP pistol.

The venerable M1911 was the work horse of our troops in WWI and WWII, expertly wielded by the likes of Sergeant Alvin York and Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone. Outlaws like John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie and Clyde chose the M1911 before it ever saw service in Korea, Vietnam, and Grenada. Most recently, Delta Force operators Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart and Master Sergeant Gary Gordon took to their Caspian custom M1911A1 .45's in the dusty streets of Mogadishu, Somalia before making the ultimate sacrifice.

The #MISSION22 Custom build 1911 is handcrafted and fitted the old fashion way, the same way John Moses Browning did it at the turn of the 20th century - using files, stones, oil, sand paper and good old fashioned elbow grease. Built on a precision machined Caspian frame with Government model 5” gunsmith fit forged slide and serial numbered MISSION22, it sports a gunsmith fitted Bar-Sto Match Target barrel, Greider Precision Match Trigger, and a blended Smith & Alexander mag guide. Each individual piece was dressed, toleranced, and hand fitted individually by me before proofing for accuracy at my home range. 

Along the way, two very talented craftsmen joined the team. Former Army veteran and pistolsmith Jim Ryan, of JR Custom Holsters in Emmett, ID, is well known for his gorgeous custom horsehide and exotic leather holsters, mag pouches, and belts. For #MISSION22, he handcrafted a beautiful outside the belt holster of burgundy lizard and black frog to dress the pistol in. Jim individually crafts each holster one at a time, to order, literally performing all operations solo, including sewing by hand.

Former Army infantryman, veteran Joey Watson of Joe Watson Knives in Austin, TX, handcrafted a beautiful one-of-a-kind blade. Well known for his self-defense, every day carry oriented blade designs, Joe modified his Mini Bowie pattern grounding it from CTS-B75P steel and heat treating it before applying a satin finish with a polished convex edge. Joe then sculpted carbon fiber handle slabs and set off with mosaic pins before laser engraving the #MISSION22 logo near the hilt.

Of course, once Jim saw Joey’s blade, he knew it needed a matching sheath and went back to the shop. Like me, Jim and Joey are “one-man shop” veterans that genuinely appreciate American values, hand craftsmanship, and veterans’ struggles, and I’m honored to have them part of this special project. 


Along the way, many others stepped up to support the #MISSION22 build including Dave Lauck of D&L Sports, Ed Strange of WickedGrips, Joe Chambers of Chambers Customs, and Mark and Jennifer Smith of Precision Bluing. On behalf of US veterans everywhere, I thank them with a humble heart.   

We truly appreciate your interest in this raffle, but more so your interest in helping us curb veteran suicide. On Memorial Day, 25 May 2015, we’ll draw the winners and contact you directly to preserve your privacy. But, we'd really love for you to tell all your friends and help us spread the #MISSION22 word.

NOTE: Contest open to U.S. residents only. Prizes shipped inside the Continental US only. The firearm is awarded only to the entrant drawn and will not be awarded if the firearm presented is illegal in the jurisdiction of the winner. An alternate, authorized winner will be selected. No substitutions or transfers to a third party are allowed. Firearm will only be shipped to a Federal Firearms License holder only where winner will be confirmed legal to own IAW Federal ATF regulations after undergoing a background check. Winner must abide by all federal, state, and local laws and are responsible for FFL transfer fees.

  • $25,015.00

    raised of $20,000.00 goal
  • 0 day

    left until we draw

What You Could Win

  • DF Custom 1911 .45 ACP SN# MISSION22 w/custom leather holster by J.R. Custom Holsters

    A hand built and blued .45 ACP pistol with custom aluminum grips highlighting the #MISSION22 logo. Custom dark walnut presentation case by Dave Lauck of D&L Sports, DF Customs certificate of authenticity, and a custom hand crafted holster from J.R. Custom Holsters in Emmett, ID.

    Pistol specs:

    • Gunsmith fit forged Caspian Govt. 5" slide with laser engraved DF Custom 1911 logo
    • Precision machined Caspian frame serial number MISSION22
    • Bar-Sto Match Target stainless steel barrel hand fitted
    • Hand blended Smith & Alexander Mag guide to frame well
    • Hand blended Wilson Combat beavertail grip safety
    • Hand blended Cylinder & Slide thumb safety
    • Hand blended Wilson Combat slide stop
    • Hand blended EGW bushing to EGW recoil spring plug
    • Hand checkered and angled Ed Brown mag release button
    • Serrated front strap and slide top
    • Undercut trigger guard/front strap connection
    • Dehorned entire pistol
    • Hand blended slide rear to frame and beavertail
    • Custom grips from WickedGrips
    • Novak Lo-Mount rear sight
    • Hand blended Chambers Custom front sight
    • Greider precision V-series match trigger
    • Custom case hand made by Dave Lauck of D&L Sports 
    • Hand polished and hot blued by Precision Bluing

    Holster specs:

    • Had crafted by Jim Ryan
    • Outside the waistband/ 1911 Govt. Model 5"
    • Burgundy horsehide with Burgundy Ring Lizard and Black Frog trim
    • Underside of holster laser engraved with #MISSION22 logo

  • Custom #MISSION22 blade by Joey Watson w/custom leather sheath from J.R. Custom Holsters

    Blade specs:

    • Custom made by Joe Watson Knives in Austin, TX
    • Grounded CTS-B75P steel in Mini-Bowie pattern
    • Heat treated with satin finish and polished convex edge
    • Hand sculpted carbon fiber handle slabs and set off with mosaic pins
    • Laser engraved #MISSION22 logo near the hilt

    Sheath specs:

    • Hand crafted by Jim Ryan
    • Outside the waistband loop
    • Burgundy Horsehide with Burgundy Ring Lizard and Black Frog trim
    • Full welt construction with floating welt retention tab

  • J.R. Custom Holsters #MISSION22 $150 gift certificate

    Certificate is good towards any J.R. Customs holster, belt, or mag pouch up to $150.

  • Precision Bluing #MISSION22 $150 gift certificate

    Certificate is good for $150 toward any custom bluing of any firearm at Precision Bluing in Greene, NY.