Way back in 1993 I made a phone call to Pete Single. He was recommended by our mutual friend Jim Horan, it seems there was service he was providing that may be of interest to me. As it turns out, it was very interesting. After a informative conversation I agreed to send a 1911 frame for his frontstrap checkering. Having never seen 25×25 lines per inch, I was intrigued. A short time later a package arrived from Maryland. Upon examination, it started a business and friendship relationship that lasts to this day. That year I sent 100 frames for his treatment, and have since then sent thousands. At the time, Pete was the best kept secret in the pistolsmithing industry, not any more, we included him in our catalogs and proudly told the world of his skills. So much so, he is known as the master of metalsmithing, and the sole provider of checkering on the incredible successful Wiley Clapp series of Colt pistols. All I can say, Pete’s one of my best friends and I appreciate his perfection.
In the mid 1960s I got involved in competition pistol shooting and gravitated to the 1911 platform and my first 1911 was a surplus .45. At the time the 1911 guru was Bob Chow in California. Lucky for me he decided that he would build me a pistol and allow me to make payments to him which a college kid appreciated. I still have the pistol and while it was top shelf back then no one would look at it twice today. Progress.
The next years I accumulated the finest 1911s available from Swenson to the best name you have ever heard of. Then in 2003 I took a class from Frank Garcia in Frostproof Florida and he was using a pistol built by Pete Single (never heard of this guy) but Frank was an IPSC grandmaster and certainly knew a good pistol. I asked Frank and he told me Pete didn’t want any new work and he wouldn’t even give me his phone or address. No wonder he is a secret.
I ended up buying Single pistol at a gun show shortly after and it wasn’t a great pistol (the guy who commissioned it wanted a cheap pistol) but there was a receipt from Pete with a phone number. I bought that pistol for the phone number. I called Pete expecting to get some ornery old crusty gunsmith but he was a perfect gentleman. It still took me years to get Pete to build me a pistol. I have built a number of 1911s, even two at Bob Rodgers’s Roll Your Own class so I would question Pete about 1911 things that popped into my mind. He would graciously answer but after five minutes he was far out of my league of comprehension. In my opinion, he knows more about the operation of the 1911 than anyone.
Needless to say, Pete’s 1911 are my prize possessions. Now he has his website and anyone can find him. Lucky you. Over the years Pete has become a great friend and a brother. You won’t find a better person.
I have known Pete Single for over 24 years. His knowledge of machining, firearms and attention to detail is unsurpassed. Pete built a custom 1911 which to this day, is the best shooting and 1911 I have ever seen or held.
After a combined 26 years in the US Army, I have ran across a lot of people. It’s really easy to lose touch with folks as I travel all over the world. Pete is one of the few I’ve managed to stay in touch with and visit when possible. It’s a testament to his character.
If you ever need metal work done, I highly recommend Pete Single. He’s one of the best metal smiths in the world.
I came to know Pete several years ago when he graciously stepped in to assist me with an issue I was having with my duty gun. Pete contacted me when learned this gun was to be carried full time on a proactive law enforcement unit tasked with addressing violent crime with SWAT duties, Pete offered his services instructed me to send the gun to him. Pete’s reputation preceded him and I was more than surprised that he took it upon himself to contact me and offer assistance. Over the phone Pete asked me a series of detailed questions and came up with a diagnosis and remedy he suspected would resolve my issue. Pete’s assessment was spot on and he returned a beautifully re-finished and reliable duty pistol. I carried that gun through SWAT missions, high risk warrant services, and proactive police work with peace of mind knowing Pete’s work was second to none. Thousands of trouble free rounds have since been fired through that gun.
When I moved on to uncover work, I purchased a Wiley Clapp LW Commander. Out of the box the pistol struggled with our duty ammo, it is an easy fix to tell someone change brands of ammo the works in the gun, but it’s not that easy for some who are restricted to a specific ammo. I called Pete looking for some input and again he provided a diagnosis and told me to send him the gun. His knowledge base related to the 1911 is astounding, backed by decades of technical experience and industry insight. Pete’s involvement in the evolution of the 1911 industry is largely behind the scenes and without self-promotion. Additionally, Pete’s historical perspective is unique due to his relationships within the industry. The Commander came back beautifully finished and running perfectly, a gun I carry to this day. Pete Single’s work and character is top notch and I appreciate everything he’s done for me and the industry.
Pete Single was introduced to me by Wiley Clapp around 2009 when we were looking for a vender to checker the front strap on his Colt Wiley Clapp Lightweight Commander. I was the one looking around. Wiley was dead set on using Pete to do the job. Pete did the finest work but I was concerned that the average shooter would not appreciate it for the cost.
Turns out Wiley would accept no other vendor and Pete got the job. Pete’s 25 line per inch checkering was the most popular feature on the pistol and we proceeded to sell over 10,000 of them in various configurations.
I have since worked a lot with Pete on different projects, ideas and fund raisers. The man is obsessed with perfection. His guns are works of art. He is an unusual man in the best sense of the word.