I received a sad email from Massad Ayoob yesterday; Reeves Jungkind, Python ‘smith extraordinaire, has died.
For those of you not familiar with the name, Reeves Jungkind was generally regarded as one of the true masters of the arcane Colt revolver action. He, along with Fred Sadowski and Jerry Moran, were the Three Musketeers of Colt tuning: you’d be hard-pressed to find any people better than they, and their work became almost legendary. Sadowski died some years back and Moran dropped out of sight a couple of decades ago, which left only Jungkind to carry the torch.
Jungkind was a Texas highway patrolman who spent quite a bit of time on the roads around Wharton, TX before being transferred to a job as firearms trainer and gunsmith at the Department of Public Safety academy in Austin. It was there that he honed his skills on the Python, becoming renowned around the country for his expertise with the notoriously complex gun.
After his retirement in 1992 Jungkind continued to work on Pythons for a wide range of clients across the country. He did all of his own work, which tended to limit the number of guns that received his special touch, and as a result there are precious few Jungkind Pythons in the wild. Those who have one almost never part with them.
I’ve seen one such Python, which was sent to me for some routine timing adjustments some twenty years after he’d slicked it up. His work lived up to his reputation: this Python was superb, easily one of the best I’ve ever handled.
I had the pleasure of talking to him on the phone a couple of times, and planned to visit him on a Texas trip that sadly never transpired. I wish now that I’d gone anyhow, as being able to sit down with a gunsmithing legend would have been worth the effort.
Reeves Jungkind is being laid to rest today, Sat. Oct 12th in Llano, TX. My sincere sympathies go out to his family and friends.
-=[ Grant ]=-