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Bill Laughridge / Cylinder and Slide
American Handgunner 
2005 Tactical Annual

Cylinder and Slide has built an enviable reputation for custom gunsmithing, top quality parts and custom-built guns for every aspect of the sport.  And while Cylinder and Slide is a pretty serious organization these days, at the heart of it is Bill Laughridge, a gentleman of the first order.

How do I know that?  Simple.  Many years ago, I decided to spiff-up a Browning Hi-Power I was shooting in competition.  While the accuracy and handling of the gun was allowing me to hold my meager own in our informal shoots, the microscopic thumb safety of that original patter pistol was costing me points.  I sent away for one of Cylinder and Slide's big ambi-safeties, and then spent a few hours scratching my head trying to figure out how that sucker was going to fit into that pistol.

Long story short, I called Cylinder and Slide, and Bill himself walked me through installing that part.  While I have no idea what he was making on the part, I'm sure his hour on the phone ate it all up, and more.  The whole time he was patient, polite, and unhurried; he even asked me to call him back when I was done, so he could be sure it'd work out for me!  I can't think of a better reference.

Bill and Cylinder and Slide have long been associated with the Browning Hi-Power, and for good reason; while largely ignored by the custom gunsmiths of the world, Laughridge has been building parts for the venerable design for many years, and custom guns based on it, as well.  And although he does work on revolvers and other autos, as Bill puts it, "I certainly have a soft spot in my heart for the Hi-Power."

Bill's favorite carry guns are, not surprisingly, the two mini-guns he lovingly constructs from the 1911 and Browning Hi-Power, the Adventurer and Pathfinder, respectively.  Each is abbreviated both fore-and-aft as well as in height, with an extreme emphasis on reliability.  "I think it may still be the smallest reliable 1911 on the market," Bill says of the Adventurer.  "Notice I said RELIABLE," he adds.

In case you haven't gathered it yet, Cylinder and Slide specializes in functional guns you can bet your life on, and the Pathfinder and Adventurer, although small in size, have to keep up the family tradition.  Even with their cut-down frames and magazines, the guns run, and that's quite the trick.  Bar-Sto barrels and extensive hand-fitting keep the bullets going where they're pointed, while Cylinder and Slide's own firing system parts and Bill's loving touch ensure crisp triggers.  Novak sights top off these little gems, so sighting is also state of the art.

Not many custom gunsmiths will tackle cutting-down pistols as Bill and his crew have done, and faster still get them to run at 100 percent.  The Pathfinder and Adventurer represent the epitome of the mini-gun:  reliable, carry friendly and accurate.