Bob Chow was appropriately born in 1911 (in the U.S) to Chinese immigrants. He was a pioneer ham radio operator in his youth and he joined the Navy Reserve in the early 1930s. He would become a noncommissioned officer—a rarity at that time for an Asian Americans. An accomplished competitive shooter, he hung 37 world pistol records, and in 1948 he qualified for a place on the U.S. Olympic Team that competed in London. Chow was the only U.S. rapid-fire shooter to score 60 hits in a match.

After returning from the Olympics, Chow coached young American shooters, and through that endeavor, he single handedly raised the national standard. During his stint as a movie extra, he taught John Wayne and Roy Rogers how to increase their accuracy in pistol shooting. Chow was an all around sportsman, he loved motorcycles, and he played saxophone and banjo with various jazz groups during Prohibition. Eventually he and his wife Bobbie settled in San Francisco where he owned and operated a gun shop until the late 70s. He was an avid gun collector before becoming a master gunsmith. His guns have a mythical reputation for accuracy and are highly valued by collectors.

The Nevada Museum in Elko holds a permanent exhibition containing 65 of his rare pieces. A trademark of Bob’s guns was he would stamp the disco rail with 1-2 letter codes denoting what was done to the gun. For example, the gun featured here was marked BR ( Bomar Rib) and FA (full accuracy job). This beautiful Bullseye gun is wrapped in hand crafted grips by Steve Herrett, who came on the Bullseye scene after Walter Roper in the 60s and ‘70s. He built both pistol and revolver stocks, but he was best known for fitting target revolvers. Herrett was a very prolific maker and came up with a number of original designs.


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