Shaping the traditional Mauser bolt knob

Shaping the traditional Mauser bolt knob

Todd Johnson


Todd Johnson is a gunmaker in Pearland, Texas (just south of Houston). He spent five years working for Swedish gunmaker Larry Lindstrom in Crosby, Texas, learning the trade, and has been on his own for eight years.

Todd has four great loves when it comes to guns: Colt 1911s, the older, greater Smith & Wesson revolvers, fine double shotguns, and Mauser 98s of any and all vintages.

Although this seems a disparate field, in fact the four have one thing in common: All are made of fine steel and, in the right hands, can be turned into functional masterpieces.

In the crowded field of 1911 refining, Todd stands out for his emphasis on turning any 1911 – Colt or clone – into a serious defensive handgun for everyday carry, and he has worked extensively for special police units in the Houston area. Similarly, S&W revolvers, especially those made before the 1970s, can be polished and tuned to feel like silk in your hands.

The painstaking process of applying a London oil finish

The painstaking process of applying a London oil finish

The Mauser 98 stands out as by far the best and most popular action on which to build a fine custom rifle. Todd Johnson’s devotion to the Mauser extends even to collecting original Mauser tools and measuring instruments to use in his shop. He treats old Mauser actions the way a connoisseur approaches a vintage wine, and rifles that have left his shop recently are reaching into the top rungs of rifle making. Again, while he appreciates the beauty of a custom rifle, he emphasizes usability and perfect operation rather than ornate decoration.

Todd Johnson’s particular specialty among processes is polishing and rust bluing, which he does to order for other gunmakers.

Todd can be reached by telephone at 281-639-6746.

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