Photos: Ichiro Nagata
Irv Stone Sr. and Jr. with Sr.
holding one of
his very rare .25 autos.
Bar-Sto’s elegantly crafted .25 mirrored the
equally diminutive Baby Browning.
It was 1970 or so when Irv Stone Senior and his brother decided to make a hand-crafted .25 auto. It was modeled after the classic Baby Browning, and was actually made by hand, on manual milling machines and lathes. This is prior to CNC stuff, so it was gun-making the way it was originally done — part by part, one at a time, all by experienced machinist’s eyes.
Irv Stone, Jr. told me he thought his dad wanted to make something “a woman could carry in her purse.” After only about 125 were finished, they found the barrel business was really taking off — and it was much easier to make barrels than entire guns. So, the little .25s went by the wayside.
And that’s too bad, if you ask me, since the one I had in my hands was simply lovely in execution and function. It was tiny, elegant and beautifully machined. And the fact it was done by hand and not by computer-controlled machinery only adds to the appeal. Irv Jr. said they still had some slides and frames on-hand and perhaps enough parts to build a few more of the guns, so I leaned on him hard to do it. Cross your fingers, but until that happens, you can only look and wish — like I’ve been doing ever since I handled our photo sample. Hey Irv … please?
Done the hard way, folks. Each step represents hand-work by
a machinist — no CNC goings-on here.
Like most things beautiful, the
minimalist lines of the .25 are compelling.