Nighthawk Custom

Nighthawk Custom
Nighthawk Custom
Type Private
Industry firearms
Genre Custom firearm crafting
Founded 2003[1]
Headquarters Berryville, Arkansas[1], United States
Area served National and international
Key people Craig Gholson, Mark Stone, Jeff Phillips
Products Custom M1911, tactical rifles, shotguns and knives
Subsidiaries Nighthawk Tactical

Nighthawk Custom is a firearm company based in Berryville, Arkansas, United States of America that manufactures custom M1911 pistols, rifles, shotguns, and tactical knives for competition shooters, military, law enforcement, and self-defense.[2]



Nighthawk was formed in 2003 when some of the gunsmiths who worked for Wilson Combat left to focus exclusively on custom pistols. Both companies are located in Berryville, Arkansas. The company is owned between three people. Craig Gholson, Mark Stone, and Jeff Phillips. Nighthawk has been praised highly for its quality and customer service. Mark Stone stated that

"Creativity is an important part of gunsmithing, but customer satisfaction is always the goal"[3]

Nighthawk has expanded and opened a Tactical branch specializing in Rifles, Shotguns and Knives.[2]

Nighthawk Custom

Nighthawk Custom was the original branch of Nighthawk. It specialised in offering accurate pistols made for competitive shooting. The range includes the Talon, Dominator and Predator lines. The Talon has three varieties, the Talon 5", Talon II and the Talon II with Bobtail. All pistols in the Custom range are fully customizable from finished to sights to grip design. The finishes are done using a Perma Kote due to its durability. They range in price from $1500 to $3500.[2]

Richard Heinie models

Richard Heinie, a respected figure in the M1911 community had requested Nighthawk to build a range of his renowned pistols under his supervision. This partnership arose when Heinie witnessed some of Nighthawk's pistols at a shooting event and was impressed with the quality and workmanship.[4] The Heinie range comprises the Lady Hawk, PDP and Tactical Carry. These aren't as customizable as the normal Custom range however are still made to the same high standard. The Lady Hawk is aimed at females and has a thinner grip and fire the less powerful 9x19 mm round instead of the standard .45 ACP.[4]

Nighthawk Tactical

The Tactical branch specializes in military and home defense products rather that competition pistols. The range covers a small selection of pistols, customizable precision rifles and tactical shotguns.[2]

The GRP or Global Response Pistol is the main pistol in the Tactical range. It is a base model which isn't as customizable as the Custom range. Nighthawk state that The Enforcer pistol is considered[by whom?] to be Nighthawk's flagship in their tactical line of handguns. This handgun has been designed and built to address several weak points in the 1911 handgun platform. Its unique 'features' include a plunger tube that is integral to the handgun frame, a magazine-well that is also integral, and a slide stop that has been cut flush with the frame. However, one could argue that each of these designs has been borrowed from another custom 1911 builder by the name of Dave Lauck.[citation needed] These very features, and many more, have been pioneered, developed, and offered on his line of 1911 handguns for many years.

Tactical Rifle

Because Nighthawk are one of the sponsors for the annual International Sniper Competition at Fort Brenning, Georgia, they built a precision rifle. Nighthawk took inspiration from the rifles present at the Competition and what makes them good. Nighthawk took these rifles one step further and created their tactical rifle range. With the option of either bolt on or integral picatinny rail, the rifles can be customized with scopes and different finishes. The finish is Perma Kote. The rifle can be finished in camoflage or a customized color scheme. Nighthawk's stocks are made of 35% air grade carbon fiber and 65% of multi-layered fiberglass. To test the strength they placed a rifle on two steel beams and put the wheels of a full size truck on it. With the rifle bearing the full weight it did not break. The rifle can be chambered in .308 Winchester, 7mm Remington Magnum, .300 Winchester and recently, the .338 Lapua Magnum.[5]

Tactical shotgun

Nighthawk offers customizable shotgun services including a massive range of add-on products and peripherals which are external and internal. The gun is buolt from a stock Remington 870 or Remington 1100.[6][7]

The finish is Perma Kote and a range of sights is available, whether added to the frame such as the Fiber Optic front sight to the picatinny rail AimPoint Comp M4, a sight more regularly seen on the M4 Carbine and M16A4 assault rifles. The shotgun is available with a M4-inspired five-position crane stock or a more conventional Hogue butt stock with in-frame pistol grip. Tactical lights, shell holders, recoil buffers and sling attachment swivels are available.[6][7]


Nighthawk Tactical makes a range of tactical military knives. There are four models: Model 510, Model 525, Model 530 and Model 550. They are very similar in material however vary in finish and blade length with the longest being 7" in the Model 550 and the shortest being the 3 1/2" Model 525 blade.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Nighthawk Custom". Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d Sweeney, Patrick (2010). 1911: The First 100 Years. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. p. 237. ISBN 9781440211157. 
  3. ^ Brown, Amy (2007). "Do's and Don'ts of pistolsmithing". Shooting Industry. 
  4. ^ a b "Richard Heinie models". 
  5. ^ "Tactical Rifle". 
  6. ^ a b Pridgen, D.K. (2010). "Nighthawk Tactical 1100 12 Guuge". Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement 19 (10): 98. 
  7. ^ a b Wagner, Scott W. (2011). Gun Digest Book of The Tactical Shotgun. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 106. ISBN 9781440215537. 
  8. ^ "Tactical Knives". 

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