Jim Alaimo

It was in 1969 that I returned home from Viet Nam.  I was just 24, and happy to be standing on American soil.  Like lots of returning vets I needed a job.  I had heard about a position at the big Colt factory in Hartford Connecticut.  I loved guns and as a youngster convinced my parents to allow me to buy one with my own savings when I was about twelve.  I’ll never forget it.  It was a  Mossberg, bolt action .22 target rifle.  Little did I know then that not many years later I would begin a life long career in the firearms industry.  I landed that job at Colt.  It was as a Supervisor on the night shift overseeing the polishing department, blue and nickel line, and the color case room.  After about two years a transfer to the first shift occurred.  The training on the night shift had been invaluable.  I had learned a lot from many of the old timers about polishing, plating, and color case hardening.  From men who had spent lifetimes at Colt, it was all they new….all they had.

The day shift job was supervision of a new assembler’s training school.  I could hardly oversee the school having never assembled a gun in my life.  I was fortunate enough to have a boss that allowed me two months on the assembly floor just learning how to “build”.  It was great….I wore my jeans for two months and got down and dirty.  I sat with the real senior more experienced assemblers and watched and talked but most of all listened to what they told me.  It is amazing what the old pros will tell you if you show them the respect they deserve and mean it.  These guys were great.  A little bit at a time they accepted me and I was flying.  My learning curve was straight up.

After two months of complete immersion into the assembly department my training was sufficient that I could work with one instructor to begin the new assembler training classes.  I am not going to tell you I was a qualified Python builder because that takes years, but I knew a heck of a lot more than the average guy on the street.  At the end of six months we had processed about 50 new assemblers through the program.   I am proud to say that many of those folks are still with Colt.  Some of them are assemblers with Colt but a lot of them are senior gunsmiths in the hallowed halls of The Colt Custom Gun Shop.

That position at Colt was followed by about twenty more years of employment and promotions to positions of increasing responsibility.  By 1980 I was the Commercial Factory Superintendent.  As 1990 approached I felt tired and burned out when a job opened as Superintendent of the Colt Custom Gun Shop.  I applied for and was awarded the position.

The Custom Shop presented a world for me that I knew was mine.  I drank it up….I was the first person at work every day…and I shut the lights off at night.  I studied all I could get my hands on regarding engraving.  I wanted to know about the old masters, the modern masters, and the different styles.  It was fabulous.  Top management at Colt didn’t pay much attention to the Custom Shop.  Actually they treated it like the “Executive Christmas Shop” during the holidays and left it alone for the rest of the year.  I was able to run it like it was my own business….and I did.  I re-introduced old master engravers, developed new custom options and gave customers what they wanted.  I had read that Sam Colt never refused a reasonable request and that became my philosophy.  I was in Heaven.

In the early 1990’s Colt’s top management changed and so did all of my bosses.  I ended up working for a twenty-nine year old world beater that didn’t know what end of the gun the bullet came out of.  He thought he was a tough guy and liked to push people around.  I had an established record of success with Colt.  I was a star performer for every boss I had worked for.  All except this guy.  I did my best to please him but it just didn’t work.  His style was very different then mine so anyway after over twenty years I resigned from Colts.  I always figured I’d be there for the rest of my life but it seems like there are people moving into companies now that just want to polish their resumes’ and move on in a year or two.  I was always leery of a new boss that came to Colts and got an apartment for himself and commuted back to the wife and kids on weekends and never bought a house here.  My thoughts were…”Hey, are you with us or not?  Buy a house and move your family here.  Get into the boat with us.”

So the year was 1993 and I was out.  The company President begged me to stay but I was drained both physically and mentally, so down the road I went.  I relaxed and fished and read for about three months.  I pondered what I would do with the remainder of my career.  I was only 48 with a mortgage and a family.  Then I decided to do what I was most familiar with...what I knew the most about…and that was Colt.  It started slow…I began doing a few gun shows and then it just started to mushroom.  I ran for a seat on the board of directors for the Colt Collectors Association and won.  Then I won a second term.  Now, nineteen years later, I operate this business with my wife of forty two years Faith, our Daughter Emily, and son-in-law Tyler Cusson.  It is our philosophy to provide our clients with the finest in engraved guns and ivory grips on the market anywhere today.

Why An Engraved Gun?

Unquestionably, the "Blue Chips" of gun collecting are finely engraved and customized Colt Single Action Army Revolvers. It is common knowledge among discriminating dealers and collectors that engraved Colts have proven to be a rewarding investment, and are consistently in great demand. 

Why Choose Us?

Nutmeg Sports, LLC is uniquely qualified to handle client requirements benefiting from 40 years of industry experience much of which was spent working directly for Colt's Manufacturing Company.  This rare and valuable experience places Nutmeg Sports in the very best position to bring together the talents of the finest engravers, gunsmiths, carvers, and finishers in the United States. The delicate blending of these talents allows us to produce the finest engraved guns on the market today at prices that are guaranteed to be competitive with other dealers of custom engraved guns.

Nutmeg Sport's clients hold the envious position of having complete confidence in our experience, integrity, knowledge, and unmatched ability in offering those ingredients necessary to create first rate heirlooms of intrinsic value. We invite each client to compare the quality and pricing of the guns available from Nutmeg Sports with what you find to be our competitor's quality and pricing, then make your own informed decision.

We are extremely proud to be able to offer you...the client...the absolute best quality engraved Colt SAA's, at the lowest prices on the market anywhere. A strong statement? You bet. Read on...

Our primary objective is this -- Any gun sold by Nutmeg Sports, LLC must equal or surpass the quality standards of The Colt Custom Gun Shop. Another objective is that the guns sold by Nutmeg Sports must be priced well below the competition. With Nutmeg Sports' products, the client can expect features to be standard that are "extras" when purchased elsewhere. Engraved front sights, engraved hammers, fire blue small parts, and inking are standard features on our products. Each of those features purchased individually from my competition costs extra bringing the base price of the gun up by many hundreds of dollars for items you get free from Nutmeg Sports. And best of all, you don't have to wait two years for your guns!


With Nutmeg Sports we provide a letter on an every engraved gun we sell.  And it is a real letter!  Why should you pay $100 for a piece of paper that first asks the question "Engraved?"  and then provides the briefest possible answer "Yes."     Our letter will give every conceivable piece of information available about the gun, the engraver, the grips, the finish, etc. Not only will you know who engraved the gun, but you will know about the person's career. Did they get their start at the Browning Company in Belgium or were they ever an in-house engraver for Colt's? The letter you receive will compare in importance to the gun you just purchased. The cost for this letter?  No charge.  The waiting period for this letter?  You receive it with the gun.


Due to our experience at Colt we know hundreds of engravers, and can talk the language of engraving with each of them. We employ only the services of Colt Custom Shop qualified engravers. That is, people that would qualify to engrave for Colt.

All of the preparatory work for an engraved gun is handled in our shop just like at The Colt Custom Gun Shop. We ask our engravers to engrave only. Most people that market non-factory engraved guns buy "old dogs" at gun shows. They then send these relics to an engraver for resurrection.  They want the engraver to handle all of the disassembly, stripping, engraving, plating, re-assembly, and even grip fitting.  This does an injustice to the engraver as well as produces a product that gives non-factory guns their reputation for being sub-standard. They start out as "old dogs", and they end up looking like refinished, overpolished, poorly plated pieces of junk.

From Nutmeg Sports, the engraver receives a brand new gun that is completely disassembled, softened and in the "white" ready to engrave.  A specific discussion has taken place with regards to what is required in terms of engraving coverage. All front sights and hammers are to be engraved and we insist that all guns be signed by the engraver. Upon completion, the engraver carefully wraps the parts still in the "white" and returns them to us.


Once again, experience and former contacts gives us a big edge in the delicate and critically important aspects of finishing and plating. We are just as proud of the fine finishes which are evident on Nutmeg Sports' products as we are of the engraving. We contract with a plating house that has a reputation for doing the finest work in the U.S. The owner has known us for a long time and he has a clear understanding of what we require -- that is the highest quality of plating available anywhere!

Heat blue small parts are one of the specialties on our guns, and the color we achieve which is a brilliant peacock blue is uniform and consistent. Color case hardening is performed by another old friend that is very aware of our requirements.  The color he produces is reminiscent of the color we used to see on the 2nd generation Colts.

The inking process used is an improvement over a process developed at Colts This process is applied only to plated guns and helps to give the scrollwork added depth and visual beauty. It won't come out with normal gun cleaning oils and will last indefinitely.


 The manufacture and fitting of all of our handcrafted grips is performed right in our own shop. The custom grips on any gun from Nutmeg Sports are meticulously fitted and are exactly the same grips you would receive if your gun came from The Colt Custom Gun Shop. They aren't complete until I we are totally convinced that fit and finish is absolute perfection.


All of the assembly and tuning on Nutmeg Sports' guns are also handled here.


We kept on receiving requests for custom tuning, so last year we added that option for our clients.  We kept on seeing so many guns with terrible actions that we knew we could offer this valuable service to our customers and do a better job than almost anybody out there.


Creating a fresh and rare firearm, previously unknown to the collecting fraternity is one of the most exciting events in the challenging and captivating field of arms collecting for the engraver and collector alike. We are both happy and proud to be in a position to provide clients with what they expect in terms of unparalleled quality and craftsmanship.

With Nutmeg Sports, LLC every aspect of producing a finely engraved Colt is performed by a specialist. The preparatory work is done by someone that knows that he is laying the foundation for the application of the artist's chisel --.and it must be perfect. The engraving is done by the finest engravers in the world with specific instructions as to what is expected. Finishing, plating, or color case hardening are each done by professionals. The same applies to grip fitting, checkering and carving....nothing but the best by professionals. Assembly and final inspection is handled personally. It's simple -- Every aspect and detail of every gun must be perfect or it will not be shipped.

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