The History of
TK4B, Enterprises, LLC (originallyTK4) is a joint partnership
corporation dedicated to the discovery, design, development, production
and marketing of aftermarket parts and systems to enhance the technology
and comfort of Cowboy Action Shooting firearms and their related
accessories. TK4 was initially formed in 2006 by Ol’ #4, SASS 41004L,
and Tillamook Kidd (TK), SASS 65274, to market a replacement, and far
more effective, set of side lever springs for Winchester 1860, 1866 and
1873 rifles that had been designed by Ol’ #4. We marketed the spring
sets under the name of “SliXpring”
and began sales in March of
2008. Also in 2008 we designed and tested a replacement single piece
firing pin that was longer and made of a stronger, more dependable
metallurgy, than original parts. This firing pin was marketed under the
name of “SliX-Pin”. Neither
of these parts, or any of our others, are advertised as absolute
“drop-in’ replacements. Every firearm dimension and clearance for which
they were designed varies way too much. Therefore everything we produce
may require fitting for proper results.
Later in 2008 we initiated research and development of a revolutionary
main spring system that provided faster “lock-time” and more dependable
primer ignition. At this time a third partner, Big Iron Buster, SASS
9361L, joined the company and with his time and investment, final
design, prototyping and manufacturing began in earnest. At this time the
partners incorporated as TK4B Enterprises, LLC (TK4B). The ‘TK’
representing Tillamook Kidd, the ‘4’ representing Ol’ #4, and the ‘B’
representing Big Iron Buster. In June of 2008 TK passed away from a
blood clot, so the company is now run by Big Iron Buster and Ol’ #4.
Spring of 2009 saw the final testing and analysis of the new “SliXpring-Main”
proving the system was viable and met the standards for faster, smoother
and more a dependable main spring system and was then introduced to the
market through the SASS Cowboy Chronicle. In 2010 Ol’ #4 decided to
turn his shooting style to the Frontiersman category and quickly found
that loading 5-1/2” 1860 Colt’s was a palm gouging experience and
developed a loading lever assist handle. Turned from aircraft aluminum
and machined to fit most popular cap & ball pistols the loading lever
helper was named the “SliX-Hand”.
While working with Shalako Tucker, SASS #27964, at ‘ST Machining’ he
designed a simple ”Slotted” wrench to address getting those sticky 1866
and 1873 magazine tube screws out. He had a good idea and wanted to
partner with TK4B to market his idea and product so the “SliX-Slot” was
introduced in 2010. Later in the year a SliX-Slot II was developed that
included a three pin wrench capable of removing the firing pin bushing
for both Browning BSS and Stoeger shotguns and a recessed fitting that
accepts hex headed drivers or sockets. A really versatile tool.
Also during 2010 while shooting Frontiersman Ol’ #4 experienced several
conditions that he thought he could improve upon. Namely inconsistent
cap ignition, errant cap removal, premature nipple degeneration, cap
blow-back and heavy hammer tension. After several months of testing and
development a new nipple was produced and went on the market as the “SliX-Shot” in
2011. During 2011 we had occasion to watch several shooters scramble
for a screwdriver for a quick repair at the loading table. While most
returned with some kind of “set” none really fit the gun screws. After
looking at our own repair tools in our cart we decided none of us had
anything close to what might be handy ‘on-the-line’. It took a mere
five weeks working with our producer to design and develop an “X”
handled, hollow ground screw driver unit which is sold as the “SliX-Driver”.
With the success of the 1878 “TTN” side by side shotgun in Classic
cowboy category in 2012 we designed a replacement spring for the
top lever on the popular TTN Shotguns called the “SliXpring-TTN”.
Then followed up with a coil/torsion replacement springs for the sear
bars in the TTN’s. A main spring replacement design still evades
An additional item for 2012 was the new style pistol case that carries a
pair of pistols and provides some unusual opportunities for the
traveling shooter. This item is called the “SliX-Sok”.
It carries two (2) pistols in a thinly padded, hook & eye closure seamed
case that allows up to three cases or six pistols to fit into a USPS
large Flat-Rate box to be mailed to ones-self anywhere in the U. S. A..
It also hangs nicely on any convenient hook and a guncart.
Following the success if the “SliX-Shot”
for Ruger Old Army’s, Remington 1858 and Colt style percussion pistols
we attended to the many requests for a nipple that would fit the Uberti
Dragoon and Walker model pistols. Final testing and market
availability was achieved in the fall of 2014. They became
available soon after testing.
Our next specialized product to hit the mainstream market was the “SliX-Ram”.
This is a drop-in, extended loading ram for the Ruger Old Army.
Its added length allows for the shooter to load the cylinders, while in
the frame, with a reduced powder charge without needing to use any
additional spacer between the ram face and the “ball” yet still seat it
firmly against the lighter powder charge. No filler, No hassle,
lighter charge, reduced recoil and more economical shooting!! It went on
the available list at dealers in 2015.
In early 2015, while at the SASS convention in San Antonio, Texas,
several shooters and gunsmiths approached us with the idea of producing
larger sight beads. After a
preliminary market analysis it was indeed discovered that a full line of
easily replaceable larger beads was not available. Working feverishly
with one of our manufacturers initial design and testing for a variety
of beads was completed within three weeks of returning.
The result was a set of three different replaceable inserts for
Marbles and Williams front rifle sights and two larger shotgun beads.
The products are collectively called “SliX-Beads”
and are differentiated by “T” for threaded shotgun, and “S” for stemmed
for the rifle replacements.
The bead sizes for rifles are .150”, .175”, and .190” and for the
shotgun beads they are .190”and .220”” in diameter. They became
available after Winter Range 2015.
Also, during the Fall of 2015 a shooter brought us the situation of
“ejecta” collecting in the front of 357 chambers when using 38 Special
length brass. This condition resulted in the rifle not chambering a
different bullet design and hard chambering of other bullets with any
different ogive. A
remarkably short review resulted in seeing nothing reasonably available
to correct the condition.
So, quick planning and several brain-storm sessions got us to the design
for a “ Chamber Scraper” that
would work for both rifle and pistol chambers.
You can see the detail in out “Announcements” section.
Needless to say, our “SliX-Scraper”
has been well received.
During EOT that year we heard several conversations about straight
triggers. After some
research and later discussions with some SASS RO/Rules committee
members, we started prototyping several designs.
After EOT 2016 we had a working sample that appealed to many
shooters who tried it.
Thus, the origins of the “SliX-Trigger”
and the results have been most positive both in terms of ease
and efficiency of shooting and significant reduction of the
famous “73 Finger” and subsequent bleeding on the rifle.
Although our next product didn’t exactly fit our goal of improving
something, it did have a measure of efficiency for re-installing a
magazine spring that had been cut to reduce tension.
The beautiful shiny brass “SliX-Cap”,
though not necessarily a competitive enhancement, most certainly
contributes to the decorative quality of any rifle.
Our 2018 offering for new a product did not come from our fertile,
creative minds, nor a direct challenge from a neighboring shooter.
Rather it was the idea of another Cowboy shooter who was willing
to allow us to take the design from manufacturing to a wider, larger
market. After any initial
use any shooter, especially SxS users, will readily appreciate the
benefits of the “SliX-Sizer”
as it re-forms the nose of 12 GA shotshells and eliminates the
distortion that can lead to either stuck or reticent fired hulls.
Today, we are still trying to dream up new parts, pieces and components
that will further enhance the shooting pleasure, convenience, durability
and efficiency of Cowboy Action Shooting.
And, like the Cowboy with the idea of the “Sizer”, if you have a
product, or genuine idea, let us know.
God Bless America, and thanks for the constitution.
Big Iron Buster & Ol’ #4