“From the time he was able to hold one in his hand, Ted always enjoyed a fascination with tools and their uses. Countless small mechanisms and gadgets fell victim to his inquisitive mind, and relentless quest to “figure out how things work”.
Ted was extremely fortunate to come from a line of workmen, most notably Charles and Dan Yost, his grandfather and father, who derived the same joy and satisfaction from the blending of tool, hand, and mind.
It was only a natural progression, and a matter of time, that Ted’s attentions turned to the world of firearms. A voracious reader, he consumed the collected wisdom of Greener and Howe, O’Connor and Keith, and his passion for guns and gunsmithing began to evolve.
It was also during this time that Ted began to realize that although it was just a tool, the gun could be, and perhaps should be a beautiful and elegant tool, well fit to its owner. It should be made into an extension of the owner’s skill and a reflection of his pride, whether he’s a warrior or a hunter.
Classically trained, and with an unbridled desire to become a world class gunsmith, Ted opened his first shop in Tempe, Arizona in 1984. He’d been working in the general gunsmithing field for 2 years in a busy retail shop, and felt it was time to specialize.
The main emphasis of the first shop was custom stock making and restoration work – It was during this period that Ted’s love for, and skill at producing fine wood stocked hunting rifles was realized. Always inspired by the classic rifles of the British Makes and Griffin & Howe in America, as well as the works of Biesen, Goens, and Emmons, Ted’s reputation for quality and service grew with his abilities and his uncompromising goal of producing both the best function possible, with an eye toward exceptional detail and impeccable finish.
In Late 1991, Ted was recruited to move to Northern Arizona, to revitalize Jeff Cooper’s Gunsmithy at the famed Gunsite shooting school. Having only recently become enamored with the 1911 pistol, some apprehension existed, but the challenge was accepted.
During the next ten years at Gunsite, Ted continued to bring his passion for gunsmithing to an appreciative public, working with a capable staff to produce some of the finest defensive handguns available. The pace was fast, the workload was at times daunting, but as a laboratory for gunsmithing the experience was irreplaceable.
It was at Gunsite that the Yost Signature Grade concept was first formed, proving once more that a durable, hardworking weapon could also be beautiful and elegant.
The 1911 pistol, as well as the Browning Hi-Power and the Smith and Wesson Revolvers have occupied most of the last 15 years of Ted’s professional output. Using only the absolute best in materials and techniques, Ted’s handguns are an investment in quality, innovation, and the art of hand craftsmanship.
His dedication to excellence in all aspects of the customization of these iconic handguns has led to an undeniable “raising of the bar” in the gunsmithing community.
Ted’s endeavors since have led him full circle, back to his roots, if you will. A continuing student of the tradition and art of gunsmithing, Ted’s work embodies the very soul of the gun making art – from his restorative work on quality double guns, his artful and interpretive renditions of the classic hunting rifle, to his masterful command of the gentleman’s sidearm.
Nearly every aspect of the project is carried out in house, with the involvement of subcontractors kept to an absolute minimum. In every project is nearly a lifetime’s experience, passion, and the respect for the traditions of the craft, and those that have gone before.