Probably started when I got my first G.I. Joe. I was four. His name was Breaker. Playing with G.I. Joes and Legos, kind of put a combination of mechanics and whatever G.I. Joes provide. That kind of turned into an interesting history. Studying guns as a kid in the library, and having my own library at home. The interest was both in the mechanics of the gun and in the historic value of the gun or why was something developed.
My grandfather was a gun enthusiast. My father was too. It was a family event to go shooting a variety of types of guns. I bought my first gun with my own money when I was 13. I got an SKS. I didn’t really discover girls as soon as some of my friends, but they didn’t have guns like I did.
Then at the same time I was trying to figure out what I’d be when I grew up. An astronaut was still a possibility I guess. Then I settled for F15 pilot. Then I decided well maybe I’d be better with an M60. I just decided the Army would be the course.
I remember hearing war stories from my grandpa who was in North Africa, landed in Italy. There was a romance in a sense of duty. I kind of hit this point where I wanted to get paid to shoot. That would be the ultimate fantasy.
I called Chris Easter at Pachmayr. I asked what a guy needed to have as a prerequisite to get a job there. I didn’t even know what a lathe was. He said, “be here Monday.” I went there. Bought 106 dollars worth of pretty clothes at the department store. Walked through the shop. He said, “You’re hired.” I moved my stuff and started making rifle barrels.
The interest was precision AR. I gave my boss my 30-day notice so I could start my own shop in my dad’s garage. Three days later my fiancé said she’s pregnant. It was an exciting year. Within a period of a few months I moved from Brookings back to Grant’s Pass again, set up a shop in my dad’s garage.
It was 12 feet by 20 feet and had a lathe that I purchased from a coworker name Rich Wolsbey, from Pachmayr. I got well rounded at doing the process of making a barrel. Then I got into the AR thing, started the shop Grant’s Pass. Had a mill, lathe and kind of the rest is history.
The gun was more the thing that allowed the bigger thing to take place, which was being with my dad and my grandpa in the snow shooting.