For the love of custom guns

Back at a point in my life when I thought that I had more money than brains – although it turned out I was lacking in both – I succumbed to the need to own a custom built rifle. Somehow I got hooked up with Pete Grisel a gunmaker who was operating out of Bend, Oregon at the time. Pete was not just a stockmaker, but a fine machinist as well and in time I ended up having four rifles made up; a .280 Remington, a .375 H&H, a .17 Remington and a .22 rimfire.

The first one I had made was the .280 which was built on an action stripped from a lightweight Husqvarna. I went for a full mannlicher stock and a touch of engraving on stock’s end cap. I hunted with it for years. It was (and is) a beautiful gun which was very accurate and a nice rifle to pack in the mountains.

For my second rifle I went overboard. I had Pete make me up the .375 H&H built on a large Sako action. Pete built a quarter rib with express sights for the rifle and stocked it with a lovely piece of what he called California French walnut. The gun shoots lights out and holds its zero from year to year. There’s not much more that you can ask from a rifle.

The engraving and gold inlay was done by Eugene Koevenig who lived in Hill City, South Dakota. Gene was a fine engraver and one hell of a nice guy. Unfortunately Gene passed away in March of 2006, another of the really good guys who left us way too early.

A few views of the rifle:

Grisel .375 H&H on Sako action





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3 Responses to “For the love of custom guns”

  1. bluntobject Says:

    Do you have any pics of the other three?

  2. totalrecoil Says:

    I do with the exception, at this point, of the .280. I’ll post some pictures of the others.

  3. Nick Redden Says:

    Thank you for mentioning my grandfather Gene, I search the internet every once in a while for his work and I still see him working on every little cut admiring the skill that he held in his hand dreaming of the day that I could replicate is work. That day will probably never come but people like you showing off my grandfathers work let everyone know what engraving should look like. Pete Grisel is also a great guy and an amazing artist himself, I am lucky enough to have a shock made by Pete out of Maple Burl that is on a 25-06.

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