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Back from Racine

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Border Bandit, Sep 11, 2008.

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  1. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
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    1,710
    Location:
    Fairfield PA
    It was a 1500 mile circle tour over great highways and light traffic, excepting Chicago, although a co-pilot would have been nice. The fitting session was for Tuesday, but Mr. Ramagli told me to call upon arrival at Racine, so we got to look at a fabulous selection of wood and got many of the preliminary issues out of the way, on Monday afternoon. After showing them them how to order a proper Pizza, and instruction on how to cut one, (squares not!) I went back to the Fairfield Inn (recommended) and crashed.

    Next morning, with Jeff, took the half-dozen or so selected blanks out into the sunshine and picked out the one we liked best, and the fitting session began. Using my stance and setup ritual, Jeff, very carefully and throughly determined the measurements for a properly fit stock and fed the info into the program for the computer controlled lathe. He instructed me to go ahead and make my stock; so pushing the green button, amazing things happened, resulting in what was to become a work of art, perfectly inletted. The rest, Jeff did by hand, starting with the palm swell, and grip then progressing to the drop, LOP and pitch. We worked together, and by early afternoon the inletted, sanded stock was on my gun and we were shooting at paper. Ever mount a shotgun without looking or thinking about sight picture or target acquisition, hitting the target dead center every time? With eyes closed, mount the gun, then open them, and there it was, perfect sight picture, every time.....amazing! Next, the final bedding and shaping will be done, in house, and the stock will be sent for checkering and finish, and shipped back to me in about 4 weeks.

    John, and Jeff looked at the stock, on the gun, from every angle then at my small self in astonishment. If you see my gun in the rack at a shoot, with it's twisted, bent, boat oar looking stock, you'd start looking for the poor specially abeled person who shoots it. I'm 6'4 and go 270, and sort of fit the image of those those, um, above average, (can I say fat)no-neck guys you see in the trap shooting magazines. I can't explain why, but the stock fits, and I hope to shoot it well. John Ramagli told me that there were three important aspects to shooting: Fit, desire/commitment, and money. My own three things would be,simply, FIT, FIT, and FIT.

    Getting on the road by 2PM and headed into Chicago traffic which is no worse than any large metro area, holed up for the night on the Indiana/Ohio border, making it back home to Fairfield by 4PM, next day, just in time to get in a couple of rounds at North Carroll.

    I tried to give you accurate impressions and flavor of the experience, and what to expect when you go to Kolar for a stock fitting. Was it worth the time and cost? Without reservation, a resounding yes. I was treated respectfully as a customer, and fellow shooter, and shown every courtisy. If you have the time and can afford to go to Racine, by all means do it. I've had stock fitting done before by well known, highly regarded artisans, and although there are many competent folks offering their services; in my experience, Jeff Mainland is without question, the best. I firmly believe that the option of going to Kolar's shop in Racine and having Jeff work with you to properly fit a perfect stock is reason enough to buy a Kolar gun, never mind, he's a delightful person. FWIW.....mike
     
  2. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
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    1,710
    Location:
    Fairfield PA
    DUH! I'm such a dope. I just got a message drom a friend asking if "STEVE" Mainland is Jeff's son. Actually, I don't know if Jeff has a son named Steve: but it was a case of mistaken identity. I was talking about Jeff and gave him a new name. I guess it would be OK if we all started to call him "Steve", though. (grin) ....sorry about the mix-up ....mike.
     
  3. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,710
    Location:
    Fairfield PA
    Y'mean I didn't have to admit to being a dope? I wasn't aware that I could edit my message. Here I am, pushing 70, and learning new stuff all the time.

    Hey, I went back and changed "Steve's" name back to Jeff. That edit thingey is so cool. Life is good.
     
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