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International gunsmiths find business at Sparta

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Aug 6, 2008.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    International gunsmiths find business at Sparta's Grand American event

    BY LES WINKELER, The Southern

    SPARTA – The Amateur Trapshooting Association’s Grand American, being held at Sparta’s World Shooting and Recreational Complex through Aug. 16, draws competitors from throughout the United States.

    It also draws gunsmiths from Germany.

    Krieghoff International brought four gunsmiths from Germany to provide service to Krieghoff owners at its storefront shop on the WSRC’s vendor row. Krieghoff was founded as Sempert and Krieghoff in 1886.

    “We don’t sell guns,” said Braxton Newman, a customer service representative for Krieghoff. “We’re the factory service. We will sell parts. We don’t sell guns. We allow our dealers to sell our guns for us.

    “We’re basically giving support to our shooters. If they have problems, we solve them.”

    “Krieghoff recognizes this is a significant event,” said Steve Phillips, director of sales. “We’re out here to support our shooters by providing factory service.”

    Krieghoff guns are manufactured in Ulm, Germany and imported by Krieghoff International in Ottsville, Pa. Newman said the gunsmiths brought from Germany are essentially factory technicians.

    “The main thing we do is just regular maintenance,” said Elmar Bonn, from Muenster, Germany. “What we usually do is annual maintenance.

    “We take the gun completely apart. We replace the firing pin and the springs.”

    Steve Phillips, director of sales for Krieghoff, said serious competitors will shoot 15-20,000 rounds each year.

    “That’s a lot of shooting,” Phillips said. “That (annual service) gets the gun back into factory condition and it feels like it’s new.”

    And, the technicians attempt to get the guns back into the owners’ hands as quickly as possible.

    “We try to do a 6-8 hour turnaround for them,” Newman said. “They bring in their guns and the next day they can pick them up.”

    The service center does have demonstration guns on hand for prospective customers to try.

    “There’s a trap field right outside our door,” Phillips said. “They can take it right outside the door and Winchester provides free ammunition.”

    And, if a shooter decides a Krieghoff is something he or she can’t live without, staff members send them to any of the six vendors on site.

    “The gun sells itself basically,” Phillips said.

    That is in spite of a price tag that reaches well into the thousands of dollars. In addition to being used by some of the top shooters in the trap field, Krieghoff guns feature intricate designs on the receiver.

    “Our guns are a unique blend of the most modern technology and old world craftsmanship,” said Phillips, slipping into sales mode.

    Krieghoff essentially produced hunting guns for the European market prior to World War II. However, that market recovered slowly, resulting in the company expanding into the clay target market.

    Krieghoff still manufactures a separate line of hunting guns.
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