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Kolar Company History?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Pre-64, Apr 26, 2013.

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  1. Pre-64

    Pre-64 Banned User Banned

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    Can anyone tell us a little about the Kolar Company history..when, where, what were they before "Kolar Firearms"? I understand they designed/ built the Remington 90T but were there other guns? etc..etc..?
    Thanks
     
  2. Beretta687EELL

    Beretta687EELL Well-Known Member

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    They actually manufacture parts for various industries (heavy equipment, farm equipment and automotive). They made Schwinn bicycles at one time. As far as I know, the 90-T was the only gun besides the Kolar guns they make now. Bill Malcolm
     
  3. shoot em all

    shoot em all Member

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    I heard at one time they were making parts for military, but do not know for sure. jim w.
     
  4. Beretta687EELL

    Beretta687EELL Well-Known Member

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    The 90-T was designed by Keith Sprangers at Kolar. Bill Malcolm
     
  5. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Kolar did design the 90T. The ONLY thing they ever got from Reminton was the steel they made the barrels with. This is a former post of Doug the GunDr

    Bores
    From: GunDr
    Email:
    Date: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 - 04:03 PM ET
    Website Address:
    The ealier guns did have larger bores. remington supplied the hammer forged blanks and because we were aiming to have bores of around .742", Remington's mandrel was at .742". By the time the rib was installed, the barrel straighten, we had to bore the barels to a larger ID to get things to clean up.
    When we ordered more barrels, we would request Remington to forge on a smaller mandrel. Each time it was only about .005" smaller. Eventually, by the time we got to around serial number 1500 or so, they finally had the mandrel down to about .730". This allowed us to get the std 90-T to about .742" and the hi-rib 90-T to .737"
    It was Remington's request that the hi-rib 90-T have a bore of .737". Apparently there were some squeaky wheels on the ranges that said that .742 was too open for a trap gun. Remington also said to leave more choke (.040")in the hi-rib guns for the same reason.
    Doug
     
  6. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    I believe they were originally known as "American Competition Arms".
     
  7. daddiooo

    daddiooo TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    What Bill Malcolm said....Keith Sprangers was the chief design engineer on the 90-T. Remington approached them for the gun designed to be a dedicated trap gun.

    Still building great guns today as well.
     
  8. Perazzi_MX8

    Perazzi_MX8 Well-Known Member

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    Don Mainland and Steve Petersen shared the same building in Racine, Wisconsin. Pioneer Products Inc. (Don) and Petersen Machine Co. (Steve) were machine shops doing job-shop work for industries in and around Racine.


    Don was a former Olympic Cyclist and started designing racing bike frames for Schwinn for the 72 Olympics as cycling was his passion. He was a shotgun enthusiast as well and purchased Kolar tubes when he had the opportunity. The name was well established and he took the design and process to manufacture them to a new level. They built the shotguns for Remington and when the contracts were over he brought out his own shotgun and kept the Kolar name.


    Today they are in the same building but it has grown larger over the years. Don always had excellent leadership ability and the drive and knowledge to improve anything he made. He would always invest in the the very best, state of the art equipment and has many long term employees. He has done well with Kolar Arms and produces a world class shotgun.


    I talked with his son Jeff at the Autumn Grand and was happy to hear that Don is doing well and still riding his bike 20 miles a day in his 80's. Don gave me my first job at age 16 and I worked 2nd shift in his shop during High School. He was a great guy to be around and he exemplified integrity. He taught Jeff well and the shop is in very capable hands from it's very modest beginnings.


    Duane
     
  9. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up Duane
     
  10. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Don is a very good man. I have a disabled nephew that one day years ago I brought him out to the gun club during the state shoot. He was in a wheel chair and to young to shoot at that particular time.

    He saw an extra recoil pad laying in my trunk that day and asked if he could start a recoil pad collection with that pad that I gave him? I said that was a good idea.

    I talked to Don Mainland and told him about my nephew and Don was more than willing to give him any recoil pad that he took off any guns in his shop for his collection.

    Long story short, my nephew is a wheel chair shooter today and has one of the most extensive recoil pad collections I have ever seen thanks to Don Mainland.
    Steve Balistreri
    Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
     
  11. Perazzi_MX8

    Perazzi_MX8 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks cubancigar2000:


    Don is a good man and was a very positive role model when I was just starting out in life.


    Yesterday, we lost 2 other men that were my heroes as well. Tom Knapp and George Jones as were some special men that I admired, too.
     
  12. twotimer

    twotimer Member

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    I met Jeff a couple years ago at the Fl. state shoot. I grew up in a little town outside Racine. Live in Fl. now. Got talking with Jeff and his daughter was going to the same high school I did. He said when I get back that way to look him up which I did and he promptly gave me a vip tour of the factory. Much more to the story... just saying, what a great guy. I'll buy a Kolar someday because of him. Mike
     
  13. Crunch

    Crunch Member

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    This thread makes a guy want to look to Wisconsin first, before Italy, Germany or Japan before buying his next shotgun.
     
  14. Joe Woods

    Joe Woods Well-Known Member

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    There has been nothing said about the total Kolar Staff, It shows in the quality of there guns.They are an amazing staff. Impressive , EH !!
    They are an amazing team.

    Joe Woods/Ontario
     
  15. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    A lot of Wisconsin shooters shoot Kolar because of the great service they provide as well as Kolar is in our back yard.
    Steve Balistreri
     
  16. bjk1972

    bjk1972 Member

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    For my 40th birthday my wife sent me up to KOLAR for a fitting and a new stock for my older combo. Well Jeff and crew made it way too easy and I now have a new low profile max combo with factory fitting. I was very impressed with Jeff (who picked me up and took back to the airport) and the 25 or so crew members that I saw on the tour of the factory floor. All were happy to stop what they were doing to show me what they were doing and how it relates to the build process.It really gave me a sense of pride to own something that these guys show so much pride in building.I sure wish my dad would have been alive to go with me. We talk about going ever since Pete McCall let me shoot a demo 15 years ago. My only complaint is that the new gun Jeff sold me must be female, I'm having a hell of a time training her! Sorry, a bit off topic.
     
  17. ms_yuan

    ms_yuan Member

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    If you're ever in the market for a Kolar, you should seriously consider a trip to the factory for a tour, meet the folk who will build your gun, and be fitted by Jeff, one of the nicest, most capable gun fitters I've had the pleasure to meet.
     
  18. WoodsonEnt

    WoodsonEnt Active Member

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    I have owned both Kolar skeet and trap guns. I bought the skeet gun new direct from Kolar, and I bought the trap gun used.

    I went to the plant in Racine in 2000 and was custom fitted by Kolar. I was also able to pick out my wood and take a tour of the factory. Very nice place! I am an operations manager of a machine shop, so it was interesting for me to see what machines they had and the brand.

    I currently own zero Kolars, but that is because of gun trading - not customer service. In my opinion, Kolar has the best customer service out there! They will go out of their way to treat you well. A couple of years ago @ the Grand - a buddy that was riding with me needed a little work done at the end of the day on his Kolar. It was near closing time, but we was by the Kolar building and went in anyway. The crew was winding down for the day, and my buddy said he would come back later. They wouldn't hear of that, and they proceeded to fix what he needed at that point in time - right then, right there.
     
  19. eightbore

    eightbore Well-Known Member

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    Kolar built the rough parts for the 1989 reintroduction of the Parker shotgun for Remington Arms Company. I took pictures of the wooden boxes full of parts that Kolar shipped to Remington.
     
  20. GunDr

    GunDr Well-Known Member

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    while I was at Kolar, we did produce about a dozen Parker shotgun proto-types for Remington. While that was wrapping up, Kolar was designing the 90-T. The proto-types were built before Remington was approached about marketing the gun. With Remington interested, a few changes were made (one being a safety button), and a dozen more were made and taken to the Grand for shooters to try.

    A few bugs developed during that trial period, and were correct. A contract was signed, Kolar manufactured and Remington marketed.

    About 1998 Kolar began designing their own gun.

    tj303 above has it correct about the purchase of Kolar and moving it to Racine.

    The tube business was the bread & butter of Kolar Arms for many years. As Kolar began hiring more skilled employees, the work they could perform expanded, such as back-boring, choke tubes, adj combs, Kolar Comps, Kolar-Coils, rebluing, stock refinishing etc.

    Perazzi MX8 was correct about Kolar sharing a building with Don's other companies...Pioneer Products, Peterson Machine, and Letsch Manufacturing, but between 1988 and 1989, Kolar and Letsch Manufacturing moved to their own facility toward the west side of town.

    Doug
     
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