Thanks to everyone's support, we are expanding!
This has been an adventure of a year. One year ago in late October 2015, Jim and I first announced and offered the Southern Mountain Rifle Kit for pre-order. Six months later, in April of this year the first kits went out the door and in that time we have shipped over 200 kits (with many more on order) and we have done all of this from our little home workshop. We would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this project and helped it be so successful.
The New Shop
We are in the process of moving production out of our tiny home workshop and into a real workshop that we are building next door. This is exciting on so many levels. We are going to get the wood out of the living room and keep the sawdust out of our cereal. When we offered the kits for sale last October, we didn’t anticipate the response and we have definitely outgrown the space where Jim has been making his custom guns for years. This expansion is going to help us be more efficient and give our customers the best product possible. It will even allow us to start working on adding new styles and projects. We are able to grow because of the amazing support that we have received from our customers.
Meet the Team
We have a small in-house team (and HUGE team of vendors and suppliers) and there is no way we could have done this all by ourselves. I would like to say 'Thank You!' to everyone who has been working with us and been so committed to raising the bar for muzzleloaders.
I know a lot of you may already be familiar with Jim, but I wanted to introduce you to our little team.
A very fresh-faced Jim started making flintlocks as a hobby in a converted coat closet when he was still in high school. He attended Ohio State and had a career as a metallurgical engineer until he was able to turn his hobby into a livelihood by making custom flintlocks about 8 years ago.
Just last year he was able to combine his artistic and engineering sides of his brain when he developed the CNC carved Southern Mountain Rifle Kit. Jim will be getting back to working on custom projects again when the space of the new shop allows.
Katherine & Hugo
Jim and I (Katherine) met in early 2014. He won me over when he showed me a picture of his silver inlaid fowler. (photo here) I knew nothing about these old guns, but I immediately fell in love with the artistry and history and I decided to stick around. I was half-heartedly working as an accountant and instead started putting my efforts into spreading the word and trying to bring new people into the world of gunsmithing while also getting Jim's work out into the world by putting together his website.
I am Jim’s right-hand woman and I combine my accounting background with my creative bent to help take care of all sorts of entrepreneurial tasks: advertising, photography, computer and technology, bookkeeping, shipping, and customer service. The photo is of me and my 8-year old son Hugo. I look forward to having a little studio in the new workshop to do some of my own artwork as well.
Walt works with us a few days a week and does a little bit of everything. Walt worked for many years as an accountant and he is one hell of a worker.
Walt works on a little bit of everything from injecting the wax for castings to assembling the triggers. There are a number of parts that go into each kit, and each part is specifically chosen and/or made as a perfect fit to the stock and the overall quality that we are trying to put forth. He is a huge help. We couldn’t do it without him.
Little Dog is our 3-legged, deaf shop mutt. She lost her leg because prior owners didn't know she couldn't hear the car, under which she was sleeping, started up and ran her over. She never got a proper name since she can't hear.
She came with us last year to spend 10 days in class at NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar at Western Kentucky University. She kept all the students company and would sneak treats from certain students who couldn't resist her particular form of 'pathetic charm'. She will be joining us again this June.
We love getting photos of customers’ completed projects. If you would like to share pictures of your project for me to post on the Kit Gun Gallery on our website, please send them to me at email@example.com
The Next Kit
The next kit, while not officially in the works yet, should be started in the next year. It will be an earlier, bigger gun that can be carved and can be finished as a Pennsylvania or Virginia rifle. I have started keeping a list of folks who want to be notified when it comes for sale so send me an email if you would like to be added.
Until next time!
Jim: 330-223-1775 or 330-341-0675
Jan 14 - 20, 2017 - spots available
Jan 21 -27, 2017 - FULL
Due to the popularity of last year's class, a second week-long class has been added.
18th Century Artisan Show
Feb 3 & 4, 2017
Open to the public
This is a fun show that is open to the public in a fantastic facility. Last year was our first year and we can't wait to go back. We will be in the 'Supplier Room'.
NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar
May 31 - June 9, 2017
The 6-day Southern Mountain Rifle Kit Assembly class has a 3-day expansion option to allow for a patchbox, grease hole, or nose cap.
Contemporary Longrifle Association
Aug 18 - 19, 2017
In our new booth location at the end of the big room, we will again have kits that customers can get their hands on as well as finishing and carving supplies.
The new shop! We will be able to welcome visitors and customers in our new 40 x 72 foot facility.
.32 Caliber Southern Mountain Rifle Kit
$250.00 - $970.00
.36 Caliber Southern Mountain Rifle Kit
$250.00 - $970.00
.40 Caliber Southern Mountain Rifle Kit
$250.00 - $970.00
.45 Calibler Southern Mountain Rifle Kit
$250.00 - $970.00
Iron Nitrate Gun Stock Stain
Jim and I are at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green this week. I will be sharing photos and video of it here! The official website for the seminar is http://www.nmlragunsmithingseminar.org/ which is in it's 35th year!
The videos can be found at our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK-DUN4pHdQm-yeIDchwuzQ
Day 3 of Building a Pipe Axe with George Suiter
Day 1 of Building a Kibler Mountain Rifle Kit
We have been receiving many eager emails and phone calls with customers who have placed orders wondering about the status of their kit. We want to thank everyone again for all of the orders. You have made this project successful. This means we can confidently look forward to continuing to be able to offer new products into the future.
While I'm glad everyone is so excited about the kit, I’m sorry to say that the wait has been and will be a little bit longer than initially expected. A good number of you have already received your kits and many others are coming down the pike. Kits are going out the door on a consistent basis, but we are digging out from the numerous orders we received before production officially started.
We hope that you can continue to be patient and understanding if your kit has been delayed from what we first anticipated. We apologize for this. The good news is the kits are turning out super nice and customers have been really pleased.
So, going forward, we will send an email notifying the customer when a stock gets on the CNC machine. This will generally be about 1-3 weeks before a customer can expect to take receipt of the kit. Other than that, any attempts to pin down an exact ship date will be a rough guess.
In other news, from time to time, stocks will not make the cut for a customer who has pre-ordered, so I will offer them for sale for immediate shipment. These one-off kits are the same premium quality as all of the other pre-orders, but will have minor issues.
This week, a fancy maple stock didn’t make the cut. The stock has a bit of heart wood in the butt stock region. I believe this won't be very noticeable after staining and will still make a beautiful gun. This is true especially for a builder who wants to stain to a darker color.
So, we are offering the kit pictured for $925. It is in the online store and when it is sold it will be greyed out, so if it’s live, it’s still for sale!
Jim and Katherine
For someone who is interested, I have posted the recommended tool list in the frequently asked questions portion of the site. This list for the Kit Gun Class that I am teaching this summer at WKU, but I thought it might be helpful for someone who is starting out.
Other than the gunsmithing seminar, the only event that I will be attending this summer will be the Contemporary Longrifle Association show in Lexington Kentucky this August. One table will no longer suffice, so we will set up in a booth along the wall by Ron Scott in the same room that I am normally in. I will have some examples of kits at various stages of completion available to look at and in a variety of finishes.
I have addressed some other questions on the FAQ page for kit guns and will add to that as more questions come.
As always, feel free to give me a call at 330-223-1775 or my cell at 330-341-0675 or shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Kibler--maker of flintlock rifles.
M-F: 8am - 6pm