- Ken Kraushaar
A little more about me...
(the author working on an acrylic from site for his custom 1911)
A few customers have asked me how I got my start doing what I do, so I thought I'd give a little bit more of a background that my "about me" page gives.
I first got my start "gunsmithing" in 2009 when I bought my first personal firearms. from the get go, I wanted to "make them better" and I began reading and looking at all sorts of different materials regarding the firearms I had (a springfield XD tactical, and a mossberg ATR 100 respectively.) I started out fitting parts to the XD to reduce trigger pull, plastisteel bedded and weighted my ATR's flimsy stock, and then went crazy and custom fit a McCree stock to it, and then added a muzzle brake to it.
After quite a bit of tinkering on my own firearms, I got up the guts to take apart and restore my late father's, grandfather's, and uncle's firearms, which had sat for almost 20+ years after all three had passed away at various points in my youth. I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment being able to get them all in working condition again, even going so far as to solve the problem my Uncle's Winchester model 70 had (it wouldn't shoot straight after the first shot.)
During this time, I also learned everything I could about custom loads for my firearms, which increased their accuracy, and developed a small obsession with accessorizing and accurizing firearms to the point where they become somewhat boring to shoot due to their accuracy.
I spent time with my Uncle Jerry at his shop and milled out and built an 80% AR-15 and did it to his exacting standards which took the project 8 hours into the night after a thanksgiving dinner.
Because of the enthusiasm I showed, I was encouraged by my friend Denis Kenny, (a UPS truck driver I'd met while working at a gas station in Petaluma California,) to get my federal licenses. From there I worked on getting my city business license, local firearms license, and state licenses. I became an RSO through the NRA and then a certified firearms safety certificate instructor through the CA DOJ.
My first commercial work was restoring some fire damaged revolves and a Beretta 92FS, to which the customer was extremely happy with. these firearms had been in a garage fire and the owner had received one of them as a gift and the other was his later brother's. restoring them took about a month but the result was well worth it. even years later, I still hear from this customer, and his son, about how great they fire and how good they still look.
I first started advertising at Petaluma Gun and Reloading Supply after showing Owners Terry and Daryl Penry my work, which consisted of taking a used Ruger Super Redhawk that I had purchased from them, and applying a high polish in the style of the beautiful high polish rings my Uncle produced, complete with polishing the matching scope mounts and screws.
Since that time, I've had the opportunity to help restore World War II war trophy firearms, a War Hero's service pistol, in addition to family Heirlooms and every day use firearms. I've built both custom one off firearms, such as my LR-308, or custom 1911's
I continue to learn by reading as much as I can, taking courses through the IFSA, and reading the monthly periodicals put out by the American gunsmithing association.
I truly enjoy what I do. I have fun, and eventually I hope to have the business in a mode of being self sustaining. Coming from a long line of craftsman, and tinkerers, what I do never gets old or boring.
Every day I am grateful for the opportunity my customers give me to work on their firearms, the trust they give me, and the continued support I receive from my regular customers, my friends and family in what I do.
In the years to come, I hope to have a larger shop, as well as offer personal safety courses and the like, but for now, I'm happy simply working from home and continuing to serve the local community in my quiet and slowly building business.