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Old 08-15-2019, 08:52 AM
Amityslim
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Hazy Memories of First KOA .22 Classic



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Somehow I was smart enough to buy a KOA Classic .22 in 1981. I lived in Gold Beach, Oregon at the time and was struck by the top quality, simple beauty and accuracy of the rifle. I wrote Kimber a letter gushing about this and asked the manufacture date of my rifle, serial number 7266.

One of the Warnes wrote back, I believe Greg, thanking me for the praise and inviting me to tour the factory when in the Portland area. He also said serial numbers were not consecutive and basically that it was difficult to tell exactly when my rifle was made. He said they were currently serializing a block with lower numbers than mine.

Before I moved to the Salem area in November 1981, I took a bus to Portland to see a friend and we stopped by the Kimber factory in Clackamas. We ended up in the hands of a factory employee who took us on a little tour. I remember the checkering station, so obviously this would have been after Kimber was doing its own stock work. The moto-tool-like handheld checkering units were run from overhead cables at each station.

Some years later during an attack of stupidity I sold the rifle. But at least I have a little tidbit of an early KOA memory.
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:48 PM
DES/TSD
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I was at the factory when you toured. In fact you probably were introduced by your guide to the guy in the paint booth. November of '81, that was me. The checkering tools were run by Foredom Motors suspended over the checkering station. You met Pat Taylor, the Head Checkerer. She taught me. There are many who owe their livelihoods to Kimber of Oregon to this day. I am one. I am very thankful and proud of my association and trials that occurred during that period of time. It contributed to the craftsman I have become today.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DES/TSD View Post
I was at the factory when you toured. In fact you probably were introduced by your guide to the guy in the paint booth. November of '81, that was me. The checkering tools were run by Foredom Motors suspended over the checkering station. You met Pat Taylor, the Head Checkerer. She taught me. There are many who owe their livelihoods to Kimber of Oregon to this day. I am one. I am very thankful and proud of my association and trials that occurred during that period of time. It contributed to the craftsman I have become today.
His Hazy memory of the events were probably a direct and proximate result of the fumes he inhaled from your secret finish concoction that you were mixing up in trash cans and altering every 4 days or so depending on Greg's mood for the day.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:31 PM
DES/TSD
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HA, HA! The finish was just fine thank you. It was the wood filler color that Greg changed...until 1984 when I finally convinced him that staining the wood was a mistake and to just let the color of the walnut speak for itself. He did, our sales went up.

Oh, it is I who should have the memory problems!.....what were you saying again?
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DES/TSD View Post
HA, HA! The finish was just fine thank you. It was the wood filler color that Greg changed...until 1984 when I finally convinced him that staining the wood was a mistake and to just let the color of the walnut speak for itself. He did, our sales went up.

Oh, it is I who should have the memory problems!.....what were you saying again?
Nice reply...it's not often that you can trip up the head Kimber attorney on his choice of words!!
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:32 AM
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1981

Quote:Some years later during an attack of stupidity I sold the rifle. But at least I have a little tidbit of an early KOA memory.

That would be KoO history. An appreciable difference between them and the later KoA guns(which were also built in Oregon)
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:19 AM
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The checkering tools were run by Foredom Motors suspended over the checkering station.
My brother still uses a Foredom tool to do the bulk of his checkering.
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:11 PM
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A Foredom tool is still attached to my new checkering head. My old Foredom motor of 27 years finally bit the dust! literally...too much wood dust burned out the windings. Bought a new, improved Foredom tool last year. Had to replace the MMC tool too. No parts, nobody to fix it, & I have no time to fix it myself and still keep the bills paid.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:33 PM
Amityslim
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Haze?

Yep, KoO, of course. Musta been them fumes. However, not too brain-damaged to find a NIB one from back then for sale the other day.
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