By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

We are going to take a detour from our regular topics on safety and training and introduce you to Brian Meidal.  For those readers unaware; Saddle River Range has a fully functional gun smith operation; and Brian is your go to guy in the shop.

In a conversation with Brian last week we asked about what he does, and can do for a Saddle River Range customer…

“We help with failures on the range; helping shooters see how things are supposed to work.  Additionally, we replace a lot sights, adjust trigger pulls or repair a broken part.”

But if you ask what excites him; Brian answers: “The custom work.  I’m working on a custom competition cowboy rifle that the owner uses during shooting competitions.  The intimate work and intricacies of honing a firearm for competition requires the expertise of a skilled mechanic as well as a visionary artisan.”  He showed us that rifle; and it is a work of art as well as a fine example of engineering.  I think it’s safe to say that customer will be winning shooting competitions soon.

We asked Brian how he got started as a gun smith and his answer was surprising.

“I was working at a sandwich shop when I learned about the gun smith program at Colorado School of Trades in Denver.  I mentioned the program to the shop owner and he encouraged me to call and ask about enrollment.  The next thing I knew, I was back in school learning how to work on and build firearms.”

Brian shared with us that shortly before graduation, he was offered a job with GunSmoke; a gun store and custom gun builder in Denver Colorado.  We’ve heard of that place!  GunSmoke was the setting for a reality show on the Discovery Channel.  Readers may remember the show named American Guns.  Brian was with GunSmoke for a number of years and was with them during the filming of the show.

Naturally, we had to ask; what was his most memorable experience in working at the iconic shop.

His response: “There’s a few: I presented one of our Presidential 1911s to President George W. Bush, I got to meet Ted Nugent – he filmed an episode of the show; and we built a black powder axe mortar gun with a Damascus Steel Tabar blade mounted to the forend.”  Of course we had to go back and research that episode to comprehend a ‘black powder axe mortar gun’; a very interesting piece of firearm engineering and craftsmanship to say the least!

We asked Brian what was next.  His response was a desire to expand the operation of the shop with ‘made to order’ firearms.  He wants to expand on the shops capabilities to build ‘made to order’ custom firearms; with more build to spec ARs, hand guns and rifles for sport and competition.

Brian is one of the many team members Saddle River Range, here to help with your shooting experience.  Next time you visit, stop by and say hello.  Ask him to build a custom gun for you.

Click the link for more information on the services offered through our gunsmith department; or to learn more about the only NSSF Five Star rated Indoor range in Texas, head to our web site.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,


© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

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