The Connor Custom Gunsmithing

When it all began:

I grew up here in "Penn's Woods" and learned to enjoy a thriving deer herd (at the time at least) in the mountains of north central Pennsylvania. My grandfather and his brothers had had a camp there for decades before I was born and unfortunately due to a "hand shake" arrangement, which was honored, after the passing of my Grand Uncle, the family camp was no more.

At that camp for as long as I can remember, deer camp was filled with family, friends, a warm fire always burning and of course, Savage Rifles. From what I understand it was my Grand Uncle Paul who set the Savage Arms standard from our family. The rifles were of course Savage model 99's all of which were chambered for the deer slaying .300 Savage. As I grew older , my Grand Uncle Paul was climbing in his years and I had the pleasure of enjoying time with him before his passing. His model 99C was chambered in .308 Winchester and was held in our family as the special 99 given his role in the family hunting camp and his always respected opinion. In 1983 my Grand Uncle Paul chose to hand that 99C to the next generation, as his hunting himself was done. My Grand Uncle Paul decided that I was the lucky one who should carry that gun and so my Savage passion began.

Most of my hunting life after that was and still is writing my own place in family history with that 99C. That gun I am certain will make it to yet another generation of our family and write yet another page in our hunting heritage and family history. Before I get off on a fireside tale, my point is that this 99C is on its 3rd generation in this family and because of the quality that has always been built into Savage arms, still is a safe, accurate and wonderful memory-filled firearm.

The next Chapter.

In the winter of 2009 my life took a quick change, I was injured while working as a truck driver to the point that I am unable to drive commercially anymore. My entire life I had dreamed of being a gunsmith and when I was told I would need to be retrained because of my injuries, gunsmithing was the first thing to pop into my mind.

I started my schooling in March of 2009, and I had just had a fantastic experience with Savage Arms and their customer service a couple of months beforehand that reminded of why we as a family have always believed in Savage. Through the course of my education at a gunsmithing school, I was asked by someone in Savage's customer service department to send some pictures to him of my Savage-based projects at school. I did exactly that and before I knew it and without being able to figure out how to this day, I received a phone call from Savage Arms explaining to me and my Friend Karl Beining that we were invited to Savage Arms in Westfield, MA to take a tour of the factory!

Now, throughout my gunsmithing education and the more I learned about Savage Rifles and their actions from working on them, the more I began to realize that this was a system that made perfect sense.

Well, after being invited to Savage Arms in November of 2009 with my dear friend Karl Beining, now head gunsmith at Ottawa Ordinance in Ottawa, OH, we both had a complete understanding of why it is that Savage arms can produce the out of the box accuracy that is second to none.


The fact of the matter is, Remington and its clones have for better or worse dominated the bolt action rifle customization market for a long time. Problem is that once you get one of those hard core "Big Green Guys" on the subject of Savage, it's like mentioning inappropriate things in church (sorry for the analogy), people stare, make faces and look down their noses! Well, to my liking and quite of few other people in the gunsmithing world, Savage Arms and the leadership of Mr. Ron Coburn is turning the tables. After meeting the man in person, I can tell you that he wasn't like I expected at all! He was ten times better than I could have ever hoped! My opinion of Ron Coburn, based on how he treated Karl and I, is that he is a very down to earth man, very giving (Irish thing I am sure) and an all around great guy to just stand and chat with about how hot deer hunting in Michigan was last week, or how was lunch, or all of the other fantastic things that we shared with him when we were there. The most important part I noticed is that he is a man who expects more from himself and his products that anyone could expect him to. That being said, it cleared up a few things for us really quick. When you think of a "factory" or "production", you certainly don't think what Karl and I now think after seeing the Savage Arms "Factory" and production certainly doesn't have its general meaning in regard to Savage's facilities.

Quality control there is what sets Savage Arms apart from the rest of the industry. Shortly after we entered the building we met Mr. Ron Coburn and we asked if we could take pictures while on the tour and if there were any areas that they didn't want us to take pictures. Mr. Coburn's response was, "I am not doing anything that different from anyone else as far as production goes, we are above the rest in the way we take the time to be sure it's right."

All of this being said , I could go on for hours and hours and tell you the reasons I feel that Savage will always be our first choice for rifles, custom builds, or anything else our customers could request , but my best advice would be to stop by or give us a call and we can tell you in much more detail why we prefer SAVAGE ARMS!