Rich is a true artisan with a lifetime devotion to the craft of gunsmithing. Growing up in Washington D.C. in the late 60s and early 70s, with no video games to waste the days away, his spent free time building models and other hands-on projects of his generation. Rich was introduced to basic mechanics and machine tool theory and operation as a youth by his dad, who was a scientist at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics lab and a gunsmithing hobbyist.
In 1979, being in the right place at the right time, Rich was hired by BerettaUSA who recognized his aptitude and eagerness to learn. From there, he bounced back and forth between working Beretta’s Accokeek Maryland location and apprenticing in Gardone Val Trompia, Italy. His stints in Gardone offered extensive training on the 680 series shotgun, which to this day remains a tried and true favorite. Since that time, he has built a career spanning more than 30 years.
While Rich enjoys the creativity and challenge of custom stock building, he also finds a personal zen in the rhythm and flow of fitting barrels. Being one of the specific tasks trained for at Beretta Italy, a properly fitted barrel is essential to the feel of a quality gun.
Rich has had the opportunity to work on a number of fine guns made by elite gun makers. Discriminating gun owners trust their fine firearms to Cole’s expertise. If a certain repair or stocking job is outside of his bailiwick, Rich will try to refer clients to a trusted colleague. Rich is passionate about working with customers to select the right gun for their needs, achieve proper fit, and provide ongoing service to ensure proper function for years to come. With his extensive knowledge of a wide variety of the world’s best shotguns, at the end of the day, Rich still believes that the basic Perazzi MX and Beretta 680 series are among the best lines of guns on the market. Incredible balance, near mechanical perfection, and optimal for affordable and high-end customization.