Dury’s Gunsmith Legacy Dates Back to the Late 1800s
Dury's Gun Shop is a family-owned business that dates back to the late 1800s and has a well-earned reputation of providing expert gunsmith services and customer satisfaction.
Four generations of the Dury family have built the operation from a tiny gunsmith shop working out of a cramped garage to the current 5,000 square-foot facility that employs a staff of 35 professionals with an inventory of more than 1,800 firearms.
Our gunsmith shop has accumulated more than 120 years of experience dealing with all varieties of firearms.
“We probably take in about 350 to 400 firearms per month,’’ said David Dury, who manages the gunsmith staff. “We have seen such a variety of things that we can handle the jobs a lot of shops just can’t handle.’’
David has been working as a gunsmith since 1995, learning the trade from his father, John Dury, who was a highly skilled gunsmith working for his father, who worked for his father, who started the Dury gunsmith legacy.
Developing and honing his skills by putting in nine hours a day of hands-on work for nearly 10 years under the watchful eyes of a master gunsmith was an ideal training ground.
In addition to managing the shop and assisting in other gunsmith work, David has earned a well-deserved reputation as a custom builder of high-quality, extremely accurate rifles.
Another of our veteran gunsmiths, Larry Wengler, has recently rejoined our staff bringing with him nearly 50 years of experience working with firearms. Larry also started his training under the tutelage of John Dury and formally worked at Dury’s for more than 20 years in the 1970s to 1990s.
During his extensive career in repairing, modifying and upgrading more firearms than can easily be counted, Larry has encountered and corrected about any firearm problem that can be imagined.
“Just when you think you have seen it all, a customer will bring in something new. The good thing about experience is that when anything comes into the shop, we know what it should do and what it should look like.”
The third veteran working at our shop with 38 years of experience under his belt is Mike Whalen. He earned his degree from Trinidad State Junior College of Gunsmithing in Colorado and has been at Dury’s for the past 13 years. In addition, he spent several years improving his skills working with veteran gunsmith Jay Moore in the Rio Grande Valley.
Whalen specializes in working on military-style firearms made before and during World War II and has extensive experience in restoring and repairing antiques. He also has acquired particular expertise in dealing with firearms dating from the 1400s to the 1700s.
Harvey Lane rounds out the veteran gunsmith crew with his 11 years of experience, the last five with Dury’s shop; and specializes in single action revolvers (he learned the tricks of the trade while working at Cimarron Firearms Co.), as well as Model 1911 semiautomatic pistols.
Lane also developed some of his gunsmith knowledge while working in the U.S. Navy for three years at a military armory.
Not willing to rest on their laurels, our gunsmith shop veterans are now honing the skills of two apprentices – Nick Gonzales, who has been with us for two years and has been a collector of military rifles and handguns for 18 years; and Steve Pittman, who is a former locksmith with a general background in mechanics and avionics that joined the shop 18 months ago and works in the refinishing department.
“We want to put a training program in place that will carry us into the future – 10 to 15 years from now – that will carry on our tradition of meeting and exceeding the needs of our customers,’’ David said.