Please give me an overview of what your company does and where you are located.
My name is Kevin J. Cram, I'm 32 years old and owner / operator of Montour County Rifles located in Danville, PA. I'm a full time custom rifle shop that builds complete custom rifles as well as accuracy enhancements to factory rifles. I also do re-barelling, muzzle brakes, action blueprinting, pillar bedding, Duracoat and Cerakote firearm finishing, custom machining and much more.
How long have you been in business, how did you get started, and who are some of the key members of your operation?
I'm a one man show from answering the phones and e-mails to building the rifles to packing and shipping, I do it all. I grew up long range hunting since I was 10 years old. I've always been interested in long range and extreme rifle accuracy. I graduated high school in 1998 from Columbia / Montour Area Vo-Tech where I majored in machine technology. I learned the basics of machining and built a set of custom big eyes as my senior project. I then attended Pennsylvania College of Technology majoring in Automated Mfg. and Tool and Die. During college I was offered a job at the top CNC job shop in the Susquehanna Valley and decided I couldn't turn it down. I loved working at the CNC shop and sometimes in the evening the owner would allow me to come back in and use his machines to tinker on guns. In 2002 I had the opportunity to purchase a machine shop from a good friend from Hagerstown, MD. I moved all the machines and tooling into my garage and after months of waiting I was approved for all my licenses. I opened Montour County Rifles in March 2003. Thinking I could immediately start building rifles full time I left my other job. After a few months of barely getting by I decided to take a full time job at out local county prison. I enjoyed corrections and eventually moved up to working at a Federal Penitentiary. Every year the shop took in more and more work as my reputation grew until I finally realized I needed more room. I purchased a new home and shop and moved my entire life out into the country. n May 2010 my work load of rifles was getting too much to handle part time. I decided to leave my federal job and do what I love, rifle smithing full time. It's Feb. 2011 as I write this and the shop is doing better than ever. I've been building custom rifles for the public for 8 years now and can't imagine doing anything else.
Can you describe and give me a brief history of some of your hot products or services?
My bread and butter product is my MCR Meplat Uniforming Tool. I designed this tool in 2002 and started making them in 2003. I started machining them on my manual machines and as they got more popular I couldn't keep up with the demand. I purchased a Hardinge CHNC to pick up production time and distribute them through my website and Midway USA. The MCR Meplat Uniforming Tool takes the tips or meplats of match grade bullets like the Sierra Match Kings and trims the un-eveness away to a uniform diameter and length. My tool also has a secondary part that de-burrs the hollow point area and leaves a 60 degree chamfer. My tools have helped thousands of target shooters shoot more consistent groups at long range. The tool has even spawned interest in ways not originally intended for. RoyinIdaho is currently working on a project that spawned from my meplat uniforming tool. I've built special tools in pistol calibers for pistol shooters to trim the meplat for better expansion. I'm sure there's even more uses of my product that I'm not even aware of yet.
What new products or services can we look forward to from your company in the future?
I have a ton of new ideas for shooting products but limited on my time. I have just a few that are in the extensive testing stages though and will hopefully be released soon.
What is your opinion of the future of the long-range hunting and shooting industry?
The future of long range hunting is growing with leaps and bounds. It's now becoming a more respected and recognized form of hunting and shooting. With that comes the over commercialization of the sport. Several outdoor companies promote products that state "long range". It makes the novice shooter believe they're capable of taking a long range shot just by using that product. It takes years of dedicated time, practice and experience to hunt long range. The shooting industry can benefit greatly from the long range hunting and shooting sports as it requires new products to be made to higher standards and better quality so the long range shooter can be confident when presented with taking that long range shot.
Tell me about your (or some of your team's) personal hunting style, location, species, etc.
I grew with a family of long range hunters. I've been involved in long range hunting since I was 10 years old. I shot my first deer when I was 12 at 750 yards with a 308 Norma Mag. I've since taken hundreds of woodchucks and dozens of deer long range. I hunt primarily in Central and Western Pennsylvania. I hunt what would be considered static or stationary. I have spots picked out or created that I'm are able to glass from one hillside or mountain to the other and shoot across the valley. It's not a one man show when it comes to long range hunting. It takes a minimum of two, one to shoot and one to spot. It's nice to hunt with 4 or 5 in a group as the more eyes the better. The camaraderie is great, during deer season here in PA we generally hunt in groups of 3-5. One rifle is taken to the hunting location which can be as far as a several miles back packing through the mountains. We're all able to sit close enough together and glass that we're able to quietly chat and enjoy each others company. Here in PA we don't have a lot of different species to hunt. I've taken woodchucks, deer, bear, squirrels, rabbits and turkeys all long range. My furthest kill so far has been a woodchuck at 2017 yards and a deer at 1515 yards. I've used several different calibers over the years but have settled on 4 for my primary choices. I hunt big game with my 338 - 408 Chey-Tac. Woodchucks with my 6.5 - .284, and smaller game with either a .204 Ruger or a .17 Rem.
745 Yard 10 Point Whitetail
What non-hunting and shooting hobbies or activities do you participate in?
I love to travel to New York in the fall and salmon fish. I've fished all over New York in the great lakes to the rivers but you can normally find me on the Salmon River around Altmar come the the first two weeks in October.
How long have you been an active member of LongRangeHunting.com and how have you found LRH to be beneficial to you personally or to your business?
I've been a LRH member since 2004. I must admit I was never super active. I always enjoyed reading and learning what others had to share. As my business and experience grew I started to open up and share some of my knowledge and experiences with other LRH members. I feel I've been mostly welcome with open arms and I'm very grateful a site like this exists. I've been a sponsor here for a little over a year now and it's the only form of advertising I do. My business has almost doubled since I became a sponsor and I'd like to personally thank all of you that have allowed me the opportunity to perform work for you. It's you that keeps the sport alive and allows me the opportunity to make a living at something that I love.
Tell me about your family.
I'm married to my very understanding wife Amy for 10 years. We have 3 beautiful children. Grace, who is 10, Isabella, who is 6 and her twin brother Kaleb, who is also 6. Kaleb has been my little hunting buddy since he was 3 tagging along on turkey hunts and long range woodchuck and deer adventures. Kaleb shot his first woodchuck when he was 3 years old at 990 yards with a 338 - 378 Weatherby. The rifle was a heavy bench gun and weighed 40 lbs. with no recoil. He's taken many more since then and took his first deer this year at 470 yards with my 6.5 - .284. My family means the world to me and doing what I love allows me to really enjoy my family life.