600th APS rifle shipped today.....

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Fiftydriver, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    Well, started this little adventure in may of 2003. Never thought it would take off into what it has become today. When I sit back and think about it, its a bit overwhelming to be honest but on the other side of the coin, I am amazed its only been 6 1/2 years, seems more like twice that with what has been done in that time!!!

    Today I shipped one of my 338 Allen Xpress rifles which was number 600 out of the shop. kind of fitting that it was one of my wildcats that I have developed over the years. Now this is nothing for some of the larger custom shops out there today or that have been around for years but for a one man shop, it seems like a hell of alot of rifles out the door already.

    Just had to take a minute and sit down and realize how far my little shop has come in a relatively short time. I figured if I got 1000 rifles shipped in 20 years I would be very happy. Now I am on pace to do that in half that time!!! Thanks to everyone that has helped along the way, MUCH more to to come!!

    Just wanted to thank everyone here on LRH that have supported me over the years and helped me get to this benchmark and hopefully this is just a start. Hell, by the time I get all the projects done in the shop right now I will be well on my way to 700 out the door.

    LRH really got me started and the members really grew my business and I can not thank all of you enough.

    There are a few guys that I would like to publically thank, my very good friend Richard Graves, he knows what he means to me and my family, nuff said.

    Dick Grimm, thank you old friend for believing in something that had never really been done before and for having the patients to hang with me as we worked through it.

    BJ and Steve, thanks guys, you both started the chatter on the 270 AM and got the fire going. Now you are both valued friends much more then customers and have been for many years. Thank you both.

    Thanks to Len for giving me someplace to talk about some CRAZY ideas that this Montana boy came up with.

    There are many others here on LRH. I could list them all specifically but that would take to damn long, thank you all. Just getting started, but it has already been a hell of a ride.

    For those that are waiting on projects, I promise, they are coming and it WILL be worth the wait and I thank you ahead for your support and patients. LRH and its members turned APS into what it is today and hopefully much larger things to come down the road.

    For that, I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you for the chance to build you guys some rifles and to share you and your families hunts and shooting sessions over the years, its been more then I ever expected and met more friends then I ever thought I would.

  2. Craig Dodd

    Craig Dodd Active Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Congratulations Kirby!

    This is one very significant milestone. I have followed your postings and various builds for a number of years and always look forward to what you have to contribute. While I am not yet one of your customers, I am looking to rectify that in 2011. Again, congratulations!

    Craig in SE Idaho

  3. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Congratulations Kirby and God Bless!
  4. wolffman

    wolffman Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Congrats! Love my 338AM and already thinking about my next build with Kirby and his new action:D
  5. alexkeyser

    alexkeyser Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2007
    great job Kirby, keep'em coming. AL
  6. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    May 2, 2001
    Wow, that is quite impressive. So -- what number is my "500 yard handgun" as I like to describe it to folks here in Wisconsin. It's always fun the see their reaction. gun)
  7. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

    Jun 11, 2005

    Congratulations my friend on a great milestone in your business and in your personal life!!!

    I remember when some of the first rumblings out of Fort Shaw started hitting cyber space and it’s been very interesting watching the evolution and growth of APS. I’ve done business with thousands of people both during my business life as well as my personal life and I’ve always considered myself one that could judge someone pretty well right from the start. From the first time I saw or heard your name and business mentioned, and from our first conversation, I had a good feeling and it has just gotten stronger over the years.

    I remember when we first started talking about building something that you hadn’t done yet and I also remember how busy you were because you were not only starting and building your business but you were constantly thinking about ways to send a little chunk of lead and copper faster than it had been before.

    I also remember something that stuck in my mind from the first conversation we had and that is that you never said no and you never said something couldn’t be done no matter what I wanted and no matter whether you had done it before or not. I remember the hard times you went through in getting the necessary parts to put together the first 7mm AM out the door and I also remember the long hours you worked when the parts finally did arrive to get that first 7mm AM built and out the door. It arrived during the first week of deer season and I did a quick barrel breakin and did some target work to get it dialed in and then went hunting. Deer season saw a buck fall as did an elk, both bang flops and both with fireforming loads as I hadn’t even had time to get past the fireforming stage because of the late arrival of the gun.

    I’ve never had a gun that develops as much interest as that 7mm AM. I shoot it a lot and people tend to stop to see what kind of a nut I am when they see me set up for a shot and there’s nothing within a ridge or two that even resembles a target. I’ve let a lot of people shoot it and in every case they have a smile on their face and just want to shoot it again.

    You’ve put out 600 guns and I think I’ve had about that many emails about you, your business and your guns not to mention the countless PMs on LRH. I’ve spent time on the phone with people from here to the east coast and have communicated with people on most other continents about the 7mm AM and your other wildcats and it’s been very interesting to see the interest grow in APS and the Allen Magnums.

    To this day I believe that one of the main reasons you’ve been so successful is the fact that you put so much of you into everything you do. The support people get from APS both before the sale and after is top notch and I also know that you give the same help and support to anyone that asks and not just to those that buy a gun from you. It’s nice to know that those of us on LRH can always refer somebody to Kirby Allen at APS for anything from getting a question answered to getting a full blown custom built.

    I miss dealing with that goofy Canuck up north but at least we don’t have to spend quite as much time around the net watching his back. He was and is, one of a kind.

    BJ and Steve also have been great supporters of APS and I enjoyed their adventures in getting the 270 AMs up and running.

    I knew from our first dealings that you would be successful and continue to grow and I feel that 600 out the door is just a beginning for you and APS. I won’t be around to see the last one shipped but I know it’ll go to a very happy customer.

    Good luck with your future projects and I’ll enjoy reading and watching you reach your next milestones.
  8. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    Pretty much what Dick said

    Wonderfully accurate 7AM killed a 6X6 elk on my first trip back out west with a fireforming load. A day dream come true for me. My kids on their first trip out west got trophy antelope and a long range mule deer.

    While I have other rifles by other smiths if I really want to kill something I take the Allen Mag. If I just want to hunt and not drag anything home I take another gun.
  9. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2002
    way to go kirby!, I remember way back when when I got your email the 7mm AM was in production, couldn't get my parts boxed up fast enough, best decision I ever made, thanks for your hard work and dedication, its helped make myself and 599 other guys better shooters.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  10. MT4XFore

    MT4XFore Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2005

    Congratulations my friend! I am very happy for you and very proud of you. Even though my only "Kirby" gun is a reworked A-Bolt, as far as I am concerned it is the best A-Bolt in the world. It fully performs up to your standards and continues to surprise me every time I shoot it.
    I cannot wait until I start working with my Long Range Stalker in 338
    AX. The Raptor is an absolutely brilliant design. Once people get to see and handle that action, everything else will be second rate. I haven't dealt with you as long as Dick has, but he certainly is a good judge of character. I have seen not only your dedication to your craft and your customers, but I have also seen your dedication and love to your family. And in my book, that is just as important. Becky and 'Kenzie are very lucky to have you in their lives!
    I am looking forward to working out drops with you for my new Stalker when it gets built. I also still want to ride quads all over the prairie with you and 'Kenzie. And I'm sure we can probably find another day to go whack some more prairie dogs, what fun that was!!
    Continued success and I will try to limit my interruptions so as not to slow you down :D. Yeah, right!

  11. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004
    Well, Mr. Kirby Congratulations!

    I envy your ability to turnout a quality product, EVERY TIME. The two AMs I have are much much more than I ever expected. Especially the 375 AM. Unknowingly I shorted you on the 270 AM build in the I stayed with the Rem 721 trigger, how dumb was that:rolleyes:, then the economy stock.

    I've only 4 shots down the barrel of the 375 and swear its good for everything from PDs through yotes to anything ya wanna shoot with in including D-9 Cats.:D It seems to shoot as flat and as fast as the 270. It should as the 350 gr bullet is starting at the same MV as the 169 WC.

    I am a happy man to have 2 of those 600.

    Keep it up my man!
  12. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    Congratulations Kirby.

    Now could you pick up the pace a little so I can have my new 7 WSM rifle before next hunting season? :D
  13. hnts4fun

    hnts4fun Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2007
    Happy New Year's Kirby!

    Keep them coming!
  14. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    THanks for all the kind words. This is what I ment by I could list every one of you guys specifically and have very sincere words for each of you. Everyone that has posted on here are close friends. Some from LRH, some old, some new, some I have personal friendships with, some only through posts and e-mails, all very dear to me.

    Those of you that really know me know I am a man of very few spoken words until I really get to know you. Its much easier to type then speak words for me. That is why so many of you have waded through some seriously long winded posts here on LRH.

    As mentioned I am a truely lucky guy. I have a wife and little girl that are far out of my league, best customers in the world, and the best friends a guy could wish for and thanks to many of you, a very stable business. I do take customer service very seriously and that can at times take me away from other customers or at least appear to do this if your waiting on a reply from me. My only fear and worry is father time!!! I know how hard it is to wait for projects. I have worked VERY hard this past 18 months to try to catch up as I honestly loose sleep at night making you guys wait for projects to arrive. I have done that for years and do it today and will do the same tomorrow. I can not tell you how many times I have spoken or typed the words, "Sorry for the long wait but I am doing everything I can to make sure when you get your rifle, its well worth the wait". I sound like a broken record to myself and that has truely been a huge source of stress for me but such is life and that is the reward for being fortunate enough to have a little successful shop and a weight that just has to be taken on and accepted, I just hope I can get everyone the time they deserve and I know at times, I am lacking.

    As said before, most of you that have replied I could speak of personally and I remember very fond memories from the past. I remember when a stranger showed up at my shop door from way back east on his way to Idaho and picked up his jungle tiger in 7mm AM. He arrived somewhat of a stranger, by the end of the several hour visit, he left as a good friend...... Seems like yesterday....

    And one of the nicest guys in the world that keeps showing up at my shop with cookies!!!! Thank you for your visits and support and your welcome anytime, you may just have to sit and watch me work. Really I am not ignoring you, just a simple guy that can not do two things at once, do not want to get the nick name of stumpy!!! LOL

    I could do this all night.

    Instead, simply put, thank you all for your patients and support. If the next 600 rifles brings me as much joy as the last 600, along with a few headaches and a couple grey hairs, I will be very happy indeed.

    While APS has been a one man shop more or less, I fully realize one man can do very little in this world and its all of you that make APS. I have said my customers make me look very good, not only do I say that but I 100% believe that to be a fact. Thank you, all of you!!!!
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010