Archie Stahl Firearms

AStahl

Fawn
Sep 23, 2022
16
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Back when I was a boy, the best made hunting rifles in the state of Kentucky was made by a Bowling Green man named Archie Stahl. Did bluing, parkerizing, lapping, bedding, custom stocks, custom barrels. Built off dependable actions like the German 98 Mausers, American 1903A3 and 1917 Enfields, and British Enfields. He passed back in 2015. Anyone see his work or rifles built to be good workhouse/working man's rifles anymore? I got one he built off a German Mauser action in 25-06 he blued and lathed the barrel in shop. Checkering was done by old Joe Hollingsworth.
 

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JR in KY

12 pointer
Jan 25, 2006
6,295
The Occupied South
I never heard of him, but that is a beautiful rifle.
Waldo Tarter from Nancy area was another old timer that built a lot of rifles, most specializing in Varmint calibers. I have one of his rifles chambered in .22 PPC.
 
Back when I was a boy, the best made hunting rifles in the state of Kentucky was made by a Bowling Green man named Archie Stahl. Did bluing, parkerizing, lapping, bedding, custom stocks, custom barrels. Built off dependable actions like the German 98 Mausers, American 1903A3 and 1917 Enfields, and British Enfields. He passed back in 2015. Anyone see his work or rifles built to be good workhouse/working man's rifles anymore? I got one he built off a German Mauser action in 25-06 he blued and lathed the barrel in shop. Checkering was done by old Joe Hollingsworth.
That is a work of art. If I was you, I would make that a family heirloom,
 

mwezell

12 pointer
Jan 22, 2006
4,077
Auburn, KY
Back when I was a boy, the best made hunting rifles in the state of Kentucky was made by a Bowling Green man named Archie Stahl. Did bluing, parkerizing, lapping, bedding, custom stocks, custom barrels. Built off dependable actions like the German 98 Mausers, American 1903A3 and 1917 Enfields, and British Enfields. He passed back in 2015. Anyone see his work or rifles built to be good workhouse/working man's rifles anymore? I got one he built off a German Mauser action in 25-06 he blued and lathed the barrel in shop. Checkering was done by old Joe Hollingsworth.
I knew Archie a bit and have talked to Joe a few times over the years. Not sure if Joe is still living or not. I've owned a couple of Archie's guns and they were good, solid builds. He was a fan of the 25-06 and 220 Swift, both fine rounds..and yes, he built mostly on the old Mausers and used a lot of Douglas barrels on his builds. I did this work full time for several years. Still do some gun related items and some non-ffl related gun work. I enjoy doing it and really appreciate accurate rifles. I still do all my own builds and barrel work for my benchrest shooting. Great bunch of guys and we're in an area with several matches available. The UBR National championship matchs have been held in Ky since its inception. Started having them outside of Somerset but the game and attendance outgrew that range. The Nationals have been held at Boyle County Fish and Game since then. Great venue to shoot. Frankly, it's the best match every year, of them all, imo. They have a factory class if any of you might be interested in giving it a try sometime. Season is wrapping up for this year but it gets kicked off next year at different clubs usually in March. Come shoot with us!

Are you his son or relative? I'm in Auburn. Give me a shout sometime.--Mike Ezell
 
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AStahl

Fawn
Sep 23, 2022
16
Bowling Green, Kentucky
I knew Archie a bit and have talked to Joe a few times over the years. Not sure if Joe is still living or not. I've owned a couple of Archie's guns and they were good, solid builds. He was a fan of the 25-06 and 220 Swift, both fine rounds..and yes, he built mostly on the old Mausers and used a lot of Douglas barrels on his builds. I did this work full time for several years. Still do some gun related items and some non-ffl related gun work. I enjoy doing it and really appreciate accurate rifles. I still do all my own builds and barrel work for my benchrest shooting. Great bunch of guys and we're in an area with several matches available. The UBR National championship matchs have been held in Ky since its inception. Started having them outside of Somerset but the game and attendance outgrew that range. The Nationals have been held at Boyle County Fish and Game since then. Great venue to shoot. Frankly, it's the best match every year, of them all, imo. They have a factory class if any of you might be interested in giving it a try sometime. Season is wrapping up for this year but it gets kicked off next year at different clubs usually in March. Come shoot with us!

Are you his son or relative? I'm in Auburn. Give me a shout sometime.--Mike Ezell
I am Arche Stahl's grandson. He was as good of a grandfather as he was a gunsmith and target shooter. Unfortunately Big Joe has passed. Little Joe and his mom moved to either Virginia or West Virginia after Big Joe died. Always looking guns that bear my granddad's stamp to have in the family heritage collection I am building.
 

AStahl

Fawn
Sep 23, 2022
16
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Archie had a shop across the tracks near WKU if memory serves me correctly. Bought a used shotgun from him in early 80’s.
Yes sir. Right there on Clay Street after you went over the tracks by the old CO-OP or by the Gas station (think it is a wku bookstore now) at the other end of the street. Even if it wasn't something he made or did custom, I remember the racks upon racks of shotguns, rifles, and pistols he had back then. I got a picture here.
 

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mwezell

12 pointer
Jan 22, 2006
4,077
Auburn, KY
Yes sir. Right there on Clay Street after you went over the tracks by the old CO-OP or by the Gas station (think it is a wku bookstore now) at the other end of the street. Even if it wasn't something he made or did custom, I remember the racks upon racks of shotguns, rifles, and pistols he had back then. I got a picture here.
Not sure how many he did like it but I might know the gun he's holding in that pic. 220 swift, Unertle scope Mauser action on a huge Fajen laminate br stock. It shot great, if it's the same gun.

edit..and double set trigger, iirc.
It belonged to my unle for a long time. I think he got it from a guy named Ray Perkins...long deceased.
 

FF/EMT516

10 pointer
Nov 22, 2020
1,151
Caneyville, Ky
Not sure how many he did like it but I might know the gun he's holding in that pic. 220 swift, Unertle scope Mauser action on a huge Fajen laminate br stock. It shot great, if it's the same gun.

edit..and double set trigger, iirc.
It belonged to my unle for a long time. I think he got it from a guy named Ray Perkins...long deceased.
I think you could post most anything on this site and someone would know a guy or have a cousin or uncle who could tell you all about it. Lol I love it
 

mwezell

12 pointer
Jan 22, 2006
4,077
Auburn, KY
I think you could post most anything on this site and someone would know a guy or have a cousin or uncle who could tell you all about it. Lol I love it
Not too many real gunsmiths either. I can tell you/him that the stock was removed from the rifle and sold. I did it. My uncle wanted to make it more shootable due to the physical size of that huge old Fajen stock. It was 4 maybe 5 inches wide at the forearm. I kept it for a while and built an old Mauser bench gun for myself on it. Same problem for me and a Mauser action, as good as they were for hunting rifles, just aren't competitive with more modern actions and equipment of today, but it was still fun. I think I shot it as a 6PPC for a while on that stock.

It truly is a small world and I doubt he did many like that one but I have no idea if it was the only one or not. Archie was a good man and a popular smith in this area, especially during the '70's. Being in the same line of work as him, for as many years as I have been, and in the same area, it's natural that I'd have more familiarity with his stuff than most, but not all. Some of his good customers became good customers of mine after Archie was no longer able to work.
 

FF/EMT516

10 pointer
Nov 22, 2020
1,151
Caneyville, Ky
Not too many real gunsmiths either. I can tell you/him that the stock was removed from the rifle and sold. I did it. My uncle wanted to make it more shootable due to the physical size of that huge old Fajen stock. It was 4 maybe 5 inches wide at the forearm. I kept it for a while and built an old Mauser bench gun for myself on it. Same problem for me and a Mauser action, as good as they were for hunting rifles, just aren't competitive with more modern actions and equipment of today, but it was still fun. I think I shot it as a 6PPC for a while on that stock.

It truly is a small world and I doubt he did many like that one but I have no idea if it was the only one or not. Archie was a good man and a popular smith in this area, especially during the '70's. Being in the same line of work as him, for as many years as I have been, and in the same area, it's natural that I'd have more familiarity with his stuff than most, but not all. Some of his good customers became good customers of mine after Archie was no longer able to work.
I didn’t realize you were from Auburn. You remember the log yard premium hardwoods had there for a short time in the early 2000’s? My dad used to run it.
 


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