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 Post subject: How it started.
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 7:34 am 
Bearcat
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 2:41 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Westville, CT
When in 1980 my wife, 7 years old daughter and I came to USA with almost zero english, $400.- in our pocket, and handful of tools, naturally I was desperate for work. As a jewelry designer back in Lithuania I hope to find something at 47-th Street in NYC, but $800.- for ounce of gold at this time cooled me down.
Than old friend, working at Metropolitan Museum, formerly head of Hermitage Armory, Leonid Tarassuk, had contacted me, he called his friend Larry Wilson, asking for help and Larry talled that indeed, Bill Ruger looking for engraver. The meeting has been scheduled, Ruger asked, if I have experience in guns - sure I have (it was a white lie, I had experience in engraving, gold inlay jewelry, but it was a high crime to work privately with the guns in USSR).
Than Bill Ruger gave me the Red Label in white, $3K in advance and asked me to try.
I was scared do death, but, having no choice, came back to Brooklyn apartment, purchase half ounce of gold and silver, fiev more tools and started my new career. My wife got a job at a sweat shop and we were doing well. After steamy summer the shotgun has been finished. Ruger has approved it and propose a position at Southport facility as an only Company engraver on payroll. The rest is a history, I spend 11 years at SR till they close the Southport factory after introduction of Conn. state taxes, than three years worked with Larry Wilson on numerous Colts, than moved to the jewelry design, creating Lantuch Inc.. When 9/11 hit the jewelry business, I came back to the guns and, after old Ruger death, in 2003 Bill Ruger junior asked me to organize a Studio of Engraving at almost empty Southport building.
A lot of ambitious guns has been engraved at this Studio, three bench engravers has been taught on the basics of the trade, than in 2006 the Board of Directors has decided to change all traditions and shot down the Studio. Next day I had contacted Toni Galazan and started to collaborate with him and with fiev other customers. Here we are today.

The picture of my first gun, 22K Gold, Fine Silver and stock carving:

Image
Image


Last edited by PAULIUS on Sat May 28, 2011 6:47 am, edited 11 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 7:49 am 
Buckeye
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:34 am
Posts: 1687
Location: Upstate NY
You do excellent work. Something I always wanted to try myself but could never afford.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 7:59 am 
Bearcat
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 2:41 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Westville, CT
David, it is well known that a cornered cat can do the most heroic action.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:10 am 
Ruger Guru

Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:01 am
Posts: 310
Location: lubbock, tx
I have admired your work featured in Wilson's Ruger book. The Ruger Studio engraved a gun for me in 2005. It is one of by most treasured Rugers. No doubt you will be remembered as one of the great engravers of our time. I am glad you are still working.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:18 am 
Hunter

Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:01 am
Posts: 4442
Location: Dallas, OR US
WOW! What a life story and amazing work. An engraved revolver is one of my goals someday.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:34 am 
Hunter
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Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2002 2:01 am
Posts: 4197
Location: Idaho
Good for you sir. Thanks for the post.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:35 am 
Hawkeye

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:17 pm
Posts: 18241
Location: Kentucky
Fascinating story.

Congratulations on your perseverance in pursuing your dream.

:) :) :)


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 Post subject: Start
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:48 am 
Buckeye

Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:13 pm
Posts: 1557
Location: Texas Panhandle
The American Dream come true. Congratulations. Dr.C

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 1:30 pm 
Hunter

Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:01 am
Posts: 4874
Location: Midwest Illinois
It's so great to hear someone tell their story, especially when you are familiar with their projects. Welcome and thank you for sharing this info.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:34 pm 
Blackhawk
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 3:13 pm
Posts: 917
Location: NC
So the gold "Lantuch style engraving" on the 1 of 500 50th Anniversary Blackhawks and the 50th Alaska Statehood Anniversary Super Blackhawks must have been done by you and the three bench engravers (approximately 1000 guns in less than 3 years.) I think Ruger really "missed the boat" by ending that program.
Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:41 pm 
Hunter
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 2839
Location: Alabama, Athens
Sir. your story is great :!: so glad you made this posting. A great talent you have 8) hope you continue doing well :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:04 pm 
Hunter

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:00 am
Posts: 3115
Location: METRO DETROIT
I have to say, much time has been spent drooling over photos of that Red Label. Thank you for bringing so much beauty into the world, and hope you continue to prosper.

Hopefully one of your works will rest under my roof.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:09 pm 
Ruger Guru

Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 2:01 am
Posts: 18845
Location: Ohio , U.S.A.
All said above, fascinationg story, and indeed, great work......nice touch and we too like that style of engraving..........very nice and THANK YOU for sharing with us...............I 've known Tony Galazan for many years now, through the OGCA and my engraver friend ,Tony Tuscano is still doing work for them at Conn. Gun Co.....................they sell some awesome guns.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:13 pm 
Single-Sixer

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:57 pm
Posts: 499
Location: Arizona
Hi Paul, beautiful work and interesting story of coming to America and meeting Mr. Ruger. I hope that you enjoy yourself here and look forward to other amazing work by you

Thanks!

Jeff from Austin, Texas :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 7:05 pm 
Bearcat
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 2:41 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Westville, CT
Thank you all :D !

To BlackEagle:
I do not believe the 1000 guns you are talking about some how connected to me. On one point Company loose an interest to hand engraved custom guns and I made a pattern for contractors with pantograph technology. The idea was, my bench engraver has to retouch machine made ornaments, at list six revolvers a day per person, in reality it turned to three a day, not enough to catch up with commissions. I still has been engaged with one of a kind custom peaces, but the management forced me to do the same work as the rest of the team. Of course retouching six guns a day is not a big challenge , but it was to expensive for the Company to keep me occupied with this entry level job. One day Studio marketing manager, son in law of late Tom Ruger, and I were asked to come to the meeting and a company lawyer announce our lay out. Few month before Bill junior has been released to retirement, the Studio was his idea. Two of my engravers has been moved to Barons Technology for finishing all remaining commissions. Have no idea, what they are doing now and do not want to know. One of them has been very instrumental in destroying our Studio.

Here is a photo of my last Ruger, Two Millionth Blackhawk, finished one month before layout.

Image

Image

Image


Last edited by PAULIUS on Sat May 28, 2011 3:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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