Flatgate, Carl Laco called home to the lord...

Help Support Ruger Forum:

WIL TERRY

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Messages
1,973
Location
Single Chute, SD USA
Carl passed away three or four months ago I was told a few minutes ago. He died at the rest home in Rock Springs where he'd been for quite some spell.
I'll bet the conversations up yonder with Bill Ruger have been Wonderful !!
Over the years he'd stop here and we'd talk guns and drink beer to all hours of the night, then get up early and go shooting up in the Black Hills until we were both pooped.
He taught me the joys and relaxation of shooting sitting down !!
Some day we'll all be together again Carl.
And so it goes...
 

cas6969

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 11, 1999
Messages
1,215
Saddened, but I can't say I'm surprised. My last contact with him was a couple years ago I guess, an email to me saying he'd beat cancer and now needed to get life and the Ruger forum back on track. I replied but never heard back.

Good dude and a wealth of information for sure.
 
Joined
May 12, 2003
Messages
241
Location
Wayland, Ohio USA
Wow - that is sad....

Bet my Pop is sitting around that camp fire with Carl and a few of the others. Telling stories and swapping lies.

We are ever so grateful for those who have led the way, forged the path and made it possible to do the things we do.

Rest in peace - kind sir - rest in peace.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
5,635
Location
Oregon City, Oregon
I am sad. I was fortunate to have spent time with him. We've also done some horse trading over the years. Although I've owned a couple of his subscription guns, I now own only one. It will be a keeper.

May Flatgate Rest in Peace.

WAYNO.
 

Coogs

Maximum
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
1,167
Location
Northwestern Pa.
I'm surprised we weren't notified sooner..........................but, May God bless and keep him and give strength and comfort to his family..........Carl was a good guy, helped me in many ways, Jack.
 

Coogs

Maximum
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
1,167
Location
Northwestern Pa.
PS.................for all Yinz newbies out there that don't recognize the name..............he was a REAL BIG PART in keeping what your posting on alive............................
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,897
Location
Redlands CA USA
Hi,

It's already been said, there are no words that work right now. I knew Carl as Flatgate, never having had the chance to meet him in person. Ruger lover, ski bum, all around good guy, blessed with one of the best "views of my back yard" anyone could ask for. I'd hoped he'd beaten the cancer, but that disease takes so much out of a person, it's hard to know if and when they've truly beaten it.

Carl, thank you for bringing so many of us together, and for the friendships you forged with those fortunate enough to know you personally as well as those you made possible among many of us who've become personal friends in other ways. And I hope the fine folks who keep the Forum going for you will keep those Ser. No. 100 gun pictures up as long as we've got it, just as a reminder. You'll be missed, dear friend. May you rest in peace and if that rest includes telling stories with Pop (Campbell), all the better!

Thank you, again, Sir...

Rick C
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
2,362
Location
Alexandria, LA USA
Flatgate, as he was know to me, was truly a fine gun person and one that I equate as one and the same as Rugerforum. I had no idea he was ill and only know that I had not seen him posting, but since my visits to R-forum has become lessened due to work and family illnesses, figured it was just me. I am saddened by the knowledge he is gone and I have never the chance to wish him farewell and express my thanks for the knowledge he passed on, and the access to this forum, through his hard work. Maybe I'll get the chance to meet Carl someday.
 

SAJohn

Hunter
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
2,300
Location
Terrebonne, Oregon, USA
Although I never meet Carl in person, I still feel like I have lost a good friend.

Maybe someone more eloquent than I can tell the story of the serial number 100 guns for the benefit of our newer members. I doubt anything like that has ever happened on any other gun forum and it shows how much we all liked Carl.

Here are some of the serial number 100 Ruger's:
https://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=61227

Here some photos of Carl's Bearcats:
http://www.gunblast.com/Hamm_Tulsa2004_3.htm

John
 

weaselmeatgravy

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
2,458
Location
Colorado native, Vermont transplant
Wow. Sad news on one hand, but on the other he hadn't really had any quality of life to speak of for the last few years. Let's hope he's in a better place.

When I joined this forum, I was a newbie collector with a handful of SA Rugers and had just acquired my first .44 flattop. It had no box and I found this forum and innocently posted a want ad for old model Ruger boxes, specifically for a .44 flattop. I said if anyone had a pile collecting dust in the attic, I would pay what I thought was a good price. Carl "laughed" at me (in a friendly way) for being so naive and we started chatting. He kind of took me under his wing as an apprentice collector and we became good friends. We used to swap a dozen or so emails in any given day. Carl was in charge of snow making at Jackson Hole and he would wake up really early for work. He would be up drinking coffee in front of his Mac out in the Mountain time zone before my alarm ever went off out in Eastern time where it was 2 hours later. By the time I got up, I would generally have at least one email from Carl waiting, usually in response to something I sent the night before, plus color commentary on the local happenings in the "wilds of Wyoming". He had a Masters degree in geology with a special (and professional) interest in meteorology and the weather was one of his favorite topics (aside from Rugers, skiing, Jeeps, dogs, and whiskey).

I think the first time I met Carl in person was in Denver when I was back home visiting family and he was coming to town to go to a gun show with another Denver area collector who was also a forum member. The 3 of us got together for a few hours over breakfast and had some fun gun talk, but I had my then young son with me and we had family plans that day, so we couldn't join them at the show. I think that was 2003. Then in 2004 Carl and I shared a room in Tulsa when we both went to that show. In 2005 I drove to Denver in my then new (to me) 2004 Silverado with the "SIXGUNS" license plate and then we took the "long way" back to Vermont by way of Carl's place in Star Valley. Carl took us to Jackson Hole and showed us around, got us free passage on the gondola up the mountain, and a free ride on a bungee jumping contraption for my son who was 12 at the time. My son and I then headed up to Yellowstone, out to Cody, and across South Dakota toward home. I remember being surprised to find that that was the week of the Sturgis bike rally and there were no motel rooms open anywhere from Cody, WY to Sioux Falls, SD. There was one room in the Sixguns Motel in Cody, but because of the demand, they had jacked the rates up to something ridiculous and my license plate didn't even qualify me for a discount (I tried). Carl and I got together a few more times over the years. He came to Vermont once on a sales or repair call to a local ski area after his days at Jackson Hole when had gone to work for the outfit that made the snow guns. That was before he went to work for Freedom Arms. Last time I saw him was 2013 on another long road trip through Wyoming, this time with my fiancee. We had dinner with Carl and his wife at our hotel restaurant and then went to our room where we all had many, many drinks while Carl and I talked guns and the ladies talked and giggled like schoolgirls about who knows what on the other side of the room. He had hurt his back real bad in 2010 in kind of a freak accident getting firewood and ended up on disability, never to go back to work. The cancer and other medical problems followed. I don't think he was able to make more than a handful of posts on here after about 2014.

Carl had the usual eye for mint condition original guns that most collectors have, but he also wasn't afraid to take a solid shooter and build whatever dream gun he felt Ruger didn't, but should have offered. One of those was a 7.5" barreled flatgate Single Six. He shared his vision for it with me and said the hardest part was going to be finding a "non-INC." take-off barrel from an OM 9.5" Single Six that he could cut back to 7.5". It had to be non-INC. marked because he wanted the result to seem as period correct as it possibly could. I had a fairly good supply of parts by then due to buying up a lot of cut-frame parts guns from a guy with law enforcement contacts. Wouldn't you know it, I had a non-INC. barrel from a 9.5" Single Six! I traded it to Carl for something, I forget, and he used it to build the 7.5" flatgate that some of you may recall seeing pictures of on here or seeing in one of Carl's displays. That gun now resides in my safe and it is one of the Rugers that I am most proud to own. It doesn't really have much "collector" value, but the story and the memories are what matter and now that Carl is gone it means even more to me.

A year or two ago I talked with the new forum owner, and he mentioned how he didn't see me posting the way I used to. We both knew Carl and I told him that I just wasn't feeling it anymore, that not having Carl online here to tease and joke with just kind of broke my spirit.

Carl has been and will continue to be missed.
 

GP100

Buckeye
Joined
Jul 20, 2010
Messages
1,136
Damn,

I'm truly sorry to hear this news.. May he rest in peace..
 

Latest posts

Top