Shootists Tom Ruger Bisley 22LR

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bigbore45colt

Hunter
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Messages
3,532
Location
Phoenix, AZ
During our annual Shootists Holiday last week, as part of our normal Thursday morning schedule (unfortunately), we have a memorial service for Shootists who have left us in the past year. One of those was Don Wilks, whose eulogy I gave, and who was a fellow Ruger collector from NW Ohio that passed away in early February. One of the others memorialized was Terry Murbach (who was a Ruger Forum member, AKA Wes Dakota), who was a very, very dear friend.

Terry was instrumental in making the first Shootists Anniversary gun, the Tom Ruger Bisley 22 LR, happen. He worked with John Taffin, who contacted Bill Ruger and worked with him to make it happen. As John told me, he was sitting in WBR's office discussing the project when Bill received the phone call notifying him of Tom's illness, which is when it was decided to commemorate him with the barrel enscription. Bill called down to the factory floor and spoke to his production manager asking him for 52 of these guns. He was told that it couldn't be done, to which he replied "it's my factory, you will make this happen". Not surprising from WBR. 2 were for him, the other 50 were for The Shootists who ordered them. They were ordered with optional Thad Rybka holster and the owner's name engraved on the back strap. Some Shootists ordered them with these, others didn't, so there is a mix of what options are on what guns.

If it weren't for Terry, we probably wouldn't have today the 6 Shootists Anniversary guns that we have today.

In any case, we always perform a 21 gun salute for each departed Brother after the memorial service, and always with a 44 special sixgun. The empty brass is collected and a plaque is delivered to the family. Because Terry was so instrumental in the Tom Ruger Bisley, we decided to make an exception for him and to shoot the 21-gun salute with these little 22s. We had 8 of them together there on Thursday morning (7 for the salute, and one spare just in case!). It was pretty special to have them there, all together, for this memorial.

To further help commemorate my dear friend Terry, I commissioned Mike Barranti, of Barranti leather, another fellow Shootist, to provide 7 of his Northwest Mountain Companion cross-draw holsters, carved with Terry's monogram (TM). I gifted one of these to each of the owners of the guns so that the holster could stay with the gun and help further solidify the importance/significance of this gun, Terry Murbach, and the Shootists. Not all of the guns' owners were able to be present, but they were able to get their guns to the Holiday for the memorial service. As such, they will get the holsters when their guns are returned to them shortly.

Thanks to fellow Brother Shootist Boge Quinn, here's a picture of 6 of them, ready to go for the salute. I had one of mine already in a holster, already on my belt, and my spare was under the table, so neither made the picture (would have been neat to have all 8 in one picture, but oh well!). The 5 left most guns are sitting on the table with the TM hoslters in front of them. The right most gun is shown in its original Thad Rybka optional holster that was ordered with the gun back in 1994.

Cool stuff!!

Thought you guys would enjoy the picture...

414239568.jpg


God speed, Terry. I miss you, every day. Love you, Brother.

BB45C
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
22,074
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Matt,, that was great.
An excellent tribute,, and well written.

I knew Don,,, but never had the pleasure of meeting Terry or Wes,, but I had enjoyed internet discussions. You are right,, they are missed.

Thanks for sharing.
 

bigbore45colt

Hunter
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Messages
3,532
Location
Phoenix, AZ
radicalrod said:
I believe Terry was a Bowling Green, OH resident for many years as was Don...…

Both are missed greatly....nice post Matt....

Yes, he was. That’s how they became friends. There are quite a few of Terry’s articles where he references shooting with Don when he was still in Bowling Green, before his move to South Dakota. One that comes to mind is testing the 32 H&R mag when it came out.

Terry’s family came out to Holiday for his service, and therefore was there for Don’s part of the services and they mentioned to other Shootists around them that they remembered Don and Bev back from their Bowling Green Days.

John Taffin sponsored Terry into the Shootists, and Terry sponsored Don.

BB45C
 

BRASS FRAME

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
231
Location
OHIO
Matt, what a fitting tribute to both of these fine Shootists.. I knew Don for over 20 years and talk with his wife, Bev, weekly. We live less than one mile apart near Bowling Green, Ohio. I met Terry, but did not know him well. Don and I worked together in his shop to build some of my ROCS displays. Don built many wood projects for me and helped design some projects in my gun room. Our last project together were the ROCS walnut business card holders that were handed out at the 2018 ROCS/OGCA display show banquet. I miss you ole buddy and our frequent private meetings in my gun room. Enjoy your new range in Heaven and save a spot for Bev! Brass Frame/Lee E
 

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