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Bob Riggs is the product of five generations of Gunsmiths

July 29, 2016
By

By Chris Erwin
I got a chance to drop in and see my old friend Bob Riggs. We worked together for over 15 years at National Mine Service Co. where we were both were machinists. Bob worked mostly day-turn and ran his gun repair shop anytime he wasn’t working at the plant.

                             Bob Riggs is the product of five generations of Gunsmiths. The Gun Shop has been open to the public since 1954 and while Bob has a business phone, he rarely uses it. If you want to contact him call him on his cell phone 606.547.5427.

Bob Riggs is the product of five generations of Gunsmiths. The Gun Shop has been open to the public since 1954 and while Bob has a business phone, he rarely uses it. If you want to contact him call him on his cell phone 606.547.5427.


While guns have become as common as wearing a hat, real gunsmiths are rare. Oh, they are plenty of gun shops advertising they repair guns. However, most of them are gun maintenance people and lack the skill to do real custom work.
They replace triggers, springs and other parts that fail. Riggs is a true gunsmith and the product of a long line of gunsmiths.

Many older people remember Wilbur Riggs, Bob’s father; he ran his own forge and made many parts from scratch. While most people remember Wilbur what many people don’t know is Bob’s mother came from four generations of gunsmiths and weapon builders.
Riggs gun shop is located in Raceland Ky. right across from CSX. His shop is packed with milling machines, lathes, boring machines and every other machine he needs to build and customized the guns he works on.

I asked him what he liked working on the most. He said, “I like the machining jobs, like threading barrels for silencers, bluing finishes and customizing match-shooting guns for competition.”

They are very few people that have the knowledge that Riggs has when it comes to guns. Now over 70, he has literally been working on guns all of his life.
Since I have known him for so long, and I know he really doesn’t have to do this to have a comfortable life.

I asked him “Bob why are you still doing this work?”
His answer is one I can relate to: “I love what I do, and I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing.”

His dedication to high quality, coupled with his skill as a first class machinist and a lifetime of exposure to gun repair puts him in a category that few can claim. It was nice to see Riggs still working and in good health.
As I walked through his shop, I could see he was busy on many different projects, while most would consider his shop small, it is made up of more than one building. It was equipped with three-phase electric, so he could run even the most demanding machinery.

The shop is open five days a week from Tues-Sat. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. One warning: If you are going to show up on Wednesday evening, you might want to call ahead. Bob is very active in his church, and he slips off on occasion to attend church.
I have seen him cut off barrels, glass-bead competition stocks and bore-sight new guns. In the last 10 to 15 years, guns have been sold at a record rate and many of them need professional maintenance. Riggs can do it all with a level of knowledge few possess. If it can be fixed or customized, I would highly recommend taking to Bob Riggs Gun Shop.

The Gun Shop has been open to the public since 1954 and while Bob has a business phone, he rarely uses it. If you want to contact him call him on his cell phone 606.547.5427.

Chris Erwin is the Author of Camping Kentucky, founder and publisher of Kentucky Angling News an on-line magazine available at www.kentuckyangling.com/magazine Chris can be reached by email chris@ashlandbeacon.com

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