Ray Viramontez engraved gun

crsides

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I have a Smith and Wesson that was engraved/signed by Ray Viramontez. Several years ago I came here and asked about Ray and got lots of good information. I lost a physical file that had all that info in it, including a magazine that had an article about Ray. I cannot remember the name or issue of the magazine. If anyone can remember it, I would be most appreciative. Also, any other information on Ray and his engraving.

Thanks
Charlie
 

SamW

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Ray learned gun engraving on a dare when stationed in Germany. His teacher was Werner Shuck. One of his fellow USAF members was showing off an engraved gun he had just acquired and Ray made the comment he could do better...thus the dare. I had the pleasure of living across the street from Ray in '66 to '67 and Ray introduced me to engraving.

You should be able to get a great deal of info from the FEGA historian Roger Bleile.
 

JJ Roberts

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For anyone who knew Ray he was a very sharing person I would call for advice and he would always take the time to answer any of my questions,Charlie you have a real treasure in that S&W. J.J.
 

John B.

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You are correct JJ.
Ray was a great guy and a very caring, giving gentleman.
He had a love of engraving and a desire to help those with a desire to learn the skill.
For more than twenty years Ray fabricated and provided all the silver kits, both wire and sheet for my Advanced engraving students for their inlay instruction.
Ray provided the wire and the sheet in the diameters, lengths and sizes required for the course, at just the cost of the raw silver.
He made no extra charge for his fabrication or the shipping of these relatively small amounts.
In addition Ray would often send me several extra silver kits just in case a student would want to buy one at cost for further practice when they returned home.
 
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SamW

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If I remember correctly Ray died in Oct or early Nov of 2016. He was one of the founding members of FEGA and I think the first treasurer of the guild. As has been said, he was a real prince of a guy and well liked by every one.

He was a camera operator for a photo mapping wing when I met him in Albany GA. His last gig was taking photos of the astronauts during their zero gravity flights out of Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton OH. Ray was an H & C engraver and started me that way but I switched to pneumatic in the mid 70s. He gave me lots of encouragement over the years.
 

monk

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i mirror what most have said about ray. early on, when i knew nothing, he spent a lot of phone time with me. very helpful. i know some of his work appeared in guns and ammo magazine. sorry, but don't recall any dates or issues. i think he was also featured in another gun mag, the title of which eludes my memory.
 

John B.

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i mirror what most have said about ray. i think he was also featured in another gun mag, the title of which eludes my memory.
Hello Jay, just to jog your memory........
Ray's engraving was also featured in several issues of Gun Digest and of course, Roger Bleile's first issue of American Engravers, pages 159-162,
 

Dave London

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Yes he was a gentleman, I spoke to him several times, a font of knowledge. Also sold me 6 of his graver holding handles
 

crsides

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thanks for the info guys. I love this gun and want to learn as much as I can about the artist.
 

Roger Bleile

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The August 1979 issue of Guns Magazine has an article on Viramontez. Also Sam Welch wrote a very complete obituary for him in issue 112 of The Engraver magazine.
 

crsides

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If anyone has an extra copy of THE ENGRAVER magazine issue 112, I would love to buy it. I found a copy of the August 1979 Guns magazine.

Thanks
Charlie
 

JJ Roberts

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crsides, Try ebay they have plenty of old guns magazines for sale. J.J.
 
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AllenClapp

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Back in the 90s, when my wife's parents were still alive and living in Tifton GA, the highlight of my trips down there were if I could get away and drive over to see Ray. He had some of the best stories about engraving adventures. He had a serious business engraving Harley motorcycle parts. He had done a gas cap for a friend. A nearby dealer saw it and made a deal to get parts in the white, have Ray engrave them, and then have them plated to sell. Ray had a medical doctor patron from Ohio that would ride his Harley down every spring when the weather turned good, have the dealer take off one or more parts and get them deplated for Ray to engrave. He would fly home and then fly back in a few weeks when Ray finished to ride the Harley back. If memory serves correctly, he had spent over $30,000 with Ray engraving parts for that bike over the years. I was just getting into engraving then. Ray was so generous with his time. It was like visiting your best neighbor on the back porch on a good evening when we got together in his shop. A true Prince of a man!
 

VaughnV

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Hello Sam,

Sadly, Val passed just shy of a year after Dad, a real blow to my mother… Thanks for your inquiry… if time ever permits, I’m sure mom would enjoy hearing from you.

Dad was very proud of your career and accomplishments as an engraver and businessman, and spoke of you often.

Best wishes
 

wolf001

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A great man and a master of his craft. I think he's been passionate about it since he was a kid, and when Ray was 14 years old, he could already draw well and was into "scrimshaw." His father made him the tools necessary to work in this technique. He worked in a school, taught the children his knowledge, and was an authority. For example, I have unreal emotions from nature: gardening, hunting, or going on a picnic and watching different kinds of birds and plants, and of course to eat and chat with friends). You can also read various articles on ballachy.com and online to immerse yourself in all this beauty. What are your hobbies?
 
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