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Gunsmith History

fayettefattsfayettefatts Member Posts: 23

Trying to find information about a gunsmith by the name of C.P. Donnelly from Grants Pass OR. I know he passed away some time ago and was fairly well known, but I haven't found out too much about him. Can anyone give me any leads?


  • BrookwoodBrookwood Member, Moderator Posts: 11,772 ******
    edited January 25

    Some info from the net;


    Charles Patrick Donnelly, 80, of Grants Pass passed away December 25, 2009 at his home.

    A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, March 20th by invitation only at the Grants Pass Country Club.

    Contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to the National Rifle Association of America: NRA PROCESSING CENTER P. O. BOX 420648, PALM COAST, FL 32142-0648 or Lovejoy Hospice:939 SE 8th Street, Grants Pass, Oregon 97526

    Born April 12, 1929 in Eureka, Utah to Patrict and Stella Donnelly. He graduated High School from Tintic High School in Eureka, Utah and graduated from Trinidad Junior College in Trinidad, Colorado. He married Marjorie Harding on July 21, 1950 in Los Angeles, California. Charles assisted with the design, research and development of the first Ruby Laser for Hughes Research Laboratory in Malibu, California. He also was owner operator of a gunsmith shop where he was a riffle barrel maker. Gun manufacturers from around the world would seek his expertise. With his family they moved to Grants Pass in 1969 from Camarillo, California. Charles loved hunting, working on cars and camping with his family. He was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.

    In addition to his wife he is survived by two sons, James P. Donnelly of Portland and Eric B. Donnelly of Grants Pass; daughter, Maureen L. Wright of Grants Pass; eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

    He was preceded in death by his daughter Laura K. Donnelly-Emptage and Granddaughter, Julianna M. Emptage both of Grants Pass.

    Just a bit from a couple years ago here on our forums;

    C. P. Donnelly, gunsmith. Grants Pass Or. — Member Forums

  • pingjockeypingjockey Member Posts: 1,875 ✭✭✭✭

    P.O. Ackley was an instructor at Trinidad when he went to school there and they formed a lifelong friendship if I remember correctly. I still have a couple of rifles that he did for me. One is a 35 Whelen on a German Weatherby MKV action and the other a 358 Winchester on a round top Sako action. I always enjoyed talking to him, a very nice fellow. A side note, when he was working on that 358 for my son, he was apparently talked into leaving the country to help P.O. with a barrel making facility in South Africa. He apologized profusely when he got back and low and behold, in the box when he sent the 358 back was a "paperbacked " set of P.O.'s wildcat books signed by P.O. If you have found one of his rifles, it should be a "shooter"

  • fayettefattsfayettefatts Member Posts: 23

    Thanks for the replies. Sounds like he was a good guy. I recently bought a rifle with his name on it and it is a shooter.

  • pingjockeypingjockey Member Posts: 1,875 ✭✭✭✭

    Early on he would use any barrel sent or requested, later on as I recall he had purchased a barrel making machine from a short-lived company out of Salt Lake and would provide his own barrels if requested. Those barrels shot "very" well as I understand it. I know ours did.

  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,793 ******

    " I recently bought a rifle with his name on it and it is a shooter."..............I was the original poster, still have the rifle and yes, it is a 'shooter'. Win. Hi Wall, 219 wasp, s.s. trigger

  • pingjockeypingjockey Member Posts: 1,875 ✭✭✭✭

    This is a new brochure that he sent along with a rifle he had finished in 1980. Hope this gives you some insight.

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