Don at the Bench
Don Getz who passed away Nov 25 was one of the most important people in the Contemporary muzzleloading revival. No one individual was more at its center. His rifle and pistol barrels were the heart and soul of so many of the finest pieces produced since he started working in 1977. The Contemporary Makers book which I published in 1980 had many very fine guns for the time with Getz Barrels. It continues with Don's son John keeping the tradition going. Personally, I must have ordered 30-40 barrels from Don between 1977-1997. My fondest memory is that each order (via phone calls) included 30-40 X 10 jokes from both sides! No matter how busy he was there was always time for a story.
Salute to a special Fellow. Thanks for all your fine work. RIP. (Robert Wiel)
Getz Shop Sign
Don was what we southerners call a Southern Gentleman… He just happen to live in PA!
He cared about his family, friends and customers.
If I could only make one statements about Don it would be:
“He loved that were a part of our longrifle culture and he provided longrifle barrels to the longrifle artists that became a part of the artist’s canvas…” (Gordon Barlow)
The Getz Building
"I want that Barrel NOW!"
John and Don
Making a Breech Plug
Refining a Barrel
The Getz Shop
Collection in the shop
1. 1977 Don and Dick Getz buy barrel business and equipment from Bob Paris, Gettysburg, PA
2. Work with Bob Paris one month in Gettysburg, PA shop to train on equipment.
3. One Month later Getz buys building in Beavertown, PA and moves equipment to PA
4. 1980 John joins Don and Dick in the barrel shop
5. 1984 Dick Leaves the business
6. Making 25 to 30 barrels per week with 4 people
7. Most popular 50 cal, 42 “ swamp barrel with fitted breach plug.
8. Highlight was making friends
9. 1998 Don retires and starts making longrifles.
10. Well known makers visit shop , Bivins, Gusler, Silver, Chambers, Hash, Brennan, Emig
11. Jim Flynn Toule Barrel,, LA
12. Chambers Kit Barrels
13. Specht Gunmaker in Beavertown
14. Bob Lepley Sudbbery, PA stock carver.
Copy by Robert Weil and Gordon Barlow with all photos by Gordon Barlow.