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Bill Gillette, Master Gunsmith

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Last Update: 09/11/11

Please note: Our telephone number has changed. The new number is:


Please note that this is a cell phone number and is therefore susceptible to the vagaries that may plague cell phone calls at times. Thank you for understanding.

About Our Company...

Bill Gillette Big Ridge Gun Smiths was founded in the fall of 1957 in Spencerport, NY by Bill Gillette after receiving his degree in Mechanical Engineering. Originally called Big Ridge Gun Shop, the company at first specialized in the restoration and repair of World War II military arms that were so prevalent at the time. Operating on the slogan "we will build or fix anything that goes bang", coupled with superior workmanship, the company prospered and grew to the point that made relocation a necessity.

In 1969, a farm was purchased in the quaint town of Hilton, NY and the business moved into the carriage barn, built circa 1815. The barn provided the space for a full-fledged gun shop with showroom and a brand-new, 1500 square-foot machine shop was added to the structure. In 1975, due to a downturn in the market, the decision was made to close the retail store and to put all efforts into the flourishing gunsmithing facet of the business by converting the showroom into additional shop space.

Big Ridge's reputation as a quality gunsmithing shop continued to grow within the shooting community. By 1980, at the urging of many of his trap and skeet-shooting customers , Bill decided to offer on-site gunsmithing services at various shoots in the western New York state area. As Bill's reputation continued to grow, out-of-state shooters prevailed on him to attend shoots in their home states, beginning in Florida,1983, with the Southern Grand Trap Shoot and the Royal Palm Skeet Shoot. The success of these trips persuaded Bill and wife Martha to spend winters in Florida, setting up shop at the Palm Beach Trap and Skeet Club.

In the meantime, the shop in Hilton, NY continued performing general gunsmithing and producing custom firearms of all description. At that point, Big Ridge Gun Shop became Big Ridge Gun Smiths to more accurately reflect the company's business. The "gunsmithing road show", as Bill liked to call it, was now lasting up to ten months, and the occasional trips to Hilton were taking their toll on Bill and Martha. So in 1994 the heart-wrenching decision was made to close the Hilton facility and concentrate entirely on providing on-site service at shoots. Now working solo, Bill decided to focus his work efforts primarily on high-end shotguns, but still does rifle and pistol work on request - usually in the winter.

Bill and Martha now live on the Kissimmee Prairie north of the town of Okeechobee, Florida where Bill has his one-man shop. In the winter, roughly from December through May, the Big Ridge Gun Smith mobile shop is set up at Quail Creek Plantation approximately fourteen miles northeast of Okeechobee. However, the "road show" continues every year from June through November, with no plans for early retirement. Check out our schedule to see when we will be in your neck of the woods.

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Contact Us...

Big Ridge Gun Smiths
32801 U.S. Highway 441 North, #68
Okeechobee, FL 34972

Telephone (Cell)

Why We Can't Accept E-Mail...
Since Big Ridge Gun Smiths is now a one-man operation, there just isn't enough time to work on guns and respond to e-mails. Therefore, if you have a question or need a gun serviced, please call us at the above telephone number.