About Dave Norin

 The Mchenry Gun Center about December 1967

Dave started working in a gun shop at the age of 15. He worked for Jerry Mathews at the Mchenry Gun Center in Mchenry Illinois. It was at this time that Dave decided he wanted to be a gunsmith and as a good friend and mentor Jerry recomended that Dave attend the gunsmithing school at Trinidad State Jr. college in Trinidad Colorado.  At Trinidad Dave studied under Bill Prator for metalsmithing and Ed Shulin for stockmaking. Dave graduated in 1972 with an Associates degree in gunsmithing and returned to the Mchenery Gun Center as a full time professional gunsmith.

The early years under good friend and mentor Jerry Mathews combined with the formal education at Trinidad gave Dave a solid start into a difficult field. Friendships from both places still continue and are obviously measured in decades now.


   The Trinidad ‘Gun Club’  1971 , standing in front of Dave is well known stockmaker Morris Ottmar


In 1989 Dave became the managing partner in Bell’s Gun and Sports shop in Franklin Park Illinois. At Bell’s not only did he manage the retail operation with 18 full and part time employees he also continued with gunsmithing and overseeing the work of a full time gunsmith.


In 2001 Dave was admitted as a Regular member to the prestigous American Custom Gunmakers Guild. This admission required submitting 2 custom made firearms to be viewed and judged by the membership of the Guild; requiring a 2/3 vote in favor of admission. Since 2004 dave has served as the editor of the Guilds official publication ‘GUNMAKER’.

Since 1995 Dave has operated a full time one-man shop dedicated to fine gunsmithing on fine guns and the building of commissioned custom made rifles and shotguns. Today his shop is located in northern Illinois on the Wisconsin border in the village of Antioch.

Dave is a member of the NRA, Dallas safari Club, and is a member of American Handgunner magazines ‘Club 100″ gunsmiths. He has written articles for the Single shot Exchange, Man at Arms Magazine and of course the Guilds publication Gunmaker.

A dedicated whitetail hunter, he has also hunted 8 western states for Pronghorn, Elk and Black bear; but he also enjoys a day in the field over a dog hunting for Pheasent and Grouse.



But creating fine custom made sporting rifles and shotguns remains his life long passion.