Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ottawan gunning for donations with one-of-a-kind proof rifle

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 8/8/2014

For a suggested donation of $20 or more, the donor has a shot at owning a one-of-a-kind proof model of the Franklin County historical special edition Henry Golden Boy Rifle.

Tim Van Leiden, owner of Gun Guys, 412 S. Main St., Ottawa, purchased the lever-action Henry .22 LR rifle from Historical Armory Inc., Fort Collins, Colo., he said.

For a suggested donation of $20 or more, the donor has a shot at owning a one-of-a-kind proof model of the Franklin County historical special edition Henry Golden Boy Rifle.

Tim Van Leiden, owner of Gun Guys, 412 S. Main St., Ottawa, purchased the lever-action Henry .22 LR rifle from Historical Armory Inc., Fort Collins, Colo., he said.

“It’s a collector’s hang-on-the-wall rifle,” Van Leiden said. “We’re a dealer for Historical Armory, and after I purchased it I thought that it would be a good way to raise donations for [not-for-profit] organizations.”

Van Leiden plans to divide the donations equally among the Franklin County Historical Society, the Ottawa Police Foundation DARE Camp and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Sam Smith Scholarship Fund, he said. Van Leiden is a member of the police foundation and Smith scholarship boards.

“I’m hoping to raise $1,000 for each one,” Van Leiden said.

The rifle is tailored specifically for Franklin County. Some of the detailed engravings on the buttstock, forearm and receiver include the U.S. Flag, the Kansas flag, Franklin County Courthouse, Ottawa’s Dietrich Cabin, a denotation of Kansas entering the Union as the 34th State Jan. 29, 1861, and other historic etchings.

“It’s pretty cool looking,” Van Leiden, who has the rifle on display at Gun Guys, said.

Donors will have their names placed in a drawing for the rifle, he said.

In addition to being on display at the gun shop, the rifle will be put on display at successive events in the first three weekends of September, starting with the community’s 150th birthday celebration Sept. 6, and followed by The Power of the Past Antique Engine and Tractor Show and the Ol’ Marais River Run Car Show. During these events, people will have an opportunity to view the rifle and make donations to get their names entered into the drawing, Van Leiden said.

“We plan to have the drawing the last weekend in September,” he said.

Historical Armory is making 25 of the historic lever-action Henry rifles for each county in Kansas, with each rifle individually numbered one through 25, Van Leiden said.

“I’ve sold seven or eight of the [Franklin County] rifles,” Van Leiden said.

The manufacturer makes a proof model of the special edition rifle before putting it into limited production. That is what makes the proof model being given away in the drawing a unique rifle that any local collector would love to own, Van Leiden said.

“The proof model is the only one that will ever be made,” Van Leiden said. “There will never be another one like it.”

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