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Shallotte gun company barreling along
starnewsonline. ^ | December 31. 2003 | Gareth McGrath

Posted on 12/31/2003 7:08:49 AM PST by Dubya

When weapon is fired, Kart barrels ensure that its shot goes straight

Shallotte - The nondescript shop a stone's throw from the Intracoastal Waterway doesn't look like a place that's helping the U.S. military's marksmanship units hone their shooting accuracy.

Tucked in the woods just south of Shallotte, Kart Precision Barrel Corp. is a small operation with a small workforce involved in an even smaller business field.

"It's about as niche as you can get," said President Fred Kart as the company's three other employees manned the metal-working machines scattered around the small workshop.

Using short, thin tubes of forged ordnance steel from Texas, the company produces after-market precision pistol barrels for use by military forces and civilian gun enthusiasts around the world.

Mr. Kart said there are probably a half-dozen manufacturers in the country doing what his company does. But he joked that he must be doing something right if he hasn't had to advertise his barrels since 1978.

The purpose of a precision barrel is to improve accuracy.

Mr. Kart said that because most guns are mass-produced, their barrels don't always fit snug – and a barrel that moves around even slightly can impact a firearm's accuracy.

"The gun manufacturers simply don't have enough time to make sure they all fit like they should," he said as he cradled a freshly minted .38-caliber barrel.

That's where Kart's barrels come in.

Intentionally made oversized, the company's barrels are meant to be custom fitted to a gun's individual specifications.

"If the barrel doesn't do it, the rest of a gun really doesn't matter," Mr. Kart said with a shrug.

From small clumps of steel, the future barrels are machined and refined down, losing almost all of their mass along the way.

"It weighs about 2 pounds when we get it," Mr. Kart said, holding one of the raw steel cylinders. "It's one-fifth of a pound when we finish."

But what makes a Kart barrel unique from its competitors is what goes on during the rifling process. That's where the barrel is grooved, which determines how a bullet twists and how straight it will travel.

It's also a process that's about as secret as the formula for Coca-Cola.

"That's what I call a proprietary system," Mr. Kart said with a smile.

Michael Voigt, president of the United States Practical Shooting Association, said Kart is well known among gunsmiths and top pistol competitors.

"It's considered one of the best," he said from Southern California on Tuesday. "They've made their name in the top competitions."

The company got its start in the early 1970s after Mr. Kart, a target shooter, couldn't find accurate enough barrels.

"As time went along, I wasn't happy

with the stuff available, so I started doing my own gun work," he said.

But in the early 1980s, the company hit a rough patch as the economy slowed.

"It was very hard for us to get bids because all the (gun manufacturers) wanted to do was keep the doors open, while we wanted to make a living," Mr. Kart said.

So the company downsized and Mr. Kart sold his manufacturing shop on New York's Long Island, moving into a smaller facility and focusing on gunsmith work.

The company was called back to duty later that decade by the Pentagon, which needed test barrels for a new version of the M-16 assault rifle.

"They said they needed my barrels because they couldn't find any others with the same quality," Mr. Kart said.

When he restarted the company, Mr. Kart decided to relocate to Brunswick County.

The location, roughly halfway between New York and Florida, made it a good spot.

Mr. Kart said he and his wife were also familiar with the area, having often vacationed in Brunswick County.

Today the privately held company makes about 8,000 pistol barrels a year in three lengths, six styles and seven calibers, ranging from 9 mm to .45 caliber.

Customers include all four branches of the U.S. military and a slew of gun dealers and civilian target gun enthusiasts, with some purchasers from as far afield as South Africa, Switzerland and Asia.

"Obviously there is a great sense of pride producing something that has your name on there," Mr. Kart said.

Being one of the best in the field doesn't hurt either, he added with a laugh.

Gareth McGrath: 343-2384


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; gunsmiths; manufacturing; northcarolina; oldnorthstate

1 posted on 12/31/2003 7:08:50 AM PST by Dubya
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To: All

Alan Rogers, with Kart Precision Barrel Corp., measures a gun barrel in the company's Shallotte fabrication shop.

STAFF PHOTO - KEN BLEVINS

2 posted on 12/31/2003 7:09:21 AM PST by Dubya (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me)
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To: Dubya
Shallotte is pretty much nowhere. It's a lovely area but you aren't exactly moving with the jet set.
3 posted on 12/31/2003 7:11:41 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: Dubya; *bang_list
This one deserves a ping to the bang list
4 posted on 12/31/2003 7:15:25 AM PST by LibKill ("Two crossed, dead, frenchmen emblazoned on a mound of dead frenchmen.")
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To: billbears; Constitution Day
NC ping?

A little local news for ya, folks.
5 posted on 12/31/2003 7:16:12 AM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: azhenfud
Very cool!!

And yes, I consider that highly NC-ping-worthy. ;)

6 posted on 12/31/2003 7:18:53 AM PST by Constitution Day (Iraqi blogger to President Bush: "The bones in the mass graves salute you, Avenger of the Bones.")
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To: Joe Brower; *Old_North_State; **North_Carolina; mykdsmom; 100%FEDUP; ...
NC ping!
Please FRmail me if you want to be added to or removed from this North Carolina ping list.
7 posted on 12/31/2003 7:19:41 AM PST by Constitution Day (Iraqi blogger to President Bush: "The bones in the mass graves salute you, Avenger of the Bones.")
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To: Constitution Day
Wonder if exposure to Kart's product will be sending gun-grabbers into a fury?
8 posted on 12/31/2003 7:23:35 AM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: Dubya; Eaker; Squantos; archy; ChefKeith; B4Ranch
got Kart?

ping
9 posted on 12/31/2003 7:26:57 AM PST by glock rocks (molon labe)
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To: Dubya
The location, roughly halfway between New York and Florida, made it a good spot.

When will China be their next new location?

10 posted on 12/31/2003 7:42:00 AM PST by lewislynn
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To: glock rocks
Want one.
11 posted on 12/31/2003 7:44:42 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: AppyPappy
Shallotte is pretty much nowhere. It's a lovely area but you aren't exactly moving with the jet set.

It's spelled "Charlotte" and it's a major city.

;)

12 posted on 12/31/2003 7:45:27 AM PST by JohnnyZ (Abolish the food tax)
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To: AppyPappy; azhenfud
Shallotte?!? I had an uncle that moved down there to be a preacher back in the late 1980s. Talk about a hole in the world but it's beautiful land out that way. And you're right Appy, there is nothing nearby
13 posted on 12/31/2003 7:47:12 AM PST by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: billbears; AppyPappy
"And you're right Appy, there is nothing nearby"

They have everything. They have a SUPER WALMART. And don't forget the usual assortment of restaurants of fine fastfood. < grin >

14 posted on 12/31/2003 7:53:18 AM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: azhenfud
When I was there in the 70's, they still had segregation. They probably still do. I was there two years ago and it was still shot in the behind with poor people. It's become a suburb of Southport.
15 posted on 12/31/2003 7:55:42 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: JohnnyZ
No, not Charlotte. This is Brunswick County - near the coast. Shallotte. Near Grissettown, the other side of Ash.
16 posted on 12/31/2003 7:56:15 AM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: AppyPappy
I can't say I've been there, except a quick stop, in several years. But from what I remember you're right. I seem to remember a golf course or two but I don't know if that's still there
17 posted on 12/31/2003 7:59:41 AM PST by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: AppyPappy
Oh, they have a new "BY-PASS" now. US17 has attracted a Lowes, Home Depot, Office Depot, Belk. There's a new visitor's center there at the NC130/US17 intersection.
They've just opened a nice new cinema.
18 posted on 12/31/2003 8:00:38 AM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: glock rocks
Heard of em but they make barrels for "extream" accuracy. I have found that competition grade barrels don't work well for my IDPA style and needs for games at handgun ranges. Aside... commercial and reloaded ammo tend to cough, choke and stutter with tight competition chambers as most shooters know. Unless one is into Zen and the art of precision shooting (benchrest and such) most won't ever have a need for this craftsmans fine work.

Kart makes barrels that most shooters can live up to IMO. In fact my best 1911A1 is pretty much a smooth bore. But at 50 meters it still hits a stop plate just fine......:o)

And it feeds the same 1911A1 just as fine for self defense and CHL/CCW duty day to day......

Stay Safe !

19 posted on 12/31/2003 8:18:05 AM PST by Squantos (Support Mental Health !........or........ I'LL KILL YOU !!!!)
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To: billbears
LMAO, yeah, I've been here since '88 and we still have a "couple" of golf courses.


Fregards
20 posted on 12/31/2003 8:31:37 AM PST by citabria (zoom, zoom, boom. boom)
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To: Squantos
yep. I do IDPA and carry with the stock barrels. I did buy a nice Wilson barrel, and saw some improvement. ...hadn't heard of Kart.

Have a great New Year, Squantos!
21 posted on 12/31/2003 8:34:30 AM PST by glock rocks (molon labe)
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To: citabria
I have a Kart barrel in my .45, which was handfit by Jim Garthwaite. I use the gun for competition and concealed carry. It shoots straighter than I do.
22 posted on 12/31/2003 8:35:41 AM PST by IGOTMINE (All we are saying... is give guns a chance!)
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To: citabria
Howdee neighbor! I'm 40 minutes to your left.
23 posted on 12/31/2003 8:37:12 AM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: JohnnyZ
It is Shallotte, been there several times live 20 miles from there.
24 posted on 12/31/2003 8:47:37 AM PST by boomop1
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To: boomop1
No s*** Sherlock.
25 posted on 12/31/2003 8:49:03 AM PST by JohnnyZ (Abolish the food tax)
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To: JohnnyZ
No Sherlock S***head.
26 posted on 12/31/2003 8:56:59 AM PST by boomop1
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To: azhenfud
No, not Charlotte. This is Brunswick County - near the coast. Shallotte. Near Grissettown, the other side of Ash.


27 posted on 12/31/2003 9:06:25 AM PST by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: glock rocks; Squantos
got Kart?

ping

Same folks who make the .22 conversion kit for the M1911A1 now that the Colt-produced units are out of production? I've not owned one, but I've shot against them, and they seem to be as capable of as accurate work as the Gold Cup or National Match .45 frame they're often seen mounted on.

I don't suppose they build one for the Combat Commander, but if they do, it'd be worthy of some serious consideration.

-archy-/-

28 posted on 12/31/2003 9:09:59 AM PST by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: archy
eels?
29 posted on 12/31/2003 9:15:20 AM PST by glock rocks (molon labe)
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To: Dubya
Nice pic; he might get a better measurement if he spun the micrometer barrel in closer to the anvil; I hate staged pictures for publication.
30 posted on 12/31/2003 9:40:34 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: archy; glock rocks

I have advantage arms 22 conversions on my glock but I believe kimber makes a really good (better that arthurs) .22 conversion for the 1911 series. I have an old ACE that fills that need for plinkin thus far.

Merry New Year Archy.....hope 2004 is kind to ya !

31 posted on 12/31/2003 9:42:24 AM PST by Squantos (Support Mental Health !........or........ I'LL KILL YOU !!!!)
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To: Squantos
Hey, that's a slick little convert. (now you've done it.)
32 posted on 12/31/2003 10:05:26 AM PST by glock rocks (molon labe)
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To: azhenfud
No, not Charlotte. This is Brunswick County - near the coast. Shallotte.

No, no, no! It may be pronounced "Sha-lotte" but it's spelled "Charlotte". Dang phonetic spellers . . .

Get it? It's a joke. Ha ha. Ha. Happy New Year.

33 posted on 12/31/2003 10:07:27 AM PST by JohnnyZ (Abolish the food tax)
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To: glock rocks
eels?

Yep. Eels. In my hovercraft.

34 posted on 12/31/2003 10:12:55 AM PST by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: glock rocks
eels?

Yep. Eels. In my hovercraft.

35 posted on 12/31/2003 10:14:19 AM PST by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: archy

Hey, not bad at all... thanks.

36 posted on 12/31/2003 10:37:06 AM PST by glock rocks (molon labe)
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To: glock rocks
LOL.....Check em out...advantage arms.... they have a slide that is target like the one above or a standard glock "look" slide.........never had a jam with the thang either. I have a Model 23 that I have a jarvis 357SIG barrel for and this .22 conversion slide and magazines. Gives me three calibers for those little trips where just one pistola is invited.....yeah thats a rare day in my world.....;o)

merry New Year GR !!

37 posted on 12/31/2003 10:50:23 AM PST by Squantos (Support Mental Health !........or........ I'LL KILL YOU !!!!)
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To: Squantos
You have an excellent New Year too! thanks.
38 posted on 12/31/2003 11:27:14 AM PST by glock rocks (molon labe)
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To: All
Article published Dec 31, 2003
Town ready for bash
Kure Beach fireworks display to herald in brand new year

KURE BEACH - It should be good fireworks weather tonight for hundreds of celebrators expected to ring in the New Year at Kure Beach’s annual party – the only big, local celebration of the event.

DJ music and dancing begins at 10 p.m. at the base of K Avenue near the Kure Pier, said Frances Massey, president of the Island of Lights, the community group that plans the annual party.

Popcorn, hot chocolate and soft drinks will be sold at the event, as will noisemakers, but alcohol won’t, Ms. Massey said.

"It’s family-oriented," said Tim Fuller, a member of the Kure Beach council and the Island of Lights. "It’s like a big block party."

In the seconds before midnight, Kure Beach Mayor Betty Medlin and Carolina Beach Mayor Dennis Barbour will lead the countdown to the midnight drop of a large, lighted ball from the extended ladder of a Carolina Beach firetruck, Ms. Massey said.

Then the pyrotechnics begin, Mr. Fuller said. Lasting about 15 minutes and costing about $3,000, the fireworks will be shot from about 100 yards south of the pier over the ocean. Mr. Fuller said the pier would be open for spectators.

The view of the explosions should be a good one.

Light winds and mostly clear skies are forecast with temperatures in the low 40s or upper 30s around midnight, said Dave Loewenthal with the National Weather Service office in Wilmington.

The Island of Lights New Year’s celebration is about 12 years old, Ms. Massey said. It used to be held in Carolina Beach but moved to Pleasure Island’s smaller partner two years ago.
39 posted on 12/31/2003 1:48:40 PM PST by Dubya (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me)
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To: Dubya
bump
40 posted on 12/31/2003 2:00:54 PM PST by VOA
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To: archy; All
Hmm... I was not aware that there was a "Francis Marion National Forest". How appropriate that such a place should appear on a map posted in a gun thread.

Y'all have a happy New Year, now - and be sure to ring in 2004 with the pyrotechnic devices of your choice. ;-)

41 posted on 12/31/2003 2:16:12 PM PST by Cloud William
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To: Dubya
Too bad the article didn't say how the rifling is made; broach, button or EDM.
42 posted on 12/31/2003 2:16:27 PM PST by fso301
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To: JohnnyZ
Good news! Tax deduction 1 got your joke. She thinks it was hysterical! (She explained it to me.)
43 posted on 12/31/2003 3:09:53 PM PST by TaxRelief
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To: TaxRelief
Good! That means I don't have to swear at y'all like I did to everyone else. ;)
44 posted on 12/31/2003 5:17:31 PM PST by JohnnyZ (Abolish the food tax)
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