Savage is Looking for Design Engineers, and an InRange Old West Vignette

Are you a firearms design engineer looking for a new gig? Savage Arms contacted me to say that they are looking for an experienced designer for their Westfield, Massachusetts team. You can see their full details here, but the gist appears to be a person with at least a couple years experience who will develop new products, including everything from initial specs to tolerances to QC inspections standards. They want an bachelor’s degree in engineering and 5 years of experience in a manufacturing environment, and familiarity with SolidWorks.  So if you’re looking for a new opportunity, and don’t mind living in Massachusetts (shudder…), polish up that resume and apply!

All I ask is that if you get the job, you give me a heads-up if Savage decides to reintroduce the .45-caliber model 1907.

On an unrelated note, Karl and I have a new episode of InRange TV published – this one is the first of a series we will be doing on Old West vignettes. There are a huge number of very interesting little stories from the days of western expansion, and many of the sites where they took place are still accessible today. So we will be visiting them from time to time to investigate the stories and share them with you. These aren’t all specifically gun-related, but the history is fascinating (to Karl and I, at least). So check out this first one, about the Battle of Dragoon Springs, and let us know what you think!


  1. Have they not got an opening for a drunk British doodler, I’ll require a bottle of Scotch and shed – Competitive see, what’s their phone number.

    It would be good to see more new, or different designs on the market. How many Glock/clones does a person want, saturation of the market perhaps.

    • I’m with you on that. I think since K31s are semi popular at the moment they should jump on the straight pull bolt train.

      • I think bullpup rifles like the Walther… 2000, or something, would be good in straight pull because you could put a cocking handle up front on the left via an extension.

      • Check out the Merkel Helix straight-pull – probably at the top of my win-the-lottery (which I would have to play to win, but I can dream) list. With quick-change barrel/ fore end I’ll take a wood-stock one (why make such a classic Euro sporter with a black stock?) with 6.5 Swede and 9.3 barrels.

        Wish Savage would bring back the 99A (Schnabel fore end and tang safety) in .250-3000 – best rifle I ever owned but I was stationed in CT and there was no place to shoot it and CT was buckshot only for deer. Swapped it for a 1917 Colt and a shotgun… not the dumbest thing I’ve ever done but on the list.

  2. Savage, Colt and even Ruger still have manufacturing plants in New England. Remington did the right thing by moving their manufacturing to Huntville, Alabama in response to the “New York Safe Act”. I would really like to know what is holding the others back? While it is understandable that they have good, capable employees as well as established suppliers where they are, these obstacles can be overcome in a new location and employees can be given offers to relocate. Why remain in a location that is hostile to your industry? Move!

    • They’d need to set up an entirely new factory which is a non-trivial investment to put it mildly.
      Not to mention renegotiating their entire supply chain and find a whole slew of new workers who’d need training. (Not everyone is going to move)

      • They have already moved the R51 folk apparently so the R51 if it ever re-surfaces sometime in 2015 now, will be from the new site.

        “According to a webpage I read”

      • Injuns eh, crikey… Rotten bad show, looks a rather forbidding place to encounter hostile natives. Black powder guns certainly seem to have less kick, the French… Hmmm, I knew Lancashire cotton towns were up for the Confederacy on the face of it, but the powers that be hedged their bets. Sold guns to both sides, I think. The French, suppose the Union was more in the Revolutionary mindset which in France had been dampened down by that point.

        • Only because of the British probably incidentally. Politics eh, international or otherwise tut.

          Interesting long term implications, economically, some would argue technical slavery never really went away – Hence the point, it was merely a technicality. You could do it, anyway by the possession of capital which in turn you produce.

          Happy days.

  3. Yeaaah, if I was 20 years younger, I might apply. But now….. I am an “old bean” as PDB puts it 🙂

    Btw, I believe they do not do anything military, which is smart in a way. Red tape is choking creativity.

  4. S&W will never move…I took their plant tour in Oct of ’96 and saw the tremendous facilitiy/infrastructure they have…practically all of that is located underground, where because of the WWII fear of bombing, they relocated the manufacturing processes, The folks at S&W have been there for, in some cases, generations – so moving these folks is out of the question. Unfortunately, Massachusetts is governed by a bunch of leftist sh*tstains…I for one, would NEVER relocate to that accursed state – not for ALL the money in the world!!! That does not mean however that S&W produces inferior products…just inferior politicians (as in ;inferior to humanity’)

  5. If it means moving to Mass, I’ll stay where I am, designing truck suspensions.

    At least here, I can legally design and build guns in my garage.

  6. Looks like I am part way to qualified, my CAD brackets with 90 degree angles likely aren’t the skill level they are looking for; I will pass.

    Great drone work on the video. I’m not sure how accurate the wiki article on the battle is but an estimate of the ‘Indian’ numbers would have been nice. Also Karl could have pointed out the second battle of Dragoon Springs was, the next day. Calling something the first battle of___ leaves an unanswered question. You both know your material but I think in general you could do better on scripting/planning. Karl especially repeats himself fairly often, when he could use the time for more information or a shorter video.

  7. I can manage AutoDesk. SolidWorks is a bit girly anyway. Not sure if Savage is on my bus route though. Come to think of it, where is Massachusetts? But can work from home and am sober most of the time (unlike certain compatriots). Experience with high speed packaging machinery. Not dissimilar to automatic breech loading mechanisms – just not as much fun.

  8. Wish with all my heart I could apply; I’m going to be graduating soon with a Bachelor’s in English/Math, but my dream has always been firearm design. I wouldn’t care where I would live;having the privilege of being paid to do what I love would be heaven. Thanks anyway for posting the opening out there, Ian!

  9. Ian,

    The Western Vignette is a great idea. Their are some many memorable fights that took place in Arizona and surrounding states. Visiting these places with the weapons used and giving a run-down of the fight would make a great series.

  10. I’m their guy. Reasonably adept with Solidworks, can limp along in Autocad or even on the old manual drawing board. Extensive experience in machine design from hydraulic demolition hammers to prison locks. One firearm related patent to my name, skilled machinist and tool maker. Multiple product designs in several fields.
    There isn’t enough money in the world to get me to go to Taxachusettes. I had the misfortune to be stationed at a little Naval Air Station near Boston nearly 40 years ago for my last year in the Marines. When I first arrived, everywhere there were signs touting their new gun law. One year mandatory prison time for an “unlicensed” gun. The year was 1976, the bicentennial. I pulled color guard duty for a couple of 4th of July parades to celebrate American freedom. “It all staated heah” they loved to say. The irony was not lost on this young Marine sergeant and gun owner from the west who’d grown up with REAL freedom.
    Massachusetts it not a state, it’s a disease.

    • Cheeky question if I may: with all those skills you declare, why did you go to military? This is dead-end no matter what the culture is; demeaning and mind deadening prospect, let alone chance to get killed.

      My own take in firearms industry, wrapped up is about this: very little creativity (unless backed by substantial funding) and hugely frustrating – that is my experience. What we see and discuss here is history – picture from times when inventing was possible and was done. It’s long time over.

      • Well, most of those skills were developed in the forty odd years since. Why did I join? Short answer: I grew up in relative freedom because my father and his generation were willing to “hit the beach”. It was my turn on the wall. I never intended it as a career. Dead end? For me it would have been a mis-allocation of talents. It was, however, useful time spent learning a level of tenacity difficult to acquire by softer routes. Demeaning? Nope. Plus I got some excellent marksmanship training and got to shoot real M14s.

        Your comments on the firearms industry are largely applicable to industry in general. It is still possible to invent but it has been made difficult. The firearms industry, in addition to all the normal challenges to inventing, developing and marketing a new product, has to deal with the uncertainty of the next piece of feel-good legislation or whim of the dumbmasses destroying their efforts with the stroke of a pen.

        • Thanks for fair and frank answer!

          If you still have ambition to work in firearms industry, you may want to try in different state. With me as a Canadian citizen it was rather difficult for prospective employer to prove they needed me in face of domestic job market. But, I was there and it was not on balance that terrible; it was just short stint. Rest of it was done here, beforehand.

  11. The Mauser 1914 pistol has an interesting safety arrangement,

    there’s a thumb safety that sits above what is usually the magazine release button “nowadays” and to release the safety you press the release button – Like you would to change a mag.

    Somewhat unconventional, might be an alright design though… Related topical subject matter, the Savage being a “different” design.

  12. Allow me to answer “denny’s” question about why we join the military by first presenting my credentials: First, I am a 75-year old member of the Warriors’ Society of the Bear Clan of the Western Cherokee Nation. Members of my ancestral family have served in every war from the War of Independence to present. I will not bore you with private details of my service or life except to state that after honorable discharge I volunteered to serve as a bodyguard for civil rights workers here in Louisiana during the late-1950s and early 1960s. This entailed more than one gunfight with the KKK. I am a college graduate and otherwise well qualified to take the job offered by Savage except for my age. I served for two reasons: first, it is required of me by family tradition; second, it is in response to the eternal truth that freedom is won and held unerringly with the willingness of society’s members to fight, and if need be willingly die, for that cause. In this course of personal choice I follow these two dictums; we fight not because we hate those before us but that we love those behind us and that there are many things worse than Death and Cowardice is major among them. We do not ask other to fight or lose respect for them if they cannot, but we never lower our level dedication by refusing to fulfill our obligation to do so.
    Bill Bullock
    First Counterinsurgency Warfare Group, USMC

    • That’s a great answer Bill, thanks.

      By the way, I have never come across any historical descriptions of gunfights with the KKK and wonder if you and/or others would be willing to write them up? Maybe a story or two might some day be the basis for the kind of vignette that Ian and Karl are making. That kind of history of Americans fighting domestic terrorism at a grass-roots level would probably be fascinating and educating to many.

      Back in the 1970s I knew a fellow (Fredrick Douglas Kirkpatrick [1]) who had helped start the “Deacons for Defense and Justice” and he used to sing a song called “That’s Why the Deacons Carry Guns” I knew Fred mainly as the founder of a “Hey Brother, Het Sister” coffee house (really a weekly sing-in) in NYC and then as a civil rights activist. Once, as I and a small group were about to be arrested at a protest in NYC Rev. Kirk as we called him took me aside and told me to make sure to “get three square meals” inside.

      While there is some written history about the Deacons I think we could use more examples of citizens defending themselves against home-frown terrorists.

      [1] Article from the Bangor Daily News, March 28, 1973 about a Hey brother coffee house in Maine in 1973, mentioning Rev. Kirk,4307775

      [2] Wikipedia article on the Deacons:

      [3] NRA Publications article on “Deacons For Defense And Justice” by Dave Kopel

      • Yes – I would also be very interested in hearing more about those experiences! It’s the sort of thing that doesn’t seem to get much coverage or recognition in the recorded history of the civil rights movement, and it would be great to have more it it documented.

    • Mr. Bullock, sir!

      I wish I was half as idealistic as you are, but I cannot. For one thing, I am not an American myself (albeit I lived there, met many of them and for most part it was great experience). Secondly, I have seen and thought of world realities on two continents and those impressed me in the way they did. Thirdly, I see precipitous difference between letter of ideals and palpable realities….. no one need to ask where they are; we all see it, even if do not want to admit.

      In spite of this, I do appreciate and admire idealism of what used to be epitome of your country and its citizens. So did rest of the world, one time. Thank you!

    • This man says that for me and he IS one of yours:

      Military is used not for benefit of nation, but financial&corporate elite. So when you serve, you need to ask yourself to whom.

      I apologize to Editor for political undertone; it just struck me when the former reader showed so many qualifications, apparently “miss-allocated” by his own admission. I agree wholeheartedly.

      • You misunderstand my use of mis-alocation. I meant that my particular bent is better used elsewhere, not that my time in the military was wasted. Since WW2, America has done most of the heavy lifting for the free world. Imperfectly? yes. Would the world be a better place today had we stood down like the rest of the west largely did? I doubt it. It HAS taken a toll on my country. Sort of a perverse eugenics in that the best go off to preserve what they love, leaving the less idealistic in charge. England and France suffered a similar effect earlier IMO.
        This is a topic that would need much more discussion and I feel I’ve abused our hosts forum too much already so I’ll stop here. Let’s focus on interesting guns past, present and maybe future(which like the military can be used for either good or ill but without which the world would, counter-intuitively, be a much more brutal place)

        • I agree with you “ownerus” in you late sentence – we have to face reality of world and that is unthinkable without armaments, one way or the other. This is to say that I am NOT a ‘peacenik’ of any sort; that would be gross misunderstanding.

          My broader view however, and in connection with my leaning (as I partly revealed) is towards non-intervention and cooperation based on fair practices while preserving strong defences. When comes to military organization I believe that optimum is a model of citizen-soldier (with necessary professional core) as you can see in case of Switzerland and as some of your patriotically inclined fellow-citizens propose. This is very much in line with Constitution, one of best documents ever written.

  13. Ownerus:
    Likewise, Simper Fi, My Brother!
    Matisse Enzer: Yes I will set some of the details down for you. If you want I will also give contact info on people who were witnesses. And if anyone wants ny thoughts on my 75 years so far, they can be best expressed in my favorite description: “IT’S BEEN ONE HELL OF A RIDE!”

  14. MA is a class 3 state, no silencers, SBR OK, hicap OK if pre-94 AWB and in state before 98, and resident CCW as well as non-resident CCW. MA is “may issue” and it all comes down to the chief of police attitude on the subject. However, CCW holders have grown so much over the the last few years that the licensing office has been swamped w/ new applicants. The other quirk is the pre-AWB to 98 hicap ban. Generic hicap guns command a premium because of the law. You cannot buy a hicap AR for example off gunbroker and transfer it to your in-MA FFL. Not here before 98, not coming in at all. Rifle & pistol shooting is almost always on a range as there is little open land where you can shoot them. However bird & deer hunting is OK on state land with shotguns & slugs. There are other bits & pieces but this should give you an idea of the main points about MA firearms licensing arcana. As an aside, my CCW was issued in 82 and renewed over the years in multiple towns without issue including one that “never” issued permits. MA has a very healthy and growing gun community.

  15. I was just looking for a long career and they just didn’t want to take me where I needed to live. Because any good job is competing a lot, particularly here, it was unreal to get into it. They still disagreed with my curriculum vitae but later I am happy to apply for a curriculum variable on . It certainly valued it. Well, good luck.

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