October 5th, 2016

Export Control Reform Act Could Benefit Firearms Industry

export control reform act ITAR Department state commerce obama

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) hailed the recent bipartisan introduction of the Export Control Reform Act of 2016 in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 6176, as well as the companion Senate bill, S. 3405, and called on Congress to pass this important legislation.

“The Export Control Reform Act of 2016 seeks to complete what the Obama administration itself began by transferring the export licensing and enforcement oversight of sporting and commercial firearms to the Commerce Department from the State Department,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We would especially like to thank the sponsors: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.); Congressmen Henry Cuellar (D-Texas); Tom Marino (R-Penn.); Gene Green (D-Texas); and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) for their timely bipartisan leadership as well as Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) for sponsoring a companion bill in the Senate.”

In August 2009, with the support of the business community including NSS, the Obama administration launched the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative. The Initiative’s purpose is to both improve America’s global competitiveness by reducing unnecessary restrictions on exports of commercial items and enhance national security by focusing the State Department’s attention and resources on guarding truly sensitive defense items and technologies. As former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once said, the ECR Initiative’s purpose is “to build a higher fence around a smaller yard.”

The administration has transferred, or is in the process of transferring, to Commerce from State, export licensing responsibility for virtually all commercial, non-military items. The only remaining items yet to be transferred are sporting and commercial firearms and related products. While we have patiently waited for the administration to make ECR progress on our products, small manufacturers, component parts suppliers, distributors, and exporters in our industry, and even gunsmiths and individuals, have to continue to comply with unnecessary regulations and to pay an annual minimum registration fee of $2,250, regardless of whether they actually export. Under the State Department’s Cold-war era export licensing regime, American companies are unable to compete globally on a level playing field.

“Because the administration has not moved forward in a timely manner to complete its own ECR Initiative, it is now time for Congress to move forward with legislation complete the ECR and reduce unneeded and burdensome regulations while improving our global competitiveness, create American jobs and enhance national security,” Keane said. [Editor’s Note: One goal of the ECR initiative is to reduce the burden of ITAR compliance for gunsmiths who do not export any products. SEE ITAR Registration Requirements Report.]

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August 10th, 2016

Find a Great Job in the Firearms Industry

NSSF Jobs Database firearm industry employment listings

Looking for a good job in the firearms industry? The NSSF has you covered. The NSSF Jobs Site site offers up-to-date job listings, powerful search features, and a mobile-friendly interface. It’s easy to upload your Resumé, and the Job Alert feature can send you new listings via email as soon as they post. Visit jobs.nssf.org for current employment opportunities in the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry.

CLICK to FIND Firearms Industry Employment at Jobs.NSSF.org

Here are some of the latest job listings on the NSSF Firearms Industry Jobs Website:

Chief Operating Officer – Century Int’l Arms, Burlington Area, Vermont

V.P. of Marketing – LaserMax, Rochester, New York

Asst. General Counsel – NSSF, Newtown, Connecticut

Senior Director Product Marketing – Otis Technology, Lyons Falls, New York

National Sales Manager – Taylor’s Firearms, Winchester, Viginia

Product Manager – Kimber Manufacturing, Yonkers, New York

Senior Design Engineer – Kimber Manufacturing, Yonkers, New York

Territory Manager – Ohio – Beretta USA, Ohio

Positions in Customer Service, Licensing,
Human Resources, and Purchasing Departments
– Davidsons, Prescott, Arizona

Regional Sales Representative – Desert Tech, Nationwide

Inside Sales Manager , Delta Defense, West Bend, Wisconsin

Account Representative – Galco Gunleather, Phoenix, Arizona

Shop Supervisor – Turnbull Restoration, Bloomfield, New York

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July 29th, 2016

ALERT: Feds Impose ITAR Registration Burdens on Gunsmiths

AECA DDTC Federal export manufacturer registration requirement criminal sanctions Annual fee NRA-ILA

If you are a gunsmith or work on firearms, you need to read this carefully. The Federal Government, acting through the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), has imposed significant new burdens on gunsmiths by expanding the definition of “manufacturing”. This is a big deal, as the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and its implementing rules, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), require firearms “manufacturers” to register with DDTC and to pay a registration fee that (for new applicants) is currently $2,250 per year.

READ DDTC’s ITAR Registration Requirements Concerning Gunsmithing Dated 7/22/2016
Official Title: ITAR Registration Requirements — Consolidated Guidance July 22, 2016 — Firearms Manufacturers and Gunsmiths

Previously, most small gunsmithing operations that did not export firearms were NOT subject to AECA/ITAR registration requirements. Now, by virtue of a DDTC “Guidance” ruling issued 7/22/2016, ordinary gunsmiths might be required to register as a manufacturer simply because they thread a muzzle or cut a chamber.

The NRA-ILA states: “DDTC is labeling commercial gunsmiths as ‘manufacturers’ for performing relatively simple work such as threading a barrel or fabricating a small custom part for an older firearm. Under the AECA, ‘manufacturers’ are required to register with DDTC at significant expense or risk onerous criminal penalties.” Read NRA-ILA Full Report.

AECA DDTC Federal export manufacturer registration requirement criminal sanctions Annual fee NRA-ILA

Here is the key language in the DDTC’s “ITAR Registration Requirements – Consolidated Guidance” Ruling of 7/22/2016:

2. Registration Required – Manufacturing: In response to questions from persons engaged in the business of gunsmithing, DDTC has found in specific cases that ITAR registration is required because the following activities meet the ordinary, contemporary, common meaning of “manufacturing” and, therefore, constitute “manufacturing” for ITAR purposes:

a) Use of any special tooling or equipment upgrading in order to improve the capability of assembled or repaired firearms;

b) Modifications to a firearm that change round capacity;

c) The production of firearm parts (including, but not limited to, barrels, stocks, cylinders, breech mechanisms, triggers, silencers, or suppressors);

d) The systemized production of ammunition, including the automated loading or reloading of ammunition;

e) The machining or cutting of firearms, e.g., threading of muzzles or muzzle brake installation requiring machining, that results in an enhanced capability;

f) Rechambering firearms through machining, cutting, or drilling;

g) Chambering, cutting, or threading barrel blanks; and

h) Blueprinting firearms by machining the barrel.

Editor’s Comment: Does this mean that any stock-maker or stock supplier is an ITAR “manufacturer” under part 2(c)? Would installing a scope or accessory rail fall under part 2(a) as “equipment upgrading”? Would fluting a barrel be considered “manufacturing” under part 2(h)?

Impact of New Registration Requirements
As the NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) reads this, gunsmithing shops (even one-man operations) will now be subject to ITAR regulation though they export nothing: “These requirements apply, even if the business does not, and does not intend to, export any defense article. Moreover, under ITAR, ‘only one occasion of manufacturing … a defense article’ is necessary for a commercial entity to be considered ‘engaged in the business’ and therefore subject to the regime’s requirements.”

As a consequence, these new regulations may drive smaller gunsmithing services out of business: “DDTC’s move appears aimed at expanding the regulatory sweep of the AECA/ITAR and culling many smaller commercial gunsmithing operations that do not have the means to pay the annual registration fee or the sophistication to negotiate DDTC’s confusing maze of bureaucracy. [This is] likely to have a significant chilling effect on activity that would not even be considered regulated.”

Statutory Authority for Registration
The AECA’s statutory requirement for firearms manufacturers to register with DDTC is implemented in Part 122 of the ITAR:

§122.1 Registration requirements.
(a) Any person who engages in the United States in the business of manufacturing or exporting or temporarily importing defense articles, or furnishing defense services, is required to register with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls under §122.2. For the purpose of this subchapter, engaging in such a business requires only one occasion of manufacturing or exporting or temporarily importing a defense article or furnishing a defense service. A manufacturer who does not engage in exporting must nevertheless register.

Barrel chambering image from Primal Rights, dealer for Desert Tactical Arms.
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December 26th, 2015

New Accuracy International Service Center in Colorado

Mile High Service Center Accuracy International

Here’s important news for owners of Accuracy International (AI) rifles. There is now an approved AI service facility in the United States: Mile High Shooting Center (Erie, Colorado). After Mile High’s tech team received extensive training at the AI production center in England, Mile High Shooting Center has been appointed the USA’s first Accuracy International Factory Authorized Service Center.

Mile High, owned by Randy and Diann Pennington, has been an AI distributor for many years and the Service Center will be run by professional gunsmith Adam Rehor. To contact the new Service Center, email AIservice@milehighshooting.com or call (303) 255-9999.

Accuracy International AX Rifle
Mile High Service Center Accuracy International

Mile High Shooting Center is located in the Denver metropolitan area. The company has fully-equipped facilities to provide LEO and civilian users with factory standard spares, service, and repair for all Accuracy International rifles and equipment.

Mile High Shooting Accessories
3731 Monarch Street
Erie, CO 80516
Toll Free: 1.877.871.9990
Phone: 1.303.255.9999
Fax: 1.303.254.6572

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December 24th, 2014

Labors of Love — Doan Trevor, Master Gun-Builder

We recently featured the “Hornady Number One”, a showcase rifle featureing a CAD-designed, machine-cut stock. While many viewers liked that one-of-a-kind Hornady rifle, others lamented the absence of hand-shaped curves on the Hornady’s angular stock. So, for fans of curvy, hand-crafted rifles, we’re presenting this homage to a truly great stock-maker, Doan Trevor, an artist in the old style.

Doan Trevor is a master gunsmith and stock-maker who works in the old style. He still hand-crafts stocks from start to finish, and does all the metal-work on the custom rifles he builds. Starting with highly-figured woods, Doan carves and shapes his stocks largely by hand, with meticulous attention to detail. Each rifle he builds is optimized for its intended discipline, and custom-fitted for the customer.

Doan Trevor

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

With the help of his talented wife Sue (who does the photography and builds the web pages), Doan has created a wonderful website, DoanTrevor.com, that is a feast for the eyes. You can see beautiful wood-stocked rifles being hand-crafted. Doan also illustrates how he creates custom metal parts, and how he beds barreled actions into the finished stocks.

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing
Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

Set aside a few minutes and visit Doan’s website. Be sure to click on the site’s secondary pages: Rifle Building, Woodworking, and Metalworking. You’ll find dozens of high-quality photos and fascinating information on gun-building.

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

For more information, visit DoanTrevor.com, or call (505) 890-0368, 10am-5pm M-F.

Doan Trevor RifleBuilding
4119 Lanceleaf Ct NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114
505-890-0368

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July 17th, 2014

Gary Eliseo Moves Competition Machine Inc. to Arizona

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine tubegun Chassis Arizona California

Yet another important gun-related company has left California for a more business-friendly location. Gary Eliseo’s Competition Machine Inc., producer of rifle chassis systems, has moved operations to Northern Arizona. A large, new Arizona facility has been secured, and Gary’s team is busy putting the production machinery in place and organizing supplies and inventory.

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine tubegun Chassis Arizona California

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine tubegun Chassis Arizona CaliforniaRifle Chassis Builder Moves to Arizona
Gary Eliseo announced: “It’s official, after 24 years of dealing with the difficult business environment in California, we’re relocating to Northern Arizona. To our friends and customers we ask for your patience during this monumental task. Our new shop will be larger and more efficient which will allow us to better serve your needs. We have some exciting new products planned in the future that we were simply not able to pursue in California.”

Gary is happy about his new digs in Arizona. His new Arizona facility is much bigger: “The new shop is over twice the size of the old one (3600 square feet vs. 1500 square feet). The added space which will let me open a new rifle division. We’ll update the Competition Machine website soon with the new contact information.” — Gary Eliseo

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine tubegun Chassis Arizona California

Here’s a photo of the new facility on “move-in” day. Gary says: “This is just an empty shell, but it’s soon to be a very busy place. There is so much more opportunity for us here than in California. Also, this Northern Arizona area is crazy beautiful, I think I’m gonna like it!”

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine tubegun Chassis Arizona California

Highway Photo by Wing-Chi Poon, Wiki Creative Commons License.

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April 28th, 2014

De-Gunking a Jewell Trigger — Speedy Shows How

Gunsmiths often have to serve as gun “doctors” as well as gun builders. Gunsmith (and Hall-of-Fame shooter) Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez was recently asked to fix a trigger problem. A customer was complaining about a trigger that was erratic and “mushy”. Speedy quickly diagnosed the problem. The Jewell trigger was clogged with gunk and sludge — left-over solvents and lubricants had gummed up the mechanisms. Here’s how the cleaning process unfolded…

Speedy: “Gee why would I want to blueprint my Jewell trigger….it has just got a little mushy lately. It may just need some adjustment. Yeah right — take a look at this”:

Speedy Gonzalez Jewell Trigger Cleaning Iosso

Speedy: “Should I go get a tetanus shot now?”

Speedy Gonzalez Jewell Trigger Cleaning Iosso

Gunsmith Mike Bryant comments: “I’ve seen a lot of Remington 700 triggers that were gummed up like [that] Jewell was. Also have seen lots of 700 triggers that had the weight-of-pull screw adjusted [by the owner] to where it had no compression on the spring. I wonder how many of the Remington accidental discharges involved triggers with one or the other of these conditions.”

Speedy: “What?! Powder in trigger as well… hmmmmmm.”

Speedy Gonzalez Jewell Trigger Cleaning Iosso

Clean up done with Iosso Lubricant/Cleaner. Speedy says this is the “Best parts cleaner I have ever found if you don’t have an ultra sonic cleaning tank. I just melted that crud off with a Q-Tip”.

Speedy Gonzalez Jewell Trigger Cleaning Iosso

Same Jewell trigger all happy now — clean as a whistle.

Speedy Gonzalez Jewell Trigger Cleaning Iosso

Trigger ready for final re-assembly, looking better than new. Thanks Speedy!

Speedy Gonzalez Jewell Trigger Cleaning Iosso

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January 12th, 2014

Barrel Stub Gauges — Handy for Many Reloading Tasks

Next time you have a barrel fitted, consider having your gunsmith create a “stub gauge” from a left-over piece of barrel steel (ideally taken from your new barrel blank). The outside diameter isn’t important — the key thing is that the stub gauge is created with the same reamer used to chamber your current barrel, and the stub must have the same bore diameter, with the same land/groove configuration, as the barrel on your rifle. When properly made, a stub gauge gives you an accurate three-dimensional model of the upper section of your chamber and throat. This comes in handy when you need to bump your case shoulders. Just slide a fired case (with spent primer removed) in the stub gauge and measure from base of case to the end of the gauge. Then, after bumping, re-measure to confirm how much you’ve moved the shoulder.

Barrel Stub Gauge

In addition, the stub gauge lets you measure the original length to lands and freebore when your barrel was new. This gives you a baseline to accurately assess how far your throat erodes with use. Of course, as the throat wears, to get true length-to-lands dimension, you need take your measurement using your actual barrel. The barrel stub gauge helps you set the initial bullet seating depth. Seating depth is then adjusted accordingly, based on observed throat erosion, or your preferred seating depth.

Forum member RussT explains: “My gunsmith [makes a stub gauge] for me on every barrel now. I order a barrel an inch longer and that gives him enough material when he cuts off the end to give me a nice case gauge. Though I don’t have him cut that nice-looking window in the side (as shown in photos). That’s a neat option. You can tell how much throat erosion you are getting from when it was new as well. For measuring initial seating depths, this is the most useful item on my loading bench next to calipers. Everyone should have a case gauge made by there smith if you have a new barrel put on.”

Forum member Lawrence H. has stub gauges made with his chamber reamers for each new barrel. He has his smith cut a port in the stub steel so Lawrence can actually see how the bullet engages the rifling in a newly-cut chamber. With this “view port”, one can also see how the case-neck fits in the chamber. Lawrence tells us: “My stub gauges are made from my barrels and cut with my chamber reamers. With them I can measure where my bullets are ‘touching the lands’ and shoulder bump dimensions. This is a very simple tool that provides accurate information.” To learn more about stub gauges, read this Forum Thread. The photos above and below show Lawrence’s stub gauges:

Barrel Stub Gauge

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Reloading 3 Comments »
November 9th, 2013

Modern Custom Guns (2d. Edition) To Be Released in December

Custom Guns Second Edition Tom Turpin riflesThe first edition of Modern Custom Guns hit bookstores 16 years ago. Next month Gun Digest will release the long-awaited Second Edition of Modern Custom Guns. This is a richly-illustrated, 8.2″x11″ hard-cover book, with approximately 200 color photos. Written by Tom Turpin and published by Gun Digest Books, this 208-page volume is now available for pre-order, with a December 11, 2013 release date.

CLICK for FREE Preview of Modern Custom Guns

This 208-page Second Edition of Modern Custom Guns is not just a coffee-table book. In addition to the nice color photography, the book examines the processes and techniques used to craft ultra-high-end custom rifles. Author Turpin has interviewed many gifted rifle-makers and artisans who create showpiece rifles. Turpin explains how these craftsman work magic with wood and metal. Specific chapters are dedicated to: Stock-making, Metal-smithing, Actions, Barrels, Sights, Engraving/carving, and other topics. Chapter 10 spotlights two dozen master engravers, while Chapter 11 profiles 39 leading custom gun-builders. A helpful Appendix provides contact information for custom gun-makers and engravers.

Custom Guns Second Edition Tom Turpin rifles

About the Author – Tom Turpin has been a professional writer in the outdoor industry for over 40 years. He has written several hundred published articles, four books, and he is presently a contributing editor to the Gun Digest Annual.

In this new edition of Modern Custom Guns, Tom Turpin sought to showcase the exceptional craftsmanship found in high-end customs. Tom explains: “My preference runs to classic styling, and I follow the principle that if any one facet of a custom rifle immediately jumps out at you, it is surely overdone. Quiet elegance is best for me.”

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November 17th, 2012

Blaser USA Hiring General Gunsmith in Texas

Blaser Gunsmith job hireHow would you like to be a salaried gunsmith for a major gun-maker’s USA operation? Here’s your opportunity. Blaser USA is looking to hire a gunsmith for its San Antonio, Texas sales and service center.

Candidates must have completed a recognized gunsmithing course, have “excellent communication skills”, be able to work in a “fast-paced” team-oriented business environment, and be able to work (on location) at regional and national shooting events. Duties include general gunsmithing, customer service work, and the following specific tasks:

  • Finish assembly of rifles and shotguns.
  • Inspects first piece samples from vendors.
  • Assembles firearms in accordance with customer specifications.
  • Repairs firearms for customers, sponsored shooters, and journalists.
  • Minor stock repair and wood-working.
  • Aligns sights/scopes and conducts test firings.
  • Documents problems on customer returns as required.
  • Inspects and sets out parts for repairs or product updates.
Blaser Gunsmith job hire

How to Apply
If you are interested in this position,
forward your résumé to:

Blaser USA Inc.
Laura Aldana
403 East Ramsey Ste. 301
San Antonio, TX 78216
email: info [at] blaser-usa.com

Story Tip by Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

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September 29th, 2012

American Gunsmithing Institute Offers Firearms Appraiser Course

AGI AppraisalAmerican Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) now offers a Firearms Appraiser Course conducted via audio CDs, DVDs, books, and an extensive course manual. The total package costs $2497.00 (Yikes!). We think that’s a lot of money, but the program does include a large library of materials including thirteen (13) audio CDs from top firearms appraisers such as Jim Supica, Director of the National Firearms Museum, and Steve Fjestad, author of the Blue Book of Gun Values.

The course package also includes three of the best gun valuation books in print: Blue Book of Gun Values, Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms, and American Gunsmiths (Frank Sellers).

Greg Martin Firearms AuctionsExperts Share Knowledge on DVDs
Four multi-media DVDs are also included in the Firearms Appraiser Course. DVD One provides a step-by-step course content review with AGI President, Gene Kelly. In DVD Two, gun expert and auction operator Greg Martin shares his extensive knowledge of gun valuation and auctions.

In DVD Three, Master Gunsmith Gene Shuey covers Firearms Restoration vs. Refinishing. The fourth DVD, “Appraising in Action,” features Gene Kelly and noted collector/appraiser Carey Creech who specializes in Colt Single Action revolvers and Winchester® rifles.

Students Receive Certification after Completion of Course
Once a student has completed the material and passes the course exam, he will receive a certification number and documentation to validate his AGI Certified Firearms Appraiser status. The AGI Firearms Appraiser Course is offered through AmericanGunsmith.com for $2,497.00. (Product ID# FAPCOURSE)

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May 29th, 2011

Check Out Remington Custom Shop Website

Remington Custom ShopAmong Remington rifles, Custom Shop products have long enjoyed a solid reputation, though the quality control has declined in recent years. Remington is looking to return its Custom division to the glory days. As part of that effort, Remington has produced a dedicated Custom Shop website: www.remingtoncustom.com. On the Remington Custom Shop website visitors can browse through series of highly-specialized rifles and shotguns: Hunter Series, Target/Tactical, Historical, Rimfire, 40-X™ Series and High Grade. Within each series, the user can click on a specific model for an overview, features, specifications and images of the selected firearm of interest. The Custom Shop Showcase features high-quality photos illustrating the hand craftsmanship that goes into premium Custom shop arms.

Remington Custom Shop

Remington Custom Shop

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February 8th, 2009

Classic Hand Craftsmanship — Doan Trevor

Doan Trevor is a master gunsmith and stock-maker who works in the old style. He still hand-crafts stocks from start to finish, and does all the metal-work on the custom rifles he builds. Starting with highly-figured woods, Doan carves and shapes his stocks largely by hand, with meticulous attention to detail. Each rifle he builds is optimized for its intended discipline, and custom-fitted for the customer.

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

With the help of his talented wife Sue (who does the photography and builds the web pages), Doan has created a wonderful website, DoanTrevor.com, that is a feast for the eyes. You can see beautiful wood-stocked rifles being hand-crafted. Doan also illustrates how he creates custom metal parts, and how he beds barreled actions into the finished stocks.

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing
Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

Set aside a few minutes and visit Doan’s website. Be sure to click on the site’s secondary pages: Rifle Building, Woodworking, and Metalworking. You’ll find dozens of high-quality photos and fascinating information on gun-building.

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

Doan Trevor Moving to New Mexico
California is losing yet another great “gun guy”. Doan announced in his Blog yesterday that he and Sue will be moving to Albuquerque, NM. Doan explains: “Moving under any circumstances is difficult … moving an entire machine shop without heavy equipment machinery movers is an undertaking. So far we have three pods (one and a half already loaded) and will probably need a 26 ft. truck. Yesterday Ray Del Rio and Gary Eliseo’s son Jeremy helped move the 3200-lb lathe. Any able bodies in Southern California are more than welcome to join the fun!” The video below shows the effort:

YouTube Preview Image

Photos © 2008-9 Sue & Doan Trevor, All Rights Reserved

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