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Important John Bolliger Custom Hunting Rifle Auction

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Auction Description

Important John Bolliger Custom Hunting Rifle Auction  by Kimball Sterling

  A Southern Boy's African Dream

I was privileged to having been born and raised on a small farm in Corbin, Kentucky, in 1943. Growing up there gave my buddies and me the opportunity to be Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger or Gene Autry any time we wanted. We never stole a horse and only shot the gun out of the hands of the bad guys.

When I was about ten years old, my dad presented me with a brand new 20 ga. Single shot Winchester shot gun so I was ready to hang up my six shooters and become a hunter. In the wilds there on the farm we had Quail, Rabbits and Squirrels. What else would a hunter want, that is until I saw this monster white tail deer. My goodness he had 4 points on either side. I was so impressed I had to stalk him and I knew every inch of the farm and I knew they had great hearing and a nose. I had read so many books on large game animals including African. I just knew I was a great stalker so I began careful to not make a sound. I worked my way around a hill and when I thought I was close I peeked over the hill and there he was about 30 yards away. I had no intention of shooting him with bird shot from my trusty Winchester so I watched him for a long time as he grazed. I finally raised up to show myself and so did he. We looked at each other until he finally got so scared that he started grazing again. It would be a few years before I stalked another deer, but when I did I had a brand new Winchester pre 64 30-06. During High School I had the Pleasure of working for Col. Sanders at his motel, renting rooms where I had a great time meeting people from many different walks of life. I then began to know I wanted to become an executive and I knew it couldn't happen in Corbin. So after finishing 2 years of College I moved to Chicago to do my thing.

After about 8 years there and several jobs I landed a job in the steel distribution business as a sales trainee with a great company specializing in Stainless steel. I quickly became an outside salesman there. I attribute the fast pace to my days spent with a wide array of business people that I had met at Col, Sanders at his motel. I spent 10 wonderful years here as their number one salesman for eight of those years. I became a partner and president of another steel company and finally started a company of my own which turned into a very successful venture.

All this time I still enjoyed my hunting ventures and I quickly found out that most of my largest customers did as well. I had been introduced to a rancher in Montana that owned 12,000 acres with great hunting of Elk,Mule Deer, White tail Deer and Antelope. I put together a hunt with my 5 largest customers for 5 full days of hunting on the ranch. That hunt turned into a hunt every year for 22 years and 3 of the 5 customers did the first and last hunt and 2 of the original hunted for 15 years. The very best money I ever spent.

It was during those years that I met John Bolliger Sr, perhaps the finest custom rifle maker in the USA and one of the top 5 in the world. I had planned my first Trip to Zimbabwe and I was sure a custom rifle was required or at least that's what I told my wife. I also casually mentioned that a 7mm mag would improve my shooting in Montana. So I boarded a plane to Pocatello, Idaho to sit down with John Bolliger. Since my first hunt in Africa was a plains game hunt I had decided a .375 would be perfect I had John build one for me and also do my 7 mm that my wife had sorta approved, They were both done in museum quality and fully custom built by John. They were a piece of art.

I fell in love with Africa so much that I was privileged to hunt 4 more times, with a 4 week hunt in Tanzania. These were all big game hunts with Cape Buffalo being at the top of my list. I knew I needed something larger than a .375 for those monsters so back to see John Bolliger, We decided that a .450 Ackley would serve me well, with 6,000 lbs. of energy and a 500grain load. We decided that since I would be hunting in a brushy area at close range we would not mount a scope. It served me well. On that trip I took 5 Cape Buffalo all record book class.

Bolliger's work on everything that I had bought from him was so outstanding that I asked him if anyone had ever purchased a rifle from him with no budget. He laughed as he said no. I said to him here is your first order, I want you to build me a 25-06 and you do everything you want to do, I want your very best work and you have no budget. The Rifle has to be the nicest or close to the best in the world.

This 25-06 and my 450 Ackley are the rifles that are being offered for sale.

I'm now 81 years old. I have sold my company, but I still keep busy catching Monster Blue Gill, Bass and Walleye. often I think about how blessed I was to have been able to hunt all those years. I think about the stalking of Buffalo, but mostly I remember that young southern boy in Kentucky, stalking that monster 4 point Whitetail deer on our little farm so many years ago.

. I thank you for reading my boring life story and for your consideration of my last pieces of fine gun art. I hope to find someone who loves these pieces as much as I have.



Payment is by check, cash, or bank wire only. No credit cards excepted. Wire information is listed under the terms section

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Kimball Sterling
Johnson City, TN 37604
United States


Phone:+1 4237734073

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Terms & Conditions

Check, ,bank wire or cash. A 10% buyers premium will be added to the hammer price as part of the sale price. We reserve the right to hold purchases until the buyers checks clears if the buyer is not known by us. Credit cards are not accepted for purchases. Bank letter of credit is acceptable .Kimball M. Sterling, Inc. has endeavored to catalog and describe the property correctly. All property is sold as is and the neither the auction company or the consignor will be responsible for descriptions, genuineness, provenance or condition of the property. No statement in the catalog made orally at the sale or otherwise shall be deemed to be a warranty, representation, or an assumption of liability. We have been in business for over 20 years and intend to have another good 20 years.We have had great success in working out any problems that might arise. Call for a condition report or email for additional photos. In the event of any dispute between bidders, the auctioneer shall have total discretion to determine the successful bidder, in which his determination shall be final or to re-offer and resale the article in dispute. Title of the item or items purchased by the bidder will pass at the fall of the gavel according to the UCC laws. This is not an approval auction. Principal auctioneer: Kimball M. Sterling #2467. B. Elizabeth Sterling, auctioneer # 5757. Firm Kimball M Sterling Inc. TFL-1915 We will also be glad to hold your purchase for pick up. Kimball M. Sterling, Inc. will not be held responsible for bids not received in time for the auction or slow Internet bids. We will not be responsible for items left on our location for over 30 days. Sale will be conducted in our gallery in Johnson City Tennessee. Announcements day of the sale take precedence over pre-sale advertising. Any litigation that pertains to this auction will be conducted in the County Of Washington in Tennessee and is agreed upon by registering for this auction. Internet catalog and live bidding , also in-house. Please call for condition report on sale lots or email us. We do send out multiple photos by email of any lot in the auction .By registering for this auction you accept the terms of this auction. Payment must be received within 7 days of the auction or a dispute will be filed with liveauctioneers. Condition report can be addressed by a phone call or an email. International bank wire Information: INTERMEDIARY BANK CENTER STATE BANK OF FLORIDA,NA SWIFT: CSBKUS33 ABA:063116737 400 INTERSTATE NORTH PARKWAY, STE 1200 ATLANTA GA 30330 BENEFICIARY BANK ABA: 051501299 BENEFICIARY BANK NAME: FIRST COMMUNITY BANK BENEFICIARY NAME: KIMBALL STERLING INC Beneficiary Account Number: This number will be given to you if you win some bids. USA bank wire Information: First Community Bank, NA ABA 051501299 For Further Credit instructions Kimball M. Sterling, Inc Escrow account-This number will be given to you if you win some bids. 125 West Market St. Johnson City Tn 37604


Payment is by check, cash, or bank wire only. No credit cards excepted. Wire information is listed under the terms section