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Active Member, Male, 54, from Venice, FL
Thank you sir, We are all OK... Sep 19, 2017
- RServa was last seen:
- Feb 15, 2018 at 7:29 AM
- Dec 2, 1963 (Age: 54)
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- Venice, FL
- CEO Fusion Firearms
Robert Serva (Bob)
Title: CEO, Fusion Precision Engineering, LLC (Fusion Firearms)
I started a passion for firearms at an early age. Born in PA and raised nearby on his Uncle Charlie’s dairy farm where Bob was involved with the daily chores of bailing hay, cutting corn and taking care of the dairy herd. From starting with a Daisy Red Rider to rifling ground hogs with my dads sportorized 03A3 at 14 my youth was filled with hunting and shooting adventure. My parents were very supportive of my outdoor activities and would help me along with some of the financial expenses involved. I would do odd jobs, farm work, and mow lawns for people around where I lived to raise money for guns, and reloading equipment. But, when you are 11 to 15 years old and only making $3.00 a day at the farm and $5.00 for a mow and trim, you think you will be 60 by the time you come up with the cash to purchase that reloading outfit you need now. So, from the graces of my parent my father would work a 50/50 split with me for any of the real expenses items. He said that he would probably use it 50% of the time, but in reality, it was for me and he did not use any of the equipment much. In the back of my mind I know this, and I am still grateful today for my parents support and generosity.
Even though I tinkered with firearms and associated equipment, I did not get deep into the wild side of gunsmithing until I was in High School. In my Junior and Senior years I meet a very good shop teacher Mr. Kish. He was our only shop teacher at Franklin High school. I should explain for a moment the School situation, everyone thinks New Jersey is like Beirut, and maybe some of it is, but the majority of Northern NJ was just plain simple farmland at that time. For example, Hamburg the town I grew-up in, our 8th grade graduating class only had 13 kids in it. This wasn’t because the rest of the flock was to short on brains to graduate; it was we only had 13 kids. So, Franklin high school was a conglomerate of about 4 towns worth of students to get enough people to make a respectable size class. With this said, the graduating class was still only 96, a very short number still. Back to Mr. Kish, he was a very skilled man that has a short fuse for ignorance in his class, so you walk to his music or you were out. After a few months I noticed Mr. Kish was working on some personal projects on breaks and free time. These projects looked like gunstock blanks, so being me I had to investigate. In short time I learned that he was a gun lover and specialized in authentic reproductions on muzzle-loaders, which he did a wonderful job at. He was a purist and would insist of proper craftsmanship and techniques. After getting to know Mr. Kish I scheduled all of my free periods in shop. Along with my regular projects I started working on guns in school, yes; I did say guns in school. It was not to long ago when you would see me coming though the hall ways with a rifle case going to shop class. I did a few projects with Mr. Kish, a muzzle-loader and a sporterized 6.5 jap which I still have in my collection today.
Our Shop in High School was really a glorified wood shop; it was not equipped with the proper metal working equipment to really do justice in the world of gunsmithing. While attending Franklin High I also enlisted in night courses at the local Vocational High School to see if the metal working would peek my interest and it did. About my junior year I got the bug to investigate what I really wanted to do with my life. I think everyone crosses that bridge one day and realizes that the real world life is coming upon them. To help justify my thoughts on the future I talked with my parents, the school guidance counselor and of course our local gunsmiths that I know. My parents and the guidance people told me about the same things, but the questions I asked the gunsmiths really helped me make up my decision. The 100 dollar question was,” if you had to do it over, what would you do different”? The answers varied depending on the gunsmiths specialty, but the one reply that was common was, “I would have gone to school for an engineering background and gotten my Journeyman’s tool making papers.” Why I asked? The answers were basically the same, “We can only go so far with the knowledge we have, and without the tool making the gunsmiths did not understand or could implement the proper processes, material selections, heat-treatments and other technical knowledge into their work without guessing. Now I got it, the recipe for my future! So I applied for acceptance at Penn State Williamsport campus for tooling/manufacturing Technology and was accepted. After two years of intense studies in everything from Quality control to metallurgy, I graduated with an AAS and was offered an apprentice journeyman’s position at IBM in Endicott, NY. I had many job offers at graduation, but IBM offered 10 people a year to go through an intense, hands on, Journeyman program which you either “walked the line” and got good grades or you were out. I was used to this pressure because my dad made these same words clear to me when I enrolled at Penn State. I worked hard throughout my apprentice and in 2 years walked to the head of the IBM awards room where I received my Journeyman tool and model maker’s certification and the IBM Journeyman pin. These I will cherish for the rest of my life.
My life at the gun shop started in my high school years, where I would work part-time at the Sussex arms and ammo store. The pay was not great, but I got a nice discount on items. This discount was sometimes quite big and I think it was more generosity from the nice man and lady that owned the store, than what I was really worth in services. We always had a great time and met very interesting people which shared our same interests. While I was working for IBM, I also acquired my own FFL and started doing gunsmithing and opened a small retail store. At this time I started doing more custom work for many individuals and Dan Wesson Firearms of MA. Which eventually lead me to purchase Dan Wesson and Wildey firearms in 1996. This year, with support of my wonderful wife, I left IBM to live my dream and operated Dan Wesson and a machine shop I was involved with. During 1996 until 2005, and with help from many extremely good people, we brought Dan Wesson back to life. As growth with any business goes, you realize that you can only go so far and it’s time to pass the rains onto someone else that can hopefully take it to the next step. I have many years now working with individuals throughout the gun industry and have a good understanding of what are the good products and what is not. I have for years waded through the matrix of products being offered to the public and I can tell you that there are many people out there offering excellent products and there are also many that are offering garbage and don’t have a clue on what the customer really needs or desires. That is why Fusion Firearms was formed, to take out the guessing and give customers parts, assemblies and sub-assemblies that will perform properly and reflect the value for which customers are paying out their hard earned money for. Fusion will continue to add customer worthy products that pass our rigid, quality standards and that we feel good about offering to our customers. Where will the trail go from here? One never knows, but one thing for sure we are going to build some very exclusive firearms, meet many interesting people and have some great fun doing it.