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Joined: Aug 2003
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Don't know if anybody here knew him or ever had any work done by him, but the most amazing walking encyclopedia of gun knowledge I have ever known, or known of, passed away last night. Jim Kelly of Darlington Gun Works in Darlington S.C. put the "master" in Master Gunsmith. If he couldn't fix it, it wasn't broken. He learned his craft in France in a time when you were given a hunk of metal and a block of wood and told to make a gun out of it. He was renowned worldwide for his craftsmanship and knowledge. Perhaps his biggest claim to fame was the discovery of Nash Buckingham's storied "Bo Whoop" Fox shotgun when it walked into his shop in 2005 after being missing for 57 years.

Jim's sweet wife Diane passed away just 13 days ago from cancer and Jim's kidneys were failing. After she passed, he elected to not seek further treatment and went into hospice care. He passed at home last night. There will never be another like him.

https://gardenandgun.com/feature/the-legend-of-bo-whoop/

[Linked Image from i0.wp.com]

Last edited by SCGunNut; 07/25/22.
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I knew him, had business with him, am saddened by this news. None better.

RIP, Jim Kelly.

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I spoke with him several times. He was always willing to help. He will be missed.

Bill Jacobs


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Bolt&Barrel Gunsmithing, Greenwood, SC
www.boltandbarrel.com
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Jim fit and timed the muzzle brake on a rifle for my wife a couple years ago. He was backlogged but his prices were outstanding and reputation spoke for itself. It was 2 months or more before I could pick it up, but damn sure glad I had him do it. The finished result was classic attention to detail. Another big loss for quality workmanship.

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I have not seen him in 30 years - he and I partnered on a custom shotgun for Ducks Unlimited. You could not find a better gentleman or a nicer guy. God bless you, Jim. Rest easy.


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Never met him but he sounds like a fine gentlemen. RIP sir.


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