Contemporary Longrifle Foundation


warren sellke
Lakewood, CO

Warren Sellke, born in 1936, grew up in Denver, Colorado. Warren built his first Kentucky rifle in 1953 and became a full-time gun builder in 1980. Warren is self-taught and his work includes Kentucky rifle rococo/baroque raised and incised wood carving; wire inlay; gold, silver, ivory, bone, horn inlays; engraving. He has presented kentucky rifle construction programs over the past several years and has been featured in newspapers, magazines, books, radio and television since the 1980's.

The flintlock Kentucky rifle pictured is architecturally based on Herman Rupp's Lehigh County, PA, piece Number 10 in Merrill Lindsay's "The Kentucky Rifle." Supreme-grade curly maple stock is one of fourteen "sticks" from Ken Thompson's "lightening tree" harvested in Pennsylvania, mid-1970's. A few years ago he offered it to Warren stating that it was the piece he was saving for himself but that he was "too old" to build another rifle. The barrel is a Getz .54 cal., 44-inch, swamped, "D" profile. Brass furniture, silver, gold and brass inlays attractively complimenent the reddish stock color; all hardware, except barrel, are self-made. Stock rococo/baroque raised and incised carving patterns as well as metal engraving decorations were designed and executed by Warren. Thumbpiece inlay atop wrist and initialed cartouche on lock plate are gold panned by Jerry B. Jones in mountaineous Clear Creek Canyon, about eight miles above Warren's home in Lakewood, Colorado. Located upstream a few miles from Jerry's panning sites is Central City, known in the 1880's as the "richest square mile on earth." Grandchildren Jessica, Daniel, Nicholas, Beau, Nathan and Cole were active in completing the rifle. Warren has a set of 35mm slides as well as a VHS program (includes grand kids) on its construction.

Contact warren sellke at:
13550 W. Wesley Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80228
phone number: 303-985-8440

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