Background

AboutA professional stockmaker, gunsmith and silversmith, Robert Szweda has been producing hand crafted gunstocks and providing detailed hand checkering for custom gunmakers and discriminating hunters and sportsmen since 1989.

Custom gunmakers employing the services of RMS Custom have included the late Fred Wells, of the famed Wells Sports Store located in Prescott AZ, for whom Robert built mostly large magnum action African safari style stocks in English and Bastogne Walnut, checkered in fine point patterns. Fred Wells sold five custom rifles to the Baron of Bavaria, one of these was checkered by Robert Szweda.

Working in collaboration with Hank Peters, ‘The Way It Was Sporting Services’ and Stephen Lamboy, the former owner of the New Ithica Gun Company, RMS Custom checkered several pre and early production 4E and 7E shotgun stocks in original Ithica patterns, as well as other rifle and two-piece shotgun stocks in both point and fleur-de-lis patterns.

RMS Custom has also checkered many rifle stocks for the late Dave Higginbotham’s Lone Star Rifle Company of Conroe, Texas, manufacturer of custom black powder cartridge rolling block rifles and stocks. Recent projects include checkering the stock of the Lone Star Freedom .45-70 Silhouette rifle created by Master Engraver Mark Swanson of Prescott, Arizona.

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks of Phoenix AZ commissioned RMS Custom to checker a number of pattern stocks in left and right hand versions which were subsequently used as masters to make production molds for various models of fiberglass rifle stocks McMillan produces.

Robert Szweda learned precision machining and studied stockmaking under the late Garnet Brawley, a charter member of the Custom Gunmakers’ Guild. A 1985 Honors Graduate of Yavapai College, Robert holds an Associate Degree in Gunsmithing together with an Arizona Teaching Certificate. He has been a Gunsmithing Instructor at Yavapai College since 1992 and currently teaches Stockmaking and Checkering classes as part of the college’s Professional Gunsmithing Program.

Gunstocks built by RMS Custom have featured in numerous magazine articles over the years including:

Rifle Magazine, Jul-Aug 1994 – Custom Corner, Stan Trzoniec, cover & page 26
Gun Digest, 1996 50th Annual Edition – Custom Guns, page 221
Guns & Ammo, May 2000 – Granite Mountain .505 Gibbs Rifle, page 96
Accurate Rifle, May 2005 – A Factory CZ Goes To Finishing School, Robert H. Boatman, page 42