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Johnny Noveske: Rad American Riflemaker

John "Johnny" Noveske
January 31, 2023 339 view(s)

Johnny Noveske: Rad American Riflemaker

John "Johnny" Noveske (1/31/76 - 1/04/13) was the founder (with his wife, Lorina) of the eponymous firearms company Noveske, aka Noveske Arms, aka Noveske Rifleworks. A veteran of the US Army and highly respected member of the firearms industry, Johnny Noveske was killed in a motor vehicle accident near the Rogue River in Grants Pass, Oregon.

His death evoked a massive response across virtually the entirety of the professional gun and tactical community. 

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Johnny Noveske

Mr. Noveske with an interesting weapon selection...

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About John Noveske

The late Johnny Noveske was described as a "...true American Badass. A wildly individualistic, industrious innovator. A relentless adventurer and conqueror of challenges. A witty, clever seeker of meaningful connections. An Incredible Hulk of strength and capability. A tender and caring father, husband, friend." 

Perhaps the best way to describe Johnny Noveske, or at least to capture his personality and humor, is to use the bio he penned himself: 

"It all started on my parents wedding night when all the planets were aligned and magical doves came flying out from under the bed. Nine months later, massive earthquakes and horrendous volcanic eruptions split the world into seven continents and I was born.

My father, John Noveske Sr., raised my brother and I to honor God, to understand fundamental American principles, and to use and respect firearms. As children, we had access to firearms at all times. Our dad trusted us, and we never let him down.

At age 13, I was issued a rack grade M1 Garand with 88 rounds per week from the DCM and began shooting High Power Rifle matches. This was my only sport growing up, and a private one. I soon realized I probably was not going to be an astronaut and decided the best place for me was in the Army.

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John Noveske of Noveske Rifleworks: military ID during his tenure in the Army

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After the Army, I thought hard about what to do for a living, and figured making rifles was the best thing for me. A seemingly intangible dream was quickly realized when Chris Dichter, owner of PAC-NOR Barreling in Brookings, Oregon, hired me, and I began making rifle barrels.

The passion went into overdrive. I had a great time there and learned a lifetime of information. In the spring of 2001, I moved back to Grants Pass, Oregon, started my business in my dad's garage, fixed up our 80 year old house, married Lorina at a shotgun wedding, and she had our first baby shortly thereafter.

Things have been a whirlwind since then and much has changed, but the vision is the same. We are proud to have a part in these historic times making rifles and components for the American citizen, law enforcement, and the military."

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In his garage shop with the lathe they describe as "their baby."

"To understand the story of Noveske, it it imperative to remember our founder, the late Johnny Noveske. This is a photo of Johnny circa 2003, wearing his grandfather's Polka shirt and chambering a badass Noveske barrel in our garage. This lathe is still our baby, in use daily in the company." Lorina Noveske on Facebook.

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The following was the Noveske company's official statement following their founder's untimely death. 

Noveske Rifleworks would ask you to remember the passing of our founder, John Noveske, who died Friday, January 4th 2013 in an automobile accident.

John planned for all eventualities, and wanted to ensure any changes would be as seamless as possible for our customers, dealers, suppliers, employees and friends. While this will be a trying time, we do not expect a change in the day to day operations of Noveske Rifleworks. We would like to thank you for your support as we deal with our loss, and would ask that instead of flowers, you consider a donation to a cause we will announce at later date.

John was more than just the founder of Noveske Rifleworks; he was a loving husband and father, and a caring friend.

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Mountain climbing and posting the Noveske Arms banner.

Mr Noveske atop a mountain - likely Mt. Rainier. Noveske Arms was much more than just a local rifle manufacturing company - although that informed its personality too. 

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3 models of Noveske rifles

Three models of Noveske rifle work: Gen4 Rival 5.56 (top), Gen4 Shorty Pistol 5.56 (middle), and Noveske N4 PDW in 300 BLK (bottom). None of these are an average gun. 

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This is the information published by OSP Troopers (Oregon State Police) following the accident that claimed Mr. Noveske's life:

"Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant Tyler Lee reports that on January 4, 2013 at approximately 9:13 p.m., a 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser driven by John Noveske, age 36, from Grants Pass, was westbound on Highway 260 near El Camino Way. As the vehicle negotiated a right curve, it traveled across the oncoming lane onto the dirt highway shoulder until it struck two large boulders. The vehicle rolled and Mr. Noveske was ejected."

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At his leisure at home - maybe brainstorming new ideas.

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An early image of the Noveske family.

An early picture of the Noveske family. 

 

 

John Noveske

Jan. 31, 1976 (Fresno, CA) - Jan. 04, 2013 (Grants Pass, OR)

 

RIP John Noveske

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The founder of Noveske Arms

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Find Noveske rifles, muzzle devices, and other parts at Rainier Arms. 

Noveske Rifle Works: “the All-American Badass Rifle Company.”

 

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