O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

A Lifetime Of Collecting

 

April 11, 2019

A smaller gun rack made in shop class and holding guns meaningful to Mullins.

Ray Mullins of Larrabee, Iowa operates Ray's Winchesters & Coins. The gun collection began at a very young age, around 1966. The 128 Winchester's Ray displayed Saturday April 6 at the Sutherland Retail Trade Show represents Winchester models from each year since then, plus a few more. Mullins tells the story, in writing, of his journey from start through today. He has two very special displays separating two very high profile moments in his life.

One of Mullins' feature displays is the first gun rack he ever made. He made that gun rack at age 13. His first gun rack holds two guns, A Model "90" and a Model "97". Today, that Model "90" does not have the traditional octagonal barrel. According to Mullins and family lore, Mullins' grandfather sent it back and Winchester claims the original was "shot out." That was 1956.

Ray Mullins stands alongside his hand made gun rack and guns from that started his collection.

The second gun at home in the handmade rack is a model "97". The model "97" belonged to Mullins' great grandfather, and was the first gun Mullins ever fired on the farm. He was 11 or 12 years old.

In 9th grade shop class Mullins again worked on a gun rack. That rack displays a Model "55". It is a single shot automatic and is the first gun his mother bought for him. His two older brothers also got the same gun at the same time. Mullins was about 10 years old. That gun rack is made of walnut harvested from the family farm where Ray writes and speaks of shooting on the farm with family.

Mullins also displays the converted weapon he carried during his service in the Viet Nam conflict.

More recently, Mullins built a gun rack to display his full collection of 128 guns. This collection was started in 1966.

 

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