Halfcocked, which first opened in April of last year, is the latest gunsmithing business to come to Clovis. Owner Frank Burgin previously shared a building space just two doors down with A-1 Lock & Key, but moved into the new space in November.
The two businesses had a good relationship, Burgin said, but as one might imagine, some customers who went in for their lock and key needs felt uncomfortable with the guns on display. Now in its own space, and having just recently celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Clovis Chamber of Commerce in January, Halfcocked Gunsmithing is now more comfortable and accessible for its customers.
Halfcocked is a full gunsmithing service and gun store. Burgin repairs all long guns and handguns.
“We clean guns, we repair broken guns … there’s really not much we don’t do,” Burgin said. He also refinishes stocks and spot bluing, which is the process of taking out scratches and rust spots.
“It’s hard to compete with big box stores, but we try to keep our prices down to where we can be competitive,” Burgin said.
Complicated zoning issues for possible other locations in Fresno led Burgin to finding a Clovis home. Clovis has been very welcoming and friendly to his business since he set up shop.
“We must be doing something right,” Burgin said, referring to his sales and the amount of repair work he has received.
Burgin is a lifelong gunsmith. He began working on guns around the age of 9, helping and learning from his father. Burgin took what he learned from his father and continued the education with gunsmithing classes. Now 74, Burgin has seen it and done it all when it comes to gunsmithing.
Now Burgin, in his service to customers, passes on that knowledge with every transaction. He understands that teaching people to be responsible gun owners is imperative. With that in mind, he offers classes in gun cleaning through the store.
“A lot of people that own guns, don’t even know how to take them apart,” he said. “If something were to malfunction, [the class] teaches you how to correct the problem.”
It’s sad, Burgin said, that so many owners are uninformed on proper care techniques. “I feel it’s something I offer that would help the public.”
Indeed, in a community with many gun owners, a business that aims to teach the public to properly care for their guns is a beneficial service. Keeping a gun cleaned and well-maintained is also one of the surest ways of keeping it safe. Gun safes, holsters and other equipment are also for sale at Halfcocked.
Gabe Villareal is one of two volunteer workers that help out at the shop. Villareal keeps busy doing what he enjoys, getting guns that have seen better days looking their best. Villarreal speaks highly of Burgin and his gunsmithing expertise. “It’s a dying art,” Villarreal said. “It’s a valuable thing to have in the community.”
“We’re just a small shop, but our big thing is making the customer happy,” Burgin said. “We do things that big box stores wouldn’t even think about doing.”
In fact, that day, he said he was going to wait for a customer that was going to drop by around 5:30, even though the business hours end at 5 p.m. It’s that type of customer-oriented service, Burgin said, that he believes really sets Halfcocked apart from the big businesses and makes it a good fit for Old Town Clovis.