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‘Save the fine guns’: Mobile doctor preserving German-made vintage firearms
Orvis Hunting and Shooting Podcast,
In this installment of the Orvis Hunting and Shooting Podcast, Reid spans two continents to talk guns with Tobi Nisse of Germany and Dr. George Inge of Mobile, Alabama. Tobi and George are the principals behind T&G Imports and Save the Fine Guns, which represents an effort to import guns from Germany that would otherwise be destroyed. Tobi and George–both of whom are passionate about the artistry and engineering represented by older continental guns (largely drillings)–noticed some time ago that changing tastes in hunting guns, as well as stringent legislation around gun ownership in Europe, was bringing an excess of fine old guns to the market. These guns, were they not licensed to an individual or dealer, were destined for the scrap pile. The duo discusses the unique business model that has enabled them to save these guns and transfer them into the hands of hunters and shooters in North America. Enjoy!
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T & G German Gun Imports!
Tobi and George love traditional European hunting weapons.
These valuable guns were manufactured in the 1950s through the 1990’s, when high volumes were produced in Germany and Austria. Reputable companies include Sauer & Sohn, Krieghoff, Merkel, Heym, and Ferlach. Tobi, a gunsmith and dealer located in the scenic Saurlands Region of central Germany, is a former airborne weapons specialist and officer honorably discharged in 2011 from the German Army. George is a native of Mobile, Alabama and avid outdoorsman who fell in love with German hunting traditions while serving in Heidelberg, Germany as a US Army Physician during the early 1980’s.
In 2017 their unlikely connection was made and the seeds of their future partnership were planted. Restrictive gun laws in Germany and a lack of demand had sent Tobi looking for a partner willing to import these weapons into the United States, where demand is high. Unlicensed inheritors of these guns are required by law to turn them over to police unless a licensed buyer is found in a specified time. Times vary from two weeks to two months depending on the laws of each German state. Once in police custody they are melted down and destroyed. George had inherited his great, great grandfathers drilling and could not find an American gunsmith able to repair and restore it. Tobi placed a Zeiss scope with a detachable pivot mount and a 30/30 Winchester insert in his right shotgun barrel, completely refurbishing and restoring George's 1902 Hollenbeck drilling.
They founded T & G German Gun Imports in 2018.
Since then they have made it their mission to save these guns and give them a new life in the United States. This includes drillings with scopes, over under rifle shotgun combinations with scopes, and side by side shotguns. Since many of these weapons are in metric calibres, T & G also stocks ammuntion that can be purchased directly. They provide full service repairs for all their weapons and have a large stock of spare parts and accessories.
Tobi & George