Tag Archives: george trulock

How a small family business became a household name

While in Georgia a couple of months ago, I paid a visit to the Trulock Tool Company and found out they were about a lot more than just shotgun chokes.

As a choke is the last part of the barrel and is relied on to pattern the shot, precision is key to every aspect of its design and production.

George Trulock, the family paterfamilias and founder of the company, was a full-time police officer for the small Grady county town of Cairo– his birthplace– and part-time gunsmith who specialized in large-framed wheelguns, with special attention to big Smith & Wesson N frames. Having to craft his own tools to get the job done, he hit on the idea that other folks may have been having similar issues and started to manufacture specialized pistol smith tools such as frame wrenches and crane straighteners.

If you have an old copy of just about any gun magazine from the late 1970s and early 1980s, you can find his ads under the gunsmithing sections.

Soon, George pivoted from wheel guns to making his shotgun chokes of an innovative type that could be retrofitted into the common cylinder-bore shotgun barrels of the time, without the user having access to a machine shop to make it happen. With demand for these new Tru-Choke style choke tubes being heavy, to say the least, he took the plunge in 1982, hung up his badge, and started clocking in as Employee No. 1 at the newly formed Trulock Firearms, which later morphed into the company that continues his name today.

And, with Mr. George now passed, the company is still innovating, now in the hands of his sons, who are very much still in the “family business.”

More in my column at Guns.com.

That great shooting range in the sky

Among those lost to the gun community in 2022:

Aaron Hogue — One of the managing owners of Hogue Grips and son of Guy Hogue, the company’s founder, Aaron died when the jet he was piloting in the National Championship Races at Reno crashed. 

Peter J. “Pete” Hylenski — A gifted design engineer who left his mark with Wildey, Winchester, and Kimber, Hylenski was known as “Mr. Model 70” as he was the long-term Model 70 Rifle Design Engineer during the era that saw the return of the “pre-’64” type Model 70 control-round feed action. Hylenski passed away on March 29, 2022, aged 77.

Thomas Devine Smith — A Texas sports shooter and Air Force officer, Smith competed in the 50-meter pistol event at the 1964 Summer Olympics before winning two gold medals at the 1963 Pan American Games. He set and broke numerous pistol records in his career, some of which still stand even decades later. He also survived his plane breaking up in-flight, landing on snow-covered Mt. Helmos in Greece without a parachute, surviving the fall. Colonel Smith died in May, aged 90. 

George Trulock — Founder of the shotgun choke empire that bears his name– and is OEM for numerous manufacturers– George Trulock was a legend in the gun industry. He passed in June and is remembered by his company as “a visionary and a creative genius” as well as an “amazing human being.” 

The rest of the list is in my column at Guns.com.