September 23, 2010
Mr. Al Biesen is now more than 90 years old. His son, Roger, joined the business 30 years ago and has become recognized for his excellent custom work.
Roger's daughter, Paula, became a partner about 10 years ago and does the artistic engraving and inlays. I called the shop in Spokane, Washington, and visited with Roger to learn more about my vintage Model 70.
Unfortunately, the patriarch of the Biesen clan is in declining health, and any records that might have provided the information I sought had been given to the ATF for safekeeping years ago when Al turned the business over to Roger.
I was most curious about the unique checkering pattern. When I described it, Roger put me on hold a minute to search some old files. He found an early catalog that included pictures of the four basic patterns his father used and graciously asked for my address so he could mail it to me.
When the letter arrived, it confirmed that the rifle has Al Linden-style arrowhead checkering pattern. The brochure stated, "All checkering patterns are borderless and encircle the grip area. Fancy patterns are relief carved...then checkered...makes the unique style and pattern stand out."
You can say that again.
If you are interested in a modern Biesen custom rifle or just superb embellishment of a favorite firearm.