Firearms designer and creator of several iconic shooting brands, John ‘Jack’ Llewellyn Warne, has died aged 96. The industry legend was raised in Kimba in regional South Australia and founded his first gun manufacturer, Sporting Arms Ltd or Sportco, in 1947.
At the time Sportco was the only private gun maker in Australia and the 23-year-old was at the head of the design process for dozens of rifle models. Warne sold the company in 1966 and transitioned to the US as an executive.
In the years that followed Warne and his son launched another manufacturer, Kimber of Oregon, which produced popluar rimfire and centrefire rifles. The company’s first rifle, the Warne-designed Model 82, gained an enviable reputation for accuracy and in the late 1980s the US Government bought 20,000. Warne went on to found Warne Manufacturing Company and to this day Warne scope mounts still carry their founder’s name.
Jack Warne is survived by Marjory, his wife of 72 years, his son and extended family.