RIP: John Noveske of Noveske Rifleworks

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It saddens me to report that John Noveske, of Noveske Rifleworks out of Oregon, was killed in a car accident the night of Friday, January 4th.

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Official statement from the Noveske Facebook page: Noveske Rifleworks would ask you to remember the passing of our founder, John Noveske, who died Friday, January 4th 2013 in an automobile accident.

John planned for all eventualities, and wanted to ensure any changes would be as seamless as possible for our customers, dealers, suppliers, employees and friends. While this will be a trying time, we do not expect a change in the day to day operations of Noveske Rifleworks. We would like to thank you for your support as we deal with our loss, and would ask that instead of flowers, you consider a donation to a cause we will announce at later date.

John was more than just the founder of Noveske Rifleworks, he was a loving husband and father, and caring friend.

When I watched an episode of Top Shot Season 1 back in 2010 that featured an AR-15, it motivated me to go out and get my first AR. I did my research and concluded that Noveske ARs were some of the best out there. I purchased an N4 and use it as my primary rifle in 3-gun competition.

A few months back when I posted on my nighttime 3-gun experience with my Noveske N4, I mentioned that I had an opportunity to briefly chat with John. To elaborate a little further on that interaction, I told him how much I love my Noveske and he was very humble in accepting my compliment. He was a very down to earth guy, and I wish I had an opportunity to share a beer or three with him. Noveske was committed to protecting our 2nd Amendment rights and crafted some of the best rifles out there. He was truly passionate about producing high quality, reliable rifles and did not compromise on materials or precision.

Recoil magazine did a more personal write-up on John a few months back, and a preview is available here: http://www.recoilweb.com/john-novekses-300blk-sbr-15915.html

Prior to starting Noveske Rifleworks, John served in the United States Army.

Rest In Peace John, you will be missed.

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career. He shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. www.TopShotChris.com.


Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion, author of “Shoot to Win,” and an NRA News Commentator. A self-taught amateur (and former Googler) turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. www.TopShotChris.com.


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  • Andrew

    I’m speechless.

    • W

      my sentiment exactly.

      very very tragic.

  • AlexB

    Wow, sad news. I hope to be able to own one of his rifles on day. Rest in peace John.

  • Orzel

    He will be missed. An honerable gentleman! A hand salute sir, RIP.

  • Sam

    John, My friend. Rest in peace.

  • John Doe

    Rest in peace. His body died, but his name will live on in his excellent rifles.

  • billyBones

    I’m devastated… RIP

  • TangledThorns

    Saw this on ARFCOM earlier today. Wear your seat belt when driving!!

    http://www.flashalert.net/news.html?id=1002

    • bbmg

      Also don’t drive into two large boulders. What a tragically avoidable accident, condolences to his loved ones.

      • mp

        According to Sergeant Tyler Lee, … a 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser driven by JOHN NOVESKE, age 36, … negotiated a right curve, [and] traveled across the oncoming lane onto the dirt highway shoulder until it struck two large boulders. The vehicle rolled and NOVESKE was ejected.

        NOVESKE, who is the owner of a local rifle manufacturing company, was not using safety restraints and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

      • Sian

        why someone wouldn’t use a seatbelt in this day and age.. I just don’t understand. This was so senseless and preventable.

  • jeffrey abrahamse

    Sad to hear this news, read a lot of good things about the man and his company. A frost -bitten Canadian boy is sad tonight.

  • Glenn B

    I had never heard of him before today but it is obvious that the firearms world lost a good man. My condolences to his family, loved ones and coworkers.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

  • Esh325

    Never was in to AR15’s much, but I’m very sorry to hear about his passing.

  • Cameron

    We all know the pantheon of shooting Gods. Sam Colt. Eliphalet Remington. John Moses Browning. Eugene Stoner. Hiram Maxim. The list goes on a short distance.

    Also worthy of recognition, through, is the panel of Demigods just below them. Shooters, engineers and craftsmen that took the essential principles of the shooting Gods and applied them with skill, vigor, intensity, devotion, and excellence.

    Pierro Beretta. Horace Smith and Dan Wesson. Bill Wilson. Les Baer. Ed Brown.

    John Noveske.

    As you would honor the designers at the core of our firearms community, honor the craftsmen that made their ideas truly come to life.

    Rest in peace, sir.

    • mike clark

      Really ?

      Great guy ? Yes, Great business man ? Yes, Great barrels ? Yes, Innovator ? depending on what exactly he has done.

      Sorry but i dn’t understand why some peoples put him on the greatest firearms inventors list while he’s has done nothing on that point, aside from making an over-used platform, richard fitzpatrick from magpul deserve more this place if the same case happen like john noveske.

      Anyway, RIP.

      • mike clark

        I’m sorry I am douche, my mouth tends to work faster than my brain.

        • http://www.facebook.com/nanbanjim Jim Nanban

          That’s hard to do man. Hats off.

    • bbmg

      I note that your “Gods” all hail from the United States, when the history of firearms goes back long before the nation was created.

      • Cameron

        You’re right. I should probably continue to educate myself on my lifelong hobby, which I plan to since I enjoy it.

        But was that really the point of my post? To exhaustively detail the history of influential gun designers? Or was I trying, in my way, to send off a member of our community?

        Your lack of discretion floors me, both of you. Have some respect.

      • Cameron

        The brothers Mauser. A.T. Kalashnikov. Jaspard Zoller.

        There, the non-Americans I have off the top of my head, since it was so important to challenge that in a memorial thread.

      • Karina

        May he rest in peace. While I cannot claim to know what kind of man he is, I have great respect for Noveske Rifleworks and the products they make.

  • noob

    Godspeed John Noveske.

  • Jim

    I’d appreciate a biography on his life and times. I had never heard of him before today.

  • Murray Ritland

    2-3 years ago, I decided to start an AR build project. The original plan was to go the distance, using nothing but piece-parts, but then I ran across a custom upper offered for sale on the internet, using Noveske components. Yes, it was expensive, but I concluded that I just could not do much better, so I picked it up. I have many black rifles, but this one remains a favorite. I was saddened to hear about his very untimely death. RIP to a great American and gun builder.

    – Fairweatherrider, Wyoming

  • (real) mike clark

    Alright !

    It look like that some noveske fanboy don’t like my opinion that much, pathetic.

    To all noveske fanboy, get a brain first, then get try to use it properly.

    ps : Whatever you care for it or not, i don’t plan to change my opinion.

    • Mike Cali

      There will be a time and a venue to seriously evaluate Mr. Noveske’s contributions to the firearms industry.

      Two days after his death, the decent thing to do is show respect for his contributions and keep to yourself anything less.

    • Karina

      Would your family or surroundings enjoy it if I came at your funeral and claimed everyone who loved you is a mere “fanboy/fangirl” of yours?

      Not only your comment is ripe with stupidity, it is extremely disrespectful. I wish that with time and age you will grow out of this kind of behavior; and sorry to use a bit more coarse language, but nobody likes assholes and you’re every bit acting like one.

    • W

      theres a difference between rabid fanboyism and showing respect for somebody that has contributed much to the modern american firearms community.

      learn the difference.

  • NickB

    Whether he contribute as much as Colt or Browning I gotta say no, but he is a husband and a father and it’s tradgic to see him leave this world so soon. Also he made a mistake and didn’t wear his seatbelt, not rare or unheard of but it only hurts yourself, unlike DUI.

  • http://bygoneblog.wordpress.com/ Brian Turner

    Sad news indeed. Speaking strictly as a consumer, the products and attitude of Noveske Rifleworks are very much appreciated here in our house. I took it for granted that excellence and kick ass spirit came from the guy whose name was at the top of the website.

  • West

    Sounds like he at least had a very interesting life.
    To say the least.

  • Dave

    From FlashAlert.net:

    “According to Sergeant Tyler Lee, on January 4, 2013 at approximately 9:13 p.m., a 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser driven by JOHN NOVESKE, age 36, from Grants Pass, was westbound on Highway 260 near El Camino Way. As the vehicle negotiated a right curve, it traveled across the oncoming lane onto the dirt highway shoulder until it struck two large boulders. The vehicle rolled and NOVESKE was ejected.

    NOVESKE, who is the owner of a local rifle manufacturing company, was not using safety restraints and was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

    It’s tragic that such a promising life was ended so early, but doubly so because of something so simple as not wearing a seat belt.

    Use your safety gear, people – it could save your life…

  • Mike Knox

    I feel kind of bad. Especially when I was at a birthday party on the same day..

  • Atilla the hungry

    To John Noveske and all those others who’ve honorably served in the U.S. armed forces, I wish you, “Fair winds and following seas” on your journey. You’ll be missed.

  • Anonymous

    The hearts of everyone at Cold River Survival go to Mrs.Noveske and her children.

    May John rest in peace