He Built Sniper Rifles For The Marine Corps, And Is Now Building Custom Rifles For You

Retired Marine Dan Hanus runs operations for Bergara Custom Rifles. (Photo: Ken Perrotte)

The Military Times has a nice profile article on Dan Hanus, the retired Marine Master Sergeant who was the Production Chief & Chief Instructor for the Marine Corps Precision Weapons Section. He now helms the operations of the gunsmithing shop of Bergara Custom Rifles.

For Dan Hanus, the decision to leave active duty in late 2012 was a rough one.

He was told that a promotion to E-9 was highly probable and that it would be followed by a quick permanent change-of-station move to 2nd Marine Division and a prolonged deployment to Afghanistan.

The world of corporate job bargaining was foreign to him. When BPI Outdoors offered Hanus a job, a recently-retired buddy counseled him to counter with a proposal that included everything he believed he and his family needed to make a switch.

“I had some decisions to make. Talking it over with my wife Penny, we said, ‘Everything happens for a reason, so we’ll see what BPI comes back with on the offer and see if it meets our needs.’ ”

The offer came a couple days later.

“It was everything I asked for,” Hanus said with a laugh. “I wasn’t expecting that.”

Hanus—who oversaw production of the Marine Corps M40A5 sniper rifle, the M39 Enhanced Marksmanship Rifle (EMR) and the M45 Close Quarters Battle Pistol (CQBP) for MARSOC (Marine Corps Special Operations Command) —has filled his shop at Bergara Custom rifles with other talented military gunsmiths. The shop has a philosophy of a single gunsmith building a rifle from start to finish.

Fellow Marine veteran Sterling Knight built the Bergara Long Range Hunter (BCR15) that I reviewed earlier this year, a rifle I did not want to return.

The Bergara Long Range Hunter splits the difference between a heavy tactical rifle capable of sustained fire with little change in zero, and a sporting rifle capable of impressive mid-to-long range accuracy.

Demand for Bergara Rifles has doubled in the past year as people are beginning to see the value in the relatively new brand, which was admired by many of the long range match shooters that examined the Long Range Hunter.

The company is now looking to hire an additional gunsmith to keep up with demand.

While Bergara Custom Rifles aren’t inexpensive, they are high-quality, rugged, and accurate, as you would expect from a firearm built by gunsmiths who built sniper rifles for the Marine Corps.

I’ll expect to see more articles written about Bergara’s guns and gunsmiths in the future.

Sep 28, 2021 2:30 PM ET