Mountain Shadow Arms
Gunsmithing - Firearms - Accessories
10405 N. Newport Hwy
Spokane, WA 99218
509 464-4570 - 509 464-4572 fax
Hours: Thursday & Friday 9:00 to 5:30
Sat 9:00 to 4:30
Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed Closed
To Work on Firearms
Owners Eric & Christine Behlke
KNOW YOUR GUNSMITH
Eric H. Behlke
Mr. Behlke's firearms experience spans over thirty years. At a very early age Mr. Behlke became fascinated with firearms and how they functioned, and started working his summer vacations in a local gun store at the tender age of ten. Having been recognized as having a wealth of firearms knowledge well beyond his years, he quickly became well known as a firearms expert and went on to become the Team Captain of the JROTC Rifle and Pistol Team at his local high school.
In 1981 Mr. Behlke continued to pursue his interest in firearms into the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Behlke wanted to be an armorer in the Marine Corps and was determined to become one of the elite gunsmiths that built sniper rifles and other weapons in the Rifle Team Equipment Shop (RTE Shop) in Quantico, Virginia. Mr. Behlke was informed by his recruiter that one had to be an armouer before you could work at the RTE Shop and that only the best armorers were invited to attend. The recruiter went on to point out that he could not guaranty the exact job of being an armorer upon graduation from boot camp and the only way a specific job could be guaranteed was to graduate Honor Man out of your platoon in boot camp, in other words, be the most elite of the elite. "Then that's what I'll do", Mr. Behlke told his recruiter, and that is exactly what Mr. Behlke did! Mr. Behlke was awarded the coveted Leather Neck Award for outstanding performance and being first in his class of recruits. As additional recognition of his outstanding performance in boot camp Mr. Behlke was given his choice of military occupational specialty and he chose to become an armourer. Upon graduating first in his class from the prestigious U.S. Army Ordinance Center and School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, Mr. Behlke went on to serve at the largest armory in the Marine Corps at Parris Island, South Carolina.
At Parris Island Mr. Behlke honed his skills at complete firearms assembly and repair as this armory provided the highest level of repair service offered in the Marine Corps. Mr. Behlke's service continued overseas in Okinawa with the 3rd Marine Division where Mr. Behlke was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for his outstanding service as an armorer and local security chief there. In addition to this prestigious award Mr. Behlke was granted his choice of duty station and billet as thanks for a "job well done". When Mr. Behlke expressed his desire to join the RTE Shop in Quantico he was met with the response that this was a very exclusive organization and one could not be assigned there. One had to interview with the senior staff at the RTE Shop and if one was found to be worthy would be invited to join that elite group of firearms wizards. The best they could do was assign Mr. Behlke to another armory in Quantico and arrange an interview, but it would be the staff at the RTE Shop that would have the final say if he was assigned there. Mr. Behlke had his interview and was immediately accepted for "on the job training" in the RTE Shop to become one of the Marine Corp's elite gunsmiths. While there Mr. Behlke attended instruction at the FBI Academy where he was certified by the National Rifle Association as a Police and Security Firearms Instructor and then went on to become a Close Combat Pistol Course Instructor for the Marine Corps in addition to his other duties. A skilled teacher and lecturer, Mr. Behlke instructed numerous Marines and other federal employees in the proper use of many types of weapons systems and also gave weapons demonstrations to such dignitaries as the Secretary of the Navy. Mr. Behlke went on to serve at the RTE Shop building sniper rifles and other high performance firearms until the end of his enlistment.
In 1985 Mr. Behlke left the Marine Corps after four years of service and was invited to work as a civilian gunsmith in Western North Carolina with G.R. Shell Gunsmithing, Inc. where Mr. Behlke learned to repair a myriad collection of diverse firearms types and makes. Mr. Behlke continued to use the lessons learned in the RTE Shop to modify and produce phenomenally accurate hunting and target rifles for his customers. In a very short time Mr. Behlke built a reputation for turning out "magically accurate" rifles and many customers would hand Mr. Behlke brand new rifles still in the box that had not even been fired with the request to "work his magic" because they knew that no matter how good the manufacturer made the rifle, Mr. Behlke would make it better!
After four years of civilian gunsmithing, Mr. Behlke left North Carolina for the vast expanses of Northern Maine. While in Northern Maine Mr. Behlke continued to do gunsmithing work for a local gun store for enjoyment but decided to try a new vocation in the optical industry.
In 1989, Mr. Behlke went to work for Academy Optical in an entry level position and went on to become certified by the American Board of Opticianry as a certified optician and true to form was operating the business as its laboratory manager two short years later. After seven years of service with Academy Optical Mr. Behlke created the opportunity to work for one of his greatest heroes, Mr. Stephen K. Hayes, a martial arts icon. Mr. Hayes was developing a new system of martial arts instruction and was trying to establish a series of company owned schools as well as franchises across the nation. Mr. Behlke, being an avid martial artist with over twenty years of martial arts experience coupled with his diverse business management and development skills was just the kind of skilled generalist that Mr. Hayes was looking for to help get his fledgling organization off the ground.
From 1996 to 1998 Mr. Behlke held the positions of Director of Operations, Branch Manager, Senior Curriculum Advisor and Dean. Mr. Behlke helped to build the organization from two locations to twelve locations and boosted client memberships and retail sales by more than thirty-three percent. In the spring of 1998 Mr. Behlke bid Mr. Hayes farewell to marry the girl of his dreams, Christine, and settled in Southern California. Soon thereafter Mr. Behlke took a job in commercial real estate as an administrator, property manager and agent from 1998 until 2005. Mr. Behlke generated over $6.8 million dollars in transactions during his last three years in the commercial real estate industry. Seven years of the Southern California commercial real estate rat race was enough for Mr. Behlke, so in the spring of 2005, Mr. Behlke relocated his family to Spokane and is here to stay!
Mr. Behlke has been married to his wife Christine since 1998, together they have two sons, Alec age 18 and Rein age 14, Mr. Behlke also has another son from a previous marriage, Logan age 31, who is a school teacher in NC. Mr. Behlke is an enthusiastic outdoorsman and enjoys fishing, camping, archery, hunting, NRA High Power Rifle competition and the shooting sports in general. A skilled martial artist, Mr. Behlke has over twenty-three years of martial arts experience and is a third degree black belt in Ninjutsu and is ranked in many other styles as well. Mr. Behlke also enjoys on-line computer gaming and is extremely computer literate. An avid reader, Mr. Behlke enjoys studying history and has penned a collection of over 200 pages of short stories. Mr. Behlke brings over twenty-one years of business management, manufacturing, gunsmithing, training and sales experience to Mountain Shadow Arms.