TISHOMINGO — Murray State College Gunsmithing students built a rifle to raise $3,300 at last month's Johnston County Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

"Our Vice President for Student Affairs, Michaelle Gray, approached me to see if the gunsmithing department would build a rifle for the Chamber of Commerce live auction in order to raise funds," said instructor Chad Mercer. "Time was extremely short, so I formed a group of students who had the time and were willing to help."

Mercer donated the rifle parts from his personal gun shop, and Gray and her husband Sammy bought and donated the scope for the rifle. Once the parts were on hand, the students each choose jobs to perform on the project.

Students Anthony Barnett, Dustin Coble, Cody Donaghey, Steven Epple, John Johnson and Brett Sanders built the gun in their spare time.

As for the gun, it was a basic sporter rifle built on a '98 Mauser action and barreled with a Green Mountain barrel, chambered in .25-06 Remington.

After all fitting was completed the gun was fully tested for function and reliability. The metal was then polished and blued with a high lustre blue.

The gun was auctioned off at the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce Banquet on March 30. Initially the gun was purchased by Blake Shelton for $1800. Shelton donated the gun back to be auctioned again. Then MSC President Joy McDaniel purchased the gun for $1500. In all, the gun raised $3,300.

"The gunsmithing department was very happy to help the Chamber of Commerce, and we hope we can be involved in future endeavors around the community," says Mercer.