About Us - Our History
Northwest Armory is a family-owned business, with a family history in the dry goods business in Oregon that goes back to the 1800’s. The Durkheimer family emigrated from Germany, sailing around the horn of South America to arrive in Oregon in 1865. The four sons headed to Eastern Oregon, opening dry goods stores in Burns & Baker City. The eldest son, Julius, was mayor of Burns in 1895.
Karl’s great grandfather died young, and his great-grandmother, along with Karl’s grandfather, homesteaded in Pilot Rock. Karl’s father served as a Marine in the Korean War before returning to Portland to start his restaurant business.
Karl grew up working in the family restaurant business. He graduated from Cleveland high school in Portland, then attended the University of Montana and Lewis & Clark College. He and Jeani married in 1980. From 1982 until 1988, he raced cars professionally in the IMSA and Trans-Am series.
Karl was a shooting enthusiast, and in 1992, he & Jeani entered the gun business, opening their first store in 1994. They purchased the building on McLoughlin Boulevard in 1995. Their children, Karlton and Jenna, have worked at Northwest Armory since they were teenagers.
Since opening Northwest Armory, Karl has taken up hunting. He hunts deer and elk in Eastern Oregon and other western states, and he and Jeani have taken four trips to hunt in Africa.