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RIP Mike Laybe Dillon Precision's Doctor of QC


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Mike Laybe: Doctor of QC About midday on Friday, October 17, 2014, the shooting community lost a good friend.

Those of us at Dillon Precision who worked with Mike Laybe lost immeasurably more. Mike was 63, but his active lifestyle made him seem MUCH younger, and he alternated between gold mining, handgun and three-gun competition at every opportunity.

Over the 20 years or so that he worked at Dillon, Mike held several positions, including a stint on the phones as a customer service representative. However, Mike hit his stride in his most recent position as our quality control inspector. The job is an important one: inspecting the component parts of our reloading equipment as they arrive from the vendors that die cast, machine, mold or otherwise manufacture them.

As he did with every position, Mike approached the quality control inspector position with a high level of professionalism and serious intent. That being said, however, Mike rarely looked “serious.” His demeanor would best be described as “easygoing” and it would not be surprising if there was a portrait of Mike next to the definition of that term in some online dictionary. It was rare not to see him smiling, and his sense of humor was legendary.

There are many anecdotes about Mike from co-workers who attended shooting matches with him, and one of the more enduring running jokes involving Mike was his honorary and unofficial title of “Doctor Laybe.” He earned this sobriquet because of his bordering-on-obsessive efforts at producing precise and visually perfect reloaded ammunition. At one Rocky Mountain Three-Gun match, a fellow competitor discretely inquired as to just what sort of physician was “Doctor Laybe.” Mental gears spun up andsoon Mike was quietly pronounced as a specialist in the treatment of an area of the body we all have, but seldom mention. At the end of the event, when all competitors usually shake hands, Mike held his out and a few people declined his grasp. Puzzled, Mike didn’t understand why a few competitors refused to shake his hand. Upon explanation, Mike laughed, and then proceeded to expand upon the joke at every match thereafter.

The consensus here at Dillon is that the Almighty came across a quality control issue that demanded the level of expertise only “Doctor Laybe” could bring to the table, and Mike was called to a higher purpose.

If there are shooting matches in Paradise (and true shooters must believe there are in order for it to live up to the name) Mike was there in time to shoot, tape targets and re-set steel that weekend.

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I tend to get to Tuesday Night Steel before a lot of the guys I shoot with. If you go you'll probably see me hanging around waiting for them. I'm good with that. I don't mind. I like the people I shoot with and waiting for them is its own reward. Laybe was one of those guys and his loss is a blow to us all. He was definitely laid back, easy going, whatever you want to call it but his stage bag had what looked like 20 loaded mags in it. Why reload between stages when you can just bring enough mags to shoot the entire match? He was a prepared man with a good sense of humor and a desire to do his best at what he did. I'm lucky to have known you Mike.

-Larry Drake

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