Craft Gunmaking, No compromises, No corners cut, EVER

Friday, November 27, 2015

Rebuilding a Fox J Grade SBT

Fox single barrel trap guns aren't the most common of guns, sadly this one had been in the hands of a common "gunsmith" at some point in its life.  It was loose on the face, had two detached rib posts, the stock and forend had been finished in a thick coat of shellac and it had a terrible Pachmayr recoil pad.  Below I will detail the work of properly rebuilding this piece of American trapshooting history.

The first order of business was to correct the off-face situation with a new hinge pin.  While many gunsmiths will simply weld up the barrel hook and refit it, this is not the correct way of doing the job.
Removing the worn hinge is the first task.  The pin is held in place by two lock pins, one of which is hollow to accommodate the ejector trip lever.  The ejector side pin is driven out from the rear, through the mainspring bore.  The opposite side is drilled, tapped and pulled from the front since its hole is blind.
Here is the old hinge pin showing the worn area.

 A new pin blank is turned from the appropriate material...

After reaming the hole in the frame, the slightly oversized pin is installed.  The locating pin hole
for the ejector side is drilled from the rear of the frame and the other side is drilled from the front.

The ejector side pin is installed along with the opposing lock pin.

They are both filed flush to the action knuckle.

The sides of the new pin are then filed flush to the frame.

The sides of the hinge pin are then engraved to match the original pin.

After the barrel is blacked down on face, the next step was to make and fit a new locking bolt since the horseshoer that worked on the gun prior "refit" it with a dremel tool.
Below are the steps.

A new toplever yoke was also made to correct excessive play in the toplever.

The next step was to make a new sear spring and screw.  These parts were completely missing, replaced by a small coil spring sitting in a hole in the triggerplate.  This spring and the hole that located it are not original to the gun.

The incorrect spring arrangement.

The correct sear spring arrangement.

Obviously, no one who is capable of visiting this level of incompetence upon a gun's innards would leave the screw slots undamaged, so a new breech screw, floorplate screw, hand screw and triggerguard screws were made, indexed and engraved.

The triggerguard had been buffed on a wheel, smearing and partially erasing the engraving.  It had also been incorrectly hot salt blued.  I correctly polished the guard and then recut all of the engraving before nitre bluing the guard.

Next, the dislodged rib posts were addressed.  After removing the rib, the posts and barrel were cleaned of old solder and then resoldered in place.  You might also notice the stray punch marks in the barrel.  Simply inexcusable.  Obviously this will be corrected and the barrel and rib will be correctly finished so that the repair is undetectable.

With the metalwork finished I turned my attention to the buttstock and forend.  After stripping the incorrect finish I raised the myriad dents that existed, recut the checkering and repaired some chips and missing wood.

The final touch was to install a correct Silver's recoil pad.  The Silver's was offered by the factory with a leather face so that was also installed.  Here are some photos of the finished gun.