Craft Gunmaking, No compromises, No corners cut, EVER

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Another Custom Sterlingworth (#002)

I know, if I keep this up, there won't be any sweet Sterlingworths left for the Fox collectors.  Oh well.
This one isn't made for wingshooting however.  This gun started as a badly buffed and blued gun with the barrels cut to twenty inches, for something called "cowboy shooting".  Using a pair of Hastings 12 gauge rifled blanks, a whole lot of raw material and about three hundred hours of labor (not counting design time at all), this is the result.  I don't want to spend another three hundred hours describing it so I'll let the photos tell the story.  All of the work was performed by me except for the engraving which, of course, was done by Geoffroy Gournet.  Here we go.

The gun as I got it.

Making the barrels.  The seams must be mated to perfection, lest they be visible after finishing.

Making the quarter rib.

The finished quarter rib, top rib with integral sight base, bottom rib with integral swivel stud, sigh blank, triggerguard and grip cap, all bench made.

 The barrels assembled.

A proper double rifle should have an extended top tang.  Naturally, the frame also underwent the standard cosmetic surgery via hammer and chisel.

The forend iron was also given a makeover.  Note the finish of the removed (chiseled) areas.  No, they're not visible when the gun is assembled.

The client requested a peep sight, so I designed and made a "receiver type" sight, adjustable for windage and elevation.  The slide is removable so that the folding open sight on the barrel can be used if desired.

Here are some photos of the gun in the white.  The stock and forend are pattern pieces and the screws are "work" screws.  In these photos, I hadn't yet made the folding open rear sight or the hidden triggerplate screw.

Stocking with English walnut.

The folding sight.

Making the front sight.

Checkering on the toplever thumbpad, 30 lines per inch.  The safety slide is similarly checkered.

The rear swivel stud.

 The rifle stocked and assembled, in the white.  At this point, the barrels are regulated by heating the forward third of the barrels until the solder flows and moving the muzzles until both barrels print to the same POA at 50 yards.

The targets.

At this point, the entire rifle was disassembled, the external parts sent to Geoffroy for engraving while I polished and gold plated the internal parts.

After everything came back from Geoffroy, I rust blued the barrels, hardened and greyed the balance of the metal, finished the wood and finished off the recoil pad with a stingray hide face.  Here are the finished photos.