Craft Gunmaking, No compromises, No corners cut, EVER

Friday, March 20, 2020

The "Bodge-inator" Strikes Again!

To paraphrase the character of Kyle Reese from the movie "Terminator":  "The bodge-inator can't be reasoned with.  It doesn't feel pity or remorse.  It doesn't comprehend competence or craftsmanship and it absolutely will not stop, until every gun is screwed beyond repair."

To wit:

Here's what I found inside a formerly nice Gebruder Adamy over/under.  The left side ejector spring had failed and the gunsmiff apparently couldn't make a new one, and they must have been back-ordered from Hackwell's.  What does our intrepid gunsmiff MacGyver do?  He drills the forend wood and inserts a coil spring into the wood to drive the ejector hammer.  Did it work?  NO.  Had our intrepid wannabe gunsmith understood the function of Southgate ejectors, he would have known immediately that this would not work.

Was that all?  No way!  That would have left the gun in salvageable condition.  He also made a new auto-safety link from what looks like material left over from his trailer hitch "build".

It doesn't stop there, this guy was going for the gold at this year's Incompetence Games.  For some reason, he attempted to "add material" to the ejector hammers: by brazing pieces on.  Obviously, this left the hammers butter-soft, always a good thing with parts like these, right?  Spoiler alert: NO.

"Glass bedding" an oil-soaked stock?  Check!

Actual toothpicks to "tighten" screw holes?  Oh yeah!

Naturally, every screw slot was trashed but this guy wasn't content to just ruin the screws, he ruined the very holes in which the screws seated by staking them.

Counting all of the other issues with this particular gun, the repairs would have cost FAR beyond its value, so the customer wisely decided to stop digging the hole in which he found himself.  A pre-purchase inspection would have saved quite a bit in this case.


  1. That's a damn shame. Especially since the little bit of the frame you show leads me to believe it started its life as a very nice gun.


    1. Hi Lee,

      It was a very nice gun at one time. It's a typical Merkel-style over-under and this one had a Lard patent single trigger, the same trigger that is used in the L.C. Smith and much maligned even though it is a superb design.

  2. Hmm, had never seen staking before. I understand the concept, but obviously since the factory doesn't do it one would have to conclude it's not necessary for a properly made screw/body interface. If that's the case, when is staking warranted/necessary? Cheers, Ross

    1. In a fine gun (well-designed and made), staking is never warranted. In a design such as the Colt 1911, staking is used to retain the front sight and the plunger tube on the frame and is a designed-in assembly method. In guns like the Model 21, staking is used to retain the ejector sear springs by actually staking the forend iron over the wire springs. Great for fast assembly and inexpensive to do but definitely a sub-optimal solution, especially if the spring needs to be replaced. Other than the Colt, staking is usually employed where the designer either couldn't or wouldn't find a better solution to retain a part. It is used in many military weapons as a "belt-and suspenders" method securing and tamper-proofing threaded parts and fasteners. In those instances, it is warranted since aesthetics are far less important than retention of the part.