the care and maintenance of a best gun
• gunsmiths in the usa
Fine guns deserve fine
treatment. At the end of every season you should submit
your gun for a service, or strip and clean as it is known
in the gun trade, to a time-served gunsmith.
From “Shotgun Technicana” - McIntosh &
The gun will be disassembled
into its three parts: Lock, Stock and Barrel. Each will
be stripped down and examined for wear or damage. The
gunsmith can then assess the gun’s condition, report
any malfunctions, agree a price for the work and carry
out the necessary repairs.
Some of the more common faults and their cures are as
The Lock is the heart of the gun where by spring, rod
and tumbler the gun can, on opening, eject spent cartridges,
along with cocking the hammers, ready for the subsequent
These parts are finely regulated and require great skill
to take apart. Once the lock is apart and inspected, any
parts requiring repair or replacement are identified and
the owner is advised before the remedial work is carried
out. The parts are re-built and lubricated with a mixture
of Vaseline and oil.
The action housing the lock is boiled in a special solution
to remove dried oil and dirt, resulting in a clean, bright
with the engraving refreshed. It is then given a lacquer coating
to protect the colour hardening from wear or the coin finish
The Stock is examined for any cracks or splits, particularly
in the head, where it attaches to the action. Any minor repairs
will be glued and pinned to stop further movement. The woodwork
can be restored by steaming to raise any dents, scratches
or marks before refinishing with a secret oil formula of terrapin
driers, boiled linseed, alkanet slackum and other sorcery
and black magic of the stockers trade. The resulting high
sheen finish enhances the grain of the wood but, most important,
the new finish is waterproof. If the chequering is worn smooth,
it should be re-cut to be crisp with sharp diamonds to give
better grip and handling.
The Barrels are inspected for pitting, dents and bulges, both
by eye, feel and gauge. There are minimum wall thicknesses
that must be maintained or the gun becomes dangerous. Then
the barrels are “rung”…
they are held by the lumps and gently tapped with a pencil
or screwdriver. A clear bell-like tone should be heard.
If the sound is a dull report, it is likely that the ribs
are loose and will require re-laying. Dents can be raised
and polished out and, if the finish is poor, the barrels
can be re-blued.
The gun is then reassembled and trigger pulls are set to
the correct poundages and crispness. The ejectors are timed
and regulated, safety and top lever springs tensioned and
the bite checked on closing. All pins and furniture are
blued and blacked. If there are any fitting alterations
they will be made at this time, by hot oil bending or the
installation of pads and extensions. The freshly overhauled
gun is then taken to the shooting ground for test firing,
where two or three boxes of cartridges will be put through
it to test its safe and faultless function.
The gun on return can be placed in its cabinet with confidence,
knowing that it is ready for action next season.
|Over the years
I have given work to and recommended all of the following and
my clients and I have never been disappointed.
There are many more excellent craftsman and my apologies for
not mentioning every single one personally.
9 Old Mountain Rd.
Cape Neddick, ME 03902
4213 Oakcrest Ave.
Enid, OK 73703
2951 Curran Rd.
Ione, CA 95640
36 East Dover St.
Easton, MD 21601
P.O. Box 9184
Naperville, IL 60567
54 West Rhine St.
Elkhart Lake, WI 53020
431 Quaker Meeting House Rd.
Honeoye, NY 14472
6680 Routes 5 & 20
Bloomfield, NY 14469
21 Bog Hollow Rd.
Harpswell, ME 04079
3313 West South Airport Rd.
Traverse City, MI 49684
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