Category Archives: Books

Wildcat Cartridges, The Reloader’s Handbook of Wildcat Cartridge Design, now on Amazon Kindle

Wildcat Cartridges by Fred ZeglinBack in 2005 this book had it’s first printing.  The hardback edition of the book contains 288 pages of stories, illustrations, anecdotes, instructions, and data. Many of the cartridges covered in the book include a dimensioned drawing. Foreword by Wayne van Zwoll.  The first edition if now sold out, making the book out of print.  The price of the print copies of the book have already begun to rise in price.  No reprint is planned, so recently Fred Zeglin decided to release the book through Amazon as a Kindle book.

Wildcatting has been around almost as long as the metallic cartridge case. Wildcats have an air of mystery about them, no effort is made in these pages to diminish that mystique. Yet, you will find information here that is simply not available anywhere else. P.O. Ackley was the last Gunsmith to address the subject of wildcatting in depth. Over forty years later, Fred Zeglin, Master Rifle Builder and wildcatter has assembled in an easy to read, often humorous manual for anyone who loves guns, reloading, or wildcat cartridges.

History of wildcat cartridges is presented including many well known designers like P.O. Ackley, Jerry Gebby, and Charles Newton. The historical information provides an appropriate frame of reference for wildcatting. Nobody really wants to repeat something that has already been done. More recent wildcats are included along with reloading data and dimensions wherever possible.

Most valuable of all is the how-to information about making reamers and reloading dies. Fred supplies dimensions and instructions on how they are used to produce highly accurate reloading dies and chambers. Delivery times for such custom tools can delay a wildcat project by many months, knowing how to make your own dies can speed delivery of custom projects by many months.

Click here to go to Amazon.com and check it out.

Fred Zeglin wrote another book about, “P.O. Ackley, America’s Gunsmith”. If your interested in wildcats then this book will definitely be a good read for you.

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Fred Zeglin Wins Recognition for Writing

Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers (RMOWP) has released the results of their 2012 writing contest.  Fred Zeglin received four awards in this years competition for his work in print, web, and podcasting.

 

 

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Off to SHOT Show 2012

Fred will be at the SHOT Show this week interviewing people, Signing is Hawk Manual in booth #4250, and looking for new things that would make a GunsmithTalk.  Watch for updates all this week and more to follow.

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P.O. Ackley Inc. a devision of EMDEKO

EMDEKO logo for P.O. Ackley, circa 1975

Did you know?

In the early 1970’s P.O. Ackley became involved with a company in Salt Lake City known as EMDEKO International.

The company worked a deal with P.O.,  bought out his barrel business and hired Ackley to overseen the production of barrels for EMDEKO.  Under the P.O. Ackley Inc.  name EMDEKO produced over 5000 hunting rifles.  Calibers were mostly 25-06, 270, and 30-06 although others were made.

The details of these rifles are not very inspiring.  They were made on Interarms Mark X actions.  Barrels were Ackley five groove button rifled made in the EMDEKO facility.  None of these guns had iron sights.  Scopes and scope mounts were an optional item.  The wood was good straight grain plain walnut, reportedly from Bishop, in a Monte Carlo style.  Finished with a gloss finish, a plastic grip cap and a recoil pad, and no contrasting forend tip.Quality wise, these are decent hunting rifles much like a standard Interarms Mark X rifle.  The only thing extra they had to offer was the Ackley name and barrel.

Production rifles by P.O. Ackley for EMDEKO

Research is vital to the telling of interesting history.  Fred Zeglin has spent almost four years researching this book on P.O. Ackley.  A surprising amount of previously unreported information has come to light, such as the short report you found here.  Ackley’s generation is quickly slipping away, Fred says that many of the people he interviewed at the beginning of his research have since passed away.  The efforts to preserve this important information about America’s most prolific wildcatter came just in time.

The finished book will be the go-to source for information on P.O. Ackley, his work, his cartridges, and his career.  This is the story of a gunsmith who came along at just the right time in history.  He was inquisitive, driven, and creative.  Consequently, his legacy in many ways is the legacy of todays shooter.  You will want to read this book just to see how Ackley lives on in your gun cabinet.  He affected the prodr3744_po-ackley_cvr-750uction of modern cartridges and firearms for many years to come, who else could you say that about?

Book has recently been published,
“P.O. Ackley, America’s Gunsmith”

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Atlas Shrugged Movie is coming out in April 2011

Visit the Official Atlas Shrugged Movie Web Site!

Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand’s warning to the Free World that certain kinds of politics and economics do not work.  This book written in 1957 has remained popular ever since it was first published.  This is one of those stories that; if you don’t have time to read the book, make time for the movie.   The producer has stated publicly that their intention is to remain true to the book and to Ayn Rand’s characters.  Should be fun, and maybe, just maybe will open a few eyes.

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Classic Rifle Stock Drawings & How to Use Them

A while back I mentioned a book by Alvin Linden and then a set of Classic Rifle Stock Drawings that are currently available.  The interest in these posts has been high, so this is meant to expand on the previous posts.   What I have posted below is the instructions from the CD on American Classic Rifle Stocks.  I think they will give you some insight into the drawings on the CD and on top of that there are some useful bits of information you can use even if you don’t have the drawings.  Enjoy.sample stock drawing

How to use the Drawings:

These Drawings were assembled to define the parameters of the “American Classic” hunting stock.  Many of the stocks made by novices and even some professionals lack the aesthetics that should be afforded a nice piece of wood.  Worse yet, they are left too large, or cut down too small, either of these conditions will make a stock that has poor handling characteristics and may even add to the felt recoil.  A properly designed stock

Improves handling, reduces felt recoil, and is pleasing to the eye.  It is not our intention here to teach you stock making.

How These Drawings Evolved:

Normally drawings are very specific about dimensions, and tolerances are very tight, not so with these drawings.  You will see that there is a range of dimensions for most measurement.  The reason for this is simple, no two shooters are alike, so you need to be able to adjust the dimensions for the shooter.  Also magnum guns are generally built heavier than standard caliber guns to help control recoil.  The dimensions included here were derived by measuring about 100 stocks from various custom makers, some names you would recognize and some you might not.  So the ideas represented come from a broad cross section of custom stock makers, not just the opinion of one maker.

How do I decide which dimensions to use?

The Caliber of the rifle, and the size of the barreled action will be a major factor in this decision.  A light caliber like 243 Winchester with a sporter weight barrel would likely use the smaller dimensions, because the recoil will be low and handling is probably more important than controlling recoil.  On the other hand, if you working with a 375 H&H you will likely want a heavier stock to help manage recoil.  Grip length and curve may be tighter on a standard caliber where recoil will not bang your knuckles against the trigger guard.  Magnum stocks normally get a longer grip with a more open curve.   Since classic stocks are not generally used on varminters, or benchrest guns excessively heavy barrel tapers do not enter into the question.  However, you will find that much of the data here will apply to other stock designs.   For instance comb height, length of grip, and length of comb are all pretty universal.

I want to use my stock strictly with iron sights, does that make a difference?

Yes, it makes a huge difference.  Looking at the dimensions, you will see that several of the measurements are specified for either scoped or iron sighted rifle.   Use the dimensions for the sight system you will be using as your primary sights on the rifle.

Tricks the Pros use:

Clients want a stock that “fits like a glove”.  To accomplish this, a surprisingly small change is needed.  You will see dimensions for Cast and Cant included in the drawings.  In general, cast off is for right hand shooters and conversely cast on is most often used for left-handed shooters, the same is true of Cant. Grips can ‘Cant’ as well, use the same rule for right and left-handers.  Cant the grip up to about .125” in the desired direction.  This is accomplished by finding the centerline of the stock and then marking the center of the grip canted in the direction desired.

Recoil can be controlled by some simple changes to the stock design.  First, make the butt as large as the design will allow.  Second, use a high quality recoil pad, like the Pachmayer Decelerator®, Kick-Eez®, or Limb Saver®.  The third major method for controlling recoil is making the pitch of the stock neutral.  Pitch is measured as the angle of the butt to the bore line, neutral is 90 degrees to the bore line.  Once the top of the stock along the barrel channel is finished it can be used as the bore line, set the stock upside down on flat table, using a square you can mark the pitch on the butt where you intend to cut it off for the recoil pad installation.  Finally, installation of a mercury recoil reducer in the stock is a great way to control recoil, although it does add weight to the stock.

Each area of the stock should flow smoothly into the next.  Shadow lines if used should be crisp and clean, but not sharp to the touch.  The best way to check these items is to close your eyes and feel with your fingers.  It is amazing how small an imperfection you can pick out with just a touch.

Fred Zeglin is the copyright holder for these prints and is working on an updated file format so they can return to the market. 06/01/2018

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Firearms Guide 2011, DVD

Comprehensive resource for gun nuts.Picked this guide up at the Shot Show, over the years I have probably seen twenty of these either in print or on CD.  I have to be honest though, this is the first time I have looked through a guide like this and enjoyed myself.

It is easy to use, loads fast on the computer, and the interface is pretty intuitive.  The folks at Impressum Media, Inc. really did impress me with this collection of data.

There are schematics from 130 different manufacturers, 500 printable targets.  But that is just a small part of what is on this disc.  There are pictures of the various models of guns.

Factory ammo is well represented with details including bullet weight, # of rounds per box, suggested retails, and even a little commentary about the caliber.  Some include velocity, energy, and the length of barrel used to test the ammo.  Pictures accompany most if not all cartridge listed.

The menus allow you to jump from one area of the guide to another with just a click of the mouse.  You can sort data by caliber, manufacturer, model and a host of other data points.  I even found my own address information in the FFL Locator.

The Firearm Guide includes information on a claimed 50,000 + guns.  I counted 15 different ways I could sort the the gun or feature that I’m interested in.  There is a picture for each model listed and you can zoom in to see details, I found the serial # in more than one picture and could read the #. If you need more detail than this you better get in the car and head to the gun shop.

Ok, I am done gushing…  I am going to do some research, I wonder how many different model rifles come in 6.5 mm Grendel?

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John M. Browning Honored by Utah Legislature!

Browning was the most prolific gun designer of the last century, designing rifles, pistols, shotguns, machine guns, and artillery no other designer is more deserving of such attention.  In recognition of his lasting contributions to the

John Moses Browning honored by Utah Legislature!development of firearm design and the military defense of the United States, the Utah State Legislature has officially designated January 24, 2011 as John M. Browning Day. A native of Ogden, Utah, John M. Browning is widely considered the world’s greatest firearms designer, and many of his gun designs remain popular around the globe to this day.

In his biography, “John M. Browning, American Gunmaker” The story of how he accepted a greatly reduced royalty for his work during World War I.  His brother Matt recalled that he expected John to take a little time to discuss the offer.  Instead Browning said, “Major if that suits Uncle Sam, it’s all right with me.”  When they left the office Matt mentioned to John that they could have had much more money without any real negotiation, to which John replied, “Yes, and  if we were fifteen or twenty years younger we’d be over there in the mud!”

The official commemoration took place on January 24th at the Utah State Capitol Rotunda in Salt Lake City.  Utah Governor Gary Herbert is scheduled to make a formal presentation of the resolution to Christopher Browning, the great grandson of John M. Browning, at the noon ceremony on the capitol steps.

1911 Pistol, 45 ACP

It was March 29th, 1911 when the 1911 pistol was adopted so 2011 is the 100th anniversary of that adoption of Browning’s 1911 .45 caliber automatic pistol by the US Army. A century later this pistol  remains in active military use with US special operations forces and is more popular than ever among civilians, gun collectors, competitive shooters and law enforcement officers.  John M. Browning’s influence is so far reaching that in Europe a “browning” is the common name for a semi-auto pistol.

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How to Shape a Classic Rifle Stock

Here is a product that will be invaluable to anyone trying to learn how to make a Classic Rifle Stock correctly.   Your not limited to a Classic design though, the dimensions are such that you can adapt for any style stock you might want to build you might say they are good guidelines.

These drawings are well thought out and allow you to adapt the design to whatever project your working on.  They come on a CD and can be printed on a desktop printer, or you can print them on a plotter if you want a full size set of drawings to hang on the wall.
You can get more info and buy the drawings, click here.

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Benjamin Franklin Knew it was Inevitable

To members of the Constitutional Convention, “Sir, though we may set out in the beginning with moderate salaries, we shall find that such will not be of long continuance. Reasons will never be wanting for proposed augmentations; and there will always be a party for giving more to rulers, that the ruler may be able in return to give more to them. Hence, as all history informs us, there has been in every state and kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing and the governed, the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the princes or enslaving of the people. Generally, indeed, the ruling power carries its point, and we see the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but alway in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes, the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans, and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure.”

Quoted from “The 5000 Year Leap Principles of Freedom 101” Skousen 1981

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