Katrin Frye of Montana Public Radio reported on both the NRA Short Term Gunsmith program and the new full time college credit certificate available at FVCC in Kalispell, MT. The link below will take you direct to the audio file.
Category Archives: Stocks
A barrel should be inlet up to the center line of the bore, or in other words, half it’s diameter should be below the wood line. All too many new gunsmiths and hobby gunsmiths just inlet until they can get the screws into the action and call it good.
There is a simple way to make sure your barrel channel is deep enough so that the bore line will be aligned to the top of the stock. Take a square and place the outside 90 degree corner of the squared into the barrel channel. If the square touches on all three sides then the barrel channel is a half circle.
If the point at the bottom of the barrel channel touches and keeps the sides from contacting the top of the stock then your too shallow. Conversely, if the point of the square does not touch but both sides are in contact with the top of the stock then your past 50 percent depth.
Fred Zeglin is working on a series of booklets, “Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series”. This little how-to tip is just one peek into the upcoming books. What gunsmithing tips would interest you?
For years Melvin Forbes has been offering custom light weight rifles through his company, “New Ultra Light Arms”. For 2014 Forbes is bringing to market a production rifle under a different company www.forbesriflellc.com.
These rifles will be light weight hunting guns, just like the custom guns Forbes has offered in the past. The production rifles will be offered in the short action M20B, and the long action M24B. Short actions will be chambered in 308 Winchester, 243 Winchester, and 7mm-08. The long action rifles will be chambered in 270 Winchester, 280 Remington, 6.5×55 Sweed, 30-06, and 35 Whelen.
Production rifles will sport Timney Triggers, with sear block safety, and 3 round magazines, CNC machined actions, spiral fluted bolts, and hand laid carbon fiber/Kevlar stocks with 13.375″ Length of pull. Stocks will be available in multiple colors.
Forbes is not abandoning New Ultra Light Arms. They will continue to build the fine custom rifles they have become famous for.
4D seems to always be looking for new products to serve the gunsmith. They are known for renting tools to the trade, but did you know they offer many products for sale too?
For some time they have been offering Dakota grip caps and bolt handles to their customers.
Their newest introduction are inserts for Dakota skeleton grip caps. At present they are only available for the radiused version of grip cap. The first run is made up of several types or Mycarta. The idea is to offer a product that saves the gunsmith valuable time and still offers a quality and value added service for the client. Mycarta is a fully resinated material that is water proof, it is often used on custom knives for handles because of it’s durability.
These inserts cut the time required for inletting one of these skelotonized caps to a stock. Many clients like the idea of adding a different touch that make the rifle unique to them. The two lighter colors show here mimic ivory without extreme expense. Layers of paper in the mycarta give the effect of the grain you normally see in ivory. Mycarta can be skrimshawed to further customize the cap. Easy way to provide a classy look.
4D plans to offer other materials depending upon customer requests. Walnut is an obvious choice. Often these inserts are checkered and these material lend themselves well to checkering.
Below is a finished black linen mycarta insert, just to show what the finished product can look like. There really is no limit to what can be done with these inserts. Cool custom touches really make a rifle special, and this is definitely a custom touch.
4D is debuting these inserts just in time for SHOT Show, but we get to tell you about it here first.
4D Reamer Rentals LTD. has a long history or providing quality tools for gunsmithing.
Recently they provided me with a test sample of their latest product. Its a release agent for use with glass bedding products. I have tried it with several bedding compounds and other epoxy products. Results have been great, not only does it release as any such agent should, it does so with no oily film either on the metal or the stock.
I’m not going to tell you this is the “only” release agent to use. But is has a couple of advantages I want to point out. First, it is a green product. I don’t buy into everything about the green movement, but I do like to use products that are not hazardous to my health. I figure I am exposed to enough junk on a daily basis, there is no reason to purposely add to the mix.
This product is at worst a mild irritant. Some similar products require hazard fees to ship, 4D’s release agent does not. They ship it with a sprayer that makes it easy to apply. You just mix the concentrate they ship 4 to 1 with Isopropyl alcohol (which the customer provides locally) and put it in the sprayer. It takes a short time to dry, that is probably the one down side. I just sprayed the parts before I mixed my compound and the parts were ready to go by the time I was ready for them.
The professional grade spray system that comes with the release agent has countless applications, disposable, recyclable, easy to clean and where no compressor is available its a God send. 4D sells the sprayers and replacement parts separately too.
How the sprayer operates is simple, release agent, liquid, or paint product is pulled from a removable, refillable Product Container. The pressure comes from the top part called the “Power Unit”, contained separately from the “Product Container”. A dip tube runs through the Power Unit and into the Product Container pulling up whatever you are spraying.
The product container is a glass bottle with graduations so it’s easy to mix or measure the product you plan to spray. This is a great option for somebody who does not have a compressor or needs a field expedient solution. I like this product.
FVCC’s Continuing Education department has announced the addition of gunsmithing courses to their offerings. During July of 2012 seven new courses will be offered to hobby gunsmiths and professionals alike. Brandon Miller, Coordinator for the new Gunsmithing courses was the NRA Coordinator for Murray State College as well as a gunsmithing instructor, until his move to the Kalispell area in 2011.
Two armorers courses are being offered and are in the process of accreditation via POST. The first is an AR-15, AR-10 Armorers Course. This five day (40 hour) course is to familiarize the student with the AR-15/AR-10 weapons format. Instruction will include function, disassembly, as well as reassembly, of main and sub groups. Troubleshooting and function testing tips, tool use and the installation of many aftermarket custom parts. Optional caliber choices in the AR-15 format will be addressed. The AR-10 and various manufacturers will be discussed, with particular attention to compatibility of parts. Students should to bring their own firearms as guns will not be provided.
Second, a five day (40 hour) course will focus on design, function and repair to factory service specifications for shotguns, including the study of feeding, loading, extraction, headspace, gas systems and basic repair and maintenance of all parts. Guns covered will be Benelli M1, Remington 870, Remington 1100, Remington 11-87, Mossberg 500, Mossberg 835, etc.
An exciting opportunity to learn from an American Custom Gunmakers Guild member, Lee Helgeland, the art of gunstock checkering. Tools, layout and patterns will be discussed in depth as you actually checker your own gunstock. The tips and tricks discussed can shave years off the learning curve of this artistic and functional part of stockmaking. Bring your gunstocks and tools, this is a hands on class.
Fred Zeglin, Master Gunsmith, will be teaching two classes for this program. The first is his popular Wildcat Cartridge Design class. This class takes the student from a raw idea to making the tools needed to form brass and chamber a barrel for a custom cartridge design. Students will make tools in this class and walk away with a full understanding of how to safely design and test a cartridge.
Fred’s second class will be Glass Bedding for rifles. This five day course will highlight stress-free bedding processes while focusing on pillar bedding. The course will discuss the intricacies of the ultra accurate bolt action field rifle on today’s market. Areas covered will be bedding, scope mounting, headspace and triggers. The student will have the opportunity to bed at least one rifle in the method he/she chooses. Methods for different actions and reasoning behind the different processes will be discussed in detail. Stock pillars will be made in class. Bring your rifle.
Other classes will be Alterntive Finihses: The purpose of this class is to familiarize the student with various finishes other than hot caustic bluing. There will be an instruction and demonstration in hot water bluing treatments such as Brownells Classic Rust Blue and Dicropan IM, as well as Nitre Blue. Students will also be instructed in the use of Zinc/Manganese Parkerizing as well as the setup and application of various spray-on finishes. Students will have and opportunity to apply Parkerizing or one of the spray-on finishes to at least one firearm and possibly a second one if time allows. So, bring your projects.
Finally, Color Case Hardening. The differences between color case hardening modern actions as compared to antique actions will be discussed. Participants will receive hands-on training as they color case harden various parts and/or actions. Students will need to bring their own projects.
There are only a few gunsmithing schools around the country, so in order to take these classes students normally have to travel to one of these schools. By offering these classes FVCC becomes the only school in the Pacific Northwest to provide such quality training. For more information contact the Continuing Education Offices at FVCC, (406) 756-3822 or better yet, check out their web site: https://ace.fvcc.edu/ShowSchedule.awp?&Mode=GROUP&Group=GS&Title=Gunsmithing
Mossberg claims this is the first bolt action rifle designed to utilize AR style magazines.
Chambered in 5.56mm NATO (.223 Rem) Weaver-style basesCombo package includes a pre-mounted and bore-sighted 4-16x50mm variable riflescope, bi-pod and 10-round magazine 24”, button rifled, medium-bull barrel with a 1:9 rate of twist. and an 11 degree varmint crown finishes the barrel off. A benchrest style stock with a down turned pistol grip. The trigger is fully adjustable from 2 to 7 lbs. A nice touch is the spiral fluted bolt standard from the factory.
These rifles could easily be converted to use any cartridge that will fit in the AR Magazine, most notable, the 6.8 SPC, and the 204 Ruger. MSRP for the rifle is about $650. Add $100 for the scope package.
This new rifle is already featured on the Mossberg web site.