Fitting a metal buttplate and stock inlays

by Jim Green, Gunsmith on April 16, 2014

This “ambitious” project started off as yet another single shot custom rolling block. The customer for this rifle opted for wire inlays in the stock instead of fancy engraving. The action will be color case hardened as the project progresses. To begin, I taped a pattern to the side of the stock once the wood had been fitted to the action and sanded smooth.

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Next comes the long chore of scribing the lines in pencil, and cutting each line one at a time. A small tack hammer is used to tap each piece of either brass or German silver wire into place.

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After getting all the lines of the inlay tapped into place, the next step will be to add the leaves to the design.

For this I simply use a jeweler’s saw to cut each shape by hand.

Inlay2

Also, I needed to fit a metal buttplate to the back of the stock. To do this, I coat the inside of the metal with stock maker’s black. Pressing it against the wood will transfer a mark to show me where the high spots are. I remove the marked high spots with a fil and rasp and keep working it down until the buttplate is fitted.

Buttplate1

To save space and time here, I won’t post too many pictures of this lengthy process.

Buttplate2

So how did this part of the rifle project turn out ? Here’s a side view of the inlay with two coats of oil finish so far.

Inlay3

And a view of the end with the buttplate in place. The metal has already been color case hardened after the final sanding of the wood to get a nice fit.

Inlay4

The barrel has been threaded to the action and the chamber has been cut. Once the customer decides what type of sights he wants these will be added. The last part of the project will be the wooden fore end. This will have a nice wire inlay design and a large escutcheon will be hand cut to provide a place for the screw that will mount the wood to the barrel. The finish on the wood will be tung oil with speed driers. Several coats will be built up for depth and wet sanded between each coat with 600 grit paper until the “orange peel” of the high / low spots are removed. The top coats will be polished with rottenstone and boiled linseed oil until very smooth. The stock and foreend will be finished together to ensure even color. The wood is Claro walnut form California with in fancy grade #2.

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Disassembly of BAR Long/short trac part 2

by Jim Green, Gunsmith on April 2, 2014

Picking up from part 1, we can finish disassembly of the BAR Longtrac/short trac hunting rifle. Locate the gas plug on the front of the gas system. Remove this using an 11/16″ wrench. You will notice a small slotted screw on the right hand side — DO NOT remove this screw or turn it for any reason ! This regulates the flow of burning gasses and making ANY changes here will effect how to rifle functions !

BAR12
If you pull back slightly on the recoil spring and guide, you’ll see the piston. With the gas plug removed you can use the guide rod to push the piston forward and insert a soft punch to push the piston out the front of the gas system. Be careful not to mar the piston or you may have problems with functioning later on.

BAR11

Slide the guide rod forward and remove it along with the recoil spring and the block from underneath the barrel. Pay attention to how the 3 piece buffer sits against the receiver. This way you’ll know how everything goes back during reassembly.

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This picture shows you how the piston sits on the end of the guide rod when the assembly is inside the rifle. Clean the crud and carbon fouling from the piston with a soft brush and solvent. Reassemble this DRY… no oil on these parts.

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Now this is where things become interesting. Removing the bolt from the receiver is a bit tricky.

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Pull the bolt and carrier back until the bolt unlocks. Hold the bolt carrier in place with one hand and slide the steel cover forward until you get a small gap long enough to get the bolt handle out.

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What you’re going to do is expose a small retaining clip that holds the charging handle in the bolt carrier. This picture will show you the location of this clip. It’s spring loaded, so you’ll gently pry it up with a pick, and slide the entire handle forward in it’s dovetail and slip it up and out of the way.

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Gently pry up on the bolt and carrier body on the OPPOSITE side from where the charging handle goes.

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The entire bolt and carrier assembly have to be turned sideways in order to remove it. This might take a little effort, but DO NOT apply any torque by prying hard on these parts to remove them. The bolt head must be in the unlocked position in order to remove the parts. You don’t want to damage anything. If the bolt is in the locked position you will not be able to remove this. A small cam protrudes from the side of the bolt carrier and rides in a slot inside the receiver. STOP at this point — since this is not gunsmithing instruction. This is only to show you how to disassemble and clean your rifle to ensure the gun functions at 100 % for hunting season.

BAR20

This last photo shows the bolt and carrier removed from the gun. It also shows you how far forward to slide the steel cover in order to get the charging handle out of it’s slot. Reassembly is exactly opposite of disassembly. Take the time to observe carefully how each part fit in place as you removed it. There are no special tricks necessary to get this rifle back together after it is cleaned. DO NOT under any circumstances remove and parts from the trigger mechanism ! Many of these parts are replaceable only by the factory and are not available to even a gunsmith. Do yourself a favor and do NOT attempt to perform your own trigger lightening job. Leave everything alone inside that part of the gun.

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Disassembly of BAR Longtrac/shorttrac Part 1

April 2, 2014

TweetThe BAR comes in three different types… the Safari, Long / short trac, and the Mark II. This will cover disassembly of the second type which internally is different from the Mark II covered in a video. Before you begin, make sure the rifle is unloaded for safety reasons. Remove the two pins that hold […]

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GunWorks Custom rifle for sale

March 24, 2014

TweetFor sale today is a custom classic hunting rifle built by GunWorks. The action is a Springfield 1903. The stock is Claro walnut with 50% figure throughout. The grip cap, fore end tip and butt plate spacer is African bubinga wood.     The fine line checkering is fleur-de-lis pattern on the wrist and fore […]

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Cowboy action AK -47 ?

March 23, 2014

TweetAfter a considerable amount of experimenting and tweaking, I think I finally hit upon a method for color case hardening the stamped sheet metal receivers for the AK sporting rifles I build on occasion in my shop. I was able to carefully get subtle peacock blues, grays and purple colors normally seen on Cowboy Action […]

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Reproducing an American hunting classic

March 12, 2014

TweetThis rifle is not quite finished as of yet, but I decided to post what there is done to this date. To spare the details of each step as they’ve been covered in previous blogs, this is a stylized reproduction of the types of firearms produced by Griffin and Howe, and carried by some of […]

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