Here’s a cool video from one of the UK’s best-quality, boutique gunmakers: Smith & Torok. Check it out to see some classic, old-school gunmaking technques.
Here’s something you have to see: Customizing a Fox with English flair
It’s a story from Shooting Sportsman magazine about one of the craziest gun-making projects I’ve seen. It’s also a testament to just how talented its creator — Dewey Vicknair — is.
From the article: “This project started in much the same manner as most custom-gun commissions: an initial call from a client who wanted something unique, made to fit, lightweight and well proportioned. That last part is the main reason behind using a Fox as the starting point—because of the gun’s slender action bar and its almost perfect visual balance with the rest of the frame. The base for the project was a NIB-condition Utica-made Sterlingworth in 16 gauge…” Read more at Customizing a Fox with English flair.
To see more pics and learn more about everything Dewey did to this gun, check out this post on his blog: “Anglicizing” a Fox (#005)
Here’s something unsual: A hammerless 12g James Woodward & Sons side-by-side shotgun with a second-pattern James Purdey & Sons thumbhole lever. Very odd.
This Woodward looks like it’s right around the turn of the 19th century. In it’s day, the action was pretty current technology. But the mechanism that opens it — the Purdey thumbhole lever — is from an earlier generation of gunmaking.
James Purdey & Sons introduced it’s second-pattern thumbhole in the late 1860s. It was a refined version of the company’s first patent thumbhole, introduced in 1863 to go along with Purdey’s new double-bite bolt. By the mid 1870s, Purdey started transitioning to the toplever/Scott spindle setup on its hammerguns, and then it went to that system on almost all it’s shotguns by the the 1880s.
So what is this old fashion design doing with younger Woodward? I guess whoever ordered the gun wanted it there. Perhaps they were familiar with the system and wanted to stick with it on their new shotgun. And if that’s what the customer wanted (and could pay for) that’s what Woodward would have done.
James Purdey & Sons is one of the world’s most famous gunmakers – and for good reason. They’ve been making some of the world’s finest rifles and shotguns for almost 200 years. This video is an interesting look inside the company. It’s good, but long (1 hour and 30 minutes). To make it easier to watch, here’s a cheat sheet of times & topics. The things I do for you!
00:00 – 10:00 – General History, with Richard Purdey
10:00 – 27:48 – Evolution of the Purdey Shotgun
27:49 – 32:40 – Inside the Purdey Factor – Barrel Making
32:41 – 39:20 – The Action
39:21 – 50:00 – The Locks
50:00 – 55:30 – The Triggers
55:30 – 1:11:12 – Stocking, unique jobs of Purdey Stockers
1:11:12 – 1:17:28 – Engraving
1:17:28 – 1:30:15 – Regulating & Finishing