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Stoeger Publishing Great Outdoor Books Since 1924 STOEGER PUBLISHING COMPANY is a division of Benelli U.S.A. Benelli U.S.A. Vice President and General Manager: Stephen Otway Vice President of Marketing and Communications: Stephen McKelvain Stoeger Publishing Company President: Jeffrey Reh ‘Managing Editor: Harris J. Andrews Creative Director: Cynthia T. Richardson ‘Marketing and Communications ‘Manager: Alex Bowers Imaging and Pre-Press Manager: William Graves ‘National Sales Manager: Jennifer Thomas Special Accounts Manager: Julie Brownlee Publishing Assistants: Amy Jones, Amy Sargent Proofreader: Celia Beattie Photography: Bryce Towsley © 2006 by Stoeger Publishing Company. All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Published by: Stoeger Publishing Company 17603 Indian Head Highway, Suite 200 Accokeek, Maryland 20607 BKOSIL ISBN-13: 978-0-88317-294-0 ISBN-10: 0-88317-294-1 Library of Congress Control Number: 2004109586 Manufactured in the United States of America Distributed to the book trade and to the sporting goods trade by: Stoeger Industries 17603 Indian Head Highway, Suite 200 Accokeek, Maryland 20607 ‘www.stoegerpublishing. com OTHER PUBLICATIONS: ‘Shooter's Bible ‘The World’s Standard Firearms Reference Book Gun Trader’s Guide Complete Fully Ilustrated Guide to Modern Firearms with Current Market Values Hunting & Shooting: Archer's Bible Presents: ‘The Bowhunter’s Guide Flk Hunter's Bible High Performance Muzzleloading Big Game Rifles High Power Rifle Accuracy Hunt Club Management Guide Hunting Whitetails East & West Hunting the Whitetail Rut Shotgunning for Deer Taxidermy Guide ‘Tennessee Whitetails ‘Trailing the Hunter's Moon ‘The Turkey Hunter's ‘Tool Kit: Shooting Savvy ‘The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy Whitetail Strategies, Firearms: Antique Guns How to Buy & Sell Used Guns ‘Model 1911: Automatic Pistol ‘Modern Beretta Firearms Reloading: ‘The Handloader’s Manual of Cartridge Conversions 3rd Ed Fishing: Archer's Bible Presents: Practical Bowfishing Big Bass Zone Catfishing: Beyond the Basics Fishing Made Easy Fishing Online: 1,000 Best Web Sites Flyfishing for Trout A-Z ‘Cooking Game: ‘The Complete Book of Dutch Oven Cooking Healthy Game & Fish Meals Wild About Freshwater Fish Wild About Game Birds Wild About Seafood Wild About Venison Wild About Waterfowl ‘World's Best Catfish Cookbook Nature: The Pocket Disaster Survival Guide ‘The Pocket Survival Guide US. Guide to Venomous ‘Snakes and Their Mimics Fiction: ‘The Hunt Wounded Moon Nonfiction: Escape In Iraq: ‘The Thomas Hamill Story Foreword “Gunsmith? Just the word itself brings to mind images of the Hawken Brothers, in St. Louis, hand-building the rifles that would dominate the Great Plains, or the old- school gunsmiths, such as my friend the late American Rifleman field editor Russ Carpenter. Russ was one of those guys who could do or fix anything that involved a gun. From the time he madea new extractor from scratch for my well-worn L.C. Smith or the odd hammer spring he made for Rifleman editor Pete Dickey’s Robin Hood revolver, he personified the old-school gunsmith. (Russ’ time on that spring probably exceeded the gun's value by a factor of ten, by the way.) He could be cranky, he could be brusque, but he could also be jovial and share his incredible knowledge and skill gladly—and he always did the job right or he wouldn't do it. Ican think of no higher praise for someone who makes their living with guns than another saying, “He a really good gunsmith” ‘What about the “new school” of gunsmiths? There are dozens of excellent gunsmithing courses that turn out thousands of qualified gunsmiths every year, yet it seems harder to find a “really good” one. They're out there, and most do great work, but they never seem to be anywhere near me when something happens that I can't fix. There hasalso been another evolution in gunsmithing that’s on the rise, And that’s the home gunsmith, It turns ut that working on your own guns is, well, pretty fun. And more and more shooters are giving it a try. Just look at the pages of the Brownells or Midway catalogs and you will instantly realize that even if every professional gunsmith in the country was spending money like a drunken sailor, there's no way they could support such a wide range of items as presented in those catalogs. So, who's buying this stuff? Guys like you and me. American Rifleman readers reflect the heart and soul of the American shooting and hunting community. It used to be that the average guy getting the Rifleman either had lathe in his basement or a distinguished marksman's badge on the wall. Almost every issue in the 1950s had a story about sporterizing a military rifle or rechambering one to a different caliber. As time has gone by, NRA’ role and membership have changed. Now NRA is nearly four million members strong, and while there are still a lot of guys with lathes in their basements, many others don't have them. That doesn't mean they are not interested in ‘working on their own guns, just that the tools or skills of the traditional gunsmith are beyond their reach. When it came to bringing that home-gunsmithing type of story back to American Rifleman, the guy I went to, without hesitation, was field editor Bryce M. Towsley. Tve worked with Bryce for more than 10 years and I am pleased to count Bryce as a dear friend, good for a good, ‘two-hour conversation on just about any aspect of guns, shooting or hunting, The thing I enjoy most about Bryce, be it in his writing or tales of hunting camps from Alaska to Africa, is his enthusiasm forall aspects of firearms, From bullet performance to bedding a rifle stock, his energy and passion for the subject rings throughout his text. Youd have a hard time finding a guy who enjoys guns—and home gunsmithing—more than Bryce. In addition, Bryce offers the reader his excellent photography. I can't count the times I've tried to figure ut exactly how to do something in my well-worn copy of Walther J. Howe's Modern Gunsmithing, thinking that a photo or two might have helped me avoid ruining a piece of metal or wood. Bryce has done a superb job of describing the process—be it fixing an inexpensive injection-molded stock or chambering a bolt-action rifle—in a clear, step-by-step manner backed up with excellent photos that show you how to do it. That's why Ithink thisbookis so important. Inone place, you can find a host of projects that you can do yourself. Even if you are not interested in anything more than putting on a new scope, Bryce’ insights and helpful tips make me wish he had done this book 15 years ago when I was trying. to figure out alot ofthis stuff for myself. Bryce has learned gunsmithing by actually doing itand is not afraid to ask for help. He might try something for himself and realize its not going well. Then he will go to the right guy for help. He asked Mark Bansner for help on chambering a rifle and, thanks to Mark’ instructions, Bryce was able to chamber his rifle without having to recut the threads or start over. Another thing you can count on with Bryce is that if says he did ithe really did. Whether its shooting too many groups from the bench with a 458 Winchester Magnum, rifle or botching a bedding job, he will tell you not only the truth, but whathe learned from it. He might be opinionated about things—and you may not agree with him—but you never have to doubt his sincerity or veracity. Bryce Towsley isa “gun guy” through and through, and that’s who this book is written to entertain and inform, other “gun guys” Mark A. Keefe IV in-Chief American Rifleman Contents Chapter 2 The he Gunsmith Sho poge 0 HOW We LAID. page 36 chapters Chapters Cleaning & Maintenance page eo Enhancing Accuracy pase 26 Chapter 6 “Pimp My Rifle” An Excuse for a New Rifle pase 130 WNdeX page 156