Gunstocks page 4

A couple of overall pictures of the rifles that we have been looking at.




  1.     tools
  2. tang screw
  3. chiselsPhotos 1 and 2, in addition to the marking ink, show a tang screw in each picture. Note that the tang screw has a tapered shank. This taper provides a means to force the action rearward, rigidly securing it to the ‘head’ or front of the stock. The tool at the far left is simply and old screw driver which has had a tang screw brazed to the tip. When installing the tang screw, the holes on the action are located between centers and a hole is drilled through the wood. The diameter of this hole is a few thousandths larger than the  smallest diameter of the tang screw. The tool with the ‘tang screw’ end is then heated to about 250 degrees and inserted into the top of the hole with firm pressure while being rotated. When the tool cools, repeat the process 4-5 times until the parallel hole has become tapered, polished and a perfect mate for the actual tang screw. The lockup will be perfect.

The chisels, stropping leather, stone and jar of kerosene remind us that these tools must be SHARP!!  But that is another project.


Everyone needs a little inspiration!  Have a look at the inletting and superb workmanship on the Alexander Henry rifle shown below.  If it is any consolation, the workman who inletted the lock was a specialist who only did this work and could well have inletted hundreds of locks in his career.  The lower photo shows the inside of the forend of this rifle.




More inspiration

Pictured below is a long rifle by Don Kline.  Don has been a custom stock maker for over 30 years, primarily focusing on single shot and bolt action rifles.  His work has been shown in the pages of The Gun Digest and displayed as well at various places around the country. This is his first American long rifle.  Notice the work shows NO toolmarks while being crisp and alive.  Additional carving and wire inlay to be added.

Visit Don at