Posted 25 July 2012 - 02:50 PM
A friend needed a Parker stock bent up and I needed to bend the Parker Repro 28g/.410 down.
So we got together for a little stock bending party a few weeks ago.
Here's the basic setup. We did the original Parker first. Triggerguard was removed. The gun had 3 1/4" of drop at the heel!
Once the gun was delicately clamped in the fixture, the wrist was wrapped with cotton rags and soaked in oil. It was continuously dowsed in oil at the wrist and foil protected what was not covered by the rags.
The first bend was fully a 1/2" after cooling and released. Very little springback. The gun had 2 3/4" drop at the heel now. We were so thrilled we didn't break the stock. The upper tang did look like it was digging into the stock a bit and we disassembled the gun and cleared the wood a bit to relieve the pressure. We then decided another 1/4" was necessary. So, back in the fixture the gun went and we did another round on it. We also took out any cast and brought it to zero cast. Once cooled and released we were at 2 1/2" exactly. Fully 3/4" of bend in two bends! No cracks.
Next, my Repro was up. It's a straight grip stock.
In the fixture, clamped up.
I bent the stock 1/4" at the heel, down.
A friend had bent it down about 3/8" a year ago, but it came back to about 1/4" bend. It was still too high for me and I had shot it for over a year and still missed high consistantly unless I buried my cheek unnaturally. With the new drop, it feels very much like guns I shoot well. I've shot the gun since bending it and it's about as perfect a fit for me as I could ask.
I'm pretty thrilled to have bent these two guns successfully.
Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:03 PM
That's just one way to bend a stock. It seems to be the most popular among gunsmiths to use heat lamps and some kind of oil with rags to hold it against the stock.
But another way is similar but slightly different in that the source of the heat is a big torch. Up north of you in Ione, there's an Englishman named Dale Tate that uses a torch to heat the oil soaked rags. My friend in those pix above had Dale bend one of his Parkers and he tells of huge volumes of smoke pouring out of the shop when Dale does it, all the while with a big cigar in the corner of his mouth and talking and heating away. Pretty funny story to hear it told by my friend.
Another way I've seen pix of and some explanation of, was a rig where a large heated vat of linseed oil, located above the stock fixture, has a pipe and spigot to apply a constant flow of heated oil on the wrist of the stock. The fixture had a drain path and recovery tank. But it was pretty messy according to the smith that uses it.
I had wanted to build a fixture ever since I had seen pix of one. Over the years I've had a number of guns that I could have shot better or kept instead of selling if I had bent them.
But it's not all a bed of roses either. The third stock I bent did crack. It was my brother in law's sidelock Spanish sxs 20g. It had the grain in the wrist of the pistol gripped stock slightly angled and that was just enough to start the crack. It's a pretty small crack, but it was sobering after the great success of the first two.
Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:49 AM
Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:37 AM
Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:54 AM
But basically, it boils down to proper alignment of the eye with the barrels/sighting plane and proper height above the sighting plane, then length of pull (LOP)
The link below is to the best book I've seen on the topic of gunfitting. It's only 100 pages, but you'll know more about shotgun fit than nearly every gunsmith and shooting instructor you're likely to meet, after reading it.
Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:41 PM
There is so much to learn, and I am getting a good education here.
Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:01 PM
Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:40 PM
Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:21 PM
Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:28 AM
Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:32 AM
But the most common issue for single barrel guns (autos,pumps,etc.), or any other shotgun, is gun fit. Old vintage guns often have too much drop on the comb for modern shooting style. Some modern gunmakers will make the comb too high. Add to all this the fact that every shooter is built differently and you can see that a proper fit is about as likely as finding a new girlfriend. The closer you are to "normal", the more likely you'll find an off the shelf gun to fit you. Extremes of body characteristics like obesity, tall, short, etc, will often find it hard to find a gun off the shelf that has a proper fit.
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