by Jim (the gunsmith)
Ordinarily I don’t recommend altering an antique firearm. The reason being is that it often reduces the value of the gun in question. But sometimes you can modify the cosmetics of your firearm and add value to it if it’s done correctly. Such will be the case with this particular firearm. New stocks, custom engraving, and even some wire inlay in the wood, along with a nice metal finish.
I started off this project with an old Stevens Favorite in .22 LR. The stock was cracked and damaged in several places. It was missing the extractor, and had no butt plate. It was in generally poor condition and was simply a shooter at best when some parts were replaced. So why not make a silk purse from a sow’s ear ? Use this as a platform of sorts to help showcase some of the skill sets we offer at Coastal Defense.
After stripping the gun of the action and barrel, I polished the action and engraved it. Next engraving was added to help hide some of the minor pitting that couldn’t be polished out.
Next, I ordered and fitted a new extractor and machined a new firing pin. I had made my own electroplating tool and used 24 KT gold to plate all parts in the mechanism after a thorough polishing to produce as much of a luster as possible. All pins and screws were also plated.
Before assembling the action again, I gave the receiver a nice French Gray finish to highlight the engraving. Wow. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig !
In the next blog series, I’ll show how I carved a stock out of figured hard maple and fitted it to the action.