Introduction

O OMETHING over a year ago, in writing to Dr. Paul B. Jen-kins, then shooting editor of Outdoor Recreation, I made the statement that there were a number of points I should like to hare seen discussed in Whelen's "Amateur Gunsmithing" which were not covered therein. Apparently Dr. Jenkias was impressed with the outline of features which I thought would be of value to the gun crank as well as the professional gunsmith, for he sent my letter to Colonel Whelen without more ado.

Now the Colonel, being the most agreeable of men, frankly stated that "Amateur Gunsmithing" was not as complete as he should like to have made it, being the first work on the subject, and requiring original investigation, for which time was limited. And in further evidence of his devotion to a good cause, he cordially invited me to write the kind of gunsmithing book I was talking about, generously offering me any or all of the original material in his book, and his personal cooperation in the new enterprise a9 well.

If at first I felt flattered by the invitation, the feeling was quickly dispelled by the realization of 'what a big mouthful I had bitten off for myself; I was pretty much in the same situation of the nigger who caught a wild-cat by the tail—"couldn't hang on, an' dassent let loose!" But as all things must eventually have an ending, the last line was finally written, the last photograph made ; and from the heart of the continent there sounded one long drawn sigh of relief.

Ir is evident that a book of this character cannot in the nature of things be entirely the work of one man. In the field of gunsmithing, as elsewhere, we unconsciously lean toward specialization, doing more of the work we like best, and less of the work we do not understand so well, or for which we arc not so well equipped. In "Modern Gunsmithing," therefore, my work has been quite as much that of a compiler as of an author; the meager results of personal experience have been enlarged by adding the experience and knowledge of others, with a view to placing in the hands of gunsmiths and gunowners the greatest amount of useful material and information, regardless of its source.

There seemed to be a definite desire on the part of a large number of shooters for a textbook of gunsmithing practice, and every effort has been made to incorporate in "Modern Gunsmirhing" detailed instructions covering those jobs most often required by the gun-crank.

There are some who will scoff at this suggestion, pointing out that the high degree of skill acquired by expert gunsmiths was not acquired by reading a book, but through long apprenticeship to the trade; and pointing out also the elaborate and costly machinery necessitated in the manufacture of modern firearms. All this is true; and it would be not only futile, but silly, to claim that this or any other text book would place the amateur workman or the gun-crank on a par with the expert of long experience, or enable him to perform all the intricate mechanical operations possible only in the well equipped factory shops.

It has been our purpose, therefore, to cover as thoroughly as possible those jobs which can be considered practicable for the amateur workman, and for the gunsmith with a small shop and limited equipment, and to show not only the possibilities, bur also the limitations of amateur gunsmithing. And while some of the jobs described may prove to be beyond the ability of some workmen, they will, it is hoped, serve a useful purpose in bringing to the gunowner a greater appreciation of the guns he owns—of the skill and material which enter into their makeup—at the same time showing the fallacy, perhaps, of some of the things which shooters demand of the factories—things which are dearly impossible or impracticable once the subject is better understood.

It is hoped also, that our work may serve another useful purpose, in the way of a warning against a type of gunmaker who sneers at the work of our great arms factories and offers, in some mysterious manner which he carefully conceals from the trusting customer, ro do things which the factories, with all their experience and costly equipment, do not claim to do.

We are tempted at times, of course, to take exception to the attitude of our large factories, when they refuse to give us something which we think we want—which refusal is always necessitated by the fact that the factories are lined up for regular production, and cannot, in the nature of things, feo into custom work without involving mare expense than the job would bring. But before we start cussing them let us remember that the products of our old established factories, while they may not always suit us in certain minor details, are pretty certain to be dependable, accurate, and to live up to the very modest claims of the makers. Which is a blamed sight more than the products of some custom shops will do, despite the gold dogs, the flubdubs, an the furbelows with which they are embellished.

A large portion of the credit for "Modern Gunsmithing" belongs to Lt. Colonel Townsend Whelen, without whose untiring energy and splendid cooperation the work would not have been possible, and would not have been attempted. In fact, though he modestly refuses to have his name attached as co-author, he wrote the chapter? on barrel work and cartridge design and construction. I wanted these chapters to be absolutely authoritative, and I know of no man so well qualified as he is to cover the subjects.

I wish tn acknowledge also the very valuable assistance rendered closed season on targets, tin cans, chunks of driftwood. Yeah, I

by Major Julian S. Hatcher, Mr. James V. Howe, Mr. Frank J. reckon I'll get my share of shooting, as long as they make powder!"

Kahrs, Mr. Lou Smith. Captain Edward C. Crossman, the Lyman ^rank gapes, W» mouthed- 1 d/'dn'< ^

Gunsight Corporal,on, the Marble Arms & Equipment Company, S"ch * * I. sec <»* ° the» bullets. Wow! That

Remington Arms Company, Hunter Anns Company, Parker Gun ^ ^ r T^ Zi"

Company, Fox Gun Company, Ithaca Gun Company, and other th.alk stccl¿«to-**'5 used , firms and individuals who have been so gencmus i.i the matter of Bdl kcePs r^Kt ?n ^impressed No, I don t «Aon that supplying needed data or illustrations; and I am most grateful also wuld tear through many elephants. You see, Fnuik, that isn t to the several individual shooters, some of whom 1 have never met. a 'I?*1 Jackct uas y°u caU ,t: U * a1hardk.Cft all°y who have come to the front with interesting illustrations of their small game—that cartridge m your hand-wh.ch you call a bul-

own handiwork, besides their many valuable suggestions. let.~V ."M l0?d 1 °° "»""«fe and thc J** Shoots

Last but no! least 1 am indebted to the publishers for the many ^ a 1,tJlc !*ldcr a twenty-two. Gives me a chance to get constructive criticisms, chaptcr by chapter, which have prevented the acquainted with my big game rifle outside the hunting season, possible omission of much important data that might easily have Hcck> that d bc t0° much for me—twenty-two s big enough been overlooked, and whose assistance in the matter of securing for anything around here. I've got a peach of a twenty-two. Cost the cooperation and aid of leading firearms manufacturers, has oght-fifty—-knocks em dead far as you can see 'em—hardest shootm proven invaluable. twenty-two I ever saw. Say, Bill, that reminds me, they's some rust

The preparation of this book has taught me that thc best way to or something in that barrel—1 told my kid brother to clean it up really learn something about a given subject is to attempt to write last summer, but I s'pose he forgot it. I had it out on a fishin' trip, a book on it!—and if thc reader acquires half a* much new informa- *>ut hadn't shot it more'n a dozen times. Smokeless, too—I always tion from reading "Modern Gunsmithing" as the author acquired in us« smokeless ca'tridges. I'll bring it over an' you can clean it up.

the writing of it. he will find, I hope, that his effort has not been "Thanks!" grunts Bill. "Move around just a little, will you, entirely wasted. Frank, so I can get elbow room?"

Kansas City. Mo. Clyde Bakba. !!5.urel Say what are you doing to that stock anyhow?

July, 1928 1 m taping it up right now.

"Wasn't thc shape all right when you got it?"

Chapter I "Made it! You mean to tell me you made that stock yourself?

HOME GUNSMITHING "What'd ya make it out of?"

H "Piece of walnut like that blank over there in rhe corner."

ELLO, Bill!" "You mean to tell me you carved that out of a chunk of wood

Believe the weather's coolin' off a bit, ain'r it?—for heck sake, "Nothing different"

And 13ill smiles. "Well, not exactly. Just a new stock for one "Well howd'ja get it that shape?—huh? Howd'ja get that groove of my old ones." cut in for thc barrel? Howd'ja get all them other holes cut to fit

"One of 'em! How many you got, anyhow?" Say, boy! You've got more rime to waste than 1 have."

"Oh, not many, 1 guess. Four rifles, my old Parker 12 that 1 Bill lays down his rasp and turns from the bench. "Frank, you're use for ducks and a 20 gauge Smith for birds, and four or five * pretty good guy—in spots—maybe. But you've a lot to learn, pistols—not counting a coupla target pistols 1 made out of .22 You're missing a lot of fun. Guess you're interested or you wouldn't rifles." be asling so many questions. I'll make you a proposition. Our

4 My Gawd! You figurin' on startin a revolution or something." rifle and pistol club meets at thc Armory tomorrow night. Come on

"Nope. Just like to shoot, and fool with guns. What did I do out with me—meet a bunch of good scouts—learn to shoot a rifle, with that other file?"—and Bill rummages among the odds and ends You'll get just as much fun out of the game as I do—maybe more."

on thc bcnch. Frank watches him a moment. "Nothin* doin' old timer—not for me. Learn to shoot?—hell! I

"Say, ain't that some kind of an old army rifle?—that thing stick- bet I can shoot better'n most of them birds right now;—an' be-

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must cost you a gotta beat it—

ing out on the side looks like the ones we had at Funston during the sides I gotta date with a keen frail at thc Play-

war. Boy, I sure was glad to get rid of mine!" night—boy, y'oughta see her. Some rib! Gosh, it i

"Well, this isn't an old array rifle, exactly, though it is a Spring- pile of jack to do al! that shootin, don't it? Well, field barrel and action. This is thc 'Sporter' model sold by the Di- sec you later. Say, Bill—lend me five, will you—111 pay you Sat rector of Civilian Marksmanship to members of the National Rifle urday. Thanks! Well, so long!"

Association." Bill tums back to thc bench with a sigh of relief.

Frank inspects the gun with a knowing air. "Ura-m huh! Thirty-

thirty ain't it! Boj!-how far will that thing shoot?" ^ , h p;cture-and it isn't exaggerated. In city, town.

Cant say. Depends on how high you hold it. I'll sight it n mc piwuic -«« ws for a hundred yards for hunting." s gnt it m h arc , q{ R ^ ^ fi d h ev«y-

"Aw hell—I bet that thing 'ud carry clear over into the next w!Jcrc\ SloLwly' bUt f"*1* " l county! Wha'd'ya want with a thing like that around her* Tr cuul?tcd » the °f """ vft fi^l^f pS nf anyhow—can't use it in this country can you?" weakness, glorying in their inability to do things Proud of a thc fact that they ve never been taught to use their hands—and

0 .. . . ? , . . It__ .hlind also, to the fact that they know mighty little about using their

D) this time Will is becoming somewhat nettled. You can it heads.

you're not crippled: 1 get out for a little shooting on the range Work_honest, decent labor, skill of fingers, accuracy of eye,—

most every Saturday and Sunday. Don't have much time through ^^ow it seems to be beneath the present generation. The busi-the week. Now and then I get down along the river and throw a few man ¡n his 0fficc stjcfcs out his chest, holds "conferences." at thc driftwood, and such, as it floats down. Great sport, that— frowBS an<J looks wise, preening himself on that thing he calls "abil-good practice for game-shooting, too." >» Thcn he sharpens his pencil by sticking it into a little machine inn i'liri(>M«%ir. . rk ii/'it_ava «tir« V r% rrimn '••nam/1 '' - ■ vml J ^ _____ »t__a. . f M«

and ducks in season. And last fall I got a prime elk and a nice bear a*li«ie'useless'penknife ~

out in Wyoming—and this fall I'm going up in Idaho with a - $h to bc whetted!—yes, he does just that. We've°been friend oi mmc whose brother owns a ranch there. There's plenty pampcrc(i now t0 the point of helplessness—and if we don't watch of shooting if >ou know where to find it—and besides there's no ouf ^ we1l ourselVes at the point of uselessness.

The average man who owns a gun—I said the average—takes it to the gunsmith to be cleaned—usually two or three weeks after using it. iSut the average man of today doesn't own a pin— knows nothing about a gun—and brags about his ignorance. "Reform" has done wonders—in the way of making us a race of saps. Not that lack of gun knowledge, or a liking for firearms constitutes a man a sap—but the general trend of the times is doing this

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