Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

Yesterday was a slow one.  Even the number of stool sitters has declined.  In this part of Virginia we've ended the "regular gun season" (deer season allowing "all" firearms) and moved back into bow season.  I only sold two guns, both Christmas presents.  We are seeing more high quality firearms walk in the door looking for a buyer.  The hot item yesterday was a 5½" barreled Ruger flat-gate Single-Six with 40xxx serial (1956).  No box, but in very good to excellent condition. 

Bears are still in and there are reportedly a lot of them out there this year.  I've heard it said that "bear are the new deer", i.e. as common as deer used to be.  The consensus is that the deer really suffered from the deep snows (deep for this area) we had for so long last winter.  The good news is that there is plenty of  hard mast and we should have good survival rates, depending on weather.

Back to firearms...  Sales do seem to be down now.  The manufacturers must be hurting as well because we learned that Smith and Wesson will be reducing prices on all firearms.  Sigmas will be reduced to $299 MSRP.  That's $13 less than current jobber prices!   I imagine many dealers are worried that they will have stock that can't be sold for enough to cover costs. Definitely a deflationary trend.

Ammo prices seemed to have dropped slightly, in some "cases" but I don't think this is a trend.  We continue to read that China is once again buying huge quantities of the metals used in ammunition.  This will tend to keep ammo prices high. 

I am constantly amazed at the penny-wise pound-foolish ways of some customers.  For example we had a fellow who drove 82 miles round-trip to the store to buy 4 Chicago screws.  He wanted 6 and for what he spent for gas in his truck he could have ordered on-line and had them delivered to his home and saved as much as $2!  No, it wasn't an immediate need item.   

Thursday, November 25, 2010

More Rediscovered Memories...

I didn't think I had these any longer but while cleaning we came across the photo albums which had these.  Hard to believe that was 35 years ago.
Awaiting my ride to the airport...
In 1974 I had just completed my 47-week course in Chinese (Mandarin) at the Defense Language Institute - West Coast (DLIWC) and was on orders for the Voice Intercept Operators' Course at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Texas before shipping out for my first tour in the ROK (Dec-Jan 1975).  We weren't big on photographs then.  It was supposedly a security risk but here I am, just as I'm waiting for my ride to the airport to fly to San Angelo.  I'm 19-years old here.  Yes, the regs have changed a bit in that time.  You can see my TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command) patch and I'm still wearing the little white taped on label on my name tag identifying my language (CM). That was pretty much it for photos until I went back to Korea for my second tour.
CW3 James C. Tice at his desk in the CE Shop, 125th ATC Bn
I returned to the ROK in August of 1977.  I went to the repo depot on Camp Coiner (adjoining Yongsan Garrison in Seoul) and managed to wrangle an assignment in Seoul with the 125th Air Traffic Control Battalion (Provisional).  I was then assigned as the senior PLL clerk for the Communications and Electronics shop (CE Shop).  The head honcho there was CW3 James C. Tice. Chief Tice was a fine fellow.  I liked working for him.  He told me what he wanted and I did it but he didn't really supervise, he left that to his NCOs including SSG Martinez and SSG Livingstone.  Later we had a CW3 Cosgriff (if memory serves).  I remember that Chief Tice had a family back home and a trailer home he couldn't sell but wished he could get some money from.  A very fortunate tornado took out the trailer but spared the home his family was living in on the same lot!  I think he was close to retirement but don't remember if I ever heard what happened to him. 
Along the road to Chuncheon with SP4 Lee.
I was with that shop for a couple of years.  The mission changed over that time from mostly repair of FM and avionics radios, GCA radar and voice recorders to mostly an exchange point with the section acting as the intermediary between the battalion's users and depot maintenance in various parts of Korea.  We had some interesting and fine folks there. One of those fine folks was SP4 (spec four or Specialist Fourth Class) Lee.  He was my right-hand man and handled a lot of the leg work for me as well as bringing me up to speed on the language.  He was a sort of Corporal Klinger with a knack for finding all sorts of odd things from obsolete radar tubes to gold jewelry (for the wife) and even a gig as a conversational English teacher.  He was also a veteran of the ROK Army and a black belt in Taekwondo.
NamSan, Seoul, December 1978
Also in the unit was SP5 Ramesh P. Fowser.  He was a very interesting person for many reasons.  He was Indian whose family had emigrated to Guyana and then he had moved on to the U.S., gotten his citizenship and joined the Army.  Part of his family lived in up-state New York and his brother still lived in Guyana when the Jim Jones Jonestown event happened.  Apparently it was so bad in Guyana that his brother felt it necessary to call him on the phone (which was almost never done at the time due to cost and/or difficulty) to let him know they were alive and safe.  Ramesh had been there a couple of years and his girl-friend was Korean.  I think they eventually got married.
Ramesh (foreground) and _____ at the 125th ATC CE Shop
Life was pretty good in Korea.  I managed to save up some money and live fairly comfortably (if average winter indoor temps of about 58° is comfortable) with my family even though we weren't command sponsored.
Standing at the section door in Camp Coiner...
Due to the changing section mission, the section was moved to Camp Coiner and of course we got some new faces.  Because I was married to a Korean, I had pretty much homesteaded which wasn't that unusual for soldiers with Korean wives so I made the move, too.  Now we were in one of the many Quonset huts heated with the green diesel stoves.  It was my job to come in every morning, sign for the section keys and start the stove.  I'd then go to the snack bar on main post and have breakfast.  Inevitably that would be a ham and cheese omelet prepared by Mr. Kim and read the paper.  Then I'd pick up the section mail, check the duty roster, have PT or whatever and go back to the section for a day's work.  Another soldier would usually turn in the keys in the evening.  Our OIC was CW4 Lawson (from Arkansas) and the NCOIC was SFC Godfrey Wactor (an actual veteran of the Korean war and a businessman on the side at Fort Huachuca).  It was during this time, 1979, that my daughter was born.  Chief Lawson didn't want me to take leave, even though I hadn't taken any leave in almost 3 years, and when I did he got me transferred out of his section to the motor pool.  Good folks down there, too, and I knew them all.  That was a good section but I don't think I ever took any photos.  Maybe I'll surprise myself and find some.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

DeeBee's 34-1 - A Parkerized Wonder

What a neat gun. It apparently has none of the problems my nickeled 34-1 has. The parkerization appeals to me even though I think I'll still want to get a blued and a stainless (Model 63) gun. It seems business like.

The first shooting with the gun was at about 20 feet with Aguila Colibris.  You could have covered that group with a dime.  Unfortunately it was a good 3 inches to the right.  Further shooting in better light showed that the gun was shooting to the sights.  Better light was the key here.

I like the way this gun shoots and handles.  The square grip does make a difference.  You wouldn't think so but the square grip makes it feel like an entirely different firearm compared to the round butt. 

One other good thing about getting this gun was that it pointed up a problem with my other 34-1.  It has a problem with the cylinder binding on the barrel face.  This older and re-finished gun has no such problem. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Random Act of Culture

A hat tip to Tam for this. Mom participated/performed in several productions of "The Messiah". Many special memories and a fine sentiment for these times...

... and, yes, Mom loved opera...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

I wish something had happened today.  Not much did.  Things seem awful slow for hunting season.

Mike Martin came in today.  He was talking about his daughter who's at Radford.  I remember when Mike was at VMI.  He's right, it made me feel a bit old.   He's put on a lot of rank since then and looking at O-5 next.

There was a neat old Winchester 1873 rifle, a B prefix serial caliber .38 WCF, and with a 30" octagonal barrel.  Somebody had replaced the rear sight with a more modern open sight and it was missing a lower tang screw.  Neat gun.

We did have some folks bring some antiques... One was a American Civil War contract musket which appeared to be made in Germany.  Another was a folding trigger pinfire revolver of about .32 caliber...  and then...  we had the fellow who wanted to complete a rifle that was...

... a conglomeration.  It used a Springfield 1863 lock and cut-down stock.  The hammer had had several notches neatly filed around the perimeter for reasons unknown.  The barrel appeared to be a piece of what appeared to be cold rolled steel that had been beaten into a rough approximation of octagonal with a hole drilled down the "middle" (very roughly down the middle at that).  The ramrod, which went by that name due to its location more than any reasonable function, was a length of brazing rod with a glob of solder affixed to one end.  The best redeeming feature was that the lock and stock hardware might be worth the $40 paid.  And so it goes...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rediscovered Memories

We've been cleaning...

Having a chat with a D-Day Veteran in France, June 1994
We weren't quite so old as he but nobody in the photo is less than 39 years old.  We were all there for the 50th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings, D-Day.  The Department of Defense funded National Guard "Honor Platoons" and I was fortunate enough to be selected for one and went as a squad leader.  With me is Woody Ramsey and a Platoon Sergeant from the Maryland National Guard as well as the veteran.  I think that our Platoon Sergeant, John Johnson of Wytheville, VA took this photo.

The Major of Saint-Lô's marker at Colleville, MAJ Thomas D. Howie
We visited the cemeteries and memorials...

Flanking two veterans at the memorial to MAJ Thomas D. Howie, Saint-Lô, France, June 1994
We stayed in the gymnasium at a local school in Le Molay-Littry...

Getting ready for the day's ceremonies...
And we saw the heads of state commemorate the landings...

The big wheels with Queen Elizabeth, Bill Clinton and whoever the French guy was at the time...
Security for that wasn't as tight as it is to get on an airplane today.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hunting without rain...

Went to Mom's to hunt.  Decided to sit.  Sat.  Watched.  Waited.  Came home and prepped food for Linda's "Fat Friday" treats.  Nibbled on a bit of bacon and had spaghetti for dinner.  Killed time and that's about it. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hunting without rain...

Back at it this morning after some chores, the wind was up and that made it difficult to do anything but hunt into the wind.  Unfortunately, there weren't any deer in my hunting area that were also upwind of me.  I again took the 1876 SRC and found a couple of scrapes and rubs.  Sooner or later our paths must cross...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hunting in the rain...

We have had almost 3/4" of rain which came as a steady rain fall from last night through to this afternoon. I went to Mom's but didn't find any deer traversing any of the many trails now criss-crossing the pasture bottom. About half the pasture is becoming a bit overgrown (and needs clearing out). Cedars and other brush have gotten a start and deer are using this edge as a shortcut between the neighbor's wooded area and clearcut and our driveway whence the deer cross the road to another place and more food etc.

I carried my Ruger New Model Blackhawk Flattop .44 Special 4-5/8" and the Chaparral .45-75 WCF SRC.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

Not much to report from the guns and ammo sales trenches...

We've seen a noticeable drop in sales. At least one major distributor has been shipping lots less product in the last 3-4 months. Prices should be coming down, but perhaps ammo prices won't decline given that the Chinese economy is already winding up faster than ours. Devaluation of the dollar will also contribute to this. Our customers know these things but simply aren't motivated to do anything about it. They are buying less since they already have supplies from the last two years. We are still selling guns to young folks, particularly in some sort of government service, who have money but haven't yet inherited family guns. We actually stood around some today, something that has never happened this time of year in the 3 years I've been working in the shop.

I almost forgot to mention that one of today's highlights was the appraisal of part of an estate's firearms. The executrix is the daughter and the auction will be held 4 December in Fishersville, VA with Mr. Craig as the auctioneer. Anyway, she brought about half the collection today. Most were run of the mill but for a Belgium produced Browning Auto 5 Light 12 in really good condition (which is one she will keep) and a Colt Trooper MKIII. Why is the Trooper interesting? Because her brother committed suicide with the gun. Now, while that is sad, that is her stated reason for "hating guns" and I don't get it. Ummmm, my brother was hit with a truck and killed, should I hate trucks? I just don't see this. However, one can't account for the stages of grief and this young lady should be blessed with adequate return on her effort. If you can, I hope you'll step out for the auction.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Jeweled Bolt & Custom Follower for a Marlin 336 Cowboy by OldNo7

A "right of passage" in my family was when you turned 16 years old, you got to go with Dad to drill the bank vaults. Sure, we could have made much more money by doing it at night in really big vaults! But we only did it during the day on small safe deposit vault doors -- always under the watchful gaze of an armed guard -- so we only made a decent living doing it. Funny thing is, our Dad always did the drilling, we were just the "lumpers". But we did get to learn some useful skills once the doors went back to the shop to be re-keyed and finished. Dad taught us how to do engine-turning, aka "jewelling", which is how we would disguise where the door had been drilled and pinned. I've done maybe 5 or 6 bolts for my guns over the years, so I decided it was time to tackle the plain-Jane bolt of my 38-55 Marlin Cowboy.

Here you see the bolt mounted in a homemade (but effective) jig, and it's been highly polished with NEVR-DULL to prep the surface. I think that results in a better/more even finish later.
Marlin 336 CB - Bolt 00 (Small).jpg

Here you see the Brownell's engine-turning brush has been wrapped with light wire and secured with black tape. Sometimes I don't do that, but for this bolt I wanted nice tight swirls -- almost like fishscales -- and I didn't want the brush to open up too much under the pressure of the drill press' quill. You can see the 600-grit valve lapping compound that I paint on the bolt, along with the straight-edge clamped to the table and the graph paper aligned to that, so I'd have a grid to follow. You do NOT want to do this job by eye, as it's very tedious doing dozens & dozens of "move, quill down, count to 3, quill up, move..."  repetitions. You do have to align the bolt with the brush and paper too. Having a solid setup, a good jig to hold the bolt level and with enough tension to prevent it from turning on you, and consistency on the quill pressure are the keys to this job.

Marlin 336 CB - Bolt 01 (Small).jpg

Here's the finished bolt still covered with the compound, along with the Brownell's brushes used. On every other bolt, I would always rub off some compound to "see how she looked" but this time, I was feeling pretty good about the pattern in the "goop" so I wanted to see if I could do it all without wiping. (That sounds wrong, but just go with it...)

Marlin 336 CB - Bolt 02 (Small).jpg

So without further adieu, here she is... I like it!  And I'm really happy with the smaller pattern that I was trying to achieve, although some of my other work does look good with a larger pattern of swirls.

Marlin 336 CB - Bolt 03 (Small).jpg
Here's the bolt installed in the receiver:

Marlin 336 CB - Bolt 04 (Small).jpg

And finally, with the bolt open too:

Marlin 336 CB - Bolt 05 (Small).jpg

Just in case you're curious, this is not just done "for looks", although that's a big part of it for sure. I've been told the swirls "hold lube" better. Whether that's true or not, I'm not sure, but maybe a trained machinist/gunsmith can weigh in on that.

Lastly, I've also got to give some credit to Nate Kiowa Jones (aka Steve Young) and Joe Miller for their recent info about replacing plastic followers with nicer metal ones. Joe started off and did all the plastic followers in Hoppe's tests, and Steve mentioned the nice stainless steel followers he makes for the Rossi's. He said they also work on the Marlin 1894s but guess what -- Steve and I did some measurements and found out the Rossi 44/45 that he makes works great for my 336 Cowboy too! Here's the old one versus Steve's new one:

Marlin Follower - Steves Gunz 44-45 (Small).jpg

It seems a shame to "hide" that piece inside the Marlin... I was actually thinking about jewelling just the end of it, but I really can't see enough of it once it's installed. It is a very well done part, that's for sure. I call it "custom" because it's meant for a Rossi, and I'm using it in my Marlin. But it's so shiny and of such high quality, heck yeah, it sure is a custom part!

I may have left out a few details of the setup of the press/brush and how to make a jewelling jig, but to be honest, I'd rather not be responsible for somebody trying this on their levergun without having some prior experience doing it. I'll bet I did over 300 vault doors in just one summer alone, so I got pretty darn good at it -- not rich, like if we had drilled "after hours"  -- but very experienced with the jewelling process.

I hope you like Steve's and my handiwork. Thanks for lookin'!

Tight groups!

Old No7

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This time of year we would all like to be certain of our firewood supply. If not now (pretty warm this week despite the freezing temps overnight) then later, a hot fire in the stove or fireplace would be a great comfort. However, I imagine you need to burn a lot of wood to justify one of these...

I once heated with wood. I liked that despite the work because, at the time, it was cheap AND I stayed warm. I like being warm. Of course, I split all the wood by hand. Went through many a cord of wood with go-devil and wedge. I'd set aside the really clear (of knots) and straight pieces to split on down to kindling.

I have cut the trees myself, bought logs delivered to the house and bought firewood commercially split. No matter how you get it you will have to do some work. If nothing else, you've got to split some kindling and to stack it. Stacked wood is drier, safer, and neater. There is a lot of inner peace attached to a well stacked rick.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Marbles Tang Sight- A Picture Disassembly Guide (see steps 1-4 to tighten) by Shasta

The Marbles tang sight is my favorite as I really like the click-detent adjustments for windage and elevation. Frequently the sight they recommend for a given rifle does not offer enough elevation to suit me.

I have solved this problem in several ways. One was to simply buy a taller-stemmed sight designed for a different rifle. At about $100 per sight this is not a cheap solution. For a mere $6 (from Buffalo Arms) I bought just the elevation stem, and swapped out the one in my sight for a taller one.

This job is not complicated, but working with very tiny parts that don't always co-operate can lead to some frustration and "blue" language. Be advised and proceed at your own risk!

Start by having the right tools on hand. A clean cloth on the workbench will help prevent lost parts. A magnet is also handy for keeping track of small parts.
The first task is to remove the windage knob. Some are held on by a set screw, but most I've seen are held by a roll pin. I use a very small nail with the point ground flat to punch out the pin:


Be very careful here because when the windage knob is free to slide off the windage screw, there are two very tiny ball bearings that will fall out. Keep the job close to the bench and don't let those little buggers get away!


Next remove the windage screw. It has two holes in the head, and a cut-off paper clip makes a good tool for spanning the holes and turning out the screw.


With the windage screw removed the elevation assembly is free. In the sight base under the elevation assembly is a square-shaped piece of spring steel with a peak fold. This is the detent spring that holds the elevation stem upright. If the sight has a loose or floppy elevation stem, this spring can be tweaked or have a shim placed under it to tighten things up.


Now comes the tricky part; using an appropriate size Allen wrench remove the screw at the base of the elevation assembly. Again keep the work close to the bench as there are more of those little tiny ball bearings about to come falling out.


By carefully turning the elevation base while holding the knob with the Allen screw hole facing the bench, eight ball bearings will come out one at a time. There is also a single ball bearing used as a detent between the elevation knob and stem base. You can see it in the picture still in place. It will fall out as the knob and base are separated, so be very careful. The dime in the picture gives some idea of how small these parts are.


This is what the elevation knob and base look like when separated. Note the pin passing through the bottom of the sight stem. It rides in the slot cut in the elevation base and this is what keeps the eyepiece always facing the correct way.


Using a needle-nose pliar remove the pin. The eyepiece stem can now be un-threaded from the elevation knob.


Here are the eyepiece stems I had on hand. You can see there is quite a difference in length. The shortest one is from the sight pictured. The center one is the replacement.


Here I have the new stem threaded throught the elevation knob and the alignment pin back in place.


As they say in all the manuals "Reassemble in reverse order".

I find it helpful to use a speck of grease to hold the detent ball bearing in place when putting the elevation knob-stem assembly back onto the elevation base. With the detent in place, hold pressure to keep the components tightly together while feeding the eight ball bearings back in one at a time through the Allen screw hole. They fit in a groove on the elevation base and may require a bit of assistance from a piece of wire or a nail to work their way all the way around. Don't force them! They will all fit with a bit of manipulation. Once all the bearings are back in, reinstall the Allen screw.

Now we are back to the basic components ready for final assembly.


This is a good time to be sure the square spring for the elevation stem assembly is working properly. Place the spring back in its recess in the sight base. Holding the elevation assembly in place, thread the windage screw back in all the way. Now flop the sight stem up and down a few times. It should have good resistance and be free of play in the upright position. If not, remove the windage screw and tweak or shim under the square spring as needed. Once everything is working, hold the sight on its side with the detent surface facing the bench. Carefully place the two windage detent ball bearings onto the windage knob and slip it back in place. Replace the roll pin (or set screw) in the knob and the sight is ready to install on the rifle. Simple, EH?

This is the sight back on the rifle. Because the stem is long for the elevation knob, some of the threads show even with the sight all the way down, but now I have plenty of elevation to play with.


Good luck!! SHASTA

Monday, November 08, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

I love working n the gun shop. Yes, I'm on my feet all day but, I get to see some really interesting guns and meet some really interesting people.

Had a guy who has just moved here with his wife who is from Nana's home town. Boy was he surprised! Prior service as well. Neat.

Another fella brought in a drilling, a F. R. Jung and Söhne 16 ga. over I-don't-know-what. Couldn't get the time with it to puzzle that out. Looked to be about .375-.45 caliber. Looking down the chamber it seemed to be a tapered like the 9.3x72Rbut I wasn't able to confirm that.  Shotgun barrels were pattern twist (i.e. damascus) and looked to be in fine shape. It had the tang peep and extensive carving on the stock. There was an old crack repair.

We had a Winchester Model 100 semi-auto rifle come in so dirty that the gunsmith had to take it apart to clean. So I learned a bit about how it goes back together. Interesting but I doubt I'll remember all the quirks.

Sales of guns are down though. The boss man bought more than he sold today. The economy has finally impacted the gun store!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Holster from Wrangler Leather, Cody, Wyoming

Many moons ago, it seems longer due to the anticipation, in November 2009, I "ordered" a holster for my Uberti forged-frame 1858 5½" barreled revolver from Wrangler Leather.  Between then and now, Buck/Dave has had a rough time of it.  Now, it seems, he's starting to catch up on his work and it was a big surprise when I came home from work today to find the holster in the mail. 

The whole thing oozed "professional" and quality.  From the packing in a canvas bag stamped with the maker's mark inside a protective sealed plastic bag inside the perfect size shipping box with the right size foam ball to maintain holster shape and the carefully printed shipping label to the quality of the holster itself this is one class act.

The holster is quality through and through.  Leather used is without blemish.  The dye is even without spotting or fading or darkening.  The stitching is even, and correct.  The tooling is without error.  The holster fits the gun perfectly and it hangs correctly.  I had looked long and hard for a quality holster for this revolver and I got it.  I couldn't be more pleased.

If you find that you want such a holster (or other leather goods), write:

Wrangler Leather

1108 14th Street
Cody, Wyoming 82414-3743

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Restoring Anvils

Blacksmithing has been a long term interest of mine but I've never been able to get the stuff together or a place to pursue the interest.  Some folks have gone back to the roots and set up some sort of backyard forge.  Lots of interesting approaches out there.

I recently read about a fellow who got a well used/abused anvil for free and he had linked to Doc's Alaskan Forge.

I'll post more such as I find them...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

1876 SRC Sight "Improvement"

The front sight on the 1876 SRC repro is way too low making the gun shoot way too high.  It might be correct but it isn't usable, at least for me. 

Ok, so after much consideration and reasoned examination of the various options for permanent, semi-permanent and genuinely temporary fixes I decided to try the JB Weld method. After all, it has the seal of approval from the local red-neck crowd (some actually suggested using carefully applied and folded duct tape!).

The end result was higher front sight that resembles a mid-19th century bayonet lug more than a front sight HOWEVER I took it out today and I was able to bust head size rocks at about 90-80 yards with it and the TEN-X ammo I took with me. FWIW, 2 Pyrodex loads I also tried seemed to strike about 2-3" lower at the same range. Kinda hard to see through the smoke though.  As long as the sight stays on, it is good enough for this years deer hunt!

So, I put the rifle up and went squirrel hunting with a .32-20 revolver (sorry Mike) but was skunked except... I had a single doe come down the trail and past me. I did nothing (not in season here) and enjoyed watching her trying to figure out what I was. It does bother me that there were no others around.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Rossi Scout Mount for 92s

Rossi makes a scout mount for their clone of the Winchester 92.  Some dealers are claiming that the mount is "unobtanium".  While the hole spacing is the same as for the TC Encore (Contender) the barrel taper is different and so that mount would require reshaping along the bottom.  Fortunately that's not necessary as the Rossi folks have them in stock.  Just call Rossi Customer Service @ 305-474-0401-1 and order one.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

Business is picking up with the muzzleloading season and approaching "regular" gun season. Lots of ammo sales today.  In fact it seemed that there was at least one customer in the shop all day and we had customers driving up right up to closing time. 

Interesting guns? Well, there was a drought of sorts. We started the day with a 5" Smith and Wesson 27-2. Then we had to wait a while but we found a Browning Mountain Rifle which is of minor interest as it is only the second one I've ever seen. Then we discovered an impressive bit of ordnance in the back room.

The Armalite AR-50, a bolt-action .50 BMG chambered rifle was resting on its bipod in the "back room". Ostensibly slated for the Staunton Police Department, the rifle made me first wonder "why?" and then "why not?" The PD has been told they need something to defeat barricades. I'm wondering, how they will know what is behind a block wall?

The next unusual visitor was a BSA Model 2 Standard Air Rifle.  This is a spring air gun with about 8 lbs cocking effort for 12 fpe ballistic energy (at the muzzle).  It has a classic, early 20th century stock design and uses a under-barrel lever rather than the barrel for cocking.  The guns in either the No. 1 or No. 2 bores (.177 and .22 respectively) have an excellent reputation for accuracy.  They have adjustable triggers as well.
BSA Standard Air Rifle Cross-section

The problem this one has is that it will not cock.  The problem we have in repairing it is how to get it apart and back together.  Except for the above cross section, there is a dearth of repair information on the internet.  Even W. H. B. Smith's excellent book "Gas, Air and Spring Guns of the World" fails to give sufficient help in this even though it mentions the BSA guns. 

For those users who are willing to invest in their investment (and isn't any shooting purchase an investment?) Cornell Pubs has a BSA Air Rifle Catalog.  I doubt that the catalog provides information on the "how to" of lubrication or repair but I think one is ahead to have any information at all.

One might get some support from:
- Knibbs International
- Chambers Guns
- Protek Supplies

Books which might be of help are:
- "The Golden Century" by John Knibbs (out of print)
- "Exploded Airgun Drawings, Second Edition" by John Groenewold