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Old June 22, 2014, 08:46 PM   #1
Homebrewr1
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Old Stevens Buckhorn 22 with Wooden Trigger Guard

When I was 15 I had the privilege of working for a master cabinet maker after school. One weekend I was asked to help him move some furniture etc. out of a small nursing home in town that his friend owned. I apparently gained a small place in the owner's heart as he would later hand me an old 22 that was stored in his office.
"I want you to have this. It was my Dad's. I took the firing pin out so it won't fire; I'm worried that some day he might realize that instead of running this place, he's now one of the patients."

I have always remembered my encounter there. The sadness of seeing how close those old men were to eternal rest; the outpouring of generosity of a man I'd barely met. Now, as I push toward a sixth decade of life, each time I lay eyes on that gun I also realize how much closer I've journeyed toward meeting the former's ranks...

The rifle is an old Buckhorn Model 56 with a nickel plated barrel, however what really caught my eye was the wooden trigger guard. It certainly looks factory made, but I haven't been able to find one like it anywhere I've searched. The guard is mounted with a standard visible screw at one end, while the other is enclosed by a small brass cover; the fit is much too precise to have just been "whittled down" by someone.

I would love to hear from anyone who might have any insight as to the gun's age. I would also consider buying the missing parts (firing pin, ammo clip, front sight) to fully restore it, but for the moment I'm trying to think up a worthy mount to hang it over my desk.
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Old June 22, 2014, 09:06 PM   #2
rcmodel
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What a great story!

But, I can find no reference to the Stevens Model 56 being offered with a carved wooden trigger-guard with a brass shield inletted into it in any of my books.

They were cheap entry class rifles.
As such, the trigger guard & brass shield would have cost nearly as much to make as the rifle.
I can only assume it was added later by a skilled craftsman, for whatever reason.

If the factory did it, the wood type, grain, and finish would have probably matched the stock wood & finish much closer.

For parts, try calling Jack First.
If anyone has the parts, they will.

http://www.jackfirstgun.com

rc
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Last edited by rcmodel; June 22, 2014 at 09:51 PM.
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Old June 22, 2014, 09:53 PM   #3
Homebrewr1
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Thanks, RC!

My first "official" piece was an Ithagun Saddlegun (Ithaca 22), which I still have to this day; the Stevens was always "just for looks" due to that nickel barrel and wooden guard. Seeing as to there is a small area that's pretty rough compared to the rest, I always sort of suspected it might have been whittled, but the fit along the stock was just SO good it looked factory as well.

I guess it's deserving of a wall mount, especially as a tribute to where it came from. Time to do some more carving of my own.
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Old June 23, 2014, 09:39 AM   #4
Bull Nutria
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I have a model 66C tubular magazine Buckhorn 22 rifle it has a metal trigger guard with nickled bolt. It is very accurate. i think your cabinet maker friend improvised skillfully with that trigger guard. I suggest you post the photos and story on rimfire central in the savage forum. there are experts there that may know something and all would appreciate your photos!

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Old June 24, 2014, 06:02 PM   #5
kitsapshooter
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find a machinist and have him make you a firing pin.
wood trigger guard - master craftsman, how hard is that to figure out?
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Old June 24, 2014, 10:25 PM   #6
4v50 Gary
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Jack First for parts. If not, see if Wisener's has blueprints of it from which a new one may be made. If that's the case, a student at Trinidad may make one for you (they get points for making gun parts).
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Old June 24, 2014, 11:07 PM   #7
Jim K
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IIRC, that was one of the models Savage made that had a plastic trigger guard; it was not the right plastic and they broke if looked at hard. So the master woodworker had a rifle with a broken plastic trigger guard and he duplicated it in (Surprise! Astonishment!) wood.

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Old June 25, 2014, 10:52 PM   #8
chiggerbyt
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Looks like he hand made a piece from oak.
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Old July 4, 2014, 11:40 AM   #9
Jim K
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Walnut would probably have looked better, but oak is tougher and will take a lot more stress and abuse.

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