Quick fitting of a Stock and and Forend for a 682 Gold E

A new left hand stock and forend for a 682 Gold E.
The customer shot with a right handed 690 E that had been cast to fit him as a left handed shooter, the problem was it had cracked across one of the cheeks and not really worth attempting a repair.
The problem was sourcing new woodwork and it did take a little while to find something suitable. Eventually a cardboard box with a brand new stock set arrived and it was time to put everything together.
Fit on Berretta stuff is usually very close however some fine tuning is always required. Time to get the best chisels out.
Our workshop is a mix of machinery, office, counter and benches, we have lathes, mill, heat treatment, horizontal and vertical band-saws, surface grinder and numerous other things including work benches in the lower level of the chapel.
In the raised lower section under two huge windows for the maximum light is my wood working bench. It is a Sjöbergs that is probably 50 years old now and is very solid. Wood working benches need to be robust and not bounce around the floor and this is perfect for what we do here. However it is not all about big hammers…
I use Lie-Nielsen chisels for finer jobs and Marples for more general work. All of my chisels are sharpened by hand with a Veritas honing fixture using the ‘Scary Sharp system’ and the end result being the ability to literally split hairs, so a Beretta stock was not going to be an issue. Mallets if ever used include one made by myself plus examples made by my Son, my Father and my Grand Father. I also use chisels that have belonged to all three of them in the past.
I am sure the customer is going to be pleased.
This was the fourth time I was working on woodwork this week, first was a repair to a forend, then a second forend repair, this fitting job and oiling the final one.
This coming week also going to be a packed week on guns

Disk set strikers/bushed strikers

Disk set strikers/bushed strikers.
You know what I mean, often found on Side by Side shotguns the striker (firing pin) is removed from the front and held in place by a bushing or disk that has two or three holes in it for a peg spanner to enable it to be screwed into the face.
The idea being that you pop your peg spanner in place, unscrew the disk, replace the striker and spring as required, put it back together and look at the next job.
The problem is the PCD (Pitch Circle Diameter) and the number of holes vary quite a bit so I need a few different tools. Yesterday I broke a tool on a Spanish gun and decided it was time to do something different.
The issue is the pegs snap off and the tool is rendered scrap so use needle rollers at the correct diameter, this way if I snap one I just replace it with another one and here is the tool ready to go in the HT oven when the final customer has been and gone.
The rollers are incredibly cheap so I buy 50 at a time and if I need a 1.8mm peg instead of a 2.0mm I just turn the end of the roller down. I will use this style every time I need a different size or PCD and should end up with all I need as time goes by. Plus it is always nice to make your own hand tools.
I have since heat treated and tempered the tool and it should see me out.
There are many different versions of this tool, this is my one.

The signature Carbon OAL gauge

I have always wanted to do this but never got around to it, so I recently built one for myself:

A stainless and carbon version of our standard length OAL gauge. Every time I build one of our carbon tubed rear bag riders I realise just how good polished metal and carbon looks, so here is the combination as one of our OAL gauges.

This one was supposed to be mine and I really wanted to keep it, however so did a customer so it has moved to a new home. So that really only leaves one question can you buy one? Yes you can and they are available by special order on our new e-commence site here:


Thoughts anyone?

It is just a shower….

After an incredibly hectic three weeks on the machines we decided to head out yesterday afternoon to get some testing done and shoot the last few cards of the winter LSR competition. First job was to see how the Vickers Empire liked some different ammunition. Last time out had been a relative disaster for me, the LOP is 15″ which is way too long even for my 6′ 3″ frame and the trigger although safe would break at 6 ozs/170 grams which even for me is a tad on the light side.
First test was with SK flat nosed Target and it was a lot better than the previous attempts with Eley. I always prefer to shoot such rifles with fairly slow rounds, for one thing it is quieter and it is also kinder to the rifle. The SK were OK so I decided to finish an open box of Lapua Center-X and after 5 fouling shots this was the 10 shot group it produced.
The distance was 50m/55 yards, it was benched on an old wooden ammunition box with a squeeze bag to bring the height up.
I had rashly suggested my old BSA Model 15 would produce a 15mm group on a well known forum so this was the chance to see if the old Vickers would do equally well and the resultant group was 13.4mm X 18.2mm centre to centre. Apparently this is not the way to measure .22 groups however I still reckon it was quite reasonable for a 90 year old rifle with open sights.
The competition cards? Well about 10 minutes later the heavens opened and rain stopped play so we packed everything away and grabbed a Domino’s pizza on the way home, probably our first pizza in 5 years!

Bonsor’s Superior Finishing Wax

If you are a regular reader of my Journal you have probably noticed that I tend not to push other people’s products. I have always worked on the premise that if I do not make it or work on it I cannot control the product’s quality. However there are occasional exceptions.

We have been working on a variety of projects with Nick Of NB Guns for a few years now and we tend to bounce ideas off each other from time to time.

We had been using his stock finishing wax out of an old jam-jar for ages. It worked well and we always got good feedback from customers who saw the results or tried the product. Just recently Nick has formalised the product and sent us a load of tins in the final format and I am delighted to be able to add it to the shop. It is also on display by the workshop counter, not something we do lightly!

Nick tells me Bonsor’s Superior Finishing Wax is a blend of natural waxes, oils, wood extracts and gums. Suffice to say it might smell nice and be good on guns but it is best not to eat the stuff.

I use it to finish and protect wood and metalwork on shotguns, rifles and furniture including the counter till. The clue in how to use it is the tin size, you need to use it very sparingly, rub it on with your finger tip, wait half an hour and buff off with a soft brush or duster. It will benefit from another buffing a few hours later. You can build coats up as required.

Comes in a 30ml screw top tin with a dodgy vanity publishing label.

Nick says: ‘It should last for f*****g ages’

I say: ‘whatever you were going to use, halve it and again, it really does go a long way!’