Buehler Custom Sporting Arms LLC

Maker of Fine Sporting Rifles

.450-400 NE rifle finished at last

A while back I posted a little article about the machining procedure of a .450-400 barrel with integral features and an octagon profile. The rifle finally has been delivered to my client. Lisa Tomlin performed the engravings and Turnbull Restorations did the beautiful color case hardening. It took a while to complete this, and I hope my client is well pleased with the outcome.

I’m pretty happy with everything and the gun performed well on the range too. The Hagn action is really a wonderful and strong base for a custom rifle. I created a forearm metal for this rifle to give it a little more weight, and mainly for looks. I’ve always loved the Boss style forearms on O/U shotguns and desired for a while to incorporate it into a falling block rifle.

The picture was taken by Brian Dierks. I have a .505 Gibbs single shot rifle in the works and I will feature it in a future post.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter!

Gun Control

The American far-left is getting serious. Push back people, or we will loose the Republic!

How much time do you spend watching Netflix or on Facebook each day? If we each spend instead 15 minutes a day on educating ourselves and on contacting our representatives, we can stop this madness. And we need to support pro-gun groups. It is fairly easy to testify for or against State sponsored bills online. Please look into it.

See the source image

“The Left is coming, the Left is coming!”

HR1: For the people act: This bill needs to be stopped! Please look into it. It will ensure a one-party system. It’s not for the people, it’s for the far left!

HR5: Equality act of 2021: This bill needs to be stopped! Look into it!~ This bill is the biggest infringement on religious freedom in America ever!

HR8: Make no mistake, this is ONLY about setting up a process which can be later used for registration of guns and gun owners. Look into it!

HR1446: Unelected government bureaucrats would be allowed to delay a firearms purchase beyond the
current 3 days to anyone they wish and for any reason. Look into it!

The goal of the left is not to make us safer. The goal is to disarm us. Why? Because they know their policies will face heavy opposition, once implemented. And why the opposition? Because their policies will ultimately only benefit the ultra rich and powerful.

The disarming will be implemented little by little. One bill after another. But we can stop it. Make yourself heard! Don’t be intimidated or we will loose the first amendment too.

Buehler Tele-Paul

We all need a hobby, and this is mine. When I don’t work on guns I like to build guitars. I’ve absolutely no time for it, but I steal an hour here and there, and it takes me a long time. But all of a sudden it is done. I’ve some very nice wood scraps and this is one way to utilize them. The neck was done from two old maple rifle stocks and has an ebony fret board. For the body I took my wife’s butcher block (I don’t think she is missing it), and the top is made of English walnut. Nothing new under the sun, Fender and Gibson elements combined, and with coil split. What does it sound like? Think of “Black magic woman”.

.375 H&H power

This rifle is what I refer to as my model “Buehler English Express”. It is built around a GMA standard magnum action with drop box magazine, 24″ barrel, with quarter rib and banded front sight ramp. The caliber is .375 H&H. Express sights and the barrel swivel band are my standard features on this model. On the large big game rifles I always install a recoil lug on the barrel to help the stock with the recoil absorption. Most English and German makers don’t do that, and over a period of time problems can develop. Speaking of recoil lugs, the GMA actions have the action recoil lug placed further forward. This is an improvement over other Mauser actions, as it allows for more wood in the stock between the magazine box and the action recoil lug.

The rifle features my quick detachable scope mount. The levers release the scope with a quarter turn. My client provided the beautiful piece of California – English walnut. The checkering is cut in the flat-top style.

The engravings and the checkering of the bolt where performed by Tim George. I thought the floor plate turned out really classy.

Check out my website for more information. www.customsportingarms.com

H.R. 127

Here are a few anti-gun bills that have been introduced:

H.R. 130Forced firearms storage laws, making it ILLEGAL to keep a firearm in your bedside table or ANYWHERE other than where the Government allows.  

H.R. 121 – Funding for Gun Confiscators, which would hire 200 new ATF agents as a taskforce, for the sole purpose of enforcing federal gun control on the American People.

H.R. 125 – Arbitrary waiting periods, forcing Americans who’re looking to purchase a firearm to protect themselves to WAIT, making it impossible to buy firearms, ammo or magazines.

H.R. 127 – the GUN CONTROL MEGA BILL which would:

>>> Mandate Civil Liability Insurance for All Gun Owners
>>> Create a National Firearms License
>>> Require a Mental Health Exam for All Gun Owners
>>> Ban all Magazines That Hold Over 10 Rounds of Ammunition
>>> Establish a Federal Ammunition Registry
>>> Ban All .50 Caliber Ammunition
>>> Construct a National Firearms Registry

Here some more information: NRA-ILA | Florida Alert! H.R. 127 – Federal Gun Control Proposal

H.R.127 is the dream bill for the globalist left that is pushing this stuff on us. With bills like this the anti-freedom, anti-gun lobby hopes to achieve one of two goals: 1. They hope wishy washy Republican lawmakers will compromise and strike a deal, giving up a portion of rights, in order to maintain some. Or the 2. goal: To pass it with enough votes as it stands.

Call and write to your congress representatives and let them know that you don’t stand for this. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc, all prove that gun registration will lead to confiscation. And support the pro-gun organizations. The NRA currently has huge internal problems and we have never been more vulnerable. It is up to us to stand up!

Two craftsmen, one rifle.

Forgive me if I’m stepping one more time onto my soap box. I’m very concerned about the direction we are going us a country, and I have no doubt it will greatly affect us as gun owners and sportsmen. No matter if you are a Democrat or Republican, it is time for us to get involved into politics. If we have surely many disagreements between us, we can hopefully agree that as honest men we must ensure fair elections. And I hope we can agree that the Republic and the Constitution that has given us such a high standard of living is worth preserving. A bird needs two wings to fly and honest people need to get involved and start listening to each other again. When I was a kid in Europe we had the impression that America was the land of unlimited opportunities for those that work hard and have visions. In the last 24 years I’ve witnessed the change where we went from an attitude of “Yes, you can do that, go for it!” to the attitude “Sorry buddy, you can’t do this, because I don’t like it, and you don’t have the right permit.” Let’s not forget, but we hold these truths to be self evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

The global elite is trying to implement the “Great Reset” across the world, and it seems to me we are in step with their plans. Please do your own research on it The Great Reset | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

We have seen this movie before and it is called communism. It is high time to be active within our parties, to volunteer, to re-connect with our churches and to support financially the organizations that help preserve freedom and liberty for all. At my naturalization ceremony I swore an oath of allegiance to the constitution of the United States, and I believe that it is my duty to speak up. And that is what we do as free men.

Okay, let’s move on.

This rifle was built around a 1909 Argentina Mauser 98 action and is in the caliber .30-06. My client had bought it from a dealer and it came from an estate in un-finished condition. Steve Heilmann had done the metal work on the rifle and Steve had it bedded in a well executed pattern stock of his own design. I had the privilege of making the actual stock off the pattern and of finishing the rifle after stocking. I made no changes on the metal work, except a final polishing, and we had Bruce Farman do the checkering on the bolt handle.

Steve is an excellent craftsman and my customer very much liked the pattern stock. We made just a few minor changes to it. I tried my best to honor Steve’s design and to execute his vision fully.

The rifle has a Jerry Fisher round bottom metal and Steve also had made the scope bases and the custom trigger. It also is a very accurate shooting rifle. I hope that Steve approves the end result. But more important, we both have a very happy client.

The finished .300 H&H Bavarian style rifle

January 2021 is almost over and while we all have looked forward to leaving 2020 behind, we are facing new challenges going forward. These days I often look back to the 90’s when I immigrated from Switzerland to the United States. Wow, has this country ever changed since! I leave it at that. Gun owners in New Zealand, Canada and other countries have seen heavy attacks on their rights. We must assume that we are going to face unprecedented assaults on our second amendment and our liberties as well. Therefore I urge you that you as a gun owner keep yourself informed and engaged. If we don’t get involved at this point, gun ownership will be soon a thing of the past. There are many organizations worthwhile supporting. Here are a few:

NRA-ILA | Home

GOA | The only no compromise gun lobby in Washington (gunowners.org)

Second Amendment Foundation (saf.org)

Oregon’s Only No Compromise Gun Rights Organization – Oregon Firearms Federation

I don’t think gun shops have been doing a good job in educating gun buyers about the never ending and deceitful attacks on our rights by zealous politicians.

Alright, I get off my soap box and move on to happier things. I’ve had the privilege to built and finish a few very diverse rifles this past year. I will start off in this post with this unusual rifle. Well, for North America anyway.

This rifle has been in the works for a long time. The engraving held it up considerably but at the end it was worth it. I posted pictures of this rifle in progress before in a previous blog post. It is a Bavarian styled rifle in the caliber .300 H&H. The foundation was a 1909 Argentine action that my client had provided. A new bottom metal, trigger, bolt handle and shroud where added.

I modified the action for the long cartridge and incorporated the features that my client requested, but still tried to make it my own. In doing so I stayed away from the more aggressive and typically hooked Bavarian grip and gave the stock less of a hogs back. This with the shooter’s comfort in mind. The rifle has a detachable swing mount and a Leica scope.

Lisa Tomlin performed the engravings. I thought she did a wonderful job. I can’t take credit for any of the design, that was between her and our client.

The .300 H&H has been a popular cartridge in my shop. Thus far the accuracy has been outstanding with every rifle, this one no exception. I’m a fan.

Buehler Custom Sporting Arms LLC

For more information please feel free to contact me at reto@customsportingarms.com, and I invite you to visit my website.

.318 Westley & Richards makeover

Once in a while I get inquiries to do a complete makeover of a vintage rifle. In this case my client had been offered a 1920 Westley & Richards rifle for sale, together with a new stock blank and a duplicated pattern stock. The original stock had been oil soaked and cracked and was completely worn down. The barrel had some corrosion on the inside, and the outside had a thick patina on the metal. Everything was in pretty rough shape. My client considered buying the rifle, then have me re-stock and re-store the rifle to original condition. Is it worth to do a project with a rifle gone that far? My advise was, yes, if it shoots well, and no, if the accuracy is bad from the start. If re-barreling would be required it would be smarter to build a custom rifle from scratch. The original proof marks would have been lost and at that time in my opinion the Westley Richards association would have been pretty minimalized.

My client was given the opportunity to test fire the rifle before purchasing it, and low and behold, the accuracy was a very pleasant surprise. The decision to go ahead was made.

We expected having to re-cut the letterings on the rifle by an engraver. Bead blasting of the metal revealed however that the lettering was deep enough to be left alone.

The stock was carved from the supplied pattern and it is very closely made to the original. I did add about 1″ of length of pull to the stock to accommodate my client better. On the original stock a horrible ventilated recoil pad had been installed. We assumed that the stock originally had a steel butt plate. I was able to locate a period correct trap door steel butt plate. New screws and a drill guide had to be made for the butt plate.

The original grip cap and diamond inlay on the forearm where used, but new screws had to be made and timed. A horn forearm tip was added to the stock.

The checkering of a vintage W&R rifle presents a further challenge and difficulty to the stock maker. Typically on those guns the rear borders of the grip checkering are the master lines and go over the top.

Here are a few pictures of the finished project. I made a period correct sling swivel stud and a new ivory front sight for the rifle as well. Some of the parts where then sent off for case color hardening and the barreled action was rust blued by my friend Stan Tabasco. I really had fun shooting this classic. The accuracy was impressive and dare I say, unusual for an old gun like this. The trigger was a typical Mauser 2 stage. We left the original trigger in the gun. But I blocked the first stage and changed it to a single stage trigger.

It always is wonderful when the client is able to pick up his gun in person. I truly hope that he is happy with my work and I hope the rifle will be a great companion and play an important role in his future adventures. There is a great sense of satisfaction to doing such a project, and I hope to get similar commissions in the future.

Here is a brief history of this rifle in my clients words:

“The rifle was built in 1920, sent to a British officer by the name of J. F. Dobson, who served served in India. No one knows how and/or when the rifle made its way to the hands of an unnamed professional hunter in Africa. Basil Bradbury, of Boone and Crockett fame and former editor of Peterson’s Hunting magazine, brought the rifle back from Africa. By this time, the stock had two cracks in it and the checkering around the pistol grip and foreend had been worn completely smooth. In March of 1993, Basil Bradbury gifted the rifle to my friend Jay Lesser, founder and former owner of Wyoming Professional Hunters and former Boone and Crockett member. Shortly thereafter, former shooting editor for Guns and Ammo magazine, Ross Seyfried, gave Jay a box of Nosler Partition 250 grain .338 bullets, which had been centerless ground to a diameter of .330 so that good hunting ammunition could be made for the old rifle. It should be noted this all happened before the internet and the wide distribution of Woodleigh Bullets, which the rifle currently shoots very well. I bought the rifle, including the Ross Seyfried Nosler bullets, a fine stock blank, a pattern stock, and RCBS loading dies from Jay in November of 2015. I promptly shot two 1.5 inch-100 yard-3 shot groups with the rifle, and delivered the rifle to Reto Buehler for resurrection. An elk hunt with Jay and the Ross Seyfried bullets is being planned for fall of 2021 or 2022”.

Current projects on the bench

This has been a very long summer for us. The ongoing covid mess has not been easy and the kids are pretty restless at home. Heavy wild fires all around us and the mediocre on-line schooling the kids are receiving have presented further challenges.

I have a few really fun custom rifles in the works. Several guns have been out for engraving for some time. The engraver Tim George shared a picture with me of a Buehler CSA .375 H&H rifle that he just finished.

Another project currently awaiting engraving is the 7×57 Mannlicher rifle mentioned in a previous post. The following are some pictures taken of the rifle in process. The picture on the bottom shows off the metal ready for engraving.

Another really fun project is a .505 Gibbs rifle I’m working on. At the heart of this rifle is a very large Hagn action. The barrel started off as a heavy pre-turned blank, weighing over 8 pounds before the contour milling.

I will post further pictures and information about this rifle in a future post.

Oil finish for gun stocks

Some of you are probably stuck at home because of covid19. Perhaps you are attempting to do a do-it-yourself project during this period. Or you are taking the time to clean and inspect your gun collection. In any case, I thought a little article on gun stock finishing might be of interest.

High grade custom guns usually have an oil finish applied to the stock. Production guns often have a polyurethane finish sprayed on. While that holds up great, it is difficult to re-finish a section on the stock without stripping the entire finish. It also is very bland and deadens the warmth and natural color of the wood. The stocks on most high end custom guns are usually finished with a hand rubbed oil finish. A good oil finish for gun stocks will bring out the natural color and 3D effect of the wood grain. It will hold up well in the field. And it is easy to touch up small areas on a stock and blend it back in with the existing finish. Most oil finishes are linseed or tung oil based and have added driers in it.

There are a ton of finishing products available. I’ve tried many of them, and have a closet full of products.

Many of them work just fine and I think it is important to stick with a procedure for a while and learn to work with it. While working in the old world, we primarily used a product named “Schaftoel”. I think it was a walnut oil. Until I came to America, I never even heard of filling the pores on a stock. Back then we applied the oil onto the stocks until a desired color was achieved. Then with cotton balls dipped in varnish we polished the stocks with a clear coat to give it some shine and protection. The results where never very satisfying and the cotton balls where suspect to spontaneous combustion.

I use a wood sealer for the inside of the stocks. Currently the outside I completely finish with a product named TimberLuxe.

After sanding and whisker a stock up to 320 grit, I raise the pores and apply Timberluxe with a brush until the wood does not absorb it anymore. After at least a day of drying I fill the pores per wet sanding and with the same product. The oil and sanding mud is left to dry on the stock. A day later it can be sanded off, and the procedure is repeated if the pores are not completely filled. Once the pores are filled, I apply one coat of finish per day, rubbing it into the wood with the palm of my hand. At one stage the finish usually needs to be sanded back slightly again with 400 grit. Thereafter more coats are applied. After the stock sits around for a while, the pores tend to sink in slightly and I will give the stock a final sanding with 600 grit. After this more coats are applied until the finish feels smooth and silky to the touch. I find Timberluxe to be one of the easiest products to get great results with. And it seems to hold up very well over time.

To maintain a nice finish on on your rifle I would recommend to wipe the stock after use with a soft cloth. The finish should be occasionally nourished. A drop of boiled linseed oil on a cloth will do fine. I’ve found that guitar polish/cleaner that you may find in music stores works very well too. Careful with the checkering. A designated tooth brush works well to clean the checkering and it will benefit too from a very small amount of oil.

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