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My new grail gun

FreezerFreezer Posts: 2,751 Senior Member
edited June 2022 in General Firearms #1
Since I was a kid, I wanted a custom Mauser. Years ago, I thought I had it. I sent a 1909 Argentine Mauser out to get a new barrel and stock.  After 10 years, I finally got it back. I wasn't happy with the stock, so I located a local gunsmith to fit a Boyd's At-One stock to it. It wasn't an easy task because this rifle has a thumb tang safety and Weatherby trigger added to it before I bought it. Shortly after getting my gun the gunsmith, John, broke his leg, and it has been one problem after another. After two years, his health has deteriorated. He may never finish my custom Mauser. He's 78 years old and, I'm not going to harass him.I stop by to talk and encourage him to exercise more twice a week.

A couple of weeks ago he sent me to his attic work shop to get a gun for him and I notice in the cabinet two beautiful custom Mausers. The first is a 7x57 with a 20-inch barrel. The other was a 26-inch light varmint barreled Mauser. When I came down with a Mossberg lever action .22   I asked about the two rifles. He built both from the action to the finished product. The first was his deer rifle, and he wouldn't part with it, but told me when it's time I can have it. The second was the third gun he had ever built. It was his father's deer rifle. He started with a commercial Mauser action (no serial numbers). The barrel was made by a local gun barrel machinist. It's  26 in 25-06. He did the bluing, and it is rich and deep. He made the stock from local  walnut, hand checkered and finished it. It wears a 3x9 Redfield widefield. It was built in 1969.

John was a First Sargent in the Army and did a tour in Korea and two tours in Vietnam. When he returned to the states, he was a DI and recruiter. When he retired, he had to use his vet education benefits and decided to attend the Pittsburgh Gunsmith Academe. He owned a gun store for 40 years before shutting it down and work from his basement, where he now lives. 

I've been helping him with a few projects, and he made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I plan to help him with a few others in August after my daughter's visit ends. The only niche missing in my hunting collection was a dedicated distance rifle, and now that niche is filled with a grail gun! 

My poor photography skills don't do this gun justice. I plan to clean the scope and if it's not good will replace it. The stock is about 3/4 of an inch too long, so I'll shorten it. But Zee, the white spacers stay!

BTW, I also got a box of hand loads with 100 gr Sierra Game King bullets that he states will print in one hole at 100 yards, a set of RCBS dies he used for the rifle, a box of unprimed brass, half a box of 100 gr Sierra bullets, and the hand load receipt for this rifle.

I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:


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