5 Years In The Making....

Discussion in 'Gun Photos' started by Joel Russo, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Gents~

    The inception of this build took place on the last hunt with my good friend, Phil. Phil was a member here and has since passed away. Our last hunt together was a sheep/moose/grizz hunt in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska. Phil had his .338 RUM and I carried both his and my rifle on more than a few sheep stalks. After listening to me bitch constantly for fourteen days, he told me to build myself a light weight carry rifle with a nice piece of wood under it.

    He actually built it over and over in his head as we glassed the river drainage for bears one day. He told me to use that exotic African wood that I liked so much. He told me to make the barreled action black so that the stock would stand out. And he even was nice enough to tell me that it didn’t matter how nice it looked, it wouldn’t be worth a damn if it didn’t shoot well. He had a way with words.

    Brilliant idea I thought. So upon my return home from the hunt, I pulled an action out of the safe and ordered a barrel. Gave all the parts to my good friend Baer, and asked him to chamber me another .308 Baer. He did, and that barreled action sat on my bench for a few years. I just could never seem to find time to work on my own stuff.

    Time passed, and so did Phil. It took me quite a long time to clear my head from his passing. In that time, I found the motivation to complete the project that he had conceived. So off to work I went.... I pulled a nice piece of flat sawn pomelle Bubinga that I had on the pile. I purchased a whole log of this stuff years back. I drew on it, cut it, then laminated it together. I thought about installing cross bolts, inletting sling studs, cutting in an adjustable cheek piece and some other fancy additions, but I didn’t want to make this stock resemble a hardware store. So, I kept it simple.

    After many hours of hard work, I finally finished the project. The only thing left to do is to send it off to my checkering guru for some classic checkering.

    If my good friend, Phil were to see his vision turn reality, I’m sure he would be pleased. I think I captured what he had in his mind that day we were glassing bears on the river banks…..


    Started with this.

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    Cut it to the stock dimensions, then glued it together.

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    Inletted it top and bottom.

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    Profiled it.

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    Hand fitted barrel and bottom metal.

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    Bedded it.

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    I made myself a center feed mag box out of billet aluminum.

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    Load development..

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    Hand rubbed tung oil finish.

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    Finished product.


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    Where it all started....

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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  2. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    Great write up. Beautiful work!
     

  3. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the story Joel, I can only begin to imagine how much that rifle means to you. Your friend would be proud! Beautiful wood.


    Next pic needs to include a nice trophy.


    t
     
  4. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful and heart warming story, and a beautiful rifle. Well done.
     
  5. Fox Hunter

    Fox Hunter Well-Known Member

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    The rifle is awsome looking! And the story only adds! But you're not done yet. There is one more picture that needs to be taken and that is one of this rifle laying on a trophy; hopefully someplace you and Phil hunted.
     
  6. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    How true. This story really hit home for me in that I was part of a camp that had a wall tent set up in same place for 30+ years. We just spread my hunting partners ashes on a meadow this past July up on the mountain even though he left us two years ago.

    Said my final good bye that day to him and I thought the camp site. My hunting partners son called me a couple weeks ago out of the clear blue and asked if I'd pack into the camp again and keep it going.

    I guess time is a good healer in that I didn't even have to think about it.

    I know my partners son is going to be packing an old pre64 mod 70 in .270 that has taken more elk than you could even imagine.

    To find a good hunting partner is a miracle, to find two is impossible.

    That is one fine weapon - pack it with pride, your old partner will be smiling.
     
  7. rick523

    rick523 Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful rifle and a great story to go along with it, along with all the memories you shared.
     
  8. acloco

    acloco Well-Known Member

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    WOW....on everything. Truly a splendid story and build. Thank you for sharing!!!!
     
  9. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Man, what a stick you and Phil created there. I am sure he is smiling Joel, but not as much as he will be when you take it on the first hunt as he watches over.

    Great read and a rifle to be very proud of for all the right reasons.

    Jeff
     
  10. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Great story.
     
  11. Centxshooter

    Centxshooter Well-Known Member

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    Great story and a stunning end result of the build. Thank you for sharing
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  12. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Joel, have you named her yet??
    Anything that pretty has to have a name. What a piece of art and history. Wow. As someone who has a couple of Phil's rifles, I can somewhat feel what all this means to you.
    Congrats---you should be proud.

    Randy
     
  13. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Joel,

    You're a good man!

    Talented too!
     
  14. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    +1

    Don't know what to say, it's all been said.

    Truly enjoyed the reading and thank you for sharing it!

    BEAUTIFUL WORK, GREAT MEMORIES, AWESOME WRITING.