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Thread: Got me a Rifled Barrel for my old A5

  1. #81
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    Gun came in today and whereas it is not cosmetically wonderful, it will work for what I want to do, and it will clean up to my desired level of finish. I installed both my Slug Barrels on it and ran dummy rounds thru it and it runs fine, so with some clean up and installation of a Recoil Pad and some Sling Swivels it will be good to go.

    This gun is a 1963 Model Belgian Made A5. 1963 was the first year for the 2 piece Cartridge Lifter, and "Speed Feed" Feature. This feature allows loading the gun without having to push the bolt release button to clear the lifter. IE: it now loads like every other gun made. Except with the Bolt Open IE; Empty Magazine, you can either stuff a round into the magazine, whereupon it automatically feeds said round into the chamber and closes the bolt,,, gun ready to fire. Or you can Port Load the first round. Then subsequent rounds are stuffed into the magazine to bring the gun to full readiness at 4+1. I would like to add another 2-3 rounds with an extended mag tube but will probably have to make that myself.

    So in 10 days I will be allowed to actually take the gun home and start working on it. Not much to do to start testing slug accuracy just need the Recoil Pad installed, and I will do that too.

    Hopefully the weather will improve by then and our range will get reopened.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  2. #82
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    Finally got some perfect slugs out of the Russian Mould.

    End result was Dielectric grease on the sprue plate. 800F with some tin added.

    The Big Slug pin IE; 625 gr I had no problem with and the boolits dropped off the pin directly into the egg crate.

    The Plug in Wad Pin ran at the same temp and took some cooling and wiggling to get it to release but I got 5 perfect slugs in a row, before I had to go. Shut everything down and all I have to do is plug the pot back in and come to temp and start casting.

    I see this one and the big one as being the primaries with this mould, but who know's, the Screw on Wads may prove good too.

    At any rate if any of these fly strait they will be the primary Hunting Slugs for the A5.

    I still have STI slugs, Lyman Sabot Slugs, Lee 1oz slugs and Pumpkin Balls, some 1 1/8 oz Thug Slugs and some AQ slugs to try.

    We are going to figure this out, and I have three guns to shoot everything thru to check viability of each slug type in each type of barrel.

    We now know how to Roll Crimp better than most, we have all the best slugs in the world. We all have guns made for this.

    By the time we're done we should actually be experts in the field.

    Nothing is safe!

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  3. #83
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    OK I got the new A5 out of jail today and brought it home and took "before"pics of it, and was going to post them except my computer lost it's picture destination default and I ended up deleting the pics on the card before my wife figured out how to get the correct default setting back.

    Now the gun is apart for refinishing. My Pachmayer Recoil Pad I ordered for this project is way too big and I have to get another. So that will be a few days, and my Range is still closed indefinitely due to Mud Slides on the road to it. Cal Trans says a week to a month to get it cleaned up.

    I have to shorten the stock in order to get something close to right for me with the pad installed. The gun has the original Hard Rubber butt plate on it and the LOP is 14 5/8" ! I need it to be 13 3/4" with the pad installed so there will be a big chunk cut off the stock. The Stock is nice wood with some real nice grain structure and will look nice after I get all the varnish off it and refinish it.

    The metal on the receiver is all good and the engraving is sharp so it will blue up well.

    You'll have to wait to see the gun until I get it refinished. But I assure you it will look nice and run great.

    This project has been about a "Long Winded" quest, but it is coming together.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  4. #84
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    Refinishing the A5

    Paint stripping is going well. Took nearly 1/8" of Varnish off the buttstock yesterday and will do the fore end today. It has about the same amount on it.

    Had to get a different recoil pad which should be here by Tuesday as Midway actually ships stuff quickly. Will be cutting nearly 2" off the buttstock to shorten it a to include the recoil pad. You can see the difference in the color of the for end and stripped stock.

    The receiver will blue up nicely with Birchwood Casey cold blue gel that is a new product and works really well. Not buffing it will retain the sharp engraving that was done by hand back in the day.

    More coming.
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    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
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  5. #85
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    stocks coming along nicely and attached the recoil pad today still have to grind it to fit properly. Maybe tomorrow.

    I stained the wood with Golden Oak Stain and it only darkened the stock a small amount. I also did a bunch of "Grain Enhancement" by putting some sharpie ink on a wet qtip and rubbing it into the grain sideways. There was alot of small nick type openings in the grain structure and filling them with black brought them out big time.

    Not sure I'm done with staining yet as now after cutting the stock shorter for the recoil pad I have a new piece of identical wood I can test some ideas out on.

    Not much happening with the fore end it is just strait grained French Walnut so it is less likely to split. Lots of stress on the fore end of these guns.

    This wood is getting a Minwax Polyurethane Clear Coat when I am satisfied with the color. I have never used this finish on a gun but the guy who did my Ithaca used it and it looks real nice. It is also very water resistant so if I go out into the hunting fields when it is damp it will protect the wood better than an oil finish.

    Will have this gun back together by mid week. Still raining here.

    Randy
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    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  6. #86
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    So today while waiting for paint to dry on the wood, I disassembled the receiver as far as I could go. couldn't remove the Carrier Latch and Button and the Mag Cutoff as some earlier Owner / Bubbasmith replaced the long thing screws with @$%^&*# Roll Pins! Since these are in blind holes the only way to get them out is by drilling them out and I didn't feel like doing that today. Maybe someday.

    The gun was absolutely filthy inside!,,, and I am being kind here. All cleaned out now. Still have to disassemble the bottom plate and bolt so they can be cleaned up.

    I then went ahead and reblued the whole Stripped Receiver. I wire brushed the exterior to remove any little rust spots and then degreased it and applied the Birchwood Casey paste blue which works really well.

    Normally when you re-blue a gun you strip off the old blue with a polishing wheel and then dip it in the bluing salts. However one of the byproducts of abrasive buffing is lessening the sharpness of the engraving. My engraving was all hand done in 1963 and it still looks new.

    And it still does afterwards. The bluing project came out nice if I do say, and more than good enough for the role this gun will be playing.

    here's some pics.

    Randy
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    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  7. #87
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    Wood coming along nicely and will be done today. Grain on the right side popped nicely,left side not so much but still interesting.

    This is a working gun so I didn't want to go too ape on the stock finish. I would normally do an oil finish but since this gun is essentially a beater it got a Minwax Polyurethane spray can finish. The stuff is some of the best spray can paint I have ever used and it goes on Nice and Easy. Dried quickly when left in the Heater Closet.

    Randy
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    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 03-05-2019 at 02:36 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  8. #88
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    Looking good!

    I like re-finishing,especially the old "lemon-merenque" -technique.

  9. #89
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    Well it is ready to shoot. I still have a few fine details to finish but the gun is back together and should run.

    It came out looking pretty good for a beater, and over all I'm pretty happy with the bench top refinish. The bluing came out good and the Wood came out very good,,, IMHO .

    Still have to mount the Sling Swivels and revisit the Recoil Pad fitting that is a little proud in a couple of places.

    The gun weighs 7 lbs.8 oz. empty and that Limbsaver Recoil Pad should save me from too much grief with some heavier Slug Loads.

    One thing that is annoying is that the little $10 screws that adjust the rear sight in windage tend to fall out and get lost really easily. I just lost another one. Damit.

    Update 3/13/19 My wife found the screw! This is the 4th time she has been able to find little bits and pieces that I have lost and spent hours looking for only to have her come in and find it in 15 seconds!

    Should be able to shoot this thing this weekend. Bout time!

    Randy
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    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 03-13-2019 at 08:53 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  10. #90
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    Nice job, Randy! She looks good, I'll be interested to see how that Birchwood Casey cold blue holds up!
    We take a thousand moments for granted thinking there will be a thousand more to come. Each day, each breath, each beat of your heart is a gift. Live with love & joy, tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

  11. #91
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    Centershot: as long as you get it on good meaning the surface is free of any kind of oil or grease and keep it oiled or waxed it stays on pretty well.

    It works really well for touching up small problems.

    On this gun most of the original bluing was still there. There was some light spots here and there, but edges of the receiver, the bottom of the trigger guard, gooned screws which are common on Brownings due to the narrow screw slots, all cleaned up and matched the Factory Bluing well.

    When I fix boogered screws I generally tap the blown out slots back down as much as possible, clean up the slot with a needle file and then put them into a drill motor and hit them on the Scotchbite wheel. This leaves the dome of the screw stripped and polished. I then get a hold of them with a pair of Hemostats and dip them into the blue. It takes about 10 seconds to completely coat the screw and then I take it out, rub it with a clean rag, hit it with brake cleaner, and then oil it. Done.

    I have done lots of stuff this way and all of it is still in service looking just like before. My big one was the Lever on my 1895CB. The lever on that gun was ALL,,, and nothing but ,,, Sharp Edges!!! I had to file radius's on the loop and the outside of the lever. I then re-blued it with the cold blue and after 13 years it still looks just the same as before,,, but with out the sharp edges.

    Not too worried about this gun as it is going to get banged around more than what you'd normally expect a gun like this to experience. That doesn't mean I won't take care of it and try to minimize poor handling, but some dings and dents are to be expected.

    I got another bolt handle for the gun, and it will be getting enlarged for easier manipulation. When in a Class or 3 gun you are running the bolt more often and the bolt handle on an A5 is pretty small to begin with. It was designed as a field gun not a fighting gun. Even A5's and Rem 11's that saw Military use had the same small bolt handle and that is because they were not being manipulated like they would be today. Lots of the new training techniques covering Pump and Semi Auto Shotguns didn't exist even 15 years ago. Combat use in the Theater and Competition have produced many new techniques for handling, reloading and firing these guns. Don't think for 1 second that our Military isn't looking at every competition held and learning from it. All branches of the Military have Competitive Shooting Teams and whereas you might think they are doing it just to show off, you'd be wrong. The primary reason for their existence is to learn and innovate new training techniques that can be incorporated into training of the up and coming ranks of New Recruits to make them more Lethal and less likely to become statistics. This is a good thing!!!

    If you look at Benelli's, Beretta and Mossberg Semi Auto Combat style guns you'll see larger bolt handles, safeties, bolt releases, shorter LOP's, enhanced Loading Gates, and other refinements that make them easier to manipulate under time pressure or while getting shot at!

    Everything that gets "Used," gets modified! Change is inevitable! And "Necessity is the Mother of Invention."

    Everybody should know this by now.

    Randy
    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 03-07-2019 at 11:01 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
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  12. #92
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    Randy would you give a little more detailed description of how you did the grain enhancement to your stock? I am working on a Stevens 311 stock and it just looks plain.
    Thanks

  13. #93
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    Limp: In order to enhance grain you first must have some grain to enhance. I did a 311 a couple of years ago and the wood had absolutely no character whatsoever. I stripped it and it was white! I stained it and some of the grain showed up. But not much. I finished it the way it was and promptly sold the gun. Don't expect too much from that wood. It is what it is.

    The A5 was a completely different story. It had 1/8" of Varnish on it, and that pretty much covered the grain up. It stripped it with paint remover and sanded it to 400 grit.

    As you can see in the pictures the tiger striping showed up well. However there were all sorts of little nick mark type grain inclusions. In fact the tiger stripes were made up of just them.

    I used a Qtip that I wet with soapy water and then applied sharpie ink to the tip. I then rubbed it into the grain sideways to darken the low spots and dark places in the grain. It worked better on the right side of the stock than the left. The soapy water helps to dissipate the black so it doesn't just look like you drew the lines in.

    I have another gun that a friend did the wood on, and he put one Big Black Line the length of the fore end. He washed it out which feathered the edges of the line, but it is still pretty prominent. After the finish was applied and the checkering done over it it looks like it should be there.

    Since I started this project I learned that grain enhancement is nothing new and not peculiar to guns. A trip to your local "Woodcrafters Store" should yield some information on doing this. I have seen some Banisters on a stairway recently that were done with a sharpie! also a couple of picture.

    Two years ago I went to the SCI show in Vegas. There was a Westley/Richards Double Rifle there on sale for $165K marked down form $195K! It had wood on the stock that I had never seen anything like. When I showed my friend he showed me where the grain had be enhanced as no tree has ever grown like that. If you look you'll see that there is no real grain in that wood. Just the sharpie lines, and really it is a complete hack job.

    The nerve of a Prominent English Gun Maker trying to dump that gun on some unsuspecting buyer who had more money than brains appalls me.

    Conversely, the one big black line on my Fore end looks like it should be there.

    You'll need to play with this technique as I was literally making it up as I went. Also this is usually a case where less is more and you can always sand it off if you don't like it.

    Randy
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    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 03-08-2019 at 01:40 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
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  14. #94
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    Very pretty stock. Nice job Randy. Gp

  15. #95
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    Yeah, I'm pretty happy with the way the gun came out. I mounted the QD Sling Swivel Studs today and then found out I didn't have any QD Swivels to go with them, so I'll have to hunt some down tomorrow.

    Then I can get a Sling hung on the thing which will be one more step towards the goal.

    I have one little screw to drill out in the rear sight elevator on the Hastings Rifled Barrel, And need to make a mount for the Burris Fast Fire III that will go on that barrel in place of the rear sight.

    I want to shoot it first to see if it's even worth messing with. Pretty sure it will be as Browning made some pretty good guns.

    Hopefully I'm not completely stupid. Here's a couple of pics of the gun out in the sun.

    Randy
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    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 03-08-2019 at 06:10 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  16. #96
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    That butt stock in post 93 looks like spalted wood. And Yes that is natural wood. It has to be stabilized but it is usually used for knives and pistol scales.

    Yours looks like quarter sawed wood. Looks really good!

  17. #97
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    You might be right, but the 3 stock re-finishers I have showed this picture to picked out the enhancement immediately. The big black line just below the center line of the stock was what all three pointed out immediately. They said Turkish Walnut is almost never Spalted due to the density, just as the Rosewoods like Cocobolo Iron wood, African Blackwood, etc. never show Spalting.

    Who knows?, I know I was impressed until somebody told me what was going on.

    I made custom knives back in the mid 80's and worked with all the exotic woods I could find and I've never seen Spalting in any of them. I would have never sold a knife with it in the wood, because I would have kept it for myself!

    My A5s wood is definitely enhanced, but I'm just learning how to do it.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  18. #98
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    Installed the Sling Swivels and Sling today. Ready to go shoot hopefully tomorrow.

    Randy
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    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 03-11-2019 at 03:59 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
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  19. #99
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    Randy, Excellent job. I have 2 here just like yours. I've never spent much time with them and never took a liking to them I was always partial to 1100's. This thread has got me thinking I should dig them out and get more aquatinted with them. Jay

  20. #100
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    These guns are 'Machinery!" There is so much going on inside one of these guns it begs the question, "How did JMB think all this up?"

    Go here and watch this video by someone who actually knows these guns inside and out.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMBRdYZ5Mhs

    It is a pretty enlightening video and you'll be sold after watching it.

    This video has been my primary source of information for working on the internals of my guns. Art and his sons Nick and Brad are great guys to deal with and they will tell you anything you need to know. They are also reliable to do business with and this gun I am working on right now came from them in a trade for another one I got by mistake. They helped me come out even on the deal which helped alot.

    Like I said go have a look. I figure anyone who is willing to make a 1.5 hour video to tell you all the secrets he's learned after a lifetime of Gunsmithing can't be all bad.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check