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Thread: Project Bushcraft Rifle

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    Default Project Bushcraft Rifle

    Hey

    I'm posting this because I would like your input and help with a project that I am undertaking.

    As some of you may recall a while back I posted a photo of this gun.



    I had bought it because of seeing all the guns over in this thread: http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showth...on-lets-see-em

    The first shotgun I ever owned was a H&R in 20ga and I really liked that gun. So a quick trip to Wal-Mart and I was out of $112 and the owner of a new H&R 12ga. I thought I might mod it into one of those "Bushcraft" shotguns I keep seeing on the youtubes.

    Once I got it home and got to take a real good look at it I was very pleased with it. It carried well with good balance and heft. It's light weight would make it a dream to carry when I was out and about. It would be safe to say I was happy with my new gun.

    Then I shot it.

    The recoil was punishing. Even with light target loads it beat me to the point of death. Last year I had my ongoing neck problems looked at and found that I had serious neck vertebra deterioration. It was bad enough that I have given up archery due to the pain. I hunt here in the East and I don't own any heavy caliber rifles, so shooting my .243 or .308 does not cause me any distress. Even firing my 835 judicially is fine but apparently light weight 12ga are no longer in the cards for me. So I got to thinking (scary right) that I could get a 20ga barrel from H&R for it. So off I got to their website for the barrel accessory program. Once I get to looking around I find that while you can't order rifle caliber barrels for the shotgun frame you can order pistol caliber barrels for it.

    So that got me thinking again (twice in one day, really scary now) Why not get a .357 magnum barrel for it. I can use that round for any game I hunt around here. The recoil for that round in a rifle would be negligible. I own a few guns in that caliber and have ammo on had for it. I can shoot .38 special out of it for plinking and small game hunting provided I use fmj rounds. Also I can shoot it a lot more often than I do my other hunting rifles. Seems like a good idea to me. So off it goes to H&R and a few weeks later I get this back.




    The first thing I noticed is this gun is heavy! The barrel is the next best thing to a "heavy barrel" and weights a ton. It's muzzle heavy but not in a bad way if you know what I mean, it swings and tracks the target. If it was a shotgun it might be described as being lively. The next thing I discovered was that the butt stock is way to long for me. I have a shorter than average length of pull (don't judge me!) of around 11 inches. This thing was better than 14 inch. How I failed to noticed this when I was shooting the shotgun barrel I can only ascribe to the fact that it was knocking me silly every time I fired it.

    So I was off to my woodshop (i.e. my basement) and in short order I had a gun I could mount and shoot in comfort and ease.



    Now this is where you fine folks come in. I would like your input as to how I should mod this into a bushcrafting firearm extraordinaire! You advise me on what to do (and most likely how to do it) And I shall post the results. I've already made one post asking for help and advice on replacing the butt plate with more to follow.

    I hope this can be a fun and instructive project (if only to instruct on what not to do) for us all.

    Thanks!


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    The first thing I would is see what it would take to add iron sights to it. That's a must have option for me on a rifle. Next I would consider a sling. You also might want to consider adding a leather shell holder to the butt. If the stock has a hollow space, you might also want to consider putting together a small survival kit for storage there. Another thing I see lots of people doing is personalizing their rifles like the Indians used to do, but adding brass tacks and such to the wood. That can look really cool!!!

    Congrats on the new rifle!!! And good luck with whatever upgrades you decide on!!!

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    It's truely a wonder why they don't provide that barrel with iron sights, and provide the drilled holes for the rail.

    Anyway I like adding sling mounts, as well as the stock cuff ammo carrier.

    With the scope mounted , you might also want a Hammer spur extention.....available from the same place as the barrel.

    Congrats on a wise choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taliesin View Post
    The first thing I would is see what it would take to add iron sights to it. That's a must have option for me on a rifle. Next I would consider a sling. You also might want to consider adding a leather shell holder to the butt. If the stock has a hollow space, you might also want to consider putting together a small survival kit for storage there. Another thing I see lots of people doing is personalizing their rifles like the Indians used to do, but adding brass tacks and such to the wood.
    I would like to add an aperture sight to it but to tell the truth what with my advancing age and poor eye sight I might be better served with a red dot sight. A leather shell holder with a place for a nice folder is a good idea, as is a in-stock survival kit. As for a sling I had thought about using a tie on sling that mates to a set on hold not unlike the lanyard holes on a knife. I am not a fan of the brass tacks look if only because a number of other folks have already done that.

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    I like all of the recommended additons so far. I am looking forward to following this thread. On one of my "bushcraft" guns, I have an altoids PSK in a pouch attached to the sling. On another one, I have a ferro rod and a Buck Hartsook knife attached to the sling also. There's no end to it, just be creative and enjoy it! Also, a couple of my firearms have the ammo carrier slings which I like. On my H&R that lives in my ranch truck, I have a butt stock ammo carrier which sees a lot of use. It is nylon one which I end up replacing every couple of years as it stretches out. I would like to try a leather one at some point.

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    If you end up trying out brass plate for the butt, you could use some of the brass for an inlay. I bought a Thompson Center muzzle loader and the previous owner had inlaid a hunters star out of brass. Looks really good.

    Cool project by the way. I like the choice of caliber. I will be following to see how it turns out.
    Last edited by Kurt992; 03-02-2013 at 10:39 PM.
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    I would find a decent machinist and have them reprofile the barrel to a tapered octagon to save a ton of weight or get a gunsmith to throw it in a lathe and thin that barrel down, its HUGE.

    It would double the cost of the gun but express sights would look cool.

    Okay, you asked about buttplates. Thick brass would look cool and just use the original as a template. Center punch the screw holes. Clamp the plate and drill the through hole. Then before you unclamp it and move anything, use a countersink to put the relief in for the screw. Repeat for the second hole. Then screw the blank to the stock and scribe out your layout lines and rough cut the shape. Now take three layers of masking tape to the wood, screw the butt to the stock and using a single cut mill file, draw file it to shape with just a tiny amount of taper so as you cut the profile and get close to the tape, you have very little brass left proud from the wood.
    Last edited by SimplyMichael; 03-02-2013 at 10:49 PM.

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    I just had to...this is NOT my work and way finer than I am capable of but THIS is a buttplate!
    skeleton-1.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimplyMichael View Post
    I just had to...this is NOT my work and way finer than I am capable of but THIS is a buttplate!
    Man that is nice but it's a bit much for the "poor boy rifle" look I'm going for.

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    +1 on adding iron sights & sling. I would have the barrel fluted to reduce weight, which should also increase stiffness.

    I would NOT hang a bunch of stuff on a light-weight rifle and make it heavy! Instead, slide a 6-round bullet holder on your belt (offhand side), along with a leather pouch for your PSK - Rather than hanging them on your rifle.
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