Need A Good Gun Smith
I have three to four different firearms on which I'd like to have some specific work done.
I spoke with Stan Jackson this A.M., and he doesn't/won't do some of the jobs that I need done; specifically relative to Super Redhawk actions.
One option offered was 'Actions by Gene,' but I have no personal experience with his work, nor references from others who've used him. (If anyone has had work done by him, please PM me with opinions.)
I have a Winchester XTR Sporter in .338 Win Mag; it's got a machined muzzle brake (as opposed to 'thread-on'), a black baked enamel finish, and Leupold VX-II 4-12X40mm w/AO, with Leupold medium height quick release rings and 2-piece bases, as well as iron sights. It's been bedded. The medium-heighth (.77") matte rings are too short to accomodate the rear sight and even a miiscule scope cover at the same time, so I'm raising the scope up .23" add'l with the Leupold 'super high' (1" height) matte QR rings.
Since refinishing this rifle with the baked enamel, every now and again, (as in 'not every time it's in use') the second or third shot will bind the bolt. It will still rotate/unlock, but it is NOTABLY difficult to extract the spent case; not a situation that instills confidence when in the bush in bear country. I often use 225 grain random federal ammunition in this firearm. It's possible that resurfacing or polishing the inside of the breech/chamber might alleviate some of the problem here. It's also been told to me that federal's brass is often too soft, and can create this condition. Opinions?
The gun that I'm seeking work on that needs a stout reference is my wife's .454 Ruger SRH. We want to cut the bbl to 4-5/8" (like the older New Model Blackhawk .357's had), but then machine a muzzel brake of roughly 1-1/8", at the end, complete with porting and expansion chamber, leaving 3" of rifling (+/-), then recrown bbl., and re-apply either the original sight, or, better yet, a high visibility front sight more attractive than Ruger's (somewhat crude) original front sight... perhaps one that isn't quite as jagged/sharp, as well.
Lastly, for the .454, and this is where other smiths have sometimes been hesitant, we'd like to slightly reduce the spring tension in the hammer/trigger, and polish, cut, or grind the action mechanism(s) for a more crisp release on the trigger with a slightly lighter trigger pull.
The third gun is an older S&W model 29-2 with a 4" bbl in .44 Rem. Mag. It's currently got an action that's smoother than a baby's bum; nice and crisp release, with only a fairly slight pull necessary for firing. And relatively accurate for a 4" gun. But with the blue finish, it's a maintenance hog in the woods. I'd like to apply a black baked enamel finish to it, but make certain that the finish won't cause any increased friction in the rotation or firing; it already gets relatively stiff when firing hot loads, and so it's typically restricted to medium or light powder loads with hard-cast bullets.
So..... the biggest request here is;
1.) A good smith who's willing to re-work a Ruger SRH action.
2.) " " for the rest of the work.
3.) PMs re. any personal experiences with 'Actions by Gene,' as I'm told that he is willing to do action work that others stay away from. ( And if his reviews are very good to excellent, I might also like the spring tension slightly reduced a bit, and the action polished/ground on my 4" S&W .500 too!! ;^>) )
Thanks for any info.
Thanks for those who responded with info. re. gun smiths via PM.
I'd also hoped that someone might have some personal experience or insight into the .338's occasional disability in extracting cartridge casings, etc.
I've got an idea now as to proceeding with my wife's .454; having the action done at one location, and the bbl at another. Likewise, if the fellow I'll approach does a good job on the .454, I'll let him do the .500 too, if he's willing.
The S&W 29-2 .44 mag will likely sit another year in a holster in a cabinet, as an in-home piece, until such time as I resolve any sense of conflict I have about either getting it refinished at all, and whether or not the baked enamel is likely to cause friction problems in an already fairly tight action.
The walk-in smoker referenced in another thread last year is verging on near-perfect completion, and when it's done, it'll get pics posted in that thread, as promised. I haven't forgotten, but have been inundated with tasks, pressures, and other factors.
Edit: From what I've been told, the primary reason that many 'smiths' hesitate or refuse to work on the SRH actions is that Ruger reportedly won't let loose of the parts if one is broken in process, thus making it too problematic, should something go wrong. This is what I was told yesterday. Market control?? Liability? Dunno.