All firearms accepted for work undergo a 40-point 'pre-check' for function and condition before any requested work commences. This is absolutely necessary in case there are other faults present with the firearm that the owner is not aware of, or may have forgotten to mention. Any accessories or hardware supplied with the firearm or missing is also noted. Other 'special checks' such as headspace, sear engagement, feeding, extraction and ejection, etc, are all included on the job sheet. Some gunsmiths charge extra for these sorts of checks, we don't.
A thorough inspection can shed light on the causes of any present or potential faults. Final checks after requested work has been completed often include test firing with live ammunition and cleaning to ensure that the firearm is in full working order before it leaves our workshop. All our repair work is covered by warranty and quality workmanship assured.
Rebluing, Parkerizing, Mil-spec Coatings
The main types of bluing we undertake in our workshop are the hot caustic bluing method, traditional rust bluing method and the Nitre Bluing (or Fire Bluing) for small parts. We can also do colour casing of some parts.
Overview of Bluing Operation
All metalwork to be blued must be first brought up to an acceptable finished state. This would include removal of any rust spots and pitting, rough machining, and any other surface imperfections using the most professional and efficient methods possible. The quality of workmanship by the 'metal' polisher must be of the highest standard to avoid common mistakes by the amateur, such as 'running' the engraving or the edges of flat surfaces.
The hot dip bluing process (briefly) involves degreasing of the parts before immersion in a hot (280 º F) caustic solution until the right depth of colour is obtained. The process does not alter the surface finish. The parts are then rinsed cold, then boiled out in hot water mix to remove any traces of the caustic 'salts' that may have worked into small recesses in the parts. The parts are then submersed in special finishing oil and allowed to cool, before draining off and allowing to 'stand' overnight. The bluing process is usually complete within a few hours.
The traditional Rust bluing method is a lot slower and very labour intensive. Briefly, the process involves degreasing the parts, boiling out in hot water to heat the parts and remove any foreign residues. Chemical solution is then carefully swabbed onto the parts and they are then suspended in a special 'rusting chamber' where the temperature and humidity is controlled for about 2 hours. This allows a red rusting to form on the parts and also slightly etches the surface of the steel. Using a stronger solution, or increasing the temperature, humidity level or time spent in the rusting chamber can increase the degree of etching. Skill and practice must be used to achieve the right degree of etching. Too much can spoil the job. The parts are then boiled in hot water for 10-15 min. This changes the red rusting to black.
The parts are dried off, then the loose rust is 'carded off' with either a very fine wire wheel or '0000' grade steel wool. Care must be taken at all times not to touch the parts by hand to avoid contamination with oil.
The chemical solution is then swabbed onto the parts again and the cycle is repeated 4 or more times until the right depth of colour with an even finish is achieved.
Finally the parts are boiled out to neutralise the rusting, then they can be soaked in the finishing oil. The process can run over several days. It is usually more durable than caustic bluing.
Nitre Bluing (Fire bluing) is usually for smaller parts such as screw and pinheads, sight parts, triggers, etc.
Dry potassium Nitrate (Nitre) is carefully heated until it melts. The degreased parts are then quickly suspended into the molten chemical and watched carefully until the right colour change is reached.
The desired colours are often straw, purple, or iridescent blue.
The process takes only a few minutes or less depending on the size of the part. It is then quickly removed and either allowed to cool at room temperature or quenched in boiling water. If the part is air-cooled it must be dipped in boiling water to remove the dried chemical. The part can then be examined for any imperfections, then lightly oiled. The oxide (bluing) layer is very thin.
The Parkerizing process is different from the bluing process (which is essentially a pre-rusting/ oxidising of the steel surface) in that Parkerizing is actually a manganese- phosphate coating that chemically bonds to the surface of the steel. The colour obtained is grey to dark grey/black depending largely on the hardness of the steel. Generally the softer the steel the darker the finished colour. For this reason you often get a different colour shade between the barrel and receiver or other 'hardened parts'. Parkerizing bonds best onto a bead blasted surface, the finish is a matt non-glare coating, that is microscopically porous. This helps to hold rust preventing oils on the surface. Parkerizing has long been used as a military coating, and while not being as attractive to some as bluing, it is an excellent choice for hunting guns being far more durable than all of the types of bluing.
The process is usually complete within a few hours. At the end the parts are soaked in oil or dried. If dried they can quickly be painted, the Parkerizing acting as an excellent 'primer'.
Note: Bluing and Parkerizing can only be applied to the carbon or chrome-moly type steels used in firearms, and sometimes castings. They will usually not work on stainless steels, although there are some exceptions.
A relatively new process which uses a spray-on 'paint', called "Moly Resin", which has a phenolic resin base incorporating molybdenum disulphide (a superior lubricant), with a blend of additives. The process briefly involves cleaning the parts, followed by a light bead blasting. The coating is applied to a thickness of 0.0003" to 0.0009", and then the parts are 'oven cured' to 120-130º C. The colours available are dark grey/ black, flat black, semi gloss black, flat grey, flat green/olive, medium brown, flat tan/sand and 'stainless' silver. The combination of olive and two of the other colours can be applied in a camouflage pattern if desired. These coatings have passed extreme testing for resistance to saltwater atmosphere, acids and other chemicals. This is a cost effective method of metal protection for hunting guns, etc.
(Please note the service is contracted out.)
Recoil Pads Installed
We offer high-class installation of top quality recoil pads to your favourite rifle or shotgun. We can adjust the finished "length of pull" of the stock to your request, or to your correct fit. The pads are ground on a jig with a purpose build disc sander, not on the stock itself. There are to be no 'flat spots' on a pad, and all are finished with a careful hand sanding before finally being fitted to the stock.
We can usually supply whatever pad you may request.
We can 'open- up' the fixed choke dimension on your shotgun to achieve the pattern you want, either approximately (by guideline measurement), or by actual percentage patterns test fired with your specified or supplied ammunition.
We can also fit screw-in type chokes to your 12-ga shotgun, depending on whether your barrel meets the dimensional minimum requirements. Outside diameter over the choke section must exceed 0.830" with a concentric bore.
The chokes used on machined installs are the Tru-choke style.
Barrels usually don't require re-bluing after machining for tru-chokes.
* Tru-choke Thinwall style tubes are now available for barrels over
0.810" O.D. at choke section.
* Specialist tubes are available for steel, steel & lead, or lead only.
Usually available in about seven sizes from Skt-1 through to X-Full.
Rifled tubes for slugs are also available.
If your single barrel shotgun has the choke section O.D. under 0.810" we can remove the existing choke section by cutting the barrel back (usually about 2" ) and machining the end to accept an 'adaptor', which is then soldered into place. The finished length is usually the same as before or slightly longer. The barrel can be finished shorter if you request it so. If there is a sighting rib and bead it is then re fitted on top of the adaptor. The barrel must usually be re-blued, parkerized, or Mil-Spec coated.
All our choke installs are guaranteed to be perfectly in line with the bore.
Forcing Cone Alterations
We can lengthen the forcing cones (and chambers) on your 12ga shotgun to a more gradual taper for an increase in pattern quality and reduced recoil that results from an easier transition of the shot charge from chamber to bore. After reaming, the chamber and forcing cone area are carefully polished to aid ease of cleaning and reduced fouling.
We can also check your shotgun stock for correct fit, make alterations to the types of sighting 'beads' or most other customised features of your field or competition shotgun.
We can also undertake custom porting of shotgun barrels.
Stock Refinishing and Checkering
We provide a stock restoration service for antique and hunting firearms. The raising of major dents in the woodwork, removal of the old finish, followed by the careful 'sanding' of the woodwork to remove only the minimum amount of material possible without altering the symmetry or special features of the stock, is a task that must be undertaken with great care and skill. A stock can be ruined by amateurish attempts at restoration, so it pays to have it done right the first time by a professional.
We specialize in oil finishes for walnut stocks in either high grade custom or hunter grade degree of finish.
We can also recut the old checkering on your gunstock, or cut new checkering to your requested pattern, with or without borders, up to 26TPI, depending on the density of the wood used.
(The harder, denser walnuts are usually best for holding the 'points' of finer checkering and are less prone to 'fluff' or 'whisker').
If synthetic rifle stocks are 'your thing', we can bed and finish fibreglass/kevlar synthetic blanks to fit your rifle. We can also supply the blanks if required.
*Synthetic blanks for some rifles are not readily available, or may be unobtainable.
Please see our Custom Stock Making page for full details.
Most modern rifles have been found to shoot more accurate consistent groups with proper 'bedding' of the barrel and action, usually with a fibreglass/ epoxy resin. The resin is applied carefully to the prepared stock and metalwork, then brought together and allowed time to set, giving a good one-to-one matching fit of the important surfaces. Aluminium pillars may also be used to prevent 'crushing' on wooden stocks in the action areas by over tightening of the main action screws.
A well bedded action will also be free from any bending or torsional stresses, when the action screws are tightened down.
Most centre-fire rifles shoot more consistently with the barrel free floated from the fore end, but there are a few exceptions where the barrel may shoot better if a 'pressure point' bedding technique is used at the fore end tip of the barrel channel.
Glass resin / epoxy bedding can be applied to most wooden stocks, and will bond well provided the contact areas are not soaked with oil or other foreign matter. The bedding compounds bond well to fibreglass or kevlar synthetic stocks. The compounds will not however bond readily to the "plastic" style injection moulded stocks, due to the grease-based nature of the plastic used. These stocks can be bedded with some degree of success by 'dovetailing' the bedding compound into place so that it can't dislodge under recoil. These stocks however are still inferior to a good fibreglass/kevlar one.
We supply and fit rifle silencers/suppressors manufactured by others in the New Zealand 'guntrade'.
Utilising specialist gunsmithing tooling and mandrels we thread the barrel 'between centres' at the muzzle with a single point cutter to be a very close 'class 4 fit' with the exact silencer to be installed. (This is very important as the tolerances for the silencers' female thread can vary on individual units - even those from the same manufacturer. A closely fitted thread ensures that the silencer does not 'drop down' into the line of bore if it happens to work loose from the abutment shoulder.)
In order to be able to guarantee the quality and alignment of the installation we prefer to supply the silencer/suppressor to be used. (Unfortunately there are some cheap, poor quality units out there for sale with 'alignment problems', and having seen plenty of these we prefer to supply good quality units that we trust.)
'Muzzle Can' units are available for .22lr, as well as .17 HMR / .22 Magnum, and centrefires.
'Over-barrel' units are available for bolt action (and some other types of) centrefire rifles, and these are our recommended choice for centrefire hunting or target rifles.
Fitting: All silencer and muzzlebrake installations are offered in either 'standard' or 'match' configuration. (Note: 'Match' installation is not available for rifles with chrome-lined bores.)
Rebarreling and Accurising
We offer a rebarreling service for rifles of all types. Usually we supply only match-grade barrels as the time taken in precision fitting them to the action is the same as for the cheaper ones. The price difference is usually not sufficient to justify anything of a lesser quality and risking the possibility of poor accuracy.
'Accurising' the action basically involves 'truing' or correcting any dimensional inaccuracies which are very commonplace in factory mass-produced actions, especially older military ones which may take a lot of work to bring up to acceptable standard. This work must be completed on the action before the barrel is to be fitted. We offer most of the common chamberings, special chamberings may be accommodated on request, however this may be at extra cost.
SAMPLE DATA ONLY
||Once your new barrel has been fitted the calibre designation is engraved (not stamped) on the barrel shank as a finishing touch. This is not only tidier, but does not induce any stress into the surface of the barrel steel.
Chamber Reamer List
Click here to view our current chamber reamer list. Chambers not listed here may be available on special order.
Information on barrel fluting
Click here to view our fluting notes.
Notes on rifle barrel fitting:
The accuracy potential of a good barrel blank is only as good as the gunsmithing employed to install it. To further improve the quality of our barrel fitting we have recently (late 2007) installed a GTRtm chamber flushing system to our lathe for barrel fitting. A chamber reamer receiving constant coolant fluid pumped under high pressure from the muzzle, down the bore and out through the reamer, ensures that tolerances are kept to a minimum, while also producing an outstanding finish and increasing tool life. No swarf ever travels down the bore which may mar the finish, and ring marks in the chamber walls are non-existent.
Our barrel fitting is usually done 'between centres' utilising a custom-made floating reamer guide and high quality interchangeable-pilot chamber reamers, ensuring that all chambers cut are perfectly concentric and in-line with the bore.
Note: If necessary, we are also setup to chamber 'through the headstock'
after carefully 'dialing-in the bore', for certain applications where this may be required. i.e. - for re-chambering jobs, for extra-long barrel or super-match installs, or for dealing with non-straight barrel bores.
With the rapid rise of the cost of new rifles, many hunters want a reliable hunting rifle with good accuracy, but without the hefty price tag. Whether you're just starting your hunting career, or simply wanting to upgrade from your present rifle, we can build a rifle to meet your budget or your specifications.
If you want a reliable hunting rifle without a large cash outlay we may be able to convert one of the good military Mauser rifles to sporting configuration to suit your purposes. Alternatively we can rebuild a used commercially manufactured rifle, either by rebarreling it in the calibre of your choice, and /or restocking and bedding, fitting new trigger or sights, etc. This is a popular option, especially for those wanting to have a rifle built up in a special calibre that may not be available in an 'off the shelf' factory rifle.
Walnut or synthetic stocks are usually available, or can be made up to suit. Of course the overall cost depends on the time involved to build the rifle to your specifications and the cost of the components used. Naturally a price can only be estimated after discussing your options and quoting component costs at the present time. Quality workmanship with care and attention is always guaranteed.
See our Muzzle Brakes page for more information.