.300 Weatherby Mag - Leonard Mews Custom Model 70

One of my prized possessions, this rifle was made by the late Leonard Mews, Roy Weatherbys stockmaker and checkering artist.  This beautiful example of his work is built on a pre-'64 Winchester action, chambered in .300 winmag.  It has all the custom touches you would expect.  A beautiful ebony forend cap, jeweled bolt, bolt knob has two pane checkering, checkered magazine release, period weaver 1" scope rings.

The stock is absolutely beautiful and the photos don't do it justice.  Fine line checkering with fleurs.  The wood as a blank is worth over two thousand dollars alone.  Hand carved by one of the most recognized gun artisans of the 2oth century this rifle is currently for sale at $3950.00 o.b.o.

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This is truly one of the most beautiful pieces of wood that I have ever seen.  Look at the really tiny but perfect hand checkering.  Notice the perfection of the shadow line cheek piece.

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The marbling is stunning and is continuous from foregrip to butt pad on both sides.

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When Roy Weatherby started making custom rifles, he chose the absolute finest craftsman available at that time. Leonard Mews fit that bill.

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Notice the perfect mating of wood to steel.  The checkered bolt release.

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The pistol grip sports a sculptured cap.

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Both the pistol grip cap and the forend cap are very unique. They often show up as signature designs on Leonard Mews rifles.

 

7mm Rem Mag - Larry Brace Custom Model 70 - Engraved

There are so many things to look for when critiquing checkering that I will only hit a few of the main things.  Start with the size of the checkering.  The smaller, the more difficult and the more time consuming.  Look at the borders.  Some artists will use a plain border with the checkering just "dead ending" into the border while others will carve a double line border.  All of those lines with curve to them are much more difficult to carve than the straight lines of the checkering.  For this reason, I consider the most difficult of all patterns to be one with fleurs and ribbons.  When you look at the following rifle, take a moment to look at those borders and all those places where the checkering ends.   Look at the perfection of the ribbons.  Work like this is extremely time consuming and not all stockmakers have that ability.  Leonard Mews obviously did, if you look back at the first rifle on this list.  The following rifle is an example of what two highly skilled artisans can do.  The metal engraving and the exquisite combination of fleurs and ribbons.

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The stockmaker/metalsmith is the late Larry Brace of Eugene, Oregon. It was only while doing this inventory that I found out Larry had passed on. I didn't know him well but he made it easy to consider him a friend. He was a founding member of the Gunmakers Guild.

The rifle is based on a pre-64 Winchester action.  The barrel is an Obermeyer (maybe the greatest cut rifle maker ever - sorry Krieger !) The barrel has "cut" rifling and a featherweight contour.

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Notice the shadow line cheekpiece.  The bolt has single frame checkering.  The bolt release is checkered and the bolt is jeweled. 

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The checkering is perfection itself.  The inlaid sling swivels, capped with ebony.

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The Mountain Sheep acts as the centerpiece.  Surrounded by filligree, the engraving is flawless.

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Of course, the bottom metal is all custom solid steel. A beautiful rifle, blessed by the skills of two artisans.

Available for sale at $4250.00, o.b.o.

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Notice the double line border and the perfect ribbons.

What could you possibly add to the rifle that has it all ?

How about some fancy engraving !

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Oops ! How did that get in here ?

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.270 Frank Pachmayer - Custom 03-A3

You can't be around guns and not know the name Pachmayr.  Pachmayer grips and butt pads are everywhere.  Not everyone knows that Frank Pachmayr was one of the premier master gunsmiths of our time. His Los Angeles Shop soon became known for turning out some of the finest rifles in post WWII America. I am fortunate to own two very fine rifles that came from Frank Pachmayr's custom shop.

The first is built on a Model 1903/A3 Springfield action.  For the benefit of you "youngsters" reading this, the  Springfield 1903 was the premier bolt action battle rifle of the United States forces in the early part of the twentieth century.

They were a favorite for "sporterizing" or converting to sporting/hunting use.  The rifles were made by all kinds of different companies that converted to military production during the war.

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This rifle uses an action built by Remington.  The original stamp "U.S. Remington Model 03A3" is as clear as the day it was done.

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The checking is tight and clean.  The jewelled bolt has a custom handle and the rifle is topped with a Bushnell Scope.

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The metal is highly polished with a glossy blued finish.  There isn't a scratch on the rifle.  It would be 100% but for two small dings on the underside of the butt.  These could be easily "steamed" by a gunsmith or use as is.

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The rifle is a beautiful example of Pachmayr craftsmanship.

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There is a brass engraving plate on the bottom of the pistol grip. It has not been engraved.

This sporterized 03A3 is available for $1750.00, o.b.o.

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Please note the exclusive Pachmayr Quick Release Sling Swivels.

 

.270 Frank Wells- Custom Model 70

Sometimes the artistic talents of the gunmaker come together in a way that just leaves you breathless. This is a fabulous rifle. It is the work of legendary gunmakers Frank Wells.

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The artist started with what can only be described as a beautiful piece of wood.  To that he added a pre-64 Winchester Action chambered in .270 with a featherweight barrel.

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Look at the perfection of the shadow line cheek piece. The picture doesn't do it justice.

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The original aluminum has been replaced with one piece steel.

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The bolt is jeweled, the bolt stop is checkered.  The bolt knob has  two panel checkering.

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Look at the absolutely stunning sling swivels.  Each is inlaid into a sculpted shelf.  The woodcraft is as good as anything you'll ever see.

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This beautiful rifle is available for purchase for $3500.00, o.b.o.

 

.264 Pre-64 Winchester Model 70

What hasn't been said about the Pre-64 Winchester Model 70 ? The single most desired bolt action ever made. A credit to American ingenuity and craftsmanship. Itself a remaking of the venerable '98 Mauser, it has inspired gunmakers since it's inception.

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This Pre-64 Model 70 is just absolutely stunning.

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The rifle that defined classic.

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This is as clean a Pre-64 as you'll find.

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Remington M-700 - Special Edition (New in Box)

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This phenomenal sheep is available for purchase. He scores 198 and is the current Idaho State Record.

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The rifle is brand new. It was an award from the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep. I received it in 1995 for shooting the new Idaho State Record Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. He was absolutely magnificent and beat the old record by ten inches.

 

When it comes to classic European design, nothing quite makes a statement like a mannlicher style stock.

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Popularized by the likes of DWM Bell, the famous elephant hunter and Ernest Hemingway himself the mannlicher harkens back to a more chivalrous time.

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The action is a genuine and stamped Oberndorf.

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The rifle sports double triggers. For the benefit of those of you unfamiliar with this setup ... when ready to shoot, you pull the rear trigger ... this sets the front trigger to release the sear with very light pressure. This design allows for very accurate shooting.

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The Oberndorf is a highly prized action for custom rifles.

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The craftsmanship is superb ... the styling elegant.

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When it comes to classic European design, nothing quite makes a statement like a mannlicher style stock.

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Popularized by the likes of DWM Bell, the famous elephant hunter and Ernest Hemingway himself the mannlicher harkens back to a more chivalrous time.

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The action is a genuine and stamped Oberndorf.

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The rifle sports double triggers. For the benefit of those of you unfamiliar with this setup ... when ready to shoot, you pull the rear trigger ... this sets the front trigger to release the sear with very light pressure. This design allows for very accurate shooting.

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The Oberndorf is a highly prized action for custom rifles.

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The craftsmanship is superb ... the styling elegant.

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Selous Twins !

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When planning my third safari, I wanted to take a full bag of rifles. I brought a .450N.E. for the big stuff. Took a .375 H&H for the mid-sized game and a .270 for the smaller stuff. This is the .270 I chose.

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What a piece of work ! German craftsmanship at it's finest !

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What a piece of work ! German craftsmanship at it's finest !

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The action is fully engraved.

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A detailed elk adorns the bottom metal.

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A detailed elk adorns the bottom metal.

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A German scope completes the ensemble.

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A mountain goat is beautifully framed and surrounded with filligree on the trigger guard.

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A fantastic caliber in a fantastic rifle. The Pre-64 Model 70 set the standard which all rifles should be judged.

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This rifle is in pristine condition and includes the original steel butt plate.

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A stunning gun, suitable for shooting or collecting. Available for sale at $1450.00.

 

If you are looking for a semi-automatic rifle, it's awfully hard to beat the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). This is a fine early example of the rifle manufactured by Fabrique Nationale in Belgium.

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The rifle has seen light use.

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The rifle has seen light use.

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The rings and bases are included.

This beautiful rifle is available for sale at $ .

 
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If you are looking for a semi-automatic rifle, it's awfully hard to beat the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). This is a fine early example of the rifle manufactured by Fabrique Nationale in Belgium.

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The rings and bases are included.

This beautiful rifle is available for sale at $ .

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The rings and bases are included.

This beautiful rifle is available for sale at $ .

Introduced earlier, it's worth repeating, Gary Goudy is one of the premier gunmakers of today.

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The venerable 25'06 is a perfect all-around cartridge. From antelope to whitetail or mule deer, it's hard to find a better cartridge. This rifle is based on a '09 Argentine variant of the Mauser action. These actions are coveted for their strength and craftsmanship. The Mauser safety has been removed and replaced with a slide safety.

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The outstanding fiddleback combines with marbling to create a startling effect. The shadowline cheekpiece is exquisite.

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The color carries through the wood for the entire length.

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The fleurs are absolute perfection. The lines are classic, the execution flawless.

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The military bolt knob has been replaced with a custom knob covered with two panel checkering.

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The checkering is just flawless. The rifle including custom scope bases is available for $3250.00.

 

I have always had a fascination with classic cartridges. Ackley is very well known for his "improving" of standard cartridges/calibers. He simply changed the shoulders to allow more powder. The .280 Ackley Improved is equivelent to a 7mm mag.

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This rifle started with a pre-64 Winchester action. A cut rifle barrel by Obermeyer was added. The barrel was cut to a featherweight contour and chambered in .280 Ackley Improved.

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The wood is beautifully marbled. The shadow line cheek piece is beautiful.

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The checkering is fine and clean. Fleurs and Ribbons !

A beautiful example of hand craftsmanship. Available for sale for $2450.00

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Please notice the skeletonized grip cap. This is just beautiful. The pistol grip is ringed in ebony and then the underlying wood is finely checkered. Very nice !

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The bolt sports an incredible five panel knob. The metal has all of the usual touches. Checkered magazine release, checkered bolt release.

 

Another stunning example of fine American craftsmanship !

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This rifle has it all. From the sculptured cheek piece to the ebony forend.

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The pictures just do not do this wood justice. It is flawless. The marbling is just to drool for.

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Look at the detail. The perfect little shelves for the sling swivels.

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The bolt knob includes four panel checkering.

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When it comes to exquisite detail, it is hard to beat the skeletonized grip cap with the butterfly cutout and fine checkering.

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Check out the neat little shelf just forward of the magazine. And of course, I just had to add a set of custom allen bolts from Sterling Davenport.

This beautiful rifle is available for sale at $3250.00.

 

I just have to talk about this next gun. As I mentioned earlier, it was with deep sadness that I found out that Master Gunmaker Larry Brace had passed away. When I first saw Larry's work, I was astounded. He was a founding member of the Gunmakers Guild and his work epitomized everything they represent.

I had a somewhat substantial collection by this point. I had seen the work of some of the world's finest gunsmiths. I had a dream for a rifle that would represent the ne plus ultra of the gunmakers art.

I decided that Larryt Brace was the artist up for the task.

Drum Roll Please !

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The rifle began with a highly desirable Waffen Model Mauser action. The action was color case hardened. The barrel is a cut rifle barrel from Obermeyer in a 7mm featherweight contour. It was chambered for the 7mm Ackley.

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Color case hardening is almost a lost art. It is extremely difficult to bring out a truly beautiful pattern that matches throughout the metalwork.. The color case hardening came out just stunningly. The Talley Quick Release Scope Mount matched perfectly.

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The bottom metal is color case hardened to match the receiver. Look at the absolutely stunning five panel bolt knob. Notice the gold wire inlay which continues throughout the action and bottom metal.

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The wood sculpting is perfect. The checkering is absolutely the finest I have ever seen. And the detail ! Please, I hope you are noticing the unbelievable checkering which combines skeletonized fleurs and ribbons flawlessly executed. This is as good as it gets !

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It just had to have the right scope. A 30mm Swarobski in 3-9 pwr. This beautiful rifle is available for purchase. The price, with the scope is $6950.00.

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The steel butt plate is color case hardened to match.

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Please notice that the ribbons are actually a triple line.

 

When Roy Weatherby first started designing his legendary line of magnum calibres, he hadn't yet developed his Mark 5. He used Mauser actions for his custom line of rifles. His original shop was in Southgate California. His original rifles are referred to as "Southgate" models.

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I don't know a lot about Weatherby's. I don't know if the muzzle break is original or added later.

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Another spacer on the forend cap. Notice the flat panel on the custom bolt.

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Notice the ivory spacer in the grip cap. Ol' Roy liked his rifles to have flash !

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The diamond shaped inlay from the bottom of the pistol grip.

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The rifle is clearly stamped Southgate, Calif.

Unfortunately, I'm not much of a photographer. Here is the best I can do on the factory stamps.

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When I first acquired this rifle back in the early nineties, I wanted to take it hunting. I had a trip planned to Wyoming for antelope and couldn't wait. Due to the collector's value of the rifle, I didn't want to take a chance on scratching up the stock.

I met a fellow named Brent Clifton of Clifton Stocks. Brent had designed an incredibly useful innovation. It is the disappearing bipod !

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I had one custom made to fit the Weatherby. It works fantastic.

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I had one custom made to fit the Weatherby. It works fantastic.

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This is a new Ruger #1 in 7mm Rem Mag. It has a muzzle break added to it but I never got around to having it blued.

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It has a beautiful piece of wood and that is what attracted me to it. I never got around to doing anything with it.

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This rifle is available for sale. The price is $700.00 .

 

A beautiful rifle from a master craftsman.

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With this rifle, it is all about the wood. The rifle bagan as a Supergrade Pre-64 Winchester action. It was rebarrelled and chambered in the venerable .300 Weatherby Magnum.

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In the world of gunmaking, where fleurs and diamond patters dominate, it is a wonder to find something unique without being ostentatious. This pattern was often used by Leoard Mews. He referred to it as his "wavy blonde" pattern.

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The checkering is both unique and elegant.

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This rifle is unfired and ready for purchase. Priced at $1995.00.

 

Speaks for itself. A brand new, in the box, stainless New Model 70 in 7mm Rem Mag!

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This rifle is unfired and ready for purchase. Priced at $1995.00.

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Per the Winchester website this caliber is no longer available in this rifle. This is a great rifle and a great caliber. For Sale for $ .