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Posted: 4/28/2011 6:14:15 AM EDT
Got this pile of parts last fall for $5.
After a lot of cruising the web and looking for photos of original Leman trade rifles, since the style of these CVA rifles appears to be based off of them.
Bought some Leman style sights from Track and rushed through the work to get it ready for MI blackpowder season, which ended up being one rainy wet deerless day.
I striped the stock using Behlen's Solar-Lux alcohol-based dye and the method described by Jack Brooks (The Classroom), which closely replicates the "faux" striping found on original Leman rifles. I practiced first and it actually worked out rather well.
Looking at it now after not touching it for several months, I see several things I wish I had done different and/or that I want to fix. First the comb has a weird swoop in it that I forgot to clean up before I finished the stock. That's because the CVA sights were a mile high and after I installed the lower Leman-type sights I couldn't get my big head down on the stock enough. I lowered the comb to a useable level but ended up with a strange shape. It's comfy but looks goofy.
I'd also like to inlet a real entry pipe and nosecap to get rid of the wonky CVA nosecap. I also need to replace the lock bolts with some more authentic-looking ones and countersink the buttplate screw holes. I want to take some of the pimp-shine off of the Tru-Oil too, and maybe find a tinted varnish to use to get closer to the Leman look.
The gun shoots (big .54cal BOOM) and I need to experiment with some patch thicknesses. I was using some .530s and generic pillow ticking and the dirtier the bore was, the better the gun shot. Just need more time –– but I think that aside from being a pain to clean, the rough bore will be okay.
As you can see from the before/after pics, I also reshaped the triggergaurd some, both lock panels, the forend, the cheekrest, etc., and replaced the brass ramrod thimbles with some steel CVA ones I found in a junk bin at my LGS. I made and inletted the lock bolt "sideplates" instead of using the weird brass washers the gun came with.
The stock wood was a pain to work with, but good practice. It alternated between splintery soft and rock hard (especially at the knot on the cheek side ), and I spent a lot of time scraping and stropping and in the end still ended up with a kind of wavy finish. You can't see where I glass bedded the tang and barrel at the breech and wedge in order to stabilize the tension on the wedge. (It seemed to vary a lot depending on how the tang screw was tightened, and it would keep going and going and going... not anymore).
So far, I have about $30 into this rifle and probably 40+ hours of swearing and sweating.
Looks better than the one I have hanging on my wall. Yours has great character.
Here is the link to the antique Leman that I tried to emulate. I would still like to make the nosecap and entry pipe match better.
That looks pretty darn nice.
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