Craftsmen Turn to Turn-of-the-Century Remington as Inspiration for American Custom Gunmakers Guild’s Annual Fundraiser
The Remington E Grade, Model 1894, dubbed “one of the finest engraved and appointed shotguns ever made in America,” inspired a team of elite and experienced craftsmen to create a memorable, one-of-a-kind firearm to raise funds for the American Custom Gunmakers Guild (http://www.ACGG.org). Project 27, known as “The Pigeon Gun,” underscores the Guild’s mission, which is “Promoting the artistry of fine custom firearms.”
For more than a quarter-century, the American Custom Gunmakers Guild (http://www.ACGG.org) has put together elite teams from among its membership to craft one-of-a-kind collectibles to showcase “the artistry of fine custom firearms.” This year’s project, the 27th in the Guild’s history, is a double shotgun based on a Remington Model 1894 FE Trap Grade gun, manufactured in 1910.
The result is “The Pigeon Gun.” The Guild describes it as “a tastefully crafted and embellished shotgun that the owner would be proud of, but not afraid to shoot.”
According to its website, Remington offered its first hammerless double barrel shotgun in 1894. About 42,000 were produced, through 1910. Charles G. Semmer, writing in his book “Remington Double Shotguns,” noted that, “The E Grade, Model 1894, is one of the finest engraved and appointed shotguns ever made in America.”
The price at the time: $230, including engraving.
“These scenes are of different upland game birds; snipe, grouse, duck, geese, setters, pointers and occasional game animals,” Semmer writes. “And they are executed quite artistically, with the unusual fine detail that truly portrays the particular subject as recognizable.”
The Guild’s 21st Century version is the result of a coming together of passion, talent and patience that transformed a Remington Model 1894 FE Trap Grade “parts gun” and a well-seasoned walnut stockblank cut circa 1975, into the heart and soul of Project #27.
“The team agreed that it was to be a period piece, a gun that you could have special ordered from Remington at that time,” said the project’s chairman, Pete Mazur, of Grass Valley, CA. “It was also to be a ‘Shooter.’ We wanted tasteful embellishment that the owner would be proud of, but functional so he would not be afraid to shoot it. I believe we have achieved our goal.”
Using hand tools, chisels, files, scrapers, stones and hammers, E. Larry Peters, of Odessa, WA, filed and sculpted the action surfaces and removed the original F Grade engraving.
After the gun was functioning properly, and the barrels honed by Dennis Potter of Muskego, WI, Peters hand-polished the metalwork.
Meanwhile, stockmaker Douglas Mann of St. Anne, IL, selected a well-seasoned walnut stockblank that had been cut in 1975 to use for the project. Since the team’s goal was to re-create a high-end live bird gun, Mann chose a fancy stockblank that was nearly perfectly quarter sawn and had excellent layout through the grip as well as density and small pores.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the handcrafted double shotgun is its intricate, yet tasteful, engravings by Kenny Majors of Lake Arrowhead, CA, a Master Engraver and member of the Firearms Engravers Guild of America (http://www.FEGA.com).
Majors spent nearly three months detailing the project. Among the subtle touches: a turn-of-the-century scene of a live pigeon shoot on the belly of the gun that depicts a shooter at ready, a puller, and a pigeon flying from an open trap in flush inlaid gold and Bulino detailed.
“My only hope is that the future owner of our gun will spend many happy hours enjoying and shooting a gun that meant so much to me,” the Master Engraver said.
The frame, trigger plate and forend iron were color case hardened by Doug Turnbull of Bloomfield, NY. The other metal finishing was completed by project chairman Mazur.
The Pigeon Gun, offered as part of the Guild’s annual fund-raiser, will come with a leather hard case with a canvas protective case.
Details about how to own ACGG Project #27 are available at http://www.ACGG.org. For more information, call 989-600-6135
The American Custom Gunmakers Guild is a non-profit organization that advances the art of custom gunmaking by increasing public awareness and appreciation for quality custom firearms and promoting custom gunmaking as an accepted art form.