Breathing New Life Into A Shattered Old Gunstock

Sometimes restoration of an old gunstock isn’t even in the realm of possibility, but this old gun was different.


by Norman E. Johnson

A customer approached me with a really old 10-gauge Burkhard double shotgun with a badly broken buttstock. He wondered if the old stock could be restored. The stock was hanging loosely to the action, held by four splint-like brass braces. The braces were mortised deeply in place and retained by four dozen small brass screws. My first impression was to turn this job down. The damage incurred to this old gunstock appeared irreparable, however, as I learned more about the history surrounding this old gun, it would be like breathing new life into an old fallen general.


The owners were well apprised on the background of this 130 year old 10-gauge shotgun. The gun was made by Wm. R. Burkhard, a gunmaker from St. Paul, Minnesota between 1855 and 1880, hence the gun’s name. The gun had been owned by James J. Hill, famed railroad builder, also from St. Paul, Minnesota, during the same era. Mr. Hill later gave the shotgun to Mike Loso, the great grandfather of the wife of the couple now owning it. With such an interesting history following this old shotgun I decided to take on the job.


Read more in our October 2011 issue. Back issues are available.

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