Lee-Enfield Rifles

Tips, myths, and common problems of a British classic.

by RK Campbell
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The Traveling Gunsmith

Gunsmiths may be called to appraise and work on firearms away from the shop. Here are some insights and tales from having taken my skills on the road.

by RK Campbell
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Making Custom Bolt Handles

Custom bolt handles are expensive, however, they can be readily made in your shop. Here’s the materials and how-to for making a bolt handle from scratch for your custom rifle project.

by Tony E. Wilson
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Be on the cover of Brownells #71

Want to be on the cover of the unofficial “Bible” of the gun industry?

Gunsmiths and hobbyists can submit their best photos of their gunsmith shop or work area to contests@brownells.com or post photos on social media and use the hashtag #bigbook71

Brownells will accept submissions through March 2nd 2018 and the chosen winner will not only be featured on the cover of Big Book #71 but also receive a Brownells gift card worth $500 as well as a short article inside the catalog! Those submitting via email please provide name, name of shop or business, address, and contact phone number! Good luck!

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You wanna be on the cover of the unofficial “Bible” of the gun industry? Gunsmiths and hobbyists can submit their best photos of their gunsmith shop or work area to Contests@Brownells.com or post photos on social media and use the hashtag #bigbook71! Brownells will accept submissions through March 2nd 2018 and the chosen winner will not only be featured on the cover of Big Book #71 but also receive a Brownells gift card worth $500 as well as a short article inside the catalog! Those submitting via email please provide name, name of shop or business, address, and contact phone number! Good luck! #brownells #gunsmithing #gunsmith #guns #gun #firearms #rifle #pistol #handgun #shotgun #reloading #rifles #gunporn #revolver #wheelgun #oldschool #1911 #glock #gunporn #gunfanatics #guncollector #gunchannels #gunsdaily #metalworker

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#bigbook71

Shop-Made Tools, Fixtures, Parts

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Sometimes, making tools, fixtures, and parts for your shop is such a necessity.

by Robert E. Fried
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Browning Buckmark Varmint/Silhouette

Troubleshooting the Browning Buckmark Varmint and Silhouette .22 pistol models.

by Mark R. Hollensen
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Civil War Sharpshooting

Civil War Sharpshooting

At the outset of the American Civil War, the wealthy inventor and expert shot Hiram Berdan initiated the setting-up of sharpshooting units in the Union Army. These units would be tasked primarily with open-order skirmishing as well as long-range, accurate shooting. Initially, it was envisaged that the M1855 Colt revolving rifle would be the weapon employed by these specialists. Instead, the North’s sharpshooters preferred the Sharps rifle, an innovative breech-loading weapon employing a falling-block action. It had double-set triggers, aiding accuracy, and could fire up to ten shots per minute, more than three times the rate of fire offered by the standard-issue Springfield .58 rifled musket.

The Sharps was very expensive, though, and military planners believed it would encourage soldiers to waste ammunition. After a prolonged fight with the Ordnance Department, however, Berdan succeeded in procuring Sharps rifles for his men. Other Union sharpshooters were equipped with the standard-issue Springfield rifled musket, the Spencer Repeating Rifle – a lever-action rifle with a seven-round tube magazine chambered for the rimfire .56-56 Spencer cartridge – as well as competition sporting rifles repurposed for military use.

Conversely, the Confederacy favored the Pattern 1853 Enfield rifled musket for its sharpshooters. The South also imported from Britain quantities of the Whitworth Rifle, a .45-caliber, single-shot, muzzle-loading weapon distinguished by its use of a twisted hexagonal barrel. More prone to fouling and slower-firing than the standard-issue rifled musket, the Whitworth offered impressive long-range accuracy and its hexagonal bullets made a distinctive whistling noise in flight. In May 1864, a Confederate sharpshooter armed with the Whitworth famously killed the highest-ranking Union battle casualty of the conflict, Major General John Sedgwick, at a range of about 1,000 yards.

Sharpshooting Rifles of the American Civil War: Colt, Sharps, Spencer, and Whitworth by Martin Pegler covers that history and more. Featuring specially commissioned artwork, this is the engrossing story of the innovative rifles that saw combat in the hands of sharpshooters on both sides during the Civil War.

Available direct from Osprey Publishing (OspreyPublishing.com, 718/433-4402) or Amazon and other booksellers.

https://ospreypublishing.com/sharpshooting-rifles-of-the-american-civil-war

Read more in the February 2018 issue.

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