Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby vaturkey » Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:15 pm

MKETOOL wrote:
vaturkey wrote:Trying to assist, I just weighed the Abby Gun barrels. Weight is dead on at 3 lb 5 oz. FWIW, the forearm weight with metal is 7 oz.


Vaturkey,

Thank you very much for the info. Your barrels according to the fox book would have started out at 3 lbs 8 oz so you had 3 oz stuck off of them, that is very good to know. Mine start out as 3 lbs 14oz so I have some work to do on them. On the other hand, I don't want to take too much metal off because I need to be able to shoot heavy loads at the wild pheasant when I go to South Dakota this October.


Glad to help. Steven Dodd Hughes really documented the heck out of his Sterlingworth upgrade in his book and his work was the inspiration for the Abby Gun. His gun lost circa 8 ounces just in metal work from the start to the finish including barrels. He also sent the barrels out to Dennis Potter to have the chambers extended out to 2 3/4" and the forcing cones lengthened. His gun was an extractor SW and he very much skeletonized the forearm metal to reduce weight and he also did the conversion to straight stock (which also helped in the weight department). I choose to keep mine more like a standard Fox because I don't shoot a straight stock very well, although they are really awesome to look at.

FWIW, I highly recommend RST 12 Ga pigeon loads (1 1/4 oz size 6) for pheasants. I recently returned from Nebraska and knocked down a few roosters at 40 yards with that load and the Abby Gun.
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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby MKETOOL » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:52 pm

I went back and read the chapter on Steven's custom 16ga again. This was actually the book that got me started on working on shotguns. I still can't believe he shaved so much weight off his gun. It felt like a took a ton of metal off the action but it did not add up to much. I hope I can get a lot off of the barrels. I may need to send them out and take it off internally. I don't have the tools to measure wall thickness, so I need to leave that to the experts. I looked at my ejector forend metal, and there isn't really any metal I can take off that would amount to anything.

Thanks for the heads up on the RST loads for pheasant. I do love that company's shells and they have excellent customer service.
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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby vaturkey » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:42 am

There's always more metal that can be removed, but it depends on what one is comfortable with. Here is a picture of the Abby Gun in the white. The goal was to make it light and make it look a bit like an early Charles Daly on the underside. As you can see quite a bit of metal was removed from the bottom of the frame. Also a picture of the finished gun which provides a pretty good indication of how much metal was removed off the side of the frame and forearm iron as well.




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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby eightbore » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:49 pm

MKETOOL, I wouldn't trust the experts to properly measure, strike, or overbore your barrels. You need to spend a hundred bucks on a Manson wall thickness gauge so you can make these decisions yourself. You also need a hundred dollar bore micrometer and a couple of good digital scales, which I am told are at pennies on the dollar compared to a few years ago. Your work is a bit valuable to let others screw it up.
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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby MKETOOL » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:27 am

I got my wood in the other day. It was not the English walnut that I ordered but it has a nice pattern and a lot of fiddleback so I think I am going to go with it. Some red stain should make it look very good. The forend was very plain so they are going to make me another one. They left plenty of extra wood so I can finish it to my dimensions.

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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby eightbore » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:30 am

Post more pictures of the wood you plan to use. I'm not impressed by what I see. VAturkey can give you some help with wood selection. There is a world of wood out there at low prices and outrageous quality. You just have to know where to look. Your work on this gun deserves great wood.
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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby MKETOOL » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:28 pm

eightbore wrote:Post more pictures of the wood you plan to use. I'm not impressed by what I see. VAturkey can give you some help with wood selection. There is a world of wood out there at low prices and outrageous quality. You just have to know where to look. Your work on this gun deserves great wood.


I agree I am sending this wood back. Please let me know of any place I can look for wood. I guess I will just go ahead and have somebody do the wood for me. I am just pressed for time so if someone knows a great wood guy that is reasonably priced and has a quick turnaround, please let me know (Yes I know that is near impossible) The guy that is doing my L C Smith just has too big of a backlog.
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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby vaturkey » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:53 pm

I actually can't recommend anyone who isn't backed up. Please send me a PM with a regular email address and I can send you some pics of what to look for.

I agree with Eightbore that what they sent you isn't what Fox would have used on their higher grade guns. You truly need english or circassian/turkish type walnut. Claro or American walnut wouldn't look right on a gun as nice as what this gun is going to be.
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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby MKETOOL » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:16 pm

I have some new wood on the way!!!!

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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby vaturkey » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:08 am

Like it, nice figure, dark streaking, good layout. Should look nice.
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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby MKETOOL » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:22 am

I finally finished roughing all of the metal to 150 grit. I reassembled the gun on the original stock. It currently weighs 7 lbs 5.6 ozs with the recoil pad. It is currently balanced about 1-3/4” in front of the hinge pin. I am going with a skeleton but plate and need to add 5/8” to the length of the stock. This will move the balance point back but it is going to add more weight. I do not want it over 7.5 lbs so I may cut an inch off the barrels. This is the most I can take off because of the choke length. I struck the barrels a lot but not much weight came off them. I will be dropping the gun off to my wood guy next week and I will see what happens.

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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby vaturkey » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:23 pm

Looking sharp indeed. I'm looking forward to seeing the gun in the white post stocking and when you have finished all the polishing.

PS. Any idea's what your choke constriction is if you lop off the 1"?
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Re: Fox Sterlingworth 12ga Project

Postby MKETOOL » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:03 pm

I am looking forward to getting the wood on and doing the final polishing. I still need to do something with the hinge pins that someone hammered on. I may just kiss them with an endmill and put a flat on them.

The chokes after lopping off an 1" from the barrels would be right .025 and left .020 If I take off 1.5" they drop down to .017 and .004
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