It's been 15 years since I made a stock, and now I live where a lot of great French walnut for gunstocks comes from... I decided to get back at it. Three months ago at the golf course I met a nice guy who knew someone who made stocks and owned a sawmill. Long story short, I met the guy. He was already about 90 but after a half an hour I learned he had sold walnut to the best gunmakers in the world. Two weeks ago I called to come and look at some blanks, and his wife told me he had passed away, but then she said that he had told her all about our meeting and told me to come to the house and look at the wood with her son. He was also a stockmaker. We had a great visit and I left with two nice blanks.
The stock in the photo is what the original gun came in. It wasn't checkered so I did a quick checkering job and added the pistol grip cap out of Wenge, an African hardwood. It was a quickie as my Alaska hunt was coming up in a week.
They are air dried for over 30 years and had good grain for rifle stocks. The longer blank has fiddleback that should really pop when finished. I've got another pre-64 in 270, but it is a standard weight. I don't like lugging it around but it shoots MOA with factory Remington 130 grain. I'm not like Wolfdog... if it can kill a pig at 100 yards I call it good enough.
Anyway, I've gotten started on the rough work and will start inletting this week. Since it has been so long, I'm going slowly, but I have a good cutout and my action screw holes are good. A treasured piece of paper is under the work. It is a full scale sheet for Model 70's from Al Linden's famous book from 1942. One of the three great books for those who want to get into this sickness.
The gun is an early production Featherweight that I had rebarreled to 35 Whelen years ago.
If I'm finished by hunting season I'll be happy.