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  #1  
Old 06-16-2008, 09:13 PM
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A Tribute to the Classic Carbine



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A carbine is generally defined as "a lightweight rifle with a short barrel, originally for use by cavalry". So if we cut the Ruger 10/22 carbine down, do we still have a carbine? I believe that it's still a carbine, and certainly more akin to the classic carbines of a bygone era than the present day Ruger offering.

If you study the profile of the Ruger 10/22 carbine, you begin to see that closely contained within its lines are the designs of several classic carbines of the Civil War and The Old West. Specifically, the 1865 Spencer Carbine, the Sharps New Model 1869 Carbine, and the Springfield Trapdoor Carbine come to my mind. These are all straight grip stocks with short forearms and a barrel band. These were my inspiration to pay tribute to the legacy of these fine old rifles and to the era in which they served.


I utilized the factory barrel in order to retain the front sight so the length of the Classic remains the same as the original Ruger 10/22. The forearm was shortened 2-1/2" and the barrel band moved back to create a 3" barrel band knob. Here is a composite picture comparing the original Ruger 10/22 carbine with my Classic version. The Classic as pictured, including the sling and an empty magazine, weighed 5# 3 oz. on my Lyman digital trigger pull gauge.


Here is a profile shot of each side.



I opened up the top of the barrel band enough to accomodate the slightly increased diameter of the barrel. I also cut down a detachable sling swivel and mounted it directly to the barrel band for a little more authenticity. This picture also shows the lengthened barrel band knob and the new rear sight.


Here are a couple of perspective views of the rifle.




That little fold down rear sight on the original barrel was a real turn off for me, so I mounted another sight which had been floating around in my parts bin for about 25 years. This did require cutting a new dovetail notch and filling in the old one with JB Weld (Talk about kitchen gun smithing). I'm sure not making any claim that it's a true "period" sight but I think it does add a little more feeling of authenticity.


.....AND a closeup shot of the forearm.


The birch (beech?) stock was sanded down thoroughly. Even after a pre-stain conditioner and two coats of Minwax Dark Walnut stain, it turned out to be rather blotchy. I then sealed it with one coat of shellac and applied a glaze coat of Minwax Jacobean using an airbrush. I let it cure for four days and applied six coats of Minwax satin polyurethane.


I should make the disclaimer that no attempt was made to create an accurate replica of any of these old carbines. In fact, I just used material and parts that I had on hand. My total out of pocket outlay for this project is exactly ZERO. I used leftovers from prior projects and take off parts of long forgotten origin. I will confess, however, that I have ordered a Tactical Solutions lever style magazine release. I'll post a revised picture after it gets here.

To the memory of The Old West.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:21 PM
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I like it!!

Excellent job.

Squint my eyes just right and I can almost see an old Krag carbine based sporter I used to own.

Perry
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:37 PM
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Awesome, Hipshot!!!!

I'm in progress along a similar vein.... Sorta the same but differnt.

I shaved the pistol grip and shortened the forend, like you have done, then decided I liked that SO MUCH that it was worth carving an oak stock.

Found this piece of red oak with burl along the top of the buttstock for $15, including tax:



Note the brass buttplate (from my spare parts). There will be more brass (all home-made stuff).... Like I said, sorta the same, but differnt.

Definitely one of the greatest 10/22 remakes I've ever seen, Hipshot! Just wish I'da had mine done foist!!!!
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:13 PM
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Very nice work!
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:34 PM
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Cool.

The stock color is right on for what you were trying to replicate. Those old blackpowder carbines did not have AAA wood on them.

I prefer a pistol grip but it did have to go to get the look that you were after. Rear sight is right on.

Kind of a 1880 period SuperStock
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:28 PM
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Great job and a step into the past. Now I know what I'm going to do with one of my extra stocks.I gotta have a brass buttplate and barrel band. Might be able to find a buttplate but will probably have to make a barrel band. Thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:12 AM
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Brownells sells a steel butt plate and barrel band with a side sling attachment just like they had on calvary carbines. I always thought those color case hardened would be nice for a retro carbine.

I guess you could get these brass plated.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:53 AM
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Hipshot,
That is truly amazing! I have a carbine stock that I shaved the grip off hanging above my workbench and have been wondering for months where I am going with it, now I know. Thank you for sharing your creations with us.
usncporet
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:50 AM
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really like the looks of that Hipshot. you once again did a great job sir.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:31 AM
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10/22

That is about the slickest looking Ruger I have ever seen and I would love to have one. You did a tremendous job on that rifle.
I have had no interest in 10/22s but am now going to start looking for one and try my hand at comming up with the same thing. What stain did you use?
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:06 AM
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Very cool ..the lines are fantastic, retro with a twist. Fine job
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:17 AM
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Talking nice job.

Larry,

I told you people would appreciate your effort in building and showcasing a retro Spencer. I liked it when you did the first cut. If I was the least bit helpful in the building of it, I of course will be most happy to take all the credit. LMAO. Good show. Like it alot. David
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gene starr View Post
That is about the slickest looking Ruger I have ever seen and I would love to have one. You did a tremendous job on that rifle.
I have had no interest in 10/22s but am now going to start looking for one and try my hand at comming up with the same thing. What stain did you use?
gene,

Thanks for the compliments. I briefly described the finish in the first post. I'll add a little more here. I had never tried staining one of the Ruger beech stocks before but I had read here on RFC that it tends to be blotchy, so I first applied a pre-stain conditioner, followed by two coats of Minwax Dark Walnut. It didn't turn out so good.


So I let it dry a couple of days and then sealed it with one coat of shellac. I gave it a light sanding with 320 grit and airbrushed on a glaze coat of Minwax Jacobean. That's about like Dark Walnut, but darker. Since it is oil based, it dries very slowly, so I gave it four days. It will stay sticky so don't touch it or wipe on it for a while. It looks shiney because of the oil base, but dulls bit as it cures.


I then applied a dust coat of Minwax satin polyurethane. You don't want to get a lot of solvent into the glaze coat, so heavy spray on or bushing is not recommended for the first coat. Let the dust coat flash and apply a couple more coats of satin poly. Let it cure for 3 days (as per the instructions on the can). I applied a total of 6 coats of satin poly. (Apply two coats within 2 hours and let cure 3 days.) I also knocked down the nubbies with 0000 steel wool between every other coat.

Last edited by Hipshot; 06-17-2008 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:30 PM
usncporet
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Whoa! Is it lots and lots of experience? Or are you just one smart dude!? I would have never figured out all the finishes you went through. I have seen a few military stocks that were a lot blotchier than your 1st attempt and thought they were just fine. Thanks for the details!
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usncporet View Post
Whoa! Is it lots and lots of experience? Or are you just one smart dude!? I would have never figured out all the finishes you went through. I have seen a few military stocks that were a lot blotchier than your 1st attempt and thought they were just fine. Thanks for the details!
Naw, not smart.... desperate. It became a rescue operation. Next time I'll try some jell stain. Glazing is a trick lots of wood finishers use. It merely involves applying pigmented stain (or a special glazing compound) between layers of the finish. When you apply it with an airbrush you can easily compensate for light areas in the wood and create a more even finish.
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