New Project

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by rcatastrophe, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    Picked up this 1950 16 gauge a week or so ago. It’s not a Sweet and it’s a bit of a dog but it’s a perfect candidate to practice my new stock refinishing “hobby”.

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    The wood is really dark, like at some point over the last 71 years it may have been stained? Or maybe it’s always looked like this. What got me interested was what looked like tiger stripes hiding under all that dark brown and I got the idea that maybe just maybe I’d find some pretty figure when I restrain it like the first one I did.

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    There’s a crack in the fore end that I showed on another thread that shouldn’t be too hard to fix and I ought to be able to do that in a few days.

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    The rest of it isn’t too bad except for one thing. I was giving it its first cleaning and I noticed a small hole in the barrel under the front sight. This prompted a call to a threading service. He took a look and said no problem, he could fix it and thread it for chokes. The barrel is 24” and choked Full now.

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  2. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    I’ve taken off the wood and it’s being Citristripped now. I’ll get it all cleaned up, give it an acetone soak for as long as that takes, steam out the dents, and get to refinishing.

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  3. Auzzie

    Auzzie .270 WIN

    I will be doing similar undertaking shortly so keen to watch your progress
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  4. Bill Idaho

    Bill Idaho .270 WIN

    What you are referring to as "tiger stripes" (the markings perpendicular to the grain) are customarily called "fiddleback". Guitars /violins, etc usually have them- in addition to gun stocks. Highly desirable!! In some cases, as you move the wood around and look at it from different angles, it appears to become more (or less) prominent.

    I am guessing once you get the decades of who-knows-what off the wood, it is going to be noticeably lighter.

    Are you going to freshen up the checkering?

    I love watching the progress, keep up all posted!!
    rcatastrophe likes this.
  5. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    Good looking gun. I love the X prefix guns. That grain is going to look fantastic when you are done.
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  6. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

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  7. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    Ok so the stripper is cleaned off now and I’ve got them outside drying. Glad is 66 degrees and bright sunshine today in Houston.

    Bill Idaho you’re correct on all counts. It’s lightened up now that it’s drying off and the fiddleback changes appearance at different angles.

    The sun is bringing some oil to the surface in a couple spots. I’ll start soaking it in acetone in the next couple days.

    Thanks guys for all the feedback.

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  8. Bill Idaho

    Bill Idaho .270 WIN

    O. M. G.


    That is going to be a spectacular representation of Belgian A5 goodness!!!!! Refresh my aged memory and tell me what your are going to do as far as a finish?
  9. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    That is a beauty. I think the Dark Walnut filler Art sells would look great on that
  10. Auzzie

    Auzzie .270 WIN

    That should come up real nice. Lots of stripes
  11. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    I was gonna keep following Justin’s instructions from the thread where he explained it all step by step. Strip, soak, sand, stain, and start rubbing it with Pro Custom. That’s what started all this madness for me.

    Now that Dark Walnut has been suggested maybe I’ll try that. I’ll find a thread where I can see an example or maybe even a comparison. I want to use whatever will make the fiddleback pop the best. It’s like finding a diamond in the rough and doing whatever will enhance it best.


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  12. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

  13. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    Update. Barrel sent off today for threading and good ole USPS delivered my new A5 screwdriver from Brownells. This may be the way to go. A really tight screw broke the tip of my small Auto 5 screwdriver and instead of spending almost $100 for a new set I decided to try out the Brownells one with bits. That same screw, the one locking in the rear trigger screw, did a number on the bit but I got it out. I wonder if I can create a new tip on the broken screwdriver, I really liked it

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    Seems nothing works as efficiently as a fingernail for getting out years of built up sludge film from inside the receiver.

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    Will be a while before I can shoot this one with the wood off and being refinished. Barrel should be back fairly quickly though.


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  14. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    If any of your tips break from brownells you can send them back, they will replace. Not that it helps with your screw driver.
  15. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    Good to know. I have a broken one somewhere on my bench
  16. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    I have sent back 3 or more over the years. It takes some time, I usually call them first, then send them off and wait. Helps to have an extra.
  17. Bill Idaho

    Bill Idaho .270 WIN

    Back in about 1975 or so, when I was being formally taught how to work on guns for a living, the guy teaching me showed me the infamous "A5 screwdriver". He showed me how to make my own screwdrivers rather than pay for a "special" one, when virtually any QUALITY flat blade would suffice.
    All you need is a smaller bench grinder (not much larger than about 4" or so) and use the radius of the grinding wheel to grind down the side of the flat blade. Don't mess with the tip, although eventually you will need to make sure the blade is the correct width, but that's last.

    Take a good---and that is the key word here!-- flat blade and carefully lay the flat surface right above the tip against the wheel and slowly (making darn sure it stays quite cool) turn the flat surface into what's sometimes called a "hollow ground" surface. You will need to go back and forth from one side to the other to keep then equal, you want to radius of your grinding to stop about 1/16" before the actual tip of the blade. In other words, the last 1/16" of the blade will be parallel.


    Explaining how to do this is like trying to explain changing a set of brake pads over the phone, and me being smart enough to post photos ain't a happenin' thing.

    Remember, take your time, and do NOT try to get by with a cheapo screwdriver. Use those to practice on.
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  18. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    In the very first of Art’s videos he spends about 20 minutes explaining how to make Auto-5 screwdrivers. Including how to get the proper temper. When I found I could buy the tips from Brownells for ten bucks, I considered that portion of the video a waste of time. YMMV.
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  19. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    My inner tight ass got the best of me one day and I made a set. It was a huge waste of my time because they weren’t perfect. I broke the first one and tossed the others. The $10 Brownells set is the only way to go
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  20. Auzzie

    Auzzie .270 WIN

    Hey Rudolph could you put up a link to or where to find Arts video on the screwdrivers. Couldn’t find it. I have to do my own already no Brownells up the road here. Just interested in how Art does and goes about it.

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