The Hobby Gunsmith

Editorial, Continued

 Last month we focused on tuning a Uberti Regulator that we purchased for about three hundred dollars and turned it into a good shooter.  In fact, we shot a clean match with it and an 1875 Remington.  That project gave me the idea to create a few projects on how to get started in CAS without investing a lot of money.

   This month we include a new project in a single article on how we took a used Ruger Blackhawk with a ten and a half inch barrel for $185 and rebuilt the gun to be a fine shooter.  This gun also was used in January to shoot a clean match in Manteca and was used to win a club match in Jamestown, CA.  It goes to prove that you donít have to spend a lot of money to get decent gear if you can spot the bargains sitting in the store.

   I hear a lot about the guns being sold by the Big 5 Sporting Goods chain.  The last I heard, they were routinely selling 38/357 Marlins for $299.  They also sell Chinese side-by-side doubles with external hammers for around $199.  The next issue will be on reworking one of these Marlins and investing only about fifteen dollars for a single hammer spring.  Later we will see what can be done with one of those shotguns.

   We continue this month with our series of articles on reloading ammunition.  This month we take the new loader through the process of making their first pistol ammunition. 

   This issue we show the readers how to shorten a Marbles tang sight since some of the sights shipped for the Lightnings are too tall and need to be shortened.  This is a fairly easy adjustment for the Hobby Gunsmith.

   Future projects we are beginning include our Super Secret Remington conversion that has required a lot of machining, and it is probably time to tell our readers what should be coming in a feature issue.  We have taken a .44 caliber 1863 Remington revolver and are converting it to .38 special.  It will be a  hybrid between a 63 and 75 Remington with a round  barrel grafted from a Uberti cattleman revolver.



  We are also working on the design of an economy tang sight for lever action rifles.  Our goal is to design a tang sight that can be made for less than ten dollars.

   Obtaining good leather holsters and belts can be very expensive.  Many readers have written asking that we show how to make a good set of leather for Cowboy Action Shooting.  We will soon be developing a competitive holster rig and will show our readers how to make their own.

   Readers have asked us to provide information on gun cleaning and maintenance.  We have assembled the equipment and will be preparing articles very soon.

   Readers have written to ask us how to make new grips for their guns.  We plan to create such a feature and even include how to make the attachment screws.

Many of our projects have fallen into the muddle puddle of project management.  These include the Colt Dragoon cartridge conversion and the extractor assemblies for the Remington and Colt Navy conversions.  We plan to attack those projects soon and put them to bed.

   The Baikal shotgun project has turned in to the project that cannot seem to be finished.  We will force that project to its conclusion despite all of the things that have gone wrong with it.

   We have more projects planned that include an affordable 45/70, the restoration of a Stevens Favorite with both .22 and .17 caliber barrels, making a flintlock pistol, and slicking up the old model Ruger Vaquero.

   The day of their announcement, we ordered a new model stainless steel Vaquero in .357 Magnum, but they seem to be backlogged.  It has been four months and we are still patiently waiting.

   After a discussion with my editor's assistant who doubles as our security specialist, it appears that we will have to find a way to make this publication pay for itself.  Each issue costs over a thousand dollars to prepare and we will be looking for ways to slow the drain of cash.


Kassandra, the assistant editor and security specialist.  She listens well and keeps an eye on our MEC shotgun loader and the large bag of food.  Having a Doberman Pincher keeping an eye on things has been a comfort to us.

   We have to find ways to improve our cash position so we will be soliciting advertising and sponsorships from those who wish to reach members of the shooting community. 

  To this end, we are happy to announce that Midway USA has offered to provide us with discounts for the items we purchase for our articles, and we greatly appreciate this kind of support from within the firearms community. 

   We also wish to thank the people at Tipton for providing us with some of their products for testing and inclusion in our articles on gun cleaning and maintenance. 

   We would also like to recognize and thank Mr. Walt Kirst of Kirst Industries, maker of the fine cartridge conversion kits we have featured in past articles.  Walt has been a strong supporter of The Hobby Gunsmith since the early days and his support has been greatly appreciated.

   Readers may see a new format to our little publication in the future.  We have kept the archives listed by month, but will soon be organizing it by subject.  This should allow us to place the multi-part articles in a single location so they can be more easily found by topic.

   We are also planning to start up a new publication that will be known as The Hobby Machinist.  We will let everyone know when that publication goes on-line and will be covering some interesting topics like building a brass shotshell priming tool for the MEC reloader.


Best Regards,

 Keith T. Chiles, Editor