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March 2011


I still get e-mails telling me that I have not posted anything forever. I've tried, and failed, to explain that I have moved those posts to my Airgun Rendezvous forum. For over two years, there have been links and banners and explainations, asking readers to join us at the Airgun Rendezvous. If you've read this site, for the past ten years or so; then you've clicked on a thousand pages and links. This is just a link - no different. I simply do not understand the reason why folks continue to wait for me to post here ... when I've made 3,500 + posts .... at the link above.

That's my site too. I can't even make up whatever seems to keep people from reading there. I'm baffled. Everybody found me on the net. I wrote this site. I write that site too. This has been a "read only" site. I introduced the ability for people to comment. To interact. To ask questions. To post their own pictures. To hear from other Barnes owners, and see their guns in the field. And still, I get mails from folks that are completely in the dark. Still waiting for that personal letter, that explains two years of details, with pictures. And, I have to try to make up two years of information, and what's been going on ... all in one e-mail answer. It's impossible.

Please click over. I don't post daily briefings here anymore. I post far, far more ... right here ...


May 11, 2010


I've been working on some relief carving. Parts that accompany the wealth of blued parts I completed.

This is the main tower for a Yukon 62.

I thought it might be good for you to hear from someone, like you, who has been waiting for his ledger order to be complete. This is a recent post Jerry placed on the Airgun Rendzvous forum I've invited you to. He's referring to the above picture, which was posted there as well.

Jerry [ PM ]
Re: Yukon Parts
May 06, 2010 06:58PM
avatar Admin

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 1,090
In case it wasn't obvious, and it's not: the carved piece above is the "tower" for my Yukon. If you look closely at the first couple pictures you will see the holes that go through it for the airtube and breech. Those are 1.25" holes or thereabouts, this is not a small bit! It's about 4" by 1.25" and the carving is there as a result of the "artistic license" I gave Gary when/after I ordered the gun. I seem to recall saying something like "make it purple and green if you want, I'm sure it will come out great." I had ordered the carving for the trigger guard/grip area but in discussions I made it clear that any changes or improvements to the gun were at Gary's discretion. Mostly, that's a result of my realization that I don't know squat about building airguns nor do I have an artistic "mind's eye." I know art when I see it but I can't see it before it exists. Artists, like Gary can.

A lot of folks seem to think that any change from the "catalog" item they ordered will be some kind of short cut. I realized that letting Gary make the gun as an evolution of what I ordered would get me more gun than I bought and also bring out the innovation that Gary has running through his head all the time. I'm going to consider this a win-win!

This Yukon will not have pedestal mounts for the scope bases as Gary figured out a way to cut the weaver mounts into the aluminum bronze reciever. That's good as there are 2 less moveable parts to align and secure and the scope will be mounted closer to the barrel. This change eliminated some ornamental turning but apparently inspired some fantastic carving!

Other changes to the ordered gun include the caliber and the valve. Now, I never had much idea about the valve anyhow but when Gary suggested going to the .62 vice the .58 barrel, I was all for it. I did have the advantage of having shot the first .62 rifled gun and seeing it hard to miss with at 100 yards but even if I had not had the firsthand experience, I would have trusted the suggestion.

The fact is, Gary knows how to build airguns that are better than the last one and also masterworks of art and function. I'd be a numbskull to demand a carbon copy of the first or last Yukon built! They are great guns no doubt about it! But when the guy who designed and built those guns says he has another idea, who's going to suggest the last idea was the last great one?


February 26, 2010

Hello everyone. I thought I'd make a post here, as the result of a conversation I recently had with a buddy. We were discussing my current progress. I began explaining something that may not be obvious to readers who do not build complex things. It might be of interest to you.

In this kind of handmade craft, many of the parts are dependent upon their neighbor parts. Certain proceedures, must wait until previous proceedures have been performed first. For instance: A barrel can't be seperated out (say ... for bluing) ... until the breech has been reamed, the mounting threads have been cut, the crown has been machined, the bore has been stropped. In some cases ... and this is a better example ... in some cases, the loading port is actually part of the back of the barrel. So; that has to be milled in ... but first, the bolt tunnel has to be reamed, and the breech chambered. That might mean the action's bolt housing has to be all made first, in order that it all match properly.

What results is that building the gun, is very much about planning out the order of the build ... and not just making a list of parts. That's the hand fitting - that's where the precise fit comes from. Now; I'll admit ... if all of my machines were enormously expensive CNC units, which ran all new specialized cutting heads and bits ... then more of the parts would be strictly built to the numbers in teh computer ... and require less hand fitting. But ... I'd have a factory then, and you'd be buying a product which had been extensively tooled up for. They'd all be alike. And, they'd have been simplified to make them easier to build in quantity ... and to appeal to a survey of buyers. That's fine ... it makes excellent automobiles and products ... but that's not art ... and it's not hand craftsmanship.

Where I'm going here, is that the build process (of which I've been doing a silly number all in one batch) ... has a very long season - out in the middle of the process - where it seems you can't do this until you do that first. I'm fortunately getting beyond much of this. I have a bunch of guns that need the "top ends" completed ... to go with the main frames. I've been working on this, and have some of the barrels ready to blue now.

It's still pretty intense up to the very end, but it's more fun when parts become "sets" of components handfitted to the individual projects. The fact that I designed so many different models, complicated everything by a power of 10 at least. But - it's made a very unique family of individual products.

Don't forget ... I post daily over on our Barnes forum ... it's called "Airgun Rendezvous". It's interactive - and it's much more "company" for me than just writing here - with no feedback. I've worked alone in my shop, for 36 years now. It's good to drop in and see the conversations on our forum during my coffee breaks.

I realized it had been forever since I posted here. Please join in the discussions, and see the vast materials and pics that have been archived there, for your enjoyment.

Please join us on our interactive forum site ....




August 30, 2009

If you haven't been following along on the Rendezvous forum pages, here's some of the things I've been working on ...

A new finish I call "dragon skin".

It's a hard shell lacquer special effect ...

Here's the action in the unfinished stock. This is an 87 caliber smooth bore - approx. 750 foot pounds of muzzle energy.

The top features a green dragon skin ... bottom a brown.

The stock during oiling ...

Special effects on the stock's belly plates ...

A close up with flash - to show the true colors of the dots that make up the special effect on the stock.


And a Grizzly Bear deep relief carving I've done on the Grizzly 62 rifle (approx 800 foot pounds).

I've been working hard ... feeling pretty well with rough spots here and there. I'll take it. Could be much worse.

Thanks for checking in. I know I haven't been posting here alot, because the Rendezvous format gives opportunity for interaction. I know it's fun for readers to duck in for a few minutes and click out again ... however; I feel like I'm working in a deep cave without any interaction on the various steps of progress. I can't finish something every day ... so the steps along the way are important.

Thanks for reading.