Tag Archives: Custom gunstock carving

Custom Carved His & Hers Shotguns

Matching Ithaca Model 37 Custom Carved Shotguns


This is a carving commission like none other I have ever had.   This gentleman wanted to give a wedding gift to a good friend that would truly be one to be remembered forever.



He wanted to give the Bride & Groom, His and Hers shotguns and have them custom carved and matching.   When we talked initially, he had not decided on a make or model of shotgun for the gift but only knew that there had to be beautiful wood on the shotguns.  


He did decide on the shotguns by Ithaca Gun and the Model 37 pump shotgun.    He went directly to the manufacturer and by doing that he was able to custom order a higher grade of wood for the stocks.  He ordered a Ladies Featherlight and a Trap Model, both the model 37 Pump.  

Here is a little info on the shotguns from the Ithaca Website.  





Model 37® Ladies Stock

Ithaca Gun is proud to introduce the new Model 37® Featherlight® with Ladies Stock. The gun features a unique drop of comb, drop of heel, cast pitch, and toe out. Since this stock is designed for women shooters, the ergonomics make it comfortable and well-fitting for women. It is available in 20 gauge only.

The Ladies Stock project began in December 2008 from a simple conversation with a firearm instructor who was disappointed that no manufacture offered an off the shelf firearm that would fit the average woman. We took this as a challenge and set out to build it with the input from many people both in and outside of our industry.





Model 37® Trap Model

The Trap Model holds all the features as the traditional Model 37 with the exception that it comes with a Monte Carlo style stock. This stock can also come with an adjustable comb.


Ithaca actually shipped the finished stocks directly to me.    The plan was then for me to complete my work, then ship the custom carved stocks back to Ithaca to be fitted to the shotguns and then be shipped to the client – all in time for the wedding.


The wood Quality and Beauty was fantastic and while the guns were being ordered and produced, my client and I finalized the carving designs on the stocks.   He chose Basketweave, Oak Leaves, and Acorns.  To make the two guns matching yet slightly different, I designed the Basketweave on the Brides stock slightly smaller in scale, and the leaves were to be carved in a bit different style.  Both had the same elements, but different enough to see His & Hers easily.  Also I added a Monogram of the Bride and Groom’s initials were added to their respective stocks, as well as the Wedding date.


The first step was to remove the checkering on the buttstock and forearm.   This was very touchy work on the forearm since the wood was very thin in this area.  I had the barely shave the checkering off to have enough wood to still carve the Basketweave into this area.  The buttstock was thicker, hence more forgiving, allowing me to carve the weave area with no worries of totally penetrating the wood.   All Leaf carving outside of the basketweave area was carved in an inlaid style with no exterior relief.   This allowed for showing off as much of the beautiful wood grain of the stock as possible.    I had suggested not to do any scenes on the off side of the buttstock because the stock wood was just too pretty to carve over.  The client agreed.

After the carving was complete and the carvings finished, the stocks were shipped back to Ithaca and then on to the client.   I am looking forward to some photos from him showing the bride & groom with their shotgun.


If I can help you with an extraordinary gift for someone who really deserve one, drop me an email.


Thanks for Stoppin’ by …




Custom Carved Shotgun Trio Update

Three Squirrel Guns for Three Sons


   This is an update on the three stock carvings I completed for a client for his three sons.  Christmas presents of Family Heirloom shotguns.   I received a photo of the stocks put on the shotguns and I wanted to share it. 


   I have to admit, I was really anxious while waiting to hear about these Christmas presents and how the boys liked them.   I’m so glad they sent me a photo so we could see them complete.  Here is what I received: 


” Merry Christmas Lance!!  Here’s a pic of the shotguns assembled. The boys love them, Thanks again!! “

Shotgun Trio



The Squirrels better watch out with this Band of Brothers out in the field.    Is this something you would like for your children or grandchildren?   Email me and let’s talk about it.


Thanks for stoppin’ by…

Lance Larson


Hand carved Gothic Cross on a rifle stock

Custom carved Flowing Vines and a Gothic Cross


     I was commissioned to work on the stock for a 30-30 lever action rifle like the photo above.   The client had a special request for the carving.   It was something I had never carved in a gunstock before.    A Gothic Cross surrounded by flowing vines.


    You never really know where a client will get their ideas from in regards to a craving design for a gunstock.   This design idea came from an Iphone cover she saw for sale online.   You can see what I started with in the photo below.

Christy Kovas Commission for 30-30l

    We spent some time working out a design together through emailing design drawing and and came up wigh a design that fit the client’s vision.    After we worked out the design for the stock , the stock was shipped to me.   When the stock arrived it have pressed checkering on the grip and forearm that I was not aware of and the design had to be adjusted to cover that area.    


    Since there was checkering, that had to be removed in between the carved vines on the forearm and pistol grip areas.   Initially this was planned as an inlaid carving but had to be changed to a relief carving becuase of the checkering removal  














     The stock was a white hardwood and needed to be stained and finished after the carving was complete.   Since the areas of checkering had to be carved in relief, the same style had to be continued through the entire gunstock.   The flow of the design needed to go through the entire gunstock.


    After the stock was carved I stained ithe carved areas with two coats of Minwax “Special Walnut” stain and added color to the leaves and cross with deluted oil paints.    The Stock was finished with a spray on satin wood finish . 


   I took time to shoot video of the carving of this stock and if you would like to see the process, go to YouTube and search “Lance Larson Studio – Gunstock Carving”.   You can see many aspects of carving this piece.


Thanks for stoppin’ by…

Lance Larson 




Big Buck on a Shotgun

Custom Carved Whitetail on an 870 Shotgun.


     In the eastern half of the United States it is very common for deer hunting to be allowed only with shotguns with shotgun slugs or buckshot.   In the heavily populated states they do this for safety.   I was commissioned to carve a Whitetail Deer on the stock of a Remington 870 shotgun.    This was his “deer gun”.


     My client wanted it as a Christmas present for her husband.   This was going to be a working gun – a gun to be used in the field.   My client said they wanted a “Big Buck” so that’s what I carved.   A Boone & Crockett worthy Whitetail Buck.

Whitetail Buck Inlaid style carving


      Many rifle stocks now are made from light colored hardwoods and the stained and Lacquered.    Walnut stocks are becoming very rare in modern firearms.   The light colored stocks  and laminated stocks  need an extra step to be completed be for they are done – staining the the carving.  


     Above, you can see that the wood under the surface is white so it needed to be stained befor finishing.   Below ,you can see the carving after staining and finishing.



     It got there in time for Christmas and there was one very happy hunter when he found this under the tree.  

     If this is something that interests you for your firearm, drop me an email.


Thanks for stoppin by …

Lance Larson



Inlaid Ivory Brand for a Gunstock

Custom Carving a Rancher’s Brand on his Rifle Stock


     This gentleman wanted his registered brand engraved on the butt of his rifle stock.   He is very active in Cowboy Action Shooting and it’s a lever action rifle he uses in competion.   I started out by tracing around one of his actual branding irons the get the exact “Branding Iron” look for the carving.  


     We decides to make it a simulated Ivory Inlay with carving around it.   The first step was to center the design and carve out the design area for the ivory.   The wood is carved out with an undercut or “dovetail” to hold the Ivory when it sets.   Then I surrounded the carved area with clay and pour the simulated Ivory,   When it hardened and the clay was removed, it looked like this.


     The brand was left with plenty of extra material to work with.   The goal with the raised Ivory brand was to shape it down, but still have it be slightly higher than the stock itself.    The top of the Ivory carving was rounded.

     I then put a final shape to the ivory brand letter edges and shaped the wood around the Ivory with a stippling process.

     The carved wood area was then stained a deep Walnut color for deeper contrast with the Ivory brand and then given a day to dry completely.   The carving was given several coats of Tung oil finish.


Does a carving like this interest you for your rifle?    Drop me an email – lets discuss it.


Thanks for stoppin’ by…..

Lance Larson