Tag Archives: Oak leaves

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 …




Hand Carved Heirloom Golden Boy

 Custom Carved Tribute to a Father

 Henry Golden Boy .22

In my experience, the two most common reasons for a client to want a gunstock carved are…

      * Memories…  A special hunt, for example.

      * In Memory of… a Family member or four legged hunting partner.


 Henry Golden Boy .22Henry Golden Boy .22Henry Golden Boy


The latter was the reason for my most recent commission.  My client wanted the stock for a Henry Golden Boy stock carved as a present for her husband.   The photo above shows that rifle.    It was to be a memorial and tribute to his Father.


Golden Boy 2


She mentioned that his Father had been referred to as an “Oak Tree” so she wanted Oak leaves on the stock and a sentiment carved in the stock also.  During our communication for planning the design she also said she liked the idea of a cross in the carving.  I suggested an old wooden cross on a hill and she liked that idea.


This Stock needed to be done for Christmas so I told her I would get it to her well before the holiday.   When I started working on this carving, I couldn’t put it down.   I love carving leaves, but it was this tribute to a Father that really moved me. 

 Golden Boy Stock 002

Carving this Walnut tribute made me think about my own Father and I wanted this to be a special Family Heirloom.  I wanted it to be a carving that would make my own Father proud if he saw it.


To contact me regarding your own Family Heirloom, drop me an email.


Thanks for stoppin’ by…

Lance Larson






A Custom Carved Wedding Gift

Custom Carved Weatherby stock for a Wedding Gift


       I received an email a few months ago from a woman who wanted to surprise her fiance on their wedding day with a custom carved gunstock for one of his rifles.    After we did some design work and found the right subject matter she started looking for the right rifle and stock for this project.  


      With the help of some of her future in-laws,  she found and old Weatherby Mark V that was in the family and had a stock that needed some refinishing TLC, but had truely beautiful grain in the Walnut stock.


      The subject matter was Whitetail Deer in a meadow and she wanted me to have the family Cabin carved in the corner of the meadow.  Many photos of the cabin area as well as the cabin itself were emailed to me to assist in the design.    the old checkering was removed and basketweave and oak leaves added in it’s place.



     My client had planned well in advance so there was not a rush –  we could plan it and I would complete it with a month to spare.  Planning in advance like this is a luxury that I am not used to and I really enjoyed it.    Rushed work and artistic expression do not go well together.












     If you have ideas for personalizing an item or creating an Heirloom like this , contact me and we can discuss it.


Thanks for stoppin’ by…


Lance Larson





Custom Carved Mule Deer Rifle

Monster Desert Mule Deer Buck     

     This trophy desert mule deer relief carving on the Mauser rifle is completed.   The relief carving features a huge Mule Deer buck jumping over a downed Saguaro cactus skeleton.  The desert mountain backdrop with more Saguaros and a rocky foreground with Prickly Pear cactus complete the scene.    The harsh landscape of the Southwest Desert produces some enormous Mule Deer.   Like this one 


     The forearm and grips were carved in a basketweave pattern.  Hand carved oak leaves accent the basketweave on all sides.   I also carved a nice 4×4 Mule Deer antler shed on the opposite side of the buttstock just below the cheek piece.   I took a photo of an actual shed that the client had and carved an exact copy of that shed antler.


     When I completed the carvings, the staining was done by using oil paints diluted down to work as more of a stain than paint.  The more coats I put on an area, the darker it became.   This allowed me to blend the light colored rump and belly of the Mule deer with the darker brown of the back and sides of the deer.   This brings in a more natural look.   The carvings were finished with a couple of coats of Tung Oil finish.


     This custom carved gunstock is ready to be both a rifle for hunting and a family heirloom for years to come.   The client and I spent quite a bit of time designing what he wanted in his custom carved rifle.   If this interests you, contact me, you and I can design the perfect carving for your rifle, shotgun, or handgun. 








Thanks for stoppin’ by……

Lance Larson


Custom Gunstock Carvings in the Arizona State Fair

My Arizona State Fair carvings update

     This year I submitted three custom carvings in the wood carving division of The 2010 Arizona State Fair and was very pleased with the results.   I really tried to stretch out of my comfort zone into areas that were new to me.   Using oil paints and stains to augment the carving is an area I needed to improve upon so I worked hard on this with these entries.

     In the Gunstock carving division, my “Dangerous Game” rifle stock that had carving of “Africa’s Big Five” dangerous game animals took first place.   The African Big Five are the Cape Buffalo, African Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, and Black Rhino.  

   I made is a point to try and give each animal individual traits or scars.  If you look closely, you can see the cape buffalo has  scars across his nose from a lion attack.   The big Bull Elephant is covered with caked on reddish colored mud to protect the skin from the harse African sun.   The Rhino has a very long horn that I copied from a circa 1920’s photograph.   I gave the Lion a mane like the MGM Lion in the movies.   And well, all Leopards have spots and rosettes, so I tried to give my cat a different look – like he is casting one more backwards glace before melting into the bush.  

It is carved on an old Monte Carlo style stock for a 1903A3 Springfield rifle.  The wood is a light colored walnut that was very popular in the 1960’s, as was the Monte Carlo stock style.  






     In another carving division, I entered my “Leaf  Rifle” stock featured in an earlier blog.  This carving earned the Blue ribbon in it’s division.   The stock was completely covered with Oak Leaves and Acorns.   This was a undertaking that had a huge design phase.  The leaves all had to flow down the stock, not just lie in a pile.  Also each leave had to be an individual, not just copies of the same leaf.  There were over 125 Oak Leaves on the rifle stock and 25 or more Acorns added to the carving.  

     The stock was a light colored hardwood so once again staining and painting of the leaves to give them true depth, variation, and contrast was a real concern.   The photos show the completed rifle complete with scope, flashlight, and laser sight.   This is my personal rifle and so far, it has turned out to be a fine small game rifle.


    Finally, I entered a Wooden Wall Hanging made of solid Hard Maple and inlaid with a Simulated Ivory carving.   Once again I was fortunate to take first place in this carving division.   The size of this wall hanging is about one foot by three feet.   It is a carving of a sheer mountain cliffside with a pair of Mountain Goats, carved in the Ivory, walking along a almost nonexistent trail up to a waterfall.   The border was carved to look like rocks and boulders.   

     I did find that hard maple is not the best choice for carving.   Although the wood holds detail well, it dulls the fine carving burrs unbelievably fast.  Since the Mountain Goat is one of my favorite North American game animals, this carving hangs in my own den.



Thanks for stoppin’ by…..

Lance  Larson