Custom Carved Shotgun – an old classic

Custom Carved Gunstock on a Remington 1100 Shotgun

      This was a project that had real challenges.   A good many of these challenges were preparing this shotgun for carving.   Forty years ago, when it was a new gun, the owner’s father took it out goose hunting, and typical of the new shotguns of the time, it had a gloss blue finish on the metal and a gloss finish on the stock.    The first day in the goose blind all the birds flared away because of the shotgun’s shiny finish.   That evening the finish was covered with a drab green cloth “duck” tape (“Duck” tape for a duck gun !) and it worked – no more problems – the geese came in.  


     Fast forward a lifetime and the tape is still on the shotgun.  When the tape was removed the glue residue remained and the green cloth tape just disintegrated.   The residue was as hard as rock and resisted all the solvents I tried.   Finally a friend gave me some adhesive solvent by 3M he’d had in his garage for ten years.   Surprisingly, with a lot of elbow grease, the adhesive came off.   A bonus was that the solvent didn’t harm the gloss bluing or the gunstock finish.


     This shotgun was from the early 70’s, the “heyday” of cheap pressed checkering.   Many manufacturers were trying to save manufacturing costs and one of the first things to go was hand carved checkering.   It was replaced by a process that had machines pressing intents into the stocks and forends to look like checkering.   The pressed checkering looked cheap and did not fit with fine Walnut stocks like on this old Remington 1100 Shotgun.   I was commissioned to remove and replace the problem areas.  


     Since the shotgun had been used for waterfowl hunting mostly, which at one time had been the owners hunting passion, it was decided to replace it with carved feathers.  The original shape and design of the checkering on the stock was not changed.  Keeping the shape and style of the decorative area was important because this identifies it as a Remington shotgun of that era.


      The first step was to remove the old checkering and since it was pressed in, I had to carve down into the stock a bit to remove all traces of the diamond shaped indentations.   Sanding the carved areas smooth was required to give me a good starting point for the feather carving.    The forearm was carved with the look of the feathers on a duck’s back including the wing feathers.   The pistol grip was carved to mimic the smooth feathers on the duck’s belly.  


    It was decided not to do any carving on the opposite side of the buttstock.    Aged walnut, in this case aged over 40 years, has it’s own beauty.  The owner wanted to show that natural wood grain.   As far as the Walnut wood in this shotgun stock, there’s an old saying that really fits: 


“They don’t make em like that anymore….”


     Do you have a shotgun that would look great with this type of understated carving?   Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about this type of carving. 


Thanks for stoppin’ by ……

Lance Larson


One thought on “Custom Carved Shotgun – an old classic”

  1. Wow, Lance, all that work that went into the gun just to prep it! What passion you have doing this, and I find the carving is absolutely breathtaking! You really are talented, creative and dedicated!


Comments are closed.