Gunville.com has been in the gun, gun parts and gun stock business since the early 70’s. Our major business has been selling reproduction gun stocks. At first, we resold stocks made by a local provider. As we sold more stocks, we began cutting and handling our own walnut blanks so as to keep a better handle on the stocks our supplier was making. This developed into our seeking out more sources of walnut and we began to buy “yard trees” and a lot of trees that were large enough to use, but were unsalable. The lumber mills simply don’t buy trees with limbs, knots, wire, nails ect. And a lot of really good walnut was going to waste. Much of it got thrown into a landfill, rotted where it fell, or, was made into firewood, etc.
We heat our shops with wood, so no part of the tree is wasted. To be useable for gunstock purposes a tree has to be approximately 20" diameter or better mainly because a minimum board thickness is around 2-3/4" when green. The best feather crotch fancy wood comes from where large limbs grow out from the main trunk. This is also where the hardest, most dense, wood comes from. When sawed, we always coat the fancy areas with anchor seal which slows drying and reduces the chance of cracking, checking, and other blemishes.
I have heard for many years the stump myth. I have heard for years this is the best of the best for gun stocks. Tain’t so! True, the stump wood does have real nice burly figure but------it is usually real pourus and very light. If you go below a few inches underground, this is what you run into. On some very large stumps there are sometimes some wavy figure in the large roots and if you don’t go too far it is useable. Get much below the ground line and it gets porous fast. Also, in these areas are many holes and defects, and plenty of rocks and dirt. From just below the ground line up a couple of feet there is usually some very good walnut and usually shows a lot of fiddleback. Sometimes you get feather crotch too. 80% of what we sell is standard straight grained lumber. The other falls into, semi-fancy, A grade. AA grade, AAA grade, and exposition. The final grade is in the eye of the grader and if you don’t like what you got, we’ll replace it or negotiate.
Back to our making gunstocks. After many years of buyiing from another dealer; we purchased some terrco. Duplicating machines and began producing our own. For years I heard people complaining about too much extra wood being left on the product. Don’t get me wrong, when you fit a reproduction stock, you have to have some wood to work with to fit and sand. The reason for this is all guns are individuals and not all fit the same. We feel we have cut it to a minimum and leave enough to sand and finish. After the stocks are made; we fit all of them to an original reciever and leave the tangs (if present) snug. Then we mark around the metal and sand it to approximately a dime or nickel thickness with 220 grit. This is about the minimum extra wood you need to start with. If you don’t like the product, send it back.
I mentioned the terrco carving machines and these are hand operated duplicators. The same machines were used in all the older furnitue opeartions and allow a “feel” of the wood as you work with it. My operators are all experienced woodworkers and gunsmiths and they do excellent work. I will put these guys and their work up against any CNC product available--guaranteed!!
We also offer a fitting service for your gun. We can do anything from fit and sand the stock to your gun up through a turnkey job - complete fit, finish and checker.