Printer Friendly

Takedown leverguns.

With the recent trend toward lighter and handier rifles, there has also been a resurgence of interest in takedown rifles.

The novelty of having a firearm that will easily break down into two or more pieces for easy portage is nothing new; it goes w-a-a-a-y back. Originally, the concept had its drawbacks, however, which limited its popularity in its day, which in turn makes it a favorite with modern collectors.

One of the biggest flies in the soup was its lack of accuracy. Depending upon the manufacturer and the design of the rifle, various mechanisms were employed (with varying degrees of success) to retain the barrel and receiver in tight union when assembled. But they were subject to wear, which made the gun shoot loose. Along with this, an interrupted thread was used on the barrel shank so that takedown was accomplished with a mere quarter-turn of the barrel, once the aforementioned retaining device was overcome.

Some takedown designs had provisions for tightening to compensate for wear. However, negligence or ignorance won out in the end and few were ever tightened. And so a reputation for inaccuracy developed among takedown rifles.

Today, a few manufacturers have applied modern theories of engineering to the takedown rifle concept, resulting in some rather unusual, lightweight and very accurate rifles. Ah, but they also bear pricetags so fat they would choke a horse. If that's what you need or want, great!

For those of you who like the idea of having rifle that will take down and hide in a backpack or pistol case, but can't spend a cool grand for one, listen up! Phil Simms Gunsmith Specialties, 25715 Lynn Cir., Dept. GA, Hemet, CA 92344, offers, as part of their complete gunsmithing service, a takedown conversion. You supply the bolt or lever rifle in your choice of caliber, and Phil will convert it into a real dandy takedown.

Phil has been studying the takedown systems of the past for quite some time and has incorporated the best features of each into a conversion that is economical, simple, and most important of all--accurate.

Because Phil is a professional custom gunsmith, he doesn't have to settle for production tolerances in his work. His guns are tight, and that translates into accuracy. Because the threads are not interrupted, they completely encircle the barrel shank and draw the barrel and receiver together with uniform stress. There is no side slop or accuracy-reducing wiggle. Those full threads also handle the rigors of disassembly much better than the old interrupted threads. Combine that with the better metallurgy and heat-treatment of today's steels, and you have the basis for a practical takedown system.

Phil points out that anything that is designed to come apart will loosen with time. So he incorporated two slack screws in the forearm collar, a la Winchester, for compensation of wear. Recrowning the muzzle to closer-than-factory specs is another step taken to assure top accuracy in the rifle.

In the lever action's case, with its two-piece stock, the conversion is almost invisible. Only after a bit of studying does it become apparent that something is different.

Most modern lever guns that Phil has converted shoot between 1-1/2 to 2 inches at 100 yards. Not too bad for any hunting rifle, let alone a lever gun. No matter what anyone tells you, this is practical accuracy. The average hunter doesn't need accuracy capable of busting ground squirrels a quarter-mile away for 200-yard shots at deer.

Taking down the Simms-converted lever gun is very simple. But before you start, make sure the gun is empty.

The magazine tube is the locking device which keeps barrel and receiver engaged. It must be pulled forward, free of the receiver, before the barrel can turn. To do so, a small retainer button on the magazine tube (just behind the forward barrelband) must be pushed in, allowing the magazine tube to be pulled forward. Then, simply open the action by lowering the lever, and unscrew the barrel, magazine and forearm unit. No parts fall out--everything remains intact. Because the extractor engages a slot in the breech of the barrel, the action must be open to take down or assemble the system. To assemble, simply reverse the takedown procedure.

Well, that's about it. "And how much does it cost?" you ask. Converting most lever guns runs about $95, most bolt guns are $150--a far cry from the "G-note" of the production takedowns.

Our sample piece is a Model 336C Marlin in .30-30 caliber, and yes, the barrel is short--16 inches to be exact. Phil will make 'em that way to fit into a pistol case, if you prefer it that way.

He said he once made a takedown Marlin M1895 in .45-70, with a real stubby barrel, for an Alaskan bush pilot, who carried it in lieu of life insurance. Turned out to be the best grizzly medicine to ever come down the pike, according to the pilot.

If you have a tried-and-true rifle that could benefit you with takedown capabilities, or if you just want your trusty shootin' iron to be one of a kind, drop Phil a line for all the details.
COPYRIGHT 1985 InterMedia Outdoors, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Renner, Roger
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Nov 1, 1985
Previous Article:Taurus model 85 revolver.
Next Article:Barnett Thunderbolt crossbow.

Related Articles
Longbows & recurves - selling nostalgia.
Capturing the traditional archery market.
Master Bowyer J. K. Chastain.
Wrestle With the Idea of a 5-H Club!
Packin' iron: the lucrative cowboy action market has changed! Have you?

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters