Jonny Bravo Customs sent us these photos of his final project at gunsmithing school. I wish I had the skills to build a gun like this.

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Jonny wrote …

My background is military. I spent 6 years in the Army as military police with a year in South Korea and 2 deployments in support of OIF and OEF from Ft. Hood, Texas.

I graduated from gunsmith school in May. This was my final project and started off as a Remington 700 SPS chambered in .308 with a 20″ barrel. I then received financial support from a family friend to build a custom crow gun. Other than truing the action, I did all the all the work you see. This was one of Remington’s phosphate finished “tactical” rifles.

* Action was sent off to North West Action Works for truing.
* Shilen barrel chambered in .243 Winchester
* Walnut stock with skeleton butt plate, grip cap, and inletted 1gram American flag
* PTG oberndorf bottom metal and recoil lug
* Inletted sling swivel studs, jeweled bolt, 90 degree forend tip
* Tru oil finish with 4 panel 22lpi checkering
* Pillar bedded and free floated
* Topped off with a Leupold VX-3 4.5x14x40mm package

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  • Steve

    Why would the final project for a gunsmith school involve sending the action to another gunsmith?

    • CrassyKnoll

      Knowing ‘how to’ doesn’t preclude using someone else who has a device that provides tighter tolerances than what you have access to.

      Then there are time and money factors.

      I mean, most everyone starts with commercial barrels and actions anyway…

      • Steve

        I’m sorry, but this is like buying a prepackaged science kit for a science fair. I realize there are gunsmiths who prefer woodworking over machine work and vice versa, but if you really want to consider yourself a gunsmith, you should focus on the weaker area and deal with mediocre results until you gain the skill necessary.

  • Ani

    Beautifully done. I would have picked an ebony forend tip but looks great anyway.

  • iksnilol

    That stock. So much want.

  • hod0r

    Commercial action sent off to a company for truing? This qualifies as gunsmithing school? In Austrian/German gunsmithing schools you build your own break action from scratch as a journeyman’s piece and engraving/inletting turns it into your master piece.

    • DrewN

      In many US trade schools they only teach up to apprentice level. You are expected to advance to journeyman thru on the job training under a more senior gunsmith. There is no guild as such here.

      • Sam Schifo

        I am actually in gunsmithing school right now. My instructor says that any students who prove themselves capable on the machines will be eligible to take an extra two week course on advanced rifle manufacturing. This mainly involves blueprinting the action, but includes all of the other normal things like glass bedding, free floating, etc.

        • hod0r

          That qualifies as “advanced manufacturing”?

          • Sam Schifo

            I guess building would be a better term then.

        • iksnilol

          A bit off topic but what is blueprinting specifically? I can never find a specific description of what it is.

          @hod0r
          Also, isn’t a break action a simple mechanism? I would be more impressed if somebody built a manual or semi-auto repeater than a break action.

          • Sam Schifo

            It basically involves taking a mass produced action (like a Remington 700) and truing it up. Try this: http://www.vandykerifles.com/blueprint.htm
            they explain it way better than I can.

          • hod0r

            The mechanism is simple in principle, but building one from scratch requires a lot of careful worksmanship so it’s ideal for learning the art. A bolt action repeater is mostly a lathe job.

          • John

            Don’t know much, but the intrinsically high cost (in the thousands) of SXS and O/U firearms led me to the conclusion it isn’t easy. Something about getting both barrels to have the same POI

          • Fred Johnson

            I only know of the engine builders “blue printing”. I figure it would be the same with firearms.

            “Engine blueprinting means specifically to create an engine that reflects the design intent through the removal of manufacturing tolerances insofar as that is possible such that the engine literally reflects the actual blueprint created by the original engineers who designed the engine. While many people confuse blueprinting with high-performance engine building or tuning, these are in fact different goals.”

            From – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine_tuning

    • CrassyKnoll

      This is America, there are plenty of things we don’t do like Europe, especially the absurd work rules/guild stuff.

  • Cameron Bissell

    243 for crows? you will certainly know when you hit one.

    • Blake

      That’s the point. My Dad uses his Ruger M77 mkII varmint rifle (stainless long bull bbl, beavertail stock, Harris bipod. Heavy as hell but lots of awesome 🙂 to pick off crows on my Uncle’s farm out to 600yds.

      “poof”

      & they pretty much vaporize into a cloud of black feathers.

      He uses H4895 reduced recoil loads for volume shooting with Berger & Hornady light varmint bullets in order to use less powder & go easy on the brass, spot your own shots landing through the scope, and make less noise so that even if you miss on the first shot it doesn’t scare away the crows for a follow-up.

      It’s incredibly satisfying &ltgrin&gt.

    • CrassyKnoll

      Out on the plains wind can be an issue, so the .243 is often favored over the .22s.

  • Adam aka eddie d.

    Johnny, great work, I like it!
    Don’t care about the negative comments,
    it’s just an inevitable feature of the internet age.
    Must of those guys would stop frowning after a couple of hours
    of the type of work you had to put into this project.

    Again, good job, keep on building!

  • JBC

    I sent the action out due to time and financial constraints. I wanted to focus on what I had learned while making the best rifle I could at the time. Metal finishing, stock making, and chambering were the grading criteria. Do-all gunsmith shops aren’t uncommon and neither is outsourcing work or referring to a niche shop.

    .243 was chosen for the round’s versatility, owner’s preference, and easy learning.

    Ebony will always be a first choice, second only to the free piece:) Thank you for the kind comments and support. I look forward to sharing more of my projects

    -JBC

    • Michel_T

      Very nice!

      Funny how many people think a gunsmith should do it all…
      when in reality, you want someone that is excellent at one thing.

  • jamezb

    I love your checkering, and your choice of using an old style inletted steel butt plate and grip cap is pure class. You did a beautiful job polishing and bluing the parked metal, too. It’s a work of art that harkens back to a more civilized age. Good job.

  • Blake

    Excellent work. Glad you found a nice piece of walnut for the stock. It looks great.

    IMHO the choice of caliber & choice of scope are both excellent. It breaks my heart when people put a lousy scope on a fine rifle; glad to see that’s not the case here.

  • gunslinger

    On the topics of gunsmithing..
    coworker wants a bolt action rifle, chambered in 5.7×28 (same as the AR57, P90, etc.) said Savage? used to make them, but don’t anymore.

    anybody have any thoughts/suggestions on this?

    • JBC

      I’m not sure if anyone makes one commercially either, the round fills a very specific role in semi auto and I can’t come up with any benefits off the top of my head of producing one in a bolt action configuration. Nonetheless its very possible.

      Adam at Dresden Gun Co. would be one to talk to make it happen.

      • gunslinger

        I think he wants it as a varmint round. Not sure why as there are other options.

        Ill pass the info along.