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Our story - part 6...     back    next

Time for a makeover

Pete had now picked his most definite favourite gun - it seemed to fit him perfectly and shot where he was pointing it so it was time for a spruce up.

His B125 had seen better days and there was a small problem with the second barrel firing that nobody seemed to be able to solve, so we decided to book it in for some love and attention.

We chose Greenwood Gunsmiths.

Tim Greenwood had been local to Pete in Kent years ago and his reputation for gunsmithing and finishing was second to none so there was no option for his beloved Browning!  We also arranged for him to have a look at my gun fit.

We made an appointment and planned our road trip to Tern Hill in Shropshire - Oh yes! another excuse for a full english, a different shooting ground to try and a nice meal and a night away.

We trecked off at the crack of dawn to avoid the traffic with our route planned and the thought of our breakfast around 5 hours later to keep us going.  The traffic could have been a nightmare on that route, but was pretty good so we ended up camping out at Morrisons at Market Drayton after our 'huge' breakfast for a little longer than we had anticipated. 

We then made our way to Tim's just down the road.  We were greeted by his daughter Laura who is currently Tim's apprentice - meet and greet, tea and chat the first order of the day!  

What this man doesn't know about guns or how to fix / improve them I don't know and his workshop... a treasure trove of tools, parts and machinery is certainly impressive! 

We were there for a considerable amount of time, his attention to detail and enthusiasm for our guns was encouraging, the downside was that he decided he needed to take a saw to my stock to make it fit!!!  This was something not to be taken lightly so his 'Blue Peter' method was employed.  This involves lots of sticky tape and pads to change the shape and fit to be tried and tested.... you can see the result below.

 

Browning B325 Blue Peter Style

My job now was to take it away and see whether this was going to be right for me.

Laura booked Pete's gun in for it's fix and makeover, we said our goodbyes and we left.

Trying it out the Blue Peter way

The angled butt plate removed all the gun flip on firing - this obviously made a big improvement to all my second shots and my gun mount was much more consistent since it now fitted properly into my shoulder pocket.

The heightened comb and lenghtened heel meant the gun sat higher toward my face so I didn't have to crane my neck down to get my cheek down to the comb.

This was all looking good, so we fitted the ShotKam and had a few outings - the conclusion was that there was a great improvement but for one thing.....

The gun was tilting slightly so that the horizon wasn't level (if you know what I mean I believe it's called cant) No matter how I changed my grip this was not changing.

We decided to twist the but plate around slightly to compensate and all in my world became level again!

Having come to the conclusion that the B325 was the best it could be and it was only my aim that was not perfect, all we needed to do was to wait until Pete's B125 was ready for collection we were ready to take mine in to face the saw at Greenwood Gunsmiths OMG my poor gun!.

Wet weather guns

With the thought of the winter looming and our precious, soon to be restored elderly Browning ladies, we decided that we should invest in some 'wet weather guns'.

Due to their vintage, the Brownings did not have chrome lined barrels and the woodwork was soon to be better than when it left the workshop new, these were great for normal shooting days and would always be our 'go to' guns, but did we really want to subject them to everything the English weather could throw at them and risk the damp and the rust?

Pete had lusted after a trap gun with an adjustable comb - if it had chrome barrels and wasn't necessarily a looker to love and cherish, then this could double up as a wet weather gun.  If he was going to have a shot at trap shooting then why should I be left out....?  We didn't want to spend a fortune and finally settled on a Beretta 682 for him and a Fabarm Gamma 2 for me.  Both were multi-choked with adjustable combs, not expensive and seemed fit for purpose. 

A good job we did because I was soon to be 'gunless' apart from the little S x S which I had other plans for!

Guns No 7 & 8!

 

 

Wet weather guns

B125 Glory and B325... worried

It was time for the saw and I was a little apprehensive to say the least but the thought breakfast at Tern Hill and seeing Pete's finished gun from Greenwoods was keeping me sane.

Browning B125 Grade D 12 gauge (restored)

 

Fully serviced, in perfect working order and now free of dinks, scratches and years of grime, she was a picture, probably better than when she was new! The finish was amazing and the checkering had been refreshed - beautiful ... just beautiful.

I handed mine over for the dreaded 'cut and shut' shotgun style... two inserts were needed and I was assured that once finished I wouldn't see (or feel) the joins.  She was going to have a Monte Carlo style stock with a slight roach belly. Out came the marker pen!! Oh My God!!! some adjustments to the grip too, to compesate for my small hands....

Tim was great - he took his time and made my Fabarm Gamma 2 (my wet weather gun) match the dimensions of my B325 (modified) so I could continue shooting in the same way without much of a noticeable difference while he went about modifying my stock.

In a few weeks I would get it back (without finishing) to try again just in case any final adjustments were necessary. 

We took the new and improved B125 and the Fabarm to West Midlands Shooting Ground and shot a round of Sporting - reasonably successfully I might add, and went home.

Another makeover?

Pete was so pleased with the result of his B125 that we decided, when it was time to collect my gun, that his B25 could have the same treatment. 
He had decided that she also needed a little more cast and a raise on the comb so that was the plan. 

Why not kill two birds with one cartridge lol.

The day came and there she was... my B325 complete with inserts, all reshaped and ready to go - I had worried that she would look a bit odd with a Monte Carlo stock unfinished with walnut extras, but it wasn't as scary as I had imagined. (ignoring the 'rubbed back' woodwork look) you could see that she was going to maintain her elegance once she was completed.


 

I had to take it away and try it of course, so we left Pete's B25 in Tim and Laura's safe hands and came home.

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