Coulter's Smithing Home.

Here are some pictures of guns I own or have worked on. Some are really nice! It seems I shoot guns better than pictures. I will have to work on this page some more. Some of these, and some others are "available to the right home".

Ruger mod 77 mk 2 Here is a Ruger 77 mk 2 in .308, the Target model. It's Paul's favorite gun for egg shoots. When purchased, you could take a box of ammo, either commercial or good handloads, and a beer can out at 100 yards, and that beer can would be perfectly safe. It seemed this target model was good for about 1 foot groups at 100 yds. It's a good design, but the implementation must have been done on the worst of Monday mornings. Everything that could be wrong was wrong, from action loose in the stock, to bent trigger pin, tool marks going the wrong way on trigger/sear interface, bolt lugs not in equal contact (in fact one was floating about 20 mils away from contact). You name it. And of course, with a brand new barrel, there were tool marks and it fouled easily. All that is fixed now, and it is now a one–holer out to a couple hundred yards, good enough for benchrest even with the cruiser boattail bullets. After fixing the basics, one thing remained. Paul didn't want a muzzle brake, as anything that could possibly mess with the great accuracy was a "don't even try that" sort of thing. But it really pounded the user when shot from the bench. So we filled 'er full of lead. The stock was drilled out with a couple of 1 inch holes, lead sheet was put under the free floated barrel, and the clip area was filled with lead. You don't really need a clip in a target gun, or even a hunting gun if it is this accurate. Now even Doug (comparatively a wimp) can shoot this without turning black and blue. Since Paul is a big guy, we even added a little lead spacer between the stock and the recoil pad to increase the length of pull to suit him better. This was nickel plated and then blackened, so it is hard to see in the picture.
Ruger mod 77 mk 2 Here is a 1911 Doug built from parts, then did the plating and other finishing. It shoots really well, and due to the nickel plating on the slide, does not need lube there. It'd be a nice gun to have in the desert, since it wouldn't attract dust and sand there. Interestingly, although technically a Colt, this gun has zero Colt parts in it. All are aftermarket. The Kimber .22 top has been hand fitted for zero play, but still doesn't shoot quite as well as the .45 top does. The .45 slide is so shiny I had to take the picture at an angle to reduce glare. Yes, those are 3 bullets that went into the same hole in the firewood backstop I was using for test firing. Heck, I don't see that well! In the car business, there is a saying "if it's perfect, paint it black". Well, if it's really perfect, try nickel plating it, which shows up flaws even better than gloss black does. On close examination, there are a couple of tool marks still showing on the slide, even after 40+ hours of hand sanding. You don't hold something like this up to a buffer and round off all the edges! I will try to get a better picture to show off the plating, anodizing, and general slickness of this one. The gold–looking stuff IS.
SW mod 14 Here is Doug's favorite target handgun. Little red dot, little black hole, totally reliable. What more need be said? It's a S&W Model 14. It didn't need any work other than cleaning and mounting the red dot. It already had that super nice S&W target trigger, and is shot mainly single action.
Cooper Here is the sleeper. This is a Cooper in .223, but it looks almost like something off the WalMart rack. Don't be fooled, this one shoots as well (with a good handload) as the 6mm PPC below, and that is VERY good indeed. Doug got this from a guy who thought he'd ruined it with his excessivly hot handloads, for about 1/4th the normal price. Well, he'd come pretty close, the chamber has a slight bulge, but the actual problem was he didn't know how to clean out baked–on powder fouling, especially that complex mix created by trying several types of powders between cleanings. He assumed that once the patches came out clean with his cleaner of choice, he was done. This is the kind of thing a borescope is nice for. A little lapping compound to break through the hard skin, then normal cleaning, and it shot fine after that. All it needed was the right load and to be kept clean. The blue plastic web over the muzzle is to keep insects from nesting in this gun. I sometimes mumble something about damping barrel vibrations to see if anyone buys that (it has no effect on the accuracy). It's the gun we keep loaded over the door. The sling swivels were left on to offend benchrest purists. Rides the bags fine anyway. And this is the one that goes to the woods, so the sling is useful.
Shultz and Larsen Here is a full out 6mm PPC benchrest gun. Boy this thing shoots! Unlike the other guns, it just about doesn't care what sort of ammo is put into it – they all go into the same hole no matter what. I have a target with a 3/8 inch hole in it from 20 shots of 4 different loads and two shooters. That's pretty good. Almost ruined it for me, as I like load development, and with this, there's basically no point. Well, it does show a slight preference for match grade 70 gr Sierra bullets and powder that burns at about the right speed, which could be any of H322, W748, N200 or N201. The trigger on this gun is the lightest I have ever experienced. It is too light for me to measure, or even feel. It takes a bit of special technique to shoot this gun.
Grizzly fifty cal single shot Here's a .50 cal we got for fun and games. Makes a pretty good sign for the shop. Haven't shot it much yet. The trigger is surprisingly good for such a simple thing. Booooom! Can't shoot this from near the ground, as the blast from the brake will get you peppered with various rocks and dirt. I don't like the design of this gun very much. When shooting it, the chamber is right on your neck. With most rifles, it is between your hands, and a mishap would leave you unharmed. Nice to have the long barrel, but...

By the way, the handgun also in the picture is an FN Five-Seven. I made my own reloading dies for it, as none were available commercially. That was quite a trick as the gun unlocks under high pressure and moves the shoulder on the shell forward about 50 mils. I DO like the design of this one otherwise.
All it's going to need to be perfect is a little work on the trigger pull. Gee, this thing only shoots 20 per clip and the 28 gr titanium core .223 bullets come out in the 2500 ft/sec range. Did I mention fun? I will be working out a handload with 40 gr varmint bullets, as these are the lightest cheap ones in this caliber around.

Taurus ultralight Here is Doug's carry gun, a Taurus Ultralite in Titanium. Yes, it's grubby. In the pants and under the pillow guns get that way. It points well for everyone in the eyes–closed test, is reliable, but not much fun to shoot as it's a hand–slapper, despite the muzzle brake. This gun did need work, right off the bat. The mainspring is in the grip, as a coil spring, and a bump on the hammer strut retains one end. Well, the spring they used had one closed end, (like an automotive valve spring) and one open end, and guess which way it was put in? Yup, after about 10 shots, it stopped functioning as the spring wound itself up around the strut. We turned it around the right way, and added a washer to be sure. The surprise came when we went back to the gun shop to report this. We took apart all the Tauruses, and they ALL had this problem. Other than that, it's a good gun. One thing about these snubbies. Normal self defense ammo, even in +P, comes out going ridiculously slow, as in 400 ft/sec. Speer now has some stuff that works right in a short barrel, or you can make your own, use Bullseye and moderately light bullets with a tight crimp. This gun is so light and so small that I have accidentally carried it concealed into some places I shouldn't have. I just forgot I was wearing it. Says a lot for the metal detectors in some public places...
Mauser 98 in stock form The large ring action of this stock Mauser 98 wants to be the basis of your next favorite rifle. Can't you feel it tugging at your heartsrings? All it a new trigger, a new stock, bolt work, and a new barrel unless you actually like 8mm Mauser and what it does to the shoulder. I think it would slightly prefer to be redone for another cartridge that uses the .473" face, but it could be modified for smaller or larger. This gun is not very accurate as is, and not much fun to shoot, as it is light and has that uber–comfortable steel buttplate. The action is essentially brand new, this has had only 2 boxes of ammo shot through it. The gun was obtained from Mitchell's Mausers for the very purpose of making it into something a lot nicer, like a benchrest rifle or a walking varminter. Like the man said, only accurate guns interest us. In this case, the action's pristine, the rest is junk.

One of the services we offer is bluing. We do the old–fashioned slow rust bluing here for a superior finish, even though it does take longer than the hot caustic salts method. Seems everyone has forgotten how to do this, but we got lucky and found some old books. The process works well, takes a lot of calendar time, and some operator time. We built an enviornmental chamber that we can control temperature and humidity in to speed the rusting along. Also works well for kiln drying fancy wood for gun and knife stocks. More to come, there are a lot of things to take pictures of still.
Does anyone want info on reloading? We can't really put up a full book, but can put up some of our best recipies and some observations on what works in general (and what is a waste of time).

Coulter's Smithing Home

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