George Numrich introduced his “Hopkins & Allen” underhammer rifles back in the 1950s and now the supply of them has pretty well dried up. But the interest in them is still strong and there are even a number of builders who are beginning to replicate the simple, clean lines of George’s original design. However, making a true to the original replica is not quite so easy anymore. Since having been acquired by another concern, George’s action design has morphed into an “improved” version that is looking less and less like George’s old Hopkins & Allen.
For those who wish to get back to the original, John Taylor will provide a completely round-bodied action true to the original featuring a fully-machined steel receiver which incorporates a tapered pin to secure the barrel and receiver.
However, John also offers some variations on that theme, as he explains:
“I try to stay with the same size as the H&A under hammer actions so I can use the same hammer, trigger and spring that was used in the original.
I make actions in three diameter sizes, 1", 1.125" and 1.250". This action (the subject of these photos) is made from brass and set up to take the original butt stock with a little work. This action was also threaded for the breach plug to provide a stiffer rifle – it’s not a takedown.
makes for a very stiff and sturdy rifle.
Barrels are held in three different ways: threaded, taper pin or set screw. I make whatever the customer wants - within reason.”
Basic actions are $180.
“I am not a stock maker. It's not that I can't make them, just that I can't make a living at it. I can cut the octagon channel for the forearm using special made router bits in the milling machine. I can also make dovetail thimbles and lugs for holding the forearm. Numrich did have the simplest way to hold the forearm and I can mount and pin the forearm to the barrel the same way if the customer wants it that way.”
For more information about John’s underhammer actions and his other custom services, visit his website: www.johntaylormachine.com. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (253) 445-4073.
PS: One of my very early posts features one of John's small-frame rifles. If you go to the bottom of this page and click on Older Posts you can get back to that first page and see another example of his work.