12 November 2010

Mark Bond's latest underhammer

One of the most popular underhammer actions for the builder are those variants of the bent-cylinder "Hopkins & Allen" action that George Numrich introduced in his line of rifles way back in the '50s. That's waaaay retro for some of our younger readers. 

For those of you who are not familiar with the history of the "Hopkins & Allen" you may scroll down and go back through the Older Posts to our first feature, Underhammer History - briefly. There you can become one of the few who know the real story about the H&A underhammer and the fact that the Hopkins and Allen Manufacturing company of old had nothing to do with the rifle that later bore their name!

In addition to its low cost, George's underhammer action had one outstanding feature that really set it apart from most of the underhammer actions of the previous century. A feature that, in this scribe's opinion, is George's greatest contribution to modern underhammer history. That feature is the half-cock notch he so wisely included in his lockwork.

Here, again, we see the legacy left to us by George living on through a rifle recently built by one of our loyal readers, Mark Bond. Here's his story, and a few pics, too.

My Latest Underhammer


I love your blog and have been reading it for some time. 

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Here are some photos of my most recent build. You can tell I was influenced by the “H&A” underhammers. I built this rifle using an underhammer action from Fire & Iron Manufacturing (http://www.fire-iron.biz) mated to a Green Mountain (www.gmriflebarrel.com) barrel 7/8" X 36" long X 50 caliber with a 1:70 twist. At first I left the barrel in the white to show off the polished lock, but the Arizona sun gave such a glare when I was shooting at the range so I browned the barrel.

The wood I chose is tight, curly maple. I stained the wood using Min-Wax Gunstock stain because it has an orange tint and it allowed me to give the rifle a tiger like stripping. Then I applied 5 coats of gun oil to seal and protect the wood. I also chose a 3/8" hickory rod for the loading rod and candy stripped her to go with the tiger stripping theme. The ramrod tip has a .50 caliber jag with a hidden ball puller.

My rifle has a beaded front blade sight and adjustable semi-buckhorn rear sight. After a little adjusting and filing on the sights I have her dialed in and consistent with off hand shooting at 100 yards. Although the total weigh of the rifle is 7.4 pounds, because I had some shoulder injuries a while back, I decided to use an old Winchester butt plate to allow for a gentler recoil on my surgically-repaired shoulder. 

Although I am a lefty I carved this stock for a right-handed shooter because I was going to sell her as just another hobby build. (I hate to admit it, but we do live in a right-hand world.) The wood turned out so nice, and after test firing her, I decided that I am keeping this one for my fun.

Once again, thanks for sharing your love of underhammers. It’s good to know that there are a few of us who love the beauty and simplicity of these smoke poles.

~Mark Bond

Photo copyrights by Mark Bond

Thank you, Mark, for sharing your latest build. 
 As I've said to you potential builders, Come on in. The water's fine! 

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About Me

Roger Renner

Hi. I've been a student, admirer, and designer/builder of underhammer guns for over 30 years. In that span I've built over 200 semi-custom underhammers exploring the possibilities from the ordinary to the exotic. In 1996 I founded Pacific Rifle Company to explore the market's interest in a high-quality underhammer rifle. Thankfully, that interest was, and still is, there. I sold PRC in 2006 but continue to craft high-end underhammers as I am truly afflicted with underhammeritis - which can be contagious!