I generally have more than one project going at any given time, but this one was special for me. I call it the “Brothers Forever” project – a special surprise for my older brother down in Texas. My elderly dad was in on the secret, and he could hardly contain himself when the time came for the big surprise.
The custom walnut thumb-hole rifle stock has been carefully finished over a period of several months. Lots of sanding, a bit of General Finishes stain, and many coats of Tru-Oil have given it a sheen normally exhibited in only the finest custom rifles. Still, I thought it needed something extra to make it stand apart. So I went to work adding small embellishments.
I added a custom spacer between the wood and the butt-pad. The receiver was laser engraved with the words “Brothers Forever”, and all the lettering filled with gold to make it “pop”. I honed the custom trigger mechanism to a crisp 3-lb. pull. A one-off custom leather sling from my good friend Marty at Circle Bar T Leather gave it nice finishing touch. But I didn’t stop there. A custom-fitted, tan Pelican case also held a small can of Eezox, a bore snake, a multi-tool, and a Leupold laser bore sighter. Basically, all he had to do was load it and shoot.
And what a shooter it turned out to be ! My brother was overwhelmed when he opened that Pelican case and saw what I had done. Later, we went out to West Texas and broke it in on a friend’s ranch. The rifle performed flawlessly – no jams, just good fun. With the scope already bore-sighted, he was “on paper” in no time. My brother was having the time of his life with the gift of a lifetime.
If you’re contemplating a similar project, my best advice is to Take Your Time. Work slowly and carefully, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. The “Brothers Forever” project has inspired others to tackle a similar project for their loved ones, and for that I am blessed.
Jim, I love you, man !