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Original Post (Thread Starter)
#591817 02/10/2021 12:16 AM
by Glacierjohn
Hello, I’m going to need some instruction on how to post pics, but in the mean time let me tell you about this rifle. I live up near Bigfork Montana and in 1992 I found this rifle in a local sporting goods store. My eye was immediately drawn to the beautiful wood and classic lines. It was chambered in 7 mm Rem Mag and the price was within my reach so I asked if I could take it to a stock maker friend, Mel Smart to check out. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never heard of Tom Burgess, but Mel very quickly straightened me out on that. He advised me to immediately buy it which I did.

The rifle came with a really cool B&L 2.5-8 Balvar scope mounted. The next weekend I went to sight it in. I loaded one cartridge and closed the bolt with the rifle pointing down range. The gun went off when I flicked the model 70 style safety off, yikes! At that point I took the rifle home and looked up Tom Burgess’s phone number, he lived a little west of town. He was a cool guy and told me to bring the gun over which I did. By this time I understood I was meeting a classic gun maker.

Anyway, he quickly took the gun apart and examined it. He said he built that gun in April 1964, he told me the barrel was an Apex which he used a lot at that time. He didn’t recognize the stock maker but said it was a very nice stock with well fitted Neidner checkered steel butt plate and grip cap and a pretty piece of English walnut. He didn’t think he had made that safety but said he’d make me another right away. A week later the new safety was back from bluing and Insteon the rifle, he charged me $75.00!

Now it’s almost thirty years later and I can’t tell you how many deer, antelope and elk I’ve dropped with that rifle. It’s just a really nice rifle. I’m hoping that if I post some pics someone will recognize the stock maker. Thanks for letting me ramble.
Liked Replies
#591930 Feb 11th a 03:40 PM
by rocky mtn bill
rocky mtn bill
Tom Burgess was primarily a metal smith, and I would say probably the best in the country at the time. He did work for stock makers all over , and so it's understandable he might not know who stocked one of his barreled actions. Any time his work comes up for sale, you can't hope to find something better done.
1 member likes this
#591989 Feb 12th a 12:26 PM
by rtw
Tom built 3 rifles for me in the early 90's. To be more specific, he built 3 barreled actions. I sent his work-in the white- to different stockmakers who also rust blued them.

I just sold the last one-a .270 built on a G33-40 action. I furnished the triggers (Canjar steel) and the 3-position safety. Jim Baier made the barrels.

Tom was a great guy and I enjoyed our conversations.

There are a few examples of his work here. https://stevebarnettfineguns.com/custom-rifles-for-sale
1 member likes this
#592032 Feb 12th a 10:34 PM
by BrentD
Indeed you did say that. My error.
1 member likes this
#592705 Feb 20th a 08:31 PM
by Chukarman
Two legendary men. Burgess level metalwork is hard to find, but Steve Heilmann of Grass Valley, CA has reached that level.
1 member likes this

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