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Aug 5th, 2016
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Joined: Aug 2005
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SIXSKB Offline OP
Sidelock
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Sidelock

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Acquired at no cost, a 12ga BL (not Helice) probably 1920+/-. Underside of barrels stamped with translation - Steel Diamond or Diamond Steel. I'm guessing that Diamond is the model or grade, all parts are stamped down to and including the wood screws with D14. Gun was custom made, profuse engraving, highly figured wood with the finest checkering I've seen. But I need a stock. Original was broke at the wrist and replaced with what looks like an off the shelf Plain Jane one, doubt if it was sent back to the factory, guessing 1960's by the coarse checkering, finish and recoil pad, dimensions totally unusable, made for a very small man, cast on, 12"LOP with a drop at comb of 1-1/8' and at heel 1", as is the original. Thoughts on a stock?

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If it were mine I'd use the current stock as a pattern and duplicate it in a properly selected blank. If it is as nice a gun as you describe it would be worth the investment in time and money. It helps that your starting investment is so low.

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Can we have some pictures? Love V-C's guns....

As to the stock, I'd budget a minimum of $2k plus the cost of wood for a new stock. Possibly the factory could make you one for maybe a little less, but that would entail sending the gun to France and back and all the accompanying costs.

Perhaps those more expert in French guns and/or restocking could join in?

Last edited by Dave in Maine; 07/11/16 11:57 AM.

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If it were mine I'd check into having one of the stock repair specialists splicing on and blending an extension to what's left of the stock that's on it. Maybe a Mark Larson grain painting job?..Geo

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Originally Posted By: Dave in Maine
Can we have some pictures? Love V-C's guns....



Same here Dave!!! Considering the quality of that gun it deserves a good restocking job.

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What you should do is PM Ted. He'll know who is best to restock it over here and he'll also know the ins and outs of sending your shotgun over to France if you want to go that route.

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Standard boxlock (vs something like Darne/Charlin or maybe Manufrance Ideal), I'd get the stock work done in this country.

"Diamond steel" was used on quite a few French guns. It was the lowest quality steel described in the 1922 V-C catalog. In the 30's, describing their new "Helice 33" guns, V-C describes the basic model (#1) as having barrels "d'acier tres fin comprime" (very fine compressed steel), while the next higher model (#3) had "acier diamant" barrels.

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SIXSKB Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2005
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Pictures? I'm old school, technology challenged and wish to remain so; still use a land line. What I'm attempting to do with this gun is to just make it a "shooter". Don't think it is worth investing in a new stock. While the gun does not appear to be abused it certainly wasn't well cared for. Pistol grip area steel (trigger guard, top tang and safety severely rusted (cured with vinegar). Barrels had been reblued but minor surface rust was allowed to appear. Chambers lengthened without addressing the forcing cones, very apparent lip, easily fixed. Chokes were OPENED. Assuming the 18.4 mm bore markings are accurate the right barrel has .003 constriction the left .000. Choke tubes not feasable but it will do for close in pointed birds. Will need to give the stock work more thought. Kebco LLC, current importer, did not think sending the gun back to the factory made financial sense.
Another oddity with this gun is the barrel joining at the muzzle, they more than meet. It appears that the right barrel was machined/ground to accomodate the contour of the left barrel, seam virtually invisable. POI barrel regulation?

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Maybe you paid the right price for it after all.
All those condition things taken into consideration I would think about just putting a spacer & thick recoil pad onto that short stock. You can address drop at heel in that & maybe carve a good drop at comb even by adding a bit of wood.
If it shoots well then the checkering won't matter to the game it takes.
Rat rod gun comes to mind here.
O.M


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