Custom High Wall Winchester Rifles
.45-70 Custom hunting rifle (rifle courtesy of Ian Shein)
Custom High Wall caliber .40-65 Designed and build for Black Powder Cartridge Silhouette competition. (rifle courtesy of Ian Shein)
(The Custom High Wall chambered for .30-40 Krag as seen in Custom Rifles in Black & White and shown in the photos below will be up for resale in the near future as part of an estate. Interested parties should contact SDH via email at the bottom on any page.)
HIGH WALL WINCHESTER, London Style Circa 1920
Designed and created by Steven Dodd Hughes
Engraved by John Madole
This stalking rifle was designed as if it had been created in a London, England gunshop in the first quarter of this century. The British were very fond of single shot hunting rifles during this era and one can imagine what they might have done with a Winchester single shot. With its short barrel (24"), lightweight (7-1/4 lbs.) and fine balance it will be a delightful rifle for deep woods or jungle hunting. The 30-40 has long been known to be a highly accurate and effective big game cartridge. The open iron sight can be quickly aligned and sighted for 75 and 150 yards.
The barrel was custom cut-rifled by John Krieger especially for the cartridge. Morris Melani machined the barrel blank with an integral quarter-rib and front sight base. The short round cylinder section blends quickly into a straight tapered octagon. Robert Snapp chambered the barrel with a special close tolerance reamer specially sized for modern brass dimensions.
Engraving by John Madole
The stock was designed with many British details and in keeping, the subtleties are more important that the features. The cheekpiece is about as small as possible and shaped in the double hooked British form. The well-rounded contour of the lower buttstock carries well forward into the wrist. The comb nose fluting is nearly parallel with the comb that is razor sharp in front. The lower line of the butt tapers dramatically forward from the buttplate that is relatively tall. The long grip is capped with a small steel grip cap. A short forearm compliments the relatively short barrel and is tipped with black ebony.
Point pattern, 26 lpi. checkering is done in the British style with a nearly straight line at the rear of the grip. The shape of the grip pattern enhances the forward flow of the rifles lines. The forearm pattern starts well forward of the action to continue the flow and abruptly ends in a straight line at the ebony.
The whole size and character of the stock is about as small as is possible with this size action. The stock has a full 1/4" of cast-off and slight toe out to help the eye perfectly align with the sights. The buttstock has been hollowed out, a full 4 oz. of wood removed, to shift the balance point slightly forward. It balances about 1-1/2" in front of the action giving the rifle a shotgun feel with slightly more weight forward as a rifle should have for steady shooting.
Designed, stocked and finished in an English style by SDH
Top rib engraving detail
Rear Sight detail
The long upper extension buttplate is a stylistic carry over from the percussion guns and rifles the proceeded these breechloaders.
My log book shows nearly 150 bench hours invested in the project after custom barrel making and before engraving and metal finishing.
(A wonderful custom rifle: accurate, handsome and unique!)