Veronesi Gunsmithing
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Have you ever been interested in having your own custom rifle built? After reading this article you may not be able to resist the urge any longer. Veronesi Gunsmithing is a small custom shop in N.W. Pennsylvania that specializes in custom firearms as well as their repair and modifications. It is not like some so-called custom shops that have twenty or thirty gunsmiths of varying abilities working on your firearm. All the work that is done in house is performed by either George or Anthony Veronesi. The quality control is extremely high. Upon visiting their shop you may view any firearm - from a custom small ring '98 Mauser (in 7 x 57 Mauser, of course) to a synthetic stocked and blueprinted Remington long action with a cryogenic-treated heavy-barrel, custom chambered on the premises. Custom stocked firearms are one of their specialties. The high degree of fit-and-finish craftsmanship involved in properly fitting wood to metal in a custom rifle is one of the reasons why customers choose a custom rifle over an off-the-shelf factory firearm. Your choice of the beautiful types of wood available is another reason.

Wooden stocks are generally graded in the following manner:

Most of the work done at Veronesi Gunsmithing is performed in stock grades fancy and above. The reason for this is the fact that most customers that are interested in having a beautifully fitted stock are not satisfied with a "plain" piece of wood.

Their favorite wood to work with is English Walnut. This is an extremely strong wood that is very resistant to the warpage that can occur with woods of lesser quality. The higher grades of this fine hardwood have the grain coloration of chocolate syrup. This wood also cuts in a very clean manner. In checkering this wood one finds that the checkering holds up very well and has great definition (not fuzzy). This is the wood that bears the walnuts found in grocery stores.

Another wood that is worked with a great deal is Bastogne. This is a hybrid of English Walnut and Claro. This wood is reasonably hard but its sometimes erratic grain flow can make it difficult to cut. It is not as stable as English, but is still superior to other woods in this regard. An advantage of this wood is one can get as much grain coloration (although of a different type) as English has for less money.

One of the other walnuts that you would probably see in their shop is Claro. This is generally the least expensive of the walnuts. You also get the most grain figure for the least amount of money with this wood. It is reasonably stable, but again, not as good as English.

American Walnut is also a popular wood. It cuts well and in the higher grades has absolutely beautiful grain. The higher grades have gotten rather expensive in recent years. As a result of this other wood types are chosen more often. It is reasonably stable.

The aforementioned woods are the most chosen, but they will form a stock for you in any type of wood that the customer wants, within reason. What is meant by the "within reason" is that some woods are just not suitable for gun stocks.

Several types of forend tips that can be chosen include Cocobolo, Rosewood, Purpleheart, and Ebony. On the proper wooden stock a highly figured piece of Redwood burl is also quite attractive.

Synthetics -- In recent years this type of stock has become more popular. One of the reasons for this is that they are not affected by the changes in humidity that can cause stock movement in a wooden-stocked rifle. They are also much less expensive for the following reasons:

The advantages of having a stock handmade and hand fitted from a blank are as follows:

As I am sure you are beginning to understand, one of the main advantages of having a custom rifle built is choosing among countless options.

Besides choosing a certain type of stock, one may also choose what
brand of receiver and barrel is utilized.

The more popular actions chosen include Remington, Sako, Winchester, and Mauser.

The more popular barrels are Douglas Air Gauged, Shilen, and those made by a relatively new company called BlackStar. You have probably heard about BlackStar's -300 degree, cryogenic barrel treating process. They are now selling their own barrels that already have had the freezing process done to them, and are also electrochemically polished. The barrels are made to very precise specifications and have received rave reviews from many shooters. You may get one factory barrel out of fifty that will shoot as well as a BlackStar, Shilen or Douglas. With a custom-barreled rifle, one is talking about group sizes of less than .5" at 100 yds. with good fire formed handloads if the shooter does his or her part. At times, groups of this size can even be obtained with good factory cartridges.

What helps to determine the accuracy of a rifle is the skill in which the barrel is chambered and the quality of the equipment used. Veronesi's uses a Clausing lathe. It's a top of the line lathe that sells for over $18,000.00.

Interested?  Contact us at Veronesi's

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