STOCK REPAIR OR RESTOCKING A MIROKU MANUFACTURED BROWNING OR WINCHESTER BPCR By Wayne McLerran
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Last update: 3/15/13
In the chapter titled Stock & Forearm in my Browning BPCR book, I documented the differences between the original and redesigned stock. I also noted that some concerned rifle owners have reinforced the stock through-bolt hole in the original design stock to prevent possible breakage. Included in the book appendix are details on two reinforcement techniques. In another chapter titled Shipping Your Rifle & Cracked Stocks I discuss the most common reason for stock damage and identify some of the steps you can take to mitigate damage. What I’m leading up to here is a limited discussion on options for repairing the stock or restocking a Miroku manufactured Browning or Winchester BPCR.
In addition to the several hundred rifle owners I communicated with while writing my book, I have bought, sold, handled, disassemble and reassembled scores of Miroku manufactured Browning and Winchester BPCR. Many of the Browning’s had the original design stock. Although I’ve heard of a couple of original design stocks that cracked around the through-bolt hole, I personally have seen only one rifle with a small crack at the toe of the butt, the area next to the through-bolt hole where the wood is the thinnest. The crack was a result of dropping the rifle on the toe of the butt plate in a concrete floor. By far, the most likely cause of stock damage (usually at the wrist) is during shipping or if the rifle is dropped on a hard surface.
In any case, you may be reading this because you have a damaged forearm or stock and are wondering what the options are to return your Browning or Winchester BPCR back to like new condition, or at least as close to like new as possible. Most of the following discussion will focus on stock repair or replacement since forearm damage is much less likely. Concerning do-it- yourself stock repair, I don’t have the in-depth knowledge and certainly do not intend to instruct you on the techniques involved. The intent of this discussion is to pass along the knowledge I’ve accumulated while having a few stocks repaired or replaced.
No doubt some readers have woodworking experience and may have repaired a stock or two in the past. If the stock is not damaged too badly and you feel comfortable in tackling the repair, go for it. The key words here are “feeling comfortable” while keeping in mind that if you mess up it’ll cost you in the neighborhood of $500 + to have someone else replace the stock.
I’ve “steamed out” dents in many stocks and have successfully repaired a few cracked stocks and forearms. When properly finished, most of the repairs were invisible and the repaired stock was as strong as or stronger than it was originally. I will admit to “messing up” a couple in the process of learning some of the finer techniques. Certainly, in my opinion, the hardest repairs are cracks in the checkered wrist area. In that case, after making the initial repairs, you’d better be experienced in touching up checkering and have some of the basic checkering tools on hand.
Assuming you have decided not to repair the stock yourself, as I see it, you have four options:
1) Send the rifle to Browning/Winchester for stock replacement. Since the rifle is proof fired after any repairs, they will need the complete rifle (minus the stock). Prior to replacing the stock you will receive a notice confirming the total cost and requesting your permission to proceed. Expect the cost to run around $450.00. A new case colored butt plate and grip cap is included. Only the new design stock is used, which will also fit the earlier manufactured Browning’s with the original design stock. Send the Rifle to Browning/Winchester Repair 1 Browning Place, Arnold, MO 63010. Phone: 1-800-322-4626, ext. 2860.
2) Contact one of the companies listed below that purchase, stock and resell obsolete parts from Browning/Winchester. In some cases they may offer installation services. I do know for a fact that from time to time one or more of these companies had BPCR stocks in inventory which you could purchase. Be advised that some, most likely minimal, inletting and refinishing will be required by you. Also note that the stock will likely be the new design, which will also fit the earlier manufactured Browning’s with the original design stock. This means that if your broken stock is the original design, the original butt plate will not fit the new design stock. The new design replacement stock may be supplied with a new butt plate and grip cap “in white” (unfinished condition). The grip cap is interchangeable but the butt plate is not, meaning you will have to send the new “in white” butt plate off to another company for color case hardening. See listing below on Signal Mountain Gun Works Western Gun Parts 18124 107 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5S 1K5, Canada, Phone: (780) 489- 5711, Fax: (780) 489-5717 http://www.westerngunparts.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Midwest Gunworks (MGW) 1101 Mason Circle Drive South, Pevely, MO, 63070, Phone: (636) 475-7300, Fax: (636) 475-7303 http://www.midwestgunworks.com/ Email: email@example.com Commemorative Arms Company 5149 Daggett Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, Phone: (314) 771-5700, Fax: (314) 771-5767 http://www.commemorativearms.com/ Signal Mountain Gun Works PO Box 570, 260 Big Clearing Road, Roundup, MT 59072, Phone: (406) 323- 2431 The company does color-casehardening work for Browning and Winchester using a potassium-cyanide-based technology. Owner is John Witt.
3) Send the stock to a reputable company that specializes in repairing and refinishing broken or damaged stocks. No doubt there are gunsmiths that have the ability to repair stocks, but the only company that I’m aware of and recommend is: Stockfixrs 18 Sage Hill Road, Glenrock, WY 82637-1843, Phone: (307) 436-5561 http://www.stockfixrs.com/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Owner Bob Fulton and his son Doug specializes in repairing and refinishing broken or damaged rifle and shotgun stocks. They have an excellent reputation and usually have a backlog of several months of work.
4) Purchase a replacement stock from CPA Corporation or Macon Gunstocks, which will require some inletting and refinishing. The cost will be significantly impacted by the quality of the wood you select. If you decide to take this route be aware that the original Browning BPCRs utilized two stock designs. The rifles manufactured in 1996 thru mid 1998 had the original stock design. Around mid 1998 Miroku switched to a new design that changed the angle of the through-bolt hole, which necessitated a change in the butt plate. The stocks are interchangeable but the butt plate is not. CPA Corporation RR 2 Box 1012, Dingmans Ferry, PA 18328 Phone: (570) 828-1669, Fax: (570) 828-8333 http://www.singleshotrifles.com/Stocks/Other/Browning%20Highwall.htm Email: email@example.com Owners are Paul and Gail Shuttleworth. The stocks are semi-inletted and will require some fitting and finishing. Several grades are available, and either right-hand or left-hand cheekpiece versions. Current replacement Browning BPCR stocks are patterned from the 1st generation (original design with 3.2” butt plate screw center-to-center spacing), which has the opening of the through-bolt hole very close to the toe of the stock. But since the through-bolt hole is drilled in a separate step, CPA indicated it can be located to match Browning’s redesigned stock, which moved the hole opening away from the toe and has a 4.05” butt plate screw spacing. Macon Gunstocks 34535 Lickingteller Ave., Warsaw, MO 65355 Phone: (660) 438-4699 http://www.macongunstocks.com/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Macon makes very reasonable priced stocks for Winchester/Browning Miroku manufactured 1885 rifles. The stocks are machine inletted & require some additional hand-inletting to obtain the correct fit.
I hope the above information is useful in helping you make a decision.